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「精选译文」Uber、Airbnb和Etsy如何获得前一千名用户?
刘雨晴    2017-09-04 12:08:07

在学习中,输出是最好的输入,三节课希望每位同学都能通过思考和总结产出一些内容,所以组建了几个内容生产小组。

「精选译文」这个新的栏目就是由11位三节课同学组成的翻译团队,他们会定期精选国外有关产品、运营、商业、设计的文章,并加以独家翻译,希望带给你一些新的视角。

来源:http://hbswk.hbs.edu/

作者:Michael Blanding

翻译者:刘雨晴(齿轮易创运营总监)

点击揭秘神秘的【翻译团队】

 

New businesses often struggle finding their first customers. The challenge is even more difficult with startups in the sharing economy that launch as platforms connecting independent service providers with consumers.

 

新的商业模式在寻找早期用户时候总要经历一段时间的挣扎。相比连接独立的服务供应商与消费者的平台,共享经济领域相关的初创企业所面临的挑战会更加严峻,

 

Take Uber. Its platform is two-sided, connecting people who need rides with people who have rides to offer. (Same idea as Airbnb, which connects people needing rooms with home-owners.) So to launch as a platform service, these companies need to find users on both the supply and demand sides.

“Poaching customers is something all competitors do in different ways”

 

拿Uber来说,这个平台是双向的,连接的是有乘车需求和能够提供乘车供应的两方(对于Airbnb也是一样的,连接的是需要住房的人和能够提供住房的房主)因此要做这种平台服务,这些公司需要在供需两方都找到用户。

“所有的竞争对手都在以不同的方式获取用户”

 

“When you have a two-sided platform, you have to acquire both the customers and the services,” says Harvard Business School’s Thales Teixeira, Lumry Family Associate Professor of Business Administration.

哈佛商学院的 Thales Teixeira,lumry家族工商管理系副教授说到”当你是一个双向的平台时,你需要同时获取用户和服务“

 

“It’s the classic chicken-and-egg problem,” he says. You can’t have one without the other, but which one do you find first—the customer chicken or the service egg? “As a small company you cannot afford to focus on both with the same amount of effort. You may need to prioritize one side.”

“这其实是最经典的鸡生蛋还是蛋生鸡的问题”你不能只有一方,那么应该先获取哪一方用户呢,是先找用户还是先找服务。“作为一个小公司,你不可能在两方花同样多的时间和精力,你需要花更多的时间在其中一个方面。”

 

Preparing to teach a new course on e-commerce marketing next spring, Teixeira made it his goal to find an answer. He studied three of the best-known and most successful startups—Uber, Etsy, and Airbnb—hoping to find some commonalities in how those businesses solved the dilemma.

Teixeira预计在明年春天开一门关于电子商务的新课程,他的目标是为这个问题找到一个答案。他研究了Uber,Etsy,airbnb这三个最知名也最成功的三家创业公司,希望可以找到在解决这个困境中的一些共同点。

 

Spoiler alert: it’s the egg that needs incubating.

提醒:鸡蛋是需要孵化的。

 

As Teixeira reports in a new HBS case, Airbnb, Etsy, Uber: Acquiring the First Thousand Customers,Airbnb, Etsy, Uber: Acquiring the First Thousand Customers, all three platforms concentrated on getting the service side of the equation first, customers second. But there’s a catch. “It’s not just the chicken and the egg, you also want to select the right eggs,” explains Teixeira. “If you acquire the wrong eggs and ostriches come out, then you are in trouble. The chickens will run for the hills.”

正如Teixeira在哈佛商学院发表的一篇最新报告中说到的,Airbnb,Etsy,Uber这三家公司前一千名用户,这三个平台都把精力集中在服务提供商,然后去获取需求方。但是这其中一个制衡点。“这不仅仅是鸡和蛋的问题,你还需要挑选出正确的蛋”Teixeira解释到,如果你选到了不适合的的用户(蛋),麻烦就会接踵而来,你的服务商(鸡)会离你远去“

 

LESSON ONE: THINK LIKE A CUSTOMER 1.从客户的角度思考

 

From the beginning, it was clear to the founders of apartment-sharing site Airbnb that they’d need to find people willing to list their homes before finding people interesting in staying in them.

