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2014联考英语阅读:离开苹果去创业

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2014年07月08日 【我要咨询】 】 来源:清华在线

  Steve Jobs hurled many abusive names at Andy Grignon during his six years at Apple. Mr Grignon internalised the criticism to such an extent that he even had one particularly offensive name printed on his business card there.在供职于苹果(Apple)的6年期间,安迪?格里尼翁(Andy Grignon)没少挨史蒂夫?乔布斯(Steve Jobs)的骂。不过格里尼翁逐渐适应了这种挨骂,他甚至在自己的名片上印上了乔布斯对他的一个特别具有冒犯性的称呼。

  “I got yelled at all the time,” he says with a hint of pride. Now, as this former senior manager for the iPhone maker prepares to launch a product of his own, Mr Grignon says his encounters with Apple’s tempestuous co-founder prepared him for anything. “Once you’ve gone through the worst of a Steve meeting, any other meeting – whether pitching an investor or giving a demo – doesn’t feel hard,” he says. “When you are yelled at by Steve Jobs you know you are being yelled at by the best.”他带着一丝自豪地说道:“乔布斯总是朝我大吼大叫。”现在,在准备推出属于自己的产品之际,这位前苹果高级经理表示,与脾气暴躁的苹果联合创始人打交道,让他做好了迎接一切的准备。“一旦有过与乔布斯开会那种最艰难的经历,其它任何场合,不管是向投资者推销自己的公司,还是进行产品演示,都不会让你觉得困难,”他说,“当乔布斯向你吼叫的时候,你知道是最厉害的人在向你吼叫。”

  Mr Grignon is part of a select group in Silicon Valley: Apple alumni who have gone on to found their own companies. Whereas many former Google or Facebook employees have launched start-ups, Apple has not been a wellspring of entrepreneurialism.在硅谷有这样一群创业族,他们从苹果离职,开创自己的公司,格里尼翁是其中之一。不过谷歌(Google)和Facebook都有许多员工离职创业,苹果并非是这股创业精神的源头。

  But Google’s $3.2bn acquisition of smart-home pioneer Nest Labs, launched by two former Apple superstars, marked a turning point. As more people escape One Infinite Loop, Apple’s corporate HQ in Cupertino, California, to start out on their own, each is hoping to take with them some of that Apple magic – and the tough lessons they learnt there.然而,谷歌以32亿美元收购了两名前苹果明星员工创立的智能家居先锋公司Nest Labs,这可谓是一个转折点。随着越来越多的人走出苹果位于加州库比提诺市(Cupertino)无限循环街1号(One Infinite Loop)的总部去自主创业,他们都希望能够带走一点苹果的魔力,以及他们在那里学到的来之不易的经验教训。

  Few of these Apple seeds have fallen far from the tree. Take Mr Grignon’s Quake Labs, set up with former Apple designer Bill Bull. They are developing an online service, Eightly, that lets anyone create an app that works on any device, without needing to write any code – a sort of App Store for everyone.这些苹果前员工创立的公司几乎都有苹果的印记。以格里尼翁与前苹果设计师比尔?布尔(Bill Bull)联合创立的Quake Labs为例。他们正在开发一款名为Eightly的在线服务,让人们无需撰写代码就能够创造出兼容任何设备的应用——有点像面向所有人的App Store。

  Similarly Tim Bucher, a former senior vice-president of Macintosh engineering in the mid-2000s, will next month start selling Lyve, an online storage system that works a little like Apple’s iCloud and iPhoto but lets people manage their images and videos across any sort of device.同样,曾于2005年前后担任Macintosh Engineering高级副总裁的蒂姆?布赫(Tim Bucher,见上图),将于下个月开售在线存储系统Lyve,该产品与苹果的iCloud和iPhoto有点相似,不过它让人们在各类设备上都能够管理他们的照片和视频。

  Mark Kawano, whose six years at Apple included designing iPhoto and helping external developers to make good-looking iOS apps, has just laun-ch-ed an app for the iPad: Storehouse, a slick, simple service for arranging photos, videos and words into magazine-like stories.曾在苹果供职6年的马克?川野(Mark Kawano)刚刚推出了一款iPad应用Storehouse,该应用简单流畅,可将照片、视频和文本整理成杂志式的故事。川野曾参与iPhoto的设计,并负责帮助外部开发者制作外观精美的iOS应用。

