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红杉资本致创始人和CEO:警告!2020黑天鹅已来(附中英全文)

农世界网    红杉资本 2020-03-19 来源:农世界网

红杉资本致创始人和CEO 的警告信:2020黑天鹅就是......

2008年,在最近一次经济衰退中,硅谷知名风险投资公司红杉资本(Sequoia capital)在一个名为“R.I.P.Good Times”的报告中,为投资组合公司提供了有关情况有多糟糕的建议。现在,该公司再次发出警报,告诉其投资组合公司的创始人和首席执行官为恶化的情况做准备。

与此同时,冠状病毒还在继续搅动美国和外国金融市场,导致上市公司采取措施,尽量减少对员工和企业的影响。备忘录显示,私人公司也可能受到影响。

该公司在备忘录中说:“由于生命受到威胁,我们希望情况能尽快好转。”“在过渡期间,我们应该做好应对动荡的准备,对可能出现的情况做好准备。

该公司建议公司在疫情不断上演的时候提出关键问题,包括他们是否需要削减员工数量,以及在营销支出方面更加节俭。

红杉公司成立于1972年,总部位于加州门洛帕克,是世界上最成功的风险投资公司之一,曾投资于GitHub、谷歌、领英、英伟达、甲骨文、Square、YouTube和Zoom。

这份备忘录并不像最初的“国际复兴计划”(R.I.P. Good Times)备忘录那样宽泛和笼统,而是更有针对性,更具体地建议初创企业应该做些什么。

特别是,它概述了一些问题,如“在不从根本上损害业务的情况下,你可以在哪里削减开支?”并建议仔细检查员工人数和客户获取成本。

those who survive “are not the strongest or the most intelligent, but the most adaptable to change.”能生存下来的人“不是最强大或最聪明的人,而是最能适应变化的人。”

  中文翻译仅供参考, 英文原文后附

Here is a note that we sent to Sequoia founders and CEOs today to provide guidance on how to ensure the health of their business while dealing with potential business consequences of the spreading effects of the coronavirus.这是我们今天发送给红杉资本创始人和首席执行官的说明,以提供有关如何确保其业务健康同时应对冠状病毒传播效应的潜在业务后果的指导。

Dear Founders & CEOs, 亲爱的创始人和CEO 们

Coronavirus is the black swan of 2020. Some of you (and some of us) have already been personally impacted by the virus. We know the stress you are under and are here to help. With lives at risk, we hope that conditions improve as quickly as possible. In the interim, we should brace ourselves for turbulence and have a prepared mindset for the scenarios that may play out.冠状病毒是2020年的黑天鹅。你们中的某些人(和我们中的某些人)已经受到该病毒的个人影响。我们知道您承受的压力,可以为您提供帮助。由于生命受到威胁,我们希望情况能尽快改善。在此期间,我们应该为动荡做好准备,并为可能出现的情况做好准备。

All of you have been inundated by suggestions for precautions to take around COVID-19 to protect the health and welfare of you, your employees, and your families. Like many, we have studied the available information and would be happy to share our point of view — please let us know if that is of interest. This note is about something else: ensuring the health of your business while dealing with potential business consequences of the spreading effects of the virus. 大家都被关于预防COVID-19的预防措施的建议所淹没,以保护您,您的员工和家人的健康和福祉。像许多人一样,我们已经研究了可用的信息,并很乐意分享我们的观点-请让我们知道是否感兴趣。本说明还涉及其他方面:确保企业的健康,同时应对病毒传播影响的潜在业务后果。

Unfortunately, because of Sequoia’s presence in many regions around the world, we are gaining first-hand knowledge of coronavirus’ effects on global business. As with all crises, there are some businesses that stand to benefit. However, many companies in frontline countries are facing challenges as a result of the virus outbreak, including: 不幸的是,由于红杉遍及全球许多地区,因此我们获得了关于冠状病毒对全球业务影响的第一手资料。与所有危机一样,有些企业也将从中受益。但是,由于病毒爆发,一线国家的许多公司都面临挑战,其中包括:

