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特朗普的管理学:向硅谷学习,颠覆一切

更新时间:2017-3-10 9:34:27 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

White House Echoes Tech: ‘Move Fast and Break Things’
特朗普的管理学:向硅谷学习,颠覆一切

Last summer, not long after Donald Trump secured the Republican nomination for president, his recently installed campaign manager, Stephen K. Bannon, met with top officials from the Republican National Committee to discuss management of the general election.

去年夏天,唐纳德·特朗普获得共和党总统候选人提名不久后,他刚刚任命的竞选经理史蒂芬·K·班农(Stephen K. Bannon)会见了共和党全国委员会的高层官员,讨论大选阶段的管理问题。

Trump’s staff had remained unusually small throughout the grueling primaries — a compactness, his advisers believed, that had given them a nimble edge. Now most Republican officials expected the Trump team to expand as it began to oversee the thousands of Republican staff members, state officials and consultants who would be ground troops in the coming political war.

在令人精疲力尽的初选中,特朗普的团队规模一直异乎寻常地小——他的顾问们认为,正是这种紧凑令他们有了反应敏捷的优势。现在大多数共和党官员期望特朗普团队扩大,因为它即将开始监督成千上万的共和党员工、各州官员和顾问,在即将到来的政治战争中,这些人将充当地面部队的角色。

But when Bannon met with RNC officials, he informed them that a major expansion was not going to happen.

但当班农与共和党全国委员会的官员会面时,他告诉他们,团队不会有大幅扩张。

The Trump campaign, he said, intended to remain sparse and decentralized. Borrowing a Silicon Valley mantra from Facebook, he told his shocked listeners that “your job is to move fast and break things,” according to a person who was present. “Figure out what needs doing, and then just do it. Don’t wait for permission.”

他说,特朗普的竞选就是要保持精简和权力分散。据一位在场者说,他借用了Facebook的硅谷箴言,告诉面前震惊的听众们,“你们的工作就是快速行动,打破规矩,找出需要做什么,然后只管做。不要等待批准。”

His audience was surprised. Conventional political wisdom advocated a robust and elaborate campaign hierarchy.

他的听众们非常惊讶。传统的政治智慧提倡更坚固与细致的竞选等级体系。

But Bannon demanded the opposite. Winning, he said, required tactics and ideas — like distributed decision-making; quick experimentation and execution rather than thoughtful deliberation; learning from left-leaning advocacy groups and video game companies — that were drawn from the management playbooks of Silicon Valley startups.

但班农要求的是相反的东西。他说,获胜需要战术和创意——比如决策权下放;以快速实验和执行取代深思熟虑;向左派倡导团体和电子游戏公司学习——这些都来自硅谷初创公司的管理手段。

After that meeting, many thought Bannon’s strategy was crazy, the person who was present said. Then Trump won the election. And now we can argue that Trump is, in many ways, the first genuine Silicon Valley startup candidate and president.

那位在场人士说,会议之后,许多人都认为班农的策略是在发疯。然后特朗普就赢得了选举。现在我们可以说,特朗普在许多方面都堪称第一位真正的硅谷初创公司候选人和总统。

President Barack Obama may have embraced technology, weaponized social media and sought advice from the co-founders of Facebook and LinkedIn. But he was ultimately a traditional campaigner and manager. It is Trump’s team who, surprisingly, have embraced the philosophy of disruption and the management styles of Silicon Valley, and who have sought to imitate the tactics that have powered companies like Uber and Amazon.

贝拉克·奥巴马(Barack Obama)总统可能接受了科技,把社交媒体当做武器,并向Facebook和领英(LinkedIn)的各位联合创始人寻求建议。但他说到底还是一个传统的参选者和管理者。而特朗普团队则令人惊讶地接受了硅谷的破坏哲学与管理风格,并试图模仿令优步(Uber)和亚马逊(Amazon)等公司强大起来的战术。

“Trump is the Silicon Valley candidate in every way except that the ideology is flipped,” said Sam Altman, a prominent technology leader, chief executive of Y Combinator and a major Hillary Clinton donor. “He’s an outsider. He took on a system he thought was broken and then disregarded the rules; he got to know his users well and tested his product early and iterated rapidly. That’s the startup playbook. That’s exactly what we tell our startups to do.”

“特朗普在各个方面都是一个硅谷候选人,除了意识形态截然相反,”Y Combinator首席执行官萨姆·奥特曼(Sam Altman)说,他也是希拉里·克林顿(Hillary Clinton)的重要捐赠者。“他是一个局外人,在挑战一个他认为出了问题的体制,然后他无视规则;他渐渐了解了自己的用户,对自己的产品进行早期测试和快速迭代。这是初创公司的战术手册。这正是我们告诉我们的初创公司应当做的事情。”

It remains to be seen, however, whether Trump will successfully transition from a startup to a mature commander-in-chief. Just as Uber and other young tech firms have stumbled while growing, so Trump seems, right now, in over his head at the White House.