  Even Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, Nest’s founders, built their thermostats and smoke alarms much as Ap-ple might: charging premium pri-ces for devices with a design and at-ten-tion to detail that strive to create an emotional connection with customers. “Tony and Matt are the first two successful entrepreneurs I’ve seen come out of Apple,” says Randy Komisar, a Nest board member as an investor at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and also a former Apple employee. “Ap-ple’s culture was not that entrepreneurial. It was a command-and-control hierarchy with Jobs at the top. Matt and Tony were exceptions.”就连Nest的两位创始人托尼?法德尔(Tony Fadell)和麦特?罗杰斯(Matt Rogers),在很大程度上也是以苹果的风格,来开发他们的恒温器和烟雾警报器的,即非常注重设备的设计和细节处理,力求与用户建立情感联系,且价格定得比较高。“托尼和麦特是我见过的从苹果离职后最先取得成功的两位创业家,”以凯鹏华盈(KPCB)投资者身份加入Nest董事会的兰迪?柯米萨(Randy Komisar)表示,“苹果的文化并非是创业精神。它是以乔布斯居于顶端的指挥控制等级制度。而托尼和麦特则是例外。”柯米萨也曾在苹果工作过。

  Many employees tended to stay at Apple for a long time. Most of its executive team have worked in Cupertino for more than 15 years.许多员工往往愿意在苹果供职很长时间,其高管团队的多数成员供职时间都超过了15年。

  “Apple is so good we don’t need to leave to form our own companies,” says Nikola Hu, a former iOS engineer who nonetheless left to develop Moov, a wearable fitness tracker. “Inside Apple, everything would be much faster because they have more resources.”前iOS工程师尼克拉?胡(Nikola Hu)表示:“苹果那么卓越,我们根本就不需要离职创业。在苹果内部,做什么都会快很多,因为他们拥有更多的资源。”话虽如此,但他还是选择离开苹果去开发可穿戴健康跟踪设备Moov。

  However, more are beginning to follow Mr Hu out of the door. In her new book Haunted Empire, Yukari Iwatani Kane says “morale has languished” at Apple since Mr Jobs died in 2011, and that resignations have inc-reased as its stock price stagnates and product launches become “more incremental”.现在越来越多的苹果员工开始像尼克拉?胡那样离职去自主创业。尤加利?伊瓦塔尼?凯恩(Yukari Iwatani Kane)在其新书《受困的帝国:后乔布斯时代的苹果》(Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs)中写道,自乔布斯2011年去世以来,苹果内部“士气低落”;随着苹果股价停滞不前,新产品更多的是“增量升级”,离职的人越来越多。

  For many Apple refugees, Nest was a first step to their own entrepreneurial endeavour. Hugo Fiennes, who led Apple’s hardware team for the first four versions of the iPhone, worked on Nest’s initial ther-m-ostat before for-m-ing Electric Imp, a platform for con-necting devices to the “internet of things”. Former iPhone software des-igner Mike Matas helped create Nest’s user interface before laun-ching Push Pop Press, a maker of digital books for the iPad.对于从苹果离职的众多员工来说,Nest就是他们踏上创业之路的第一步。曾领导苹果iPhone硬件团队设计前4个版本iPhone的雨果?法因斯(Hugo Fiennes),在创立“物联网”设备连接平台Electric Imp之前,从事了Nest恒温器的早期开发工作。在创立iPad数字图书制作公司Push Pop Press之前,前iPhone软件设计师迈克?马塔斯(Mike Matas)曾参与打造Nest的用户界面。

  In 2011, Push Pop Press was bought by Facebook, and Mr Matas now works in Creative Labs, a kind of start-up within Facebook that created its lauded new iPhone app, Paper. “Their bar for excellence is really high and they al-ways strive to really perfect stuff before it goes out,” Mr Matas recalls of Apple. “Anyone who works there takes that with them.”2011年,Push Pop Press被Facebook收购。马塔斯现在供职于Facebook内部类似于初创公司的Creative Labs部门,后者开发了备受赞誉的iphone新应用Paper。“他们对于卓越有着很高的标准,在推出产品之前,他们始终精益求精。”马塔斯如是谈起苹果,“在那里工作的人都有那种精神。”

