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史蒂夫·哈蒙独家中文博客

互联网风投与管理者,创业企业是谷歌Adsense概念创造者之一

 
 
 

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我是美国风投创始人和管理合作伙伴,曾担任过Jupiter Media公司VP,Paul Kagan Associates机构分析师,我的创业企业Applied Semantics2003年被谷歌收购,是谷歌Adsense概念创造者之一。现着重投资互联网领域,对中国互联网和网络新媒体有深刻研究。我写的《零重力1.0》和《零重力2.0》成为彭博社最畅销书籍,比尔盖茨、杨致远也读过我写的商业报告。在中国,我给网易科技独家供稿。hapn.cool try it!

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我和杨致远的老故事  

2012-01-20 10:07:04|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

  下载LOFTER 我的照片书  |

杨致远不再是雅虎酋长,在公司呆了17年后,他离开了。这是很多人看到或者听到的新闻,但很多人都不了解杨致远或者他的为人处事。

让我来分享一个经历吧。

我所认识的雅虎酋长杨致远

我和杨致远

1995年,我在雅虎第一次见到杨致远。当时该公司还没上市,也没几个人真正在乎“互联网”。我注意到的第一样物品是会客室的紫色椅子,它们看起来就像是出自儿童电视节目的布景,有趣且与众不同。

杨致远先在会客室与我会面,后带我简单地参观了一下公司。参观之所以简短,是因为当时雅虎可能只有50个人。每个人在同一层楼工作,围成一个矩形区域,杨致远的座位在中间。

他的办公桌方位是整层楼中最糟糕的,既看不到窗外风景,而且还放在走廊。他说他喜欢“置身其中”,这我能理解。雅虎的摆设可以说相当朴实。

他带我周围走,见下他的员工。当看到一个高高瘦瘦的男孩(大约6尺4寸高)站起来,叫了声“史蒂夫”时,我大为惊喜。我愣了一下才想起他是迈克·福斯特(Mike Foster),他跟我曾就读位于南加州的同一所高中。迈克高中时是个乐队狂热分子,我根本没想到会在雅虎见到他。

杨致远的办公桌对面是个小隔间,里面放着散乱的杂志、汽水、罐头等等,感觉更像个大学宿舍。

“大卫不在,这是他的办公桌,”杨致远指着与其联合创建雅虎的大卫·费罗(David Filo)凌乱的桌子,“他常常不穿鞋子来上班。”我想,“很好,不是那种西装革履的伪君子。”

杨致远带我来到会议室,然后去叫“那些家伙”过来。几分钟后,CEO蒂姆·库格尔(雅虎第一任CEO)和CFO加里·伦瑞拉(Gary Valenzuela)与杨致远一道走了进来。我们都坐了下来,一起讨论那个叫互联网的新流行媒介,聊到了商业模式,还设想了下广告行业。我谈到了有线电视、直播以及其它媒介,还说道广告与订阅的混合模式如何能最终成为互联网的模式。

而在那个年代,甚至都还没有视频、音频、网络广告,也没几个网络用户。那些用户也只能通过Prodigy、Compuserve或者AOL上网,那也不是互联网,因为那些公司提供的是封闭的网络服务,需要在它们的软件登陆后才能传送内容。

大约一个钟以后,杨致远叫我跟他一起去吃午饭。我们走到停车场,我以为他要走向一辆豪华跑车,结果却是他走到了一辆破旧的道奇公羊皮卡旁边。“这是我的车,”他说。坐进车后,他叫我不用担心座位上的狗毛,他说他常常载着他的狗(我记得是爱斯基摩狗)开车。那天狗不在那,但我看到了狗毛,还闻到狗味。跟杨致远相处越久,我越发觉得他是个与众不同的、实实在在的人。

离开停车场后,我们经过了一家塔可钟(墨西哥餐饮连锁品牌)。“那是我们公司的人经常光顾那家店,”杨致远说。“但今天我们要去一家好一些的熟食店。对了,马克?安德森(网景创始人)可能也在那,也许我们能跟他打个招呼。”

我对杨致远的第一印象是,他创业不是为了钱,雅虎在科技界也与众不同,它提供有创意且有趣的工作场所,将会向尚未开发的网络世界迈进。

几个月后,我在洛杉矶组织了一个会议,并邀请12位互联网公司CEO前来交流。我是请了12个人,但我猜有一半不会出席会议。结果却是他们全都露面了。11家一流互联网公司的CEO围着一张折叠野餐桌,坐下金属折叠椅,感觉就像是在开网络界的联合国大会。

杨致远呢?

在我们等了几分钟之后,杨致远走了进来,笑得就像个刚买了冰淇淋蛋卷的小孩。他拉出椅子,其他CEO为他腾出地方。“不好意思,我迟到了,因为飞机晚点了。”杨致远是搭经济舱从旧金山飞到洛杉矶的。

我问在场的所有CEO,他们在忙什么。大家都给出了让听众满意的答案,而杨致远的答案则给我留下了最深刻的印象。他说,“我来这里时,一直在想雅虎要怎样才能够改善其用户体验。”我当时在想,相比其他人做的无聊“主页”,雅虎已经领先数光年了。我再一次觉得,这个家伙一直在挑战极限,精益求精。这很好。

在12位CEO当中,他是唯一一位提到用户体验的。对此,我的第一个想法是,“这个家伙已抓住要旨。另外,他为人谦逊,一点都不高傲。”我当时就知道雅虎会走向巨大的成功。

它真的做到了,不管是在品牌、财务还是其它方面。那种专注让雅虎占得优势,从而击败Excite、Infoseek、Lycos、Hotbot以及很多其它搜索和分类目录网站。在用户量、营收、品牌、增长等方面,雅虎均击溃了它的竞争对手。

究其原因是?