Airbnb在一开始就是要要找到人愿意把自己的房子和别人共享。

 

 

Airbnb expanded its business by finding customers who needed rooms in cities hosting popular events. Source: GoodLifeStudio

Airbnb通过找到城市中有住房需求的用户来扩展自己的业务。

 

“If you don’t have a supply of houses and apartments, people are not going to come,” says Teixeira. The problem was, where to find people willing to let strangers stay in their places. It’s not like they could go around San Francisco knocking on doors.

“如果你没有足够的房源,人是不可能来住的。问题是怎么找到那些愿意让陌生人到自己家住的房东,这并不是说他们在旧金山随意的敲门。”

 

Instead, founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia thought like customers themselves, trying to figure out where they would go if Airbnb didn’t exist. It didn’t take them long to figure out the answer: Craigslist. The entrepreneurs figured they could do a better job of making apartments appealing than the online classified site, but first they had to siphon away its customers. To do that, Chesky and Gebbia created software to hack Craigslist to extract the contact info of property owners, then sent them a pitch to list on Airbnb as well.

同时,创始人Brian 和Joe把自己当成住户,想象如果没有Airbnb,他们会去哪里住。他们并没有花很多时间找到答案:Craigslist.这两个创始人觉得他们可以做的比这些线上网站做的更好,第一步他们要做的是吸引这些网站的用户。为了做这个,Chesky和Gebbia制作了一个软件黑客那些Craigslist上拥有房产的房主,然后把这些房源放在Airbnb的列表中。

 

The strategy worked. With nothing to lose, property owners doubled their chances of finding a potential renter, and Airbnb had a ready supply of homes with which it could attract customers.

这种策略起到了作用。对于房东来说,他们在没有增加成本的情况下又多了一个找到租户的渠道,同时对于Airbnb来说,他们可以以此来吸引租户。

 

“Poaching customers is something all competitors do in different ways,” says Teixeira. “If you are a website and you are providing content to users publicly, others can grab that information.” It’s not enough to just take someone else’s customers, though, he warns—you’ve got to give them something better than they had before.

Teixeira说到“窃取客户就是用和竞争对手完全不同的方式去做事情,如果你是一个网站,你将自己的内容展现给客户,其他人就会抓取这些信息.”然而只去窃取别人的用户是远远不够的,你还需要给他们提供比竞争对手更好的服务。”

 

LESSON TWO: CREATE A BETTER EXPERIENCE  2.提供更好的服务

Once they had apartment owners on the hook, the Airbnb founders realized they had a problem: the subpar photos that property owners were taking for Craigslist on their iPhones would never work for customers looking for an alternative to a hotel.

Airbnb的创始人意识到当他们拥有很多房东的时候,他们会面临一个问题,房东为Craigslist拍的照片对那些要找宾馆的用户是没有什么吸引力的。

 

“The first time a person goes on Airbnb, they are comparing the quality of photos to hotels that take glamorized shots,” says Teixeira. “They needed to compete at that level.”

“当用户第一次用Airbnb的时候,他们会和照片拍的很漂亮的酒店做对比,他们需要在这个层次做竞争”。

 

In order to do that, Chesky and Gebbia did something that would never be scalable: hired professional photographers to go to property owners’ homes to take inviting pictures. The gambit worked, making the site much more attractive than the competition, and setting a standard for photography that later property owners rose to match in order to compete against other homes.

为了做到这个,Chesky和Gebbia做了一件无法去量化的事情:他们雇佣了最好的摄影师到房东的房间进行拍照。这个方法起到了效果,使得Airbnb的网站看上去更有竞争力,同时也对后来加入的房东设立了准入的标准,因为他们也要和之前的房子竞争租户。

 

“The underlying principle of this is you should help your suppliers portray themselves in the best way possible, even if that is not scalable,” concludes Teixeira. “If you don’t have customers, there is nothing to scale.”

“这个准则是你需要让供应商提供尽可能好的服务,及时它是不可量化会在规模化的,如果你没有用户,没有任何事情是可以忽略的”

 

Ride-sharing app Uber pursued a similar strategy. Rather than starting out with Uber Pool or Uber X, in which drivers use their own cars, the company started with black cars driven by professional drivers. That way, they could ensure that customers would have a great experience virtually every time they used the service—and they could then rely on customers to spread the news of that experience by word of mouth. “That’s why you get the supply side first—if you get the right suppliers, the customers will experience their high quality service and then do the marketing for you,” says Teixeira.