然而,特朗普是否能成功地从一个创业者转型为成熟的总司令,仍然有待观察。正如优步和其他年轻的科技公司在成长期间会磕磕绊绊一样,现在特朗普在白宫似乎也难以应付局面。

But understanding these early missteps — and how startup thinking vaulted Trump into power — is important, because it gives us a lens into the strengths and weaknesses of management techniques that are increasingly being imitated by other industries around the world.

但是,了解这些早期的失误——以及初创企业思维如何将特朗普送上权力巅峰——是很重要的,因为这能让我们更加了解这种管理技术的长处和弱点,如今它正日益被世界上的其他行业所模仿。

Put differently, the president’s success has demonstrated the strength of the startup philosophy. But is it a good or a bad thing if Trump becomes the first political unicorn?

换言之,总统的成功表明了创业哲学的实力。但是,如果特朗普成为第一个政治独角兽,这是好事还是坏事?

The irony is that many technologists abhor Trump and his beliefs. Silicon Valley overwhelmingly voted and raised funds for Clinton, and tech workers have angrily protested his immigration ban. At the New Work Summit, a gathering of top technology executives hosted by The New York Times this week, participants strongly complained that their industry should not be associated with, or held accountable for, Trump’s victory.

讽刺的是,许多技术专家憎恶特朗普和他的主张。硅谷绝大多数人为克林顿投票和筹款,技术工人愤怒地抗议他的移民禁令。在本周《纽约时报》为顶尖科技公司高管们举办的聚会“新工作峰会”(New Work Summit)上,与会者表达了强烈不满,认为他们的产业不应该与特朗普的胜利产生联系或为之负责。

But the fact remains that he is a prime example of the disruptive forces that the tech industry celebrates. At the most basic level, Trump’s embrace of technology — the millions of dollars he has raised through online donations, and his capacity to mobilize huge crowds through email and drive news through Twitter blasts — is crucial to his unexpected political success.

但事实是,特朗普是一个最好的例子,能证明技术行业所赞美的那种颠覆力量。在最基本的层面上,特朗普全面接受了技术——他通过在线捐赠募集到成千上百万美元,通过电子邮件动员大量人群,通过Twitter攻击推动新闻传播——这些对他出人意料的政治成功起到了至关重要的作用。

And his team’s embrace of Silicon Valley philosophy goes much deeper. As Trump’s campaign gained steam, for instance, top officials began a dedicated effort to study the tactics of successful digital advocacy groups, particularly the left-leaning Moveon.org, as well as #BlackLivesMatter, to reverse engineer methods for rapidly mobilizing voters.

他的团队对于硅谷哲学的接受更加深入。例如,随着特朗普的竞选逐渐形成声势,团队中的高层官员开始致力于研究成功的数字倡导团体的战术——特别是左倾的Moveon.org,以及#BlackLivesMatter(黑人的命也是命)标签——以此转变策划方式,快速动员选民。

His campaign also reached out to video game companies to learn how to make addictive content. During the race, Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, met with Gabriel Leydon, founder of a company in Palo Alto, California, named MZ, previously known as Machine Zone, which created the highly popular games Mobile Strike and Game of War: Fire Age. Leydon, one of the biggest online advertisers, agreed to share insights about digital marketing tactics with the Trump campaign. (In a statement, MZ said it never formally worked for Trump.)

他的竞选团队还同电子游戏公司接触,学习如何制作令人上瘾的内容。在竞选中,特朗普的女婿贾里德·库什纳(Jared Kushner)会见了加利福尼亚州帕洛阿尔托一家公司的创始人加布里埃尔·莱登(Gabriel Leydon),他的公司名叫MZ,以前被称为Machine Zone,推出了非常受欢迎的游戏《雷霆天下》(Mobile Strike)和《战争游戏:火力时代》(Game of War: Fire Age)。莱登是最大的在线广告商之一,他同意与特朗普的竞选团队分享有关数字营销策略的见解(在一份声明中,MZ称该公司从来没有正式为特朗普工作)。

The influence of startup philosophy on Trump’s team extends to day-to-day management. The campaign and the White House have looked to tech industry management techniques to empower staff members to start policy initiatives, to conduct rapid digital tests, and to push fundraising and advertising campaigns without seeking authorization from senior officials.

