2020年12月13日 - 科技



It is sometimes cited as proof of Silicon Valley’s “no-holds” war for talent, but America’s technology heartland has evolved a working culture that is simultaneously relaxed and permissive.硅谷已发展出有一种精彩尊重的职场文化,它有时被援引为这个美国科技中心 “不择手段”抢夺人才的证据。Famously, Google offers engineers the freedom to pursue their own projects for up to 20 per cent of their working time. Meanwhile, Netflix allows its staff the unheard-of-in-America privilege of unlimited vacations. The video streaming firm also hit the news earlier this month when it offered new parents fully-paid leave for a year after birth or adoption.其中知名的是,谷歌(Google)容许工程师利用他们最少20%的工作时间来权利专门从事自己的项目。

与此同时,Netflix给与其员工在美国闻所未闻的无限请假的特权。这家视频流媒体公司还在本月初上了新闻头条——它容许新晋为父母的员工在生产或是领养孩子后享用一年的全薪请假。It is an approach that seems designed to appeal to a particular type of individualist cum self-starter. Or, as the Harvard Business Review succinctly put it: “Only fully formed adults need apply.”这种方式或许目的更有类似类型的个人以及积极主动型人才。

或者,正如《哈佛商业评论》(Harvard Business Review)非常简单说道的那样:“只有几乎定型的成年人才应当限于。”But dispensing vacation perks along with the air hockey tables is not the only way to run a tech company. A few hundred miles up the west coast in Seattle, a very different style prevails. Where Silicon Valley celebrates the laid-back culture of its pioneering 1960s and 1970s, Amazon has a flavour more evocative of ancient Sparta.但得出类似的请假福利并获取空气曲棍球桌,并非是运营科技公司的唯一方式。在美国西海岸坐落于硅谷以北数百英里的西雅图(亚马逊(Amazon)总部所在地),一种截然不同的风格流行。

硅谷标榜自己开创性的上世纪六七十年代留给的精彩文化,但亚马逊的风格更加令人回想古代的斯巴达。Criticisms of its approach are not new and were aired in Brad Stone’s 2013 book, The Everything Store. But they have now been given a fresh outing in a lengthy expose in the New York Times, citing scores of interviews with present and past employees.对亚马逊管理方式的抨击并非首次经常出现,布拉德斯通(Brad Stone)在2013年的著作《一网打尽》(The Everything Store)中就提及过。


但现在《纽约时报》(New York Times)在一篇长篇报导中援引对该公司现任及前任员工的数十次专访,对其管理风格展开了全新的揭发。People who do well are said to be those who thrive in an adversarial environment with constant friction. The online retailer’s founder, Jeff Bezos, apparently abhors what he calls “social cohesion”. He prefers the idea of his staff duking it out, using data and the power of argument. And according to the New York Times, employees are encouraged to report each other using a management tool designed to give anonymised feedback both to the individual criticised and their boss.腊得好的员工据传是那些能在冲突大大的对抗性环境中平步青云的人。

这家在线零售商的创始人杰夫贝索斯(Jeff Bezos)或许憎恨自己口中的“社会凝聚力”。他讨厌让员工以数据和辩论为武器彼此争斗。根据《纽约时报》的报导,亚马逊员工被希望用于一个目的向被抨击员工及其老板发送到电子邮件对系统的管理工具互打报告。

Mr Bezos has given a measured response. While declaring the article “doesn’t describe the Amazon I know or the caring Amazonians I work with”, he also urges workers to come forward and contact him directly if they are aware of such practices. Given the gravity of some of the allegations, it leaves an equivocal impression; one he could have dispelled by promising to examine his own company records.贝索斯作出了谨慎的对此。在声称该文“所叙述的并非我理解的亚马逊,视之为每天与我一起工作的有爱心的亚马逊人”的同时,他还呼吁员工如果告诉此类作法,就可以明确提出来,并必要与他联系。鉴于其中一些指控十分相当严重,这种对此给人一种模棱两可的感觉;他本可以允诺检查自己公司的记录来避免这种感觉。There is, of course, no excuse for unfair treatment. But when it comes to Amazon’s overall style, it is less clear what Mr Bezos has to justify. Amazon’s employees are not slaves. Many of its managers and engineers are highly employable elsewhere. Nor has its approach damaged the retailer. Now valued at $250bn, the 21-year-old company recently overtook Walmart as the world’s biggest general retailing group. It does not obviously lack for computing or management talent. Indeed it is constructing an enormous campus in Seattle where it plans to bring tens of thousands of them in one place.当然,任何借口都无法用来展开不公平的待遇。




People often see the tech world as in some way unique. But there is no reason that it requires a management approach any more homogenised than industries that flourished before the world wide web. Not every investment bank has the work ethic of Goldman Sachs, nor management consultancy the culture of a McKinsey. Employees do not just work for a company because its bosses smile. They do so because they believe in its business model, or think they will derive fulfilment from sharing in its success.人们一般来说指出科技世界在或许上是独有的,但没理由拒绝该行业享有比在万维网经常出现之前蓬勃发展的行业更加同质化的管理方式。并非每家投行都有高盛(Goldman Sachs)的职业准则,并非每家管理咨询公司都有麦肯锡(McKinsey)的文化。


Mr Bezos is at the hard-nosed end of US entrepreneurship. But until there is further evidence that his approach is deterring vital staff from joining Amazon, or driving customers to competitors, he is unlikely to change — and there seems little reason why he should.贝索斯归属于美国创业家中的强硬派。但在有更进一步的证据指出,他的作法反制了关键员工重新加入亚马逊,或者促成客户改向竞争对手之前,他不太可能作出转变——他或许也没应当转变的理由。