  Mr Matas worked on Paper with for-mer Apple colleagues Sharon Hwang, a graphic designer, and Loren Brichter, who after leaving Apple sold an iPhone app, Tweetie, to Twitter and also created the game Letterpress.马塔斯曾与另外两名前苹果员工沙伦?黄(Sharon Hwang)和洛伦?布里切特(Loren Brichter)共同开发Paper。沙伦?黄是一位美术设计师。布里切特在离开苹果后将其开发的iPhone应用Tweetie卖给了Twitter,他还开发了Letterpress游戏。

  Despite the familiar colleagues, Mr Matas says working at Facebook can be very different from Apple. Now it is a question of working with users who generate their own content, he says: “You have to design for other people’s stuff.” While Apple’s teams were silo-ed and rarely met their counterparts in other departments, Facebook is much more collaborative. “A lot of stuff that Paper has developed has gone out into other parts of the company,” he says.尽管是与熟悉的人一起共事,马塔斯还是觉得在Facebook工作跟在苹果很不一样。现在他要做的是迎合用户的需求,这些用户会生产自己的内容。他说:“你得针对其他人的东西进行设计。”苹果的团队各自为战,很少会见到其它部门的员工,而Facebook在内部合作性上则要强得多。“Paper开发出的很多东西都运用到了公司的其它部门。”

  Nonetheless, Paper was developed in secrecy for more than a year before its surprise unveiling in January. That seems more like Apple’s ap-proach than the internet companies’. Facebook and Google often post new services to the web to see how users res-pond, before improving them based on large-scale, real-world behaviour.然而,在今年1月惊艳亮相之前,Paper其实秘密开发了一年多。这更像是苹果、而非互联网公司的做法。Facebook和谷歌通常先是在网上发布新的服务,看看用户反响如何,然后再基于大范围的真实用户行为进行改进。

  Mr Grignon says Facebook’s sometime motto of “move fast and break things” sits uncomfortably with many longstanding Apple employees. “It’s a recklessness, in a way, of engineering. It works well for folks like Facebook but Apple engineers go-ing into companies like that can experience a certain level of frustration.”格里尼翁表示,Facebook一度的信条“快速行动,打破常规”,让很多曾在苹果工作多年的员工很不适应。“从某种程度上来说,这是一种工程上的草率。它很适合像Facebook这样的公司,但进入这类公司的苹果工程师多少都会有种挫败感。”

  He says Apple’s reputation for perfectionism sometimes works against alumni. “When you have a bunch of Apple guys together, [investors] are concerned that we won’t ship until it’s perfect,” he says. “We work very hard to combat that.”他说,苹果追求完美的名声有时候会对它的前员工不利。“你的公司要是聚集了一群前苹果员工,(投资者)就会担心你们要将产品做到完美才会出货。我们在努力解决这一问题。”

  Now, Mr Kawano says, the development of mobile apps has forced the tech industry to raise its design standards: “The minimum viable product needs to be way better than you would do for the web, because the platform is so much higher quality.”川野表示,现在移动应用的开发迫使科技行业提高了设计标准。“即便是最低标准的移动应用,也需要远远好于网络应用,因为这个平台的质量要高得多。”

  That might suggest former Apple staffers have an advantage when they found tech companies. But Mr Bull says it is hard to generalise about people that emerge from Cupertino. “There is the whole gamut of egotists and humble people.” While many try to emulate Apple’s emphasis on user-centric design, there were no “dogmatic principles” behind its success, he adds.这也许意味着苹果出身的人在创建科技公司时会有优势。但布尔表示,很难对苹果的前员工进行总体概括。“各式各样的人都有,有自高自大的,也有谦逊平和的。”他补充称,虽然很多人试图效仿苹果用户至上的设计理念,但苹果成功的背后并没有“教条化的原则”。

  Even Jobs’s unique approach to management was “just saying the obvious”, says Mr Grignon. “Most people are more polite than that – they won’t cut to the middle of your heart and turn the knife a bit.”格里尼翁表示,即便是乔布斯独特的管理方式也“只是直言不讳”而已。“大多数人会更委婉——他们不会直接在你心头刺上一刀,还把刀把转一转。”

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