怎样做增长?(Startup Playbook from Sam Altman IV.1)

只要公司在快速发展,所有人都会欢欣鼓舞,各种问题也会引刃而解。

创业由四个部分组成,理念、团队、产品、执行力。Startup Playbook 是YC掌门人Sam Altman对这四个方面的完整阐述,这是第四部分关于执行力。首先说如何增长。

Growth and momentum are the keys to great execution. Growth (as long as it is not “sell dollar bills for 90 cents” growth) solves all problems, and lack of growth is not solvable by anything but growth.

执行力的关键是增长和冲劲。只要不是通过无脑烧钱补贴用户的方式换来的,增长可以解决一切问题,且没有别的东西可以替代增长在创业中起的作用。

If you’re growing, it feels like you’re winning, and people are happy. If you’re growing, there are new roles and responsibilities all the time, and people feel like their careers are advancing. If you’re not growing, it feels like you’re losing, and people are unhappy and leave. If you’re not growing, people just fight over responsibilities and blame.

只要公司还在发展,你就会觉得自己棒棒哒,团队成员也会觉得欢欣鼓舞。只要公司还在发展,团队成员会觉得正走在通往人生巅峰的路上,因为新的项目和新的责任正一波波向他们袭去。相反,如果公司停止发展,你会觉得自己要输了,别人也会不高兴,会离你而去。如果公司停止发展,人们就会勾心斗角相互推诿。

Founders and employees that are burnt out nearly always work at startups without momentum. It’s hard to overstate how demoralizing it is. The prime directive of great execution is “Never lose momentum”. But how do you do it?

在没有冲劲的公司里,创始人和员工通常会觉得非常心累心塞。冲劲带来的鼓舞士气的作用,怎么强调都不过分。想要有强大的执行力,当务之急就是永远不要失去冲劲。那如何能做到这点呢?

The most important way is to make it your top priority. The company does what the CEO measures. It’s valuable to have a single metric that the company optimizes, and it’s worth time to figure out the right growth metric. If you care about growth, and you set the execution bar, the rest of the company will focus on it.

最有效的办法就是把维持冲劲和士气放在 “重中之重” 的位置上。因为 CEO 重视什么,公司就会是个什么模样。花些时间想清楚你要的目标,然后集中全公司的火力去进攻。想要快速发展,就设定一个执行目标,让全公司的所有资源都聚焦到那上面去。

Here are a couple of examples.

The founders of Airbnb drew a forward-looking graph of the growth they wanted to hit. They posted this everywhere—on their fridge, above their desks, on their bathroom mirror. If they hit the number that week, great. If not, it was all they talked about.

下面我举几个例子:
Airbnb 的创始人按照他们的预期,画了一张发展计划表,然后贴得到处都是——冰箱上、桌子上、浴室的镜子上等等。如果这周达到目标,那就皆大欢喜。如果没有达到,那他们就会花大量时间精力总结经验教训。

Mark Zuckerberg once said that one of the most important innovations at Facebook was their establishment of a growth group when growth slowed. This group was (and perhaps still is) one of the most prestigious groups in the company—everyone knew how important it was.

马克 · 扎克伯格也说过,Facebook 最重要的创新之一就是在发展的脚步变慢的时候成立了 “发展小组”。这个小组曾经是全公司最受尊敬的团队(或许现在依然是),每个人都知道它有多重要。

Keep a list of what’s blocking growth. Talk as a company about how you could grow faster. If you know what the limiters are, you’ll naturally think about how to address them.

把阻碍你增长的因素列个清单,探讨作为公司该如何更快地成长。如果你知道你打怪升级的路上会碰到哪些怪,那你肯定会研究该怎样把他们一一打倒的。

For anything you consider doing, ask yourself “Is this the best way to optimize growth?” For example, going to a conference is not usually the best way to optimize growth, unless you expect to sell a lot there.

在做任何事之前,先问问自己,“这是对增长进行优化最有效的方式吗?” 比方说,去某个大会上吹牛出风头通常对增长没啥用处,除非你是抱着在那里做一通销售的目的去的。

Extreme internal transparency around metrics (and financials) is a good thing to do. For some reason, founders are always really scared of this. But it’s great for keeping the whole company focused on growth. There seems to be a direct correlation between how focused on metrics employees at a company are and how well they’re doing. If you hide the metrics, it’s hard for people to focus on them.