Drop in business activity. Some companies have seen their growth rates drop sharply between December and February. Several companies that were on track are now at risk of missing their Q1–2020 plans as the effects of the virus ripple wider.业务萎缩。一些公司已经看到其增长率在12月至2月之间急剧下降。随着病毒的波及范围扩大,一些进展顺利的公司现在有可能错过其2020年第一季度计划。

Supply chain disruptions. The unprecedented lockdown in China is directly impacting global supply chains. Hardware, direct-to-consumer, and retailing companies may need to find alternative suppliers. Pure software companies are less exposed to supply chain disruptions, but remain at risk due to cascading economic effects.供应链中断。中前所未有的封锁直接影响着全球供应链。硬件,直接面向消费者和零售的公司可能需要寻找替代供应商。纯软件公司较少受到供应链中断的影响,但由于级联的经济影响而仍然处于风险之中。

Curtailment of travel and canceled meetings. Many companies have banned all “non-essential” travel and some have banned all international travel. While travel companies are directly impacted, all companies that depend on in-person meetings to conduct sales, business development, or partnership discussions are being affected.减少旅行和取消会议。许多公司禁止所有“非必要”旅行,而一些公司禁止所有国际旅行。虽然旅游公司受到直接影响,但所有依赖面对面会议进行销售,业务发展或合伙关系讨论的公司都受到影响。

It will take considerable time — perhaps several quarters — before we can be confident that the virus has been contained. It will take even longer for the global economy to recover its footing. Some of you may experience softening demand; some of you may face supply challenges. While The Fed and other central banks can cut interest rates, monetary policy may prove a blunt tool in alleviating the economic ramifications of a global health crisis.我们将需要相当长的时间-可能需要几个季度-才能确定该病毒已被遏制。全球经济恢复基础将需要更长的时间。你们中有些人的需求可能会减弱;你们中有些人可能会面临供应挑战。尽管美联储和其他中央银行可以降低利率,但货币政策可能被证明是缓解全球健康危机的经济后果的钝器。

We suggest you question every assumption about your business, including:我们建议您质疑有关您业务的所有假设,包括:

1.Cash runway. Do you really have as much runway as you think? Could you withstand a few poor quarters if the economy sputters? Have you made contingency plans? Where could you trim expenses without fundamentally hurting the business? Ask these questions now to avoid potentially painful future consequences.1现金跑道。你真的有你想的那么多跑道吗?如果经济不景气,您能承受几个贫困季度吗?您是否制定了应急计划?在不从根本上损害业务的前提下,您可以在哪里削减开支?现在问这些问题,以避免将来可能带来的痛苦。

2.Fundraising. Private financings could soften significantly, as happened in 2001 and 2009. What would you do if fundraising on attractive terms proves difficult in 2020 and 2021? Could you turn a challenging situation into an opportunity to set yourself up for enduring success? Many of the most iconic companies were forged and shaped during difficult times. We partnered with Cisco shortly after Black Monday in 1987. Google and PayPal soldiered through the aftermath of the dot-com bust. More recently, Airbnb, Square, and Stripe were founded in the midst of the Global Financial Crisis. Constraints focus the mind and provide fertile ground for creativity. 2.融资。如2001年和2009年那样,私人融资可能会大大软化。如果在2020年和2021年证明以有吸引力的条件筹集资金困难,您会怎么做?您能否将具有挑战性的情况转变为机会,以建立持久的成功?许多最具标志性的公司都是在困难时期锻造和塑造的。在1987年黑色星期一之后不久,我们与思科合作。谷歌和PayPal在网络泡沫破灭后幸免于难。最近,在全球金融危机中成立了Airbnb,Square和Stripe。约束使思想集中起来,为创造力提供了沃土。

3.Sales forecasts. Even if you don’t see any direct or immediate exposure for your company, anticipate that your customers may revise their spending habits. Deals that seemed certain may not close. The key is to not be caught flat-footed.3,销售预测。即使您看不到公司有任何直接或直接的风险敞口,也要预期您的客户可能会改变他们的消费习惯。似乎确定的交易可能不会结束。关键是不要措手不及。