创业哲学对特朗普团队的影响延伸到日常管理。他的竞选班底以及白宫班底一直依靠科技产业管理技术,工作人员可以启动政策动议,进行快速数字测试,推动筹资和广告活动,而无需高级官员的授权。

In contrast to the methodical Obama White House and the Clinton campaign, where tweets often needed approval from at least three officials before they were posted, members of the Trump team could dream up ads or email blasts almost without oversight. At its peak, his campaign was running 60,000 different online advertisements per day to see which phrases and images outperformed others.

在奥巴马白宫和克林顿的竞选团队中,发推文通常需要得到至少三名官员的批准,特朗普团队与之形成鲜明对比,团队成员可以凭空设想出广告或是电子邮件轰炸,几乎不受监督。在竞选高峰期,他的团队每天运行6万个不同的在线广告,并查看其中哪些短语和图像的效果格外好。

However, the most significant connection between Trump and Silicon Valley thinking is how thoroughly he embodies the “disruption thesis” that has propelled so many emerging technology firms. Trump’s team has deliberately worked to remove the traditional gatekeepers — the big donors, the political parties, the advocacy groups and the news media — that have, in the past, often determined political viability.

然而,特朗普和硅谷思维之间最重要的联系,是他彻底体现了曾经推动许多新兴科技公司的“颠覆论”(disruption thesis)。特朗普的团队有意去掉了传统的看门人——大额捐助者、政党、倡导团体和新闻媒体——它们在过去往往决定着政治生命力。

Which all presents a question: If the playbook was so successful in electing Trump, why is he stumbling now? Why has the Silicon Valley mentality failed to thrive in Washington?

这一切都提出了一个问题:如果这份战术手册在特朗普的竞选中如此成功,他为什么现在开始跌跌撞撞?为什么硅谷思维在华盛顿没有茁壮成长?

It might be that Trump simply needs to evolve to the next level of tech industry thinking. And, in fact, there is a ready playbook for how startups transition into mature firms. Google, for instance, began floundering when it reached about 200 employees. So the company’s founders brought in a more established leader, Eric Schmidt, to “be a bit of chaperone, providing adult supervision,” as Sergey Brin, a co-founder of Google, explained in 2001. When Facebook’s workforce hit 1,800 in 2008, its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, hired Sheryl Sandberg, a seasoned manager, as chief operating officer to rein in the firm’s freewheeling, decentralized culture.

特朗普可能只需要进化到科技产业思维的下一个层次。而且,事实上已经有一份准备好的战术手册,讲的是如何让初创公司过渡到成熟的公司。例如,谷歌在公司规模达到约200名员工时就开始困难重重。因此,公司的创始人引入了一个更加成熟的领导者埃里克·施密特(Eric Schmidt),让他“做一点监护人的工作,提供成年人的监督,”谷歌的联合创始人谢尔盖·布林(Sergey Brin)在2001年解释道。2008年,Facebook的员工达到1800人,其创始人马克·扎克伯格(Mark Zuckerberg)聘请了经验丰富的管理者谢丽尔·桑德伯格(Sheryl Sandberg)担任首席运营官,以控制公司放任自流、权力分散的文化。

We’re seeing a similar shift in the White House. After Trump’s immigration ban caused widespread confusion at airports and within federal agencies last month, his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, put in effect a formal process for rolling out executive orders. When the president was preparing for his address to Congress last week, his team used a formal process to review the script. Republican leaders are pushing the White House to bring on more aides with prior governing experience. As at Facebook and Google, a hierarchy is being built.

我们在白宫看到了类似的转变。上个月,特朗普的移民禁令在机场和联邦机构中引起广泛的混乱,此后,他的幕僚长雷恩斯·普利巴斯(Reince Priebus)开始启用一个颁布政令的规范流程。当总统上周准备向国会致辞时,他的团队通过一个规范流程审查了讲稿。共和党领导人正在推动白宫引入更多之前有政府管理经验的助手。和Facebook、谷歌一样,一个等级体系正在建立。

But for many within the technology industry, this new, more mature White House is cause for concern. “I think most people don’t want him to succeed at all,” said Laszlo Bock, who until last year was a senior vice president at Google. “No matter how Trump manages the White House, what he believes in is the opposite of Silicon Valley values. We don’t want him to learn from us.”

但对于许多科技产业人士来说,这个更成熟的新白宫是令人担忧的。“我想大多数人不希望他成功,”拉兹洛·博克(Laszlo Bock)说,他直至去年一直担任谷歌的高级副总裁。“无论特朗普如何管理白宫,他所相信的东西同硅谷价值观恰恰相反。我们不希望他向我们学习。”

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