保持各项指标(包括财务指标)在内部做到极度透明是个不错的主意。不知为啥,创始人们总是很怕公布这些东西。但这样干十分有助于让整个公司把资源都集中到发展性的各项指标上。而如果你不公布指标,人们也就无从着手。通常来说,对内部信息了解得越清楚,你的员工也就越能在工作中表现出彩。

Speaking of metrics, don’t fool yourself with vanity metrics. The common mistake here is to focus on signups and ignore retention. But retention is as important to growth as new user acquisition.

说到指标,千万别用那些 “虚荣指标”(指用户量、下载量、浏览次数等数据)来误导自己。有些错误很常见,比方说看重注册量而忽视了留存率,而事实上,对于增长而言,留存率与新增用户数一样重要。

It’s also important to establish an internal cadence to keep momentum. You want to have a “drumbeat” of progress—new features, customers, hires, revenue milestones, partnerships, etc that you can talk about internally and externally.

建立一个保持劲头的内部节奏也很重要。新功能、用户数、招聘、收入节点、合伙人…… 无论是内部还是外部事务,你最好都能有自己的发展节奏。

You should set aggressive but borderline achievable goals and review progress every month. Celebrate wins! Talk internally about strategy all the time, tell everyone what you’re hearing from customers, etc. The more information you share internally—good and bad—the better you’ll be.

你应该设置一些野心勃勃且有清晰界限的目标,然后每个月都审查一下进度。如果目标达成,那就好好庆祝吧!在内部保持沟通,让大家都知道公司的战略,也知道你一直在倾听用户的声音。你在内部分享的信息越多(不管是好消息抑或坏消息),对你就越有益处。

There are a few traps that founders often fall into. One is that if the company is growing like crazy but everything seems incredibly broken and inefficient, everyone worries that things are going to come unraveled. In practice, this seems to happen rarely (Friendster is the most recent example of a startup dying because of technical debt that I can point to.)

有一些坑,是创业者常常掉进去的。其中一个,是说如果公司像脱缰的野马一样在发展,内部事务会变得乱糟糟的而且还效率底下,于是每个人都担心事情会变得无法收场。其实在实际情况中这样的事例并不多(我能想到的最近的一个例子就是交友社区 Friendster由于技术拖后腿而导致项目死掉)。[注:这个坑的意思是你不必太谨慎,担心项目因为发展太快而出现问题,这样的几率挺低的。Friendster那都是2002年的事了。]

Counterintuitively, it turns out that it’s good if you’re growing fast but nothing is optimized—all you need to do is fix it to get more growth! My favorite investments are in companies that are growing really fast but incredibly un-optimized—they are deeply undervalued.

虽然有些反直觉,但如果你的公司在快速增长方面问题多多,这倒是件好事——你所需要做的就是解决问题,然后继续上路取得更多成绩。我最喜欢的几笔投资都是成长非常快速但是有许多问题——这样的公司的估值一般都偏低。[注:他说的是Reddit。]

A related trap is thinking about problems too far in the future—i.e. “How are we going to do this at massive scale?” The answer is to figure it out when you get there. Far more startups die while debating this question than die because they didn’t think about it enough. A good rule of thumb is to only think about how things will work at 10x your current scale.

空想太多也算是个创业路上的大坑——比如思考 “要是这事情做大了该咋办” 之类的问题。这种事情到时候再想也不迟——想着想着就死掉的创业公司数量比由于对这个问题没想太多而失败的公司要多得多。如果你非要畅想未来,那最多考虑一下如何应付规模扩大十倍以后的情况吧。

Most early-stage startups should put “Do things that don’t scale” up on their wall and live by it. As an example, great startups always have great customer service in the early days, and bad startups worry about the impact on the unit economics and that it won’t scale.

其实对于大多数早期创业公司而言,还是更应该积极准备那些 “无法规模化” 的事情。比方说,优秀的创业公司在一开始总是把用户伺候得妥妥的,而糟糕的创业者则会担心一旦规模扩大,这样的用户体验不具有可复制性。

But great customer service makes for passionate early users, and as the product gets better you need less support, because you’ll know what customers commonly struggle with and improve the product/experience in those areas. (By the way, this is a really important example—have great customer support.)