4.Marketing. With softening sales, you might find that your customer lifetime values have declined, in turn suggesting the need to rein in customer acquisition spending to maintain consistent returns on marketing spending. With greater economic and fundraising uncertainty, you might even want to consider raising the bar on ROI for marketing spend.4,营销。随着销售疲软,您可能会发现客户的经营生命周期价值下降了,这反过来表明有必要控制新客户获取支出,以保持一致的营销支出回报。由于存在更大的经济和筹资不确定性,您甚至可能要考虑提高营销支出的投资回报率标准。

5.Headcount. Given all of the above stress points on your finances, this might be a time to evaluate critically whether you can do more with less and raise productivity.5,员工人数。考虑到您的财务上所有上述压力点,这可能是时候认真评估您是否可以用更少的钱做更多的事情并提高生产率。

6.Capital spending. Until you have charted a course to financial independence, examine whether your capital spending plans are sensible in a more uncertain environment. Perhaps there is no reason to change plans and, for all you know, changing circumstances may even present opportunities to accelerate. But these are decisions that should be deliberate. 6,资本支出。在确定了财务独立性的路线之前,请检查您的资本支出计划在更加不确定的环境中是否明智。也许没有理由更改计划,并且就您所知,不断变化的情况甚至可能带来加速的机会。但是这些决定应该是经过深思熟虑的。

Having weathered every business downturn for nearly fifty years, we’ve learned an important lesson — nobody ever regrets making fast and decisive adjustments to changing circumstances. In downturns, revenue and cash levels always fall faster than expenses. In some ways, business mirrors biology. As Darwin surmised, those who survive “are not the strongest or the most intelligent, but the most adaptable to change.”在经历了将近50年的每一次业务衰退之后,我们吸取了重要的教训-没有人会后悔对瞬息万变的情况做出快速而果断的调整。在低迷时期,收入和现金水平的下降总是快于支出。在某些方面,业务反映了生物学。正如达尔文所推测的那样,能生存下来的人“不是最强大或最聪明的人,而是最能适应变化的人。”

A distinctive feature of enduring companies is the way their leaders react to moments like these. Your employees are all aware of COVID-19 and are wondering how you will react and what it means for them. False optimism can easily lead you astray and prevent you from making contingency plans or taking bold action. Avoid this trap by being clinically realistic and acting decisively as circumstances change. Demonstrate the leadership your team needs during this stressful time.持久公司的一个显着特征是其领导者对此类时刻做出反应的方式。您的员工都知道COVID-19,并想知道您将如何反应以及这对他们意味着什么。错误的乐观情绪很容易使您误入歧途,并阻止您制定应变计划或采取大胆的行动。通过临床上切合实际并随情况变化采取果断行动来避免这种陷阱。请展示在这段紧张的时间内您的团队需要的领导能力。

Here is some perspective from our partner Alfred Lin, who lived through another black swan moment as an operating executive:这是我们合伙人阿尔弗雷德·林(Alfred Lin)的一些观点,他曾在另一个黑天鹅时期担任运营主管:

“I was serving as the COO/CFO of Zappos when I was summoned to Sequoia’s office for the infamous R.I.P. Good Times presentation in 2008, prior to the financial crisis. We didn’t know then, just like we don’t know now, how long or how sharp or shallow of a downturn we will face. What I can confirm is that the presentation made our team and our business stronger. Zappos emerged from the financial crisis ready to seize on opportunities after our competitors had been battered and bruised.”“当我被召唤到红杉办公室听取臭名昭著的R.I.P.(那时候我正担任Zappos的首席运营官/首席财务官),做2008年Good Times演讲,那是在金融危机之前。那时我们不知道,就像我们现在不知道一样,我们将面对多长时间,多剧烈或多缓的衰退。我可以确认的是,这次演讲使我们的团队和业务更加强大。Zappos摆脱了金融危机,准备在我们的竞争对手遭受重创和挫折后抓住机遇。”

Stay healthy, keep your company healthy, and put a dent in the world.保持健康,使公司保持健康,并在世界上找到机会。

Best, 祝好

Team Sequoia红杉团队

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