杨致远。

自从那次会议以后,“用户体验”成为了公司发展至关重要的因素。(编译/乐邦)


英文原文:

Jerry Yang Leaves Yahoo…Let’s Meet The Real Jerry

Jerry Yang is no longer “Chief Yahoo.”  He left Yahoo after 17 years.

That’s the news most people read or hear. Most people don’t know Jerry or his approach.

Let me share a personal story.

我所认识的雅虎酋长杨致远


In 1995 I first met Jerry at Yahoo. This was before the company was public and before anyone really cared much at all about “the Internet”.


First thing I noticed were the purple chairs in the lobby. They looked like something from a kids TV show set. Fun and different.

Jerry met me in the lobby and took me on a brief tour. Brief because Yahoo was maybe 50 people then. Maybe. Everyone worked on one floor in a rectangle-shaped area with Jerry in the middle.


He had the worst desk in the building in terms of placement. No window view. In a hall. He said he liked to be in the middle of the action and it made sense to me. Yahoo wasn’t about show or flash.


He walked me around to meet employees and I was pleasantly surprised when a tall, lanky, rail-thin kid (about 6′ 4″) stood up and said

“Steve!” I did a double take and it was Mike Foster, a guy that went to my high school in Southern California. Mike was a band geek in high school and the last guy I would expect to see at Yahoo. And yet he was a fit, Yahoo geeky cool.


Across from Jerry’s desk was a cubicle with scattered magazines, soda cans, and more that looked like a college dorm had been crammed into it.


“David’s not here right now but that’s his desk”, Jerry said and pointed to the genius clutter of his co-founder, David Filo. “He usually comes to work barefoot”.


I thought to myself “great, it’s not about suits and ties and phonyimage”.

Jerry led me to a conference room and went to get “the guys”. A few minutes later CEO Tim Koogle and CFO Gary Valenzuela walked in with Jerry.


We all sat down and talked about this new-fangled medium called the Internet and discussed business models, the ad industry, if advertisers would show up in this new medium. I talked about the cable TV, broadcast and other mediums, how their mix of ads and subscriptions could eventually be the Internet model.


Those were the days when there was no video, no audio, no advertising on the Web and when few people at all were online. Those that were online did so via Prodigy, Compuserve, or the new kid AOL. Those were NOT the Internet, they were closed online services that required their own software to sign on and deliver content.


After about an hour Jerry asked me to get some lunch with him. We exited to the parking lot and I expected to see him march towards a fancy sports car. He walked over to a beat up old Dodge Ram truck with a cab on it.


“That’s mine,” he said. As I got in he mentioned not to worry about the dog hair on the seat, that his dog (a Husky as I recall) often rode with him. The dog wasn’t there that day but the hair and dog smell were. The more I saw Jerry the more I thought he had something special. No flash or gimmicks.


As we left the parking lot we passed a Taco Bell.

“That’s the unofficial company cafeteria,” Jerry said. “But today we’ll go to a deli that’s a bit better. Besides, Marc Andreessen (Netscape founder) also may be there, maybe we can say hello”.


My first impression of Jerry was he was not in it “for the money”, that Yahoo was “something special” in tech, a creative, fun place to work, a company leading the way into the untapped world of the Web as a business.


A few months later I put together a conference in Los Angeles and invited 12 CEOS of Internet companies to come and talk. I asked 12 figuring that maybe half would not show. They all did.


11 CEOs of the top Internet companies were sat around a fold out picnic table, sitting on unforgiving metal foldout chairs. It was like the UNof the Web. Between all of them lived the new industry.


Where was Jerry?

We waited a few minutes to start the conference and Jerry walked in,smiling like a kid who just got an ice cream cone. He pulled up a chairas the other CEOs made room.


“Sorry I was late, my plane was late”. Jerry had flown coach from SanJose to LA, despite having put the first of a few million in the bank.

I asked every CEO at the table what they were focused on. All gave good answers for the audience. Jerry said the most memorable:


“As I flew down here I was thinking the whole time how Yahoo can make the user experience better”. I thought Yahoo at the time was already light years ahead vs. the boring “home pages” done by others. Again, I thought, this guy is pushing the edge, not satisfied. Good.


He was the only one who mentioned this, of the 12. My immediate thought was “this guy gets it. He’s tuned in. He’s also not arrogant but humble.” I knew then that Yahoo would go on to be a huge success.


It did. Brand, financial and otherwise. That focus gave Yahoo the edge to beat Excite, Infoseek, Lycos, Hotbot and many more search and directory sites.


Yahoo crushed them on number of users, revenue, brand, growth, etc.

Why?

Jerry.


Since then the “user experience” has been the key ingredient of the Web.

Other companies picked up the mantle, even as Yahoo lost it.

Google.

eBay.

Amazon.

Friendster/MySpace/Facebook.

Twitter.

Alas…


Pundits can and will dissect what Yahoo has done wrong. Armchairquarterbacking is easy. People who never knew the seed from the tree.


The one thing I know is Jerry Yang was the force at Yahoo before it got haywire and Yahoo lost its role at the center of the Web experience.


It’s not about billions of dollars, etc.


It’s about a guy who had a dream and with a college buddy (David Filo)and did something that — for a time (even a long time in Internet years) — was the world’s most-inspiring and original Internet company.


My hat’s off to Jerry and David. The Internet wouldn’t be the same

without their quirky vision.



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