但是情况往往是由于客服做得好,早期用户爱上了你的产品,提了许多很棒的建议所以产品体验大幅提高,后期的客服压力反而会变小。因为你已经清楚了解用户通常会在哪些方面需要帮助,产品有哪些体验上的不足需要弥补。(顺便多说一句,优质的客服真的很重要!)

There’s a big catch to this—”Do things that don’t scale” does not excuse you from having to eventually make money. It’s ok to have bad unit economics in the early days, but you have to have a good reason for why the unit economics are going to work out later.

当然了,做 “规模不大的事” 不意味着你可以心安理得地一直烧钱不盈利。早期亏一些无所谓,但最终你必须有一个能盈利的清晰的商业模式。

Another trap is getting demoralized because growth is bad in absolute numbers even though it’s good on a percentage basis. Humans are very bad at intuition around exponential growth. Remind your team of this, and that all giant companies started growing from small numbers.

当公司增长的绝对值不高,但从百分比来看不错的时候,别失去士气。这也是另一个坑。人类天然就不太擅长用百分比的角度观察公司发展。你得提醒你的团队,大公司的光鲜成绩都是从小数字成长起来的。

Some of the biggest traps are the things that founders believe will deliver growth but in practice almost never work and suck up a huge amount of time. Common examples are deals with other companies and the “big press launch”. Beware of these and understand that they effectively never work.

大多数的坑都是因为创业者以为做某些事情能带来增长,但是最后发现它们完全是徒劳无功而且赔进去很多时间,比方说处理与竞争对手和合作伙伴的关系,或者搞个盛大的新闻发布会什么的。要小心这些事,并且明白它们实际上并没啥用。

Instead get growth the same way all great companies have—by building a product users love, recruiting users manually first, and then testing lots of growth strategies (ads, referral programs, sales and marketing, etc.) and doing more of what works. Ask your customers where you can find more people like them.

你应该模仿的,是伟大公司的成长路径——打造一个让用户爱不释手的产品、手动招募一些种子用户,然后多多试错(各种花式推广、请朋友推荐、做营销等等),一旦发现哪个合适,就把更多的资源倾注进去。再有,向你的用户们请教从什么渠道能把信息传达到像他们这样的人耳中。

Remember that sales and marketing are not bad words. Though neither will save you if you don’t have a great product, they can both help accelerate growth substantially. If you’re an enterprise company, it’s likely a requirement that your company get good at these.

记住,不要因为 “营销” 和 “推广” 这些词听起来比较 low 就逃避。当然如果你的产品不好那再怎么营销推广也没用,但如果产品好,它能够给你的公司装上火箭引擎。如果你做的是 2B 的业务,那做好营销就更是不可或缺的了。

Don’t be afraid of sales especially. At least one founder has to get good at asking people to use your product and give you money.

尤其是不要害怕去做销售。团队里至少要有一个人擅长厚着脸皮求别人使用你们的产品并且从口袋里掏出钱来。

Alex Schultz gave a lecture on growth for consumer products that’s well worth watching. For B2B products, I think the right answer is almost always to track revenue growth per month, and remember that the longer sales cycle means the first couple of months are going to look ugly (though sometimes selling to startups as initial customers can solve this problem).

关于 2C 的产品推广,可以看看 Facebook 负责用户增长的副总、营销大拿 Alex Schultz 讲的一堂干货课。至于 B2B 产品,我觉得你密切关注每个月的收入增长数据,并且牢记销售周期长意味着一开始的几个月的数据会很难看就行(或者你可以通过向创业圈小伙伴兜售你的产品来解决这个问题)。

[注:Sam Altman的这个系列结束之后,会有更多关于增长的干货。]

怎样验证创业理念?(Startup Playbook from Sam Altman I)

创始团队需要什么样的特质?(Startup Playbook from Sam Altman II)

怎样做出NB的产品?(Startup Playbook from Sam Altman III)

原创文章,作者:创业百花谷,如若转载,请注明出处:http://www.liuwanlan.com/interlocution/367

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