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十年前的乔布斯打开了一个怎样的世界?

时间:2017-08-24 08:45来源:未知 作者:admin
  
2007年,只有微软能够跻身全球最具价值的10大公司之列,那时人们很难想象,一家科技企业蕴藏的潜能会有多大。
 
The new breed of tech company has three competitive advantages (leaving aside tax and regulatory arbitrage). The first is scale: they employ thousands of engineers and operate networks of server farms — and in Amazon’s case retail warehouses — that smaller rivals cannot match. Like other conglomerates, they have deep resources.
新一代的科技公司有3个竞争优势(不考虑税收优惠和监管套利)。第一个是规模:它们聘请了成千上万个工程师并且运营服务器集群网络——亚马逊则是运营零售仓库网络——这是小型竞争对手比不上的。像其他综合企业一样,它们拥有深层资源。
 
Second, less traditionally, they exploit network effects. No matter how many people buy Fords, its cars work the same. This is not true of Google’s search engine or Facebook’s social network and messaging applications. The more users they amass, the more data they can collect and the better the service becomes. It creates a virtuous circle.
第二个优势是它们利用网络效应,这是过去没有的。无论有多少人购买福特,汽车用起来都一样。而谷歌的搜索引擎或Facebook的社交网络或消息应用并非如此。它们积累的用户越多,它们便可以收集越多数据,进而改进服务。这创造了一个良性循环。
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Last, they are becoming vertically integrated — the strategy that Jobs brought to Apple. They make hardware, from Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Pixel to Amazon’s Echo, and are finding new ways to put sensors in other devices, such as driverless cars. By analysing the data these capture, they can develop products tailored to every user.
最后一点,它们正在进行纵向一体化——这是乔布斯给苹果制定的战略。它们制造硬件——从苹果的iPhone、谷歌的Pixel、到亚马逊的Echo——同时正在寻找把传感器用于无人驾驶汽车等其他设备的新方法。通过分析收集来的数据,它们可以为每位用户量身定制产品。
 
This raises the question of whether such huge power must be curbed. Their handling of data has to be regulated since it is easily abused — safeguards are needed, such as Waymo’s effort to stop vehicles being hacked. Are they already so dominant that antitrust authorities should break them up?
这提出了一个问题——如此强大的能力是否必须受到约束?由于数据很容易被滥用,它们对数据的处理必须受到监管——保障措施是必需的,比如Waymo努力防止汽车被黑客攻击。它们的主导地位是否已经到了反垄断机构应该将其拆分的地步?
 
Not yet, I think. It is easy to forget how recent — dating back only a decade — their emergence is. Their story is still playing out: Waymo’s technology is still being developed and Amazon’s success with the Echo only partly makes up for its failure with the Fire phone. Silicon Valley is littered with companies that once appeared all powerful but later stumbled, including Yahoo.
我认为,还没有。人们很容易忘记它们是不久前——仅仅10年前——才出现的。它们的故事仍在展开:Waymo的技术仍然处于研发中,亚马逊在Echo上的成功只能部分弥补Fire手机的失败。硅谷到处都是一度所向披靡但随后一败涂地的公司,其中包括雅虎(Yahoo)。
 
In another decade, things could be different: they may lose focus in trying to mimic each others’ strengths, as conglomerates often do. Companies tend to be good at some things and bad at others: a corporate software giant does not design the most exciting consumer devices. Microsoft spanned many businesses with patchy results before focusing on cloud computing.
再过十年,情况可能会不同:它们可能会在试图模仿他人优势的过程中失去重心,正如综合企业通常的表现。企业往往擅长某些事而不擅长其他事:一家企业软件巨头不会设计出最激动人心的消费者设备。在专注于云计算之前,微软曾横跨多个行业,但结果参差不齐。
 
But vigilance is needed. The combination of forces that fuelled the rise of such companies has no exact historical precedent: a technology revolution has created new economies of scale. Apple’s Jobs outflanked Microsoft with the iPhone but his rival remains strong; the power of others could yet grow.
但我们必须提高警觉。推动这类企业崛起的力量组合,并没有确切的历史先例:技术革命创造了新的规模经济。苹果的乔布斯以iPhone智胜微软,但他的竞争对手仍然强大;其他人也可能越来越强。
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