出行的appUber用的是类似的战略,无论人民Uber还是UberX,公司都是一开始使用驾驶黑色汽车的专业司机。这样的话,他们可以保证客户在每次用这项服务的时候都有最好的体验,这样他们就可以用户进行口碑传播.“这就是为什么你要先从供给方开始入手,如果你找到了合适的供应方,客户就会享受高质量的服务并为你做市场。

 

Etsy also pursued a decidedly non-scalable strategy in finding the right eggs with which to launch its business. The platform, which serves as an online marketplace for craft vendors, started its business with an offline strategy: scouring craft fairs across the country to identify the best vendors at each, and pitching them on opening up an online store on the site. “They first brought their customers, and then they brought other artisans who followed the customers.” Once Etsy had the first-tier artisans on the site, the next tier naturally followed them.

Esty也是采取了一种无法快速复制的方法来找他们的用户。Esty是一个为手工艺者提供线上交易服务的平台,他们一开始采取的是一个线下的方法,在国家的各个地方寻找最好的供应商,然后把这些供应商搬到线上。“他们首先带来了客户,然后也带来了其他有客户的艺术家。”当Esty有了第一批艺术家以后,第二批也就跟着来了。

 

LESSON THREE: SEQUENCING IS EVERYTHING  3.排优先级十分重要

Uber and Airbnb were also smart about how they chose to expand, picking the right cities at the right time to maximize their success.

Uber和Airbnb在选择何时扩展市场的时候也是十分聪明的,在最适合的时间选择正确的城市去拓展他们的业务。

 

Since Uber’s main competition was taxi cab companies, the startup researched which cities had the biggest discrepancy between supply and demand for taxis. They then launched during times when that demand was likely to be the highest, for example during the holidays when people tend to stay out late partying. It also ran promotions during large concerts or sporting events, when big crowds of people all needed cabs at the same time, and an individual might be more likely to take a chance on an unfamiliar company named Uber.

Uber的主要竞争对手是出租车公司,他们的初创团队调研了哪些城市在出租车供给和需求上有最大的不均衡。同时他们调研了这个供需不平衡最大点出现在什么时候,例如在节假日大家因为参加聚会晚归点时候,那个时候是很多人都需要搭车的服务,也许就有些人会选择一家并不是很熟悉的公司Uber。

 

In that way, the company acquired a large group of customers in one swoop. “First, they figured out how to get a bunch of customers all in one night, when the demand was high. Then, they made sure this first group of users had a great experience and brought in the next wave of customers via word-of-mouth,” says Teixeira. The company banked on the fact that once users realized how easy it was, it was only a matter of time before they started using it to go to work, then shopping for groceries, and so on.

通过这种方式,Uber获得一大批用户。“首先,他们找到了晚上需求最大的时候的那一群客户。然后他们确保第一批用户有超出预期的体验,就会自然而然的通过口碑传播带来第二批用户。”一旦客户发现用这种方式是多少方便快捷的时候,那么使用他们去上班购物这些都只是时间的问题了。

 

Airbnb followed a similar strategy with its rollout, launching in Denver in 2008 to coincide with the lack of hotel space during the Democratic National Convention and adding new cities at times when they had major conventions or other events.

Airbnb也采取了相同的战略,在2008年丹佛民主选举大会期间的住房短缺或者其他城市在遇到大事情时候,他们都会去宣传Airbnb。

 

In addition to the obvious demand, the strategy has another benefit: “Your competitors don’t see you as a threat, since you are not taking away from their demand,” says Teixeira. By the time you have a foothold in the marketplace, it’s already too late for them to do anything about it.

除了这些显而易见的需求外,这个战略同样有其他的好处:“你的竞争对手并不把你看成一个威胁,因为你并没有夺走他们的用户”Teixeira说到。当你已经在市场上立足脚跟时,对他们来说已经太晚了来采取任何行动了。

 

Launching in situations of high demand and low supply also helps startups acquire the right type of customers—those early adopters who might be more forgiving of a company while it works out the kinks. After all, beggars can’t be choosers, and if you are thankful to even have a room during a conference, maybe you’ll forgive the lack of hand towels. The last thing a company wants during its early phases is negative word-of-mouth.

在一个高需求低供给的情况下,同时可以帮助初创公司找到自己的目标客户,这些早期用户会更加的包容。毕竟,乞讨者是不会挑肥拣瘦的,如果你很感激在会议期间有个房间的话,你也会理解缺少毛巾。毕竟,公司在早期阶段最不想要的是负面的口碑。

 

“You are still a startup,” says Teixeira. “You have to find people who are willing to accept your flaws and cut you some slack. Satisfying all their needs and wants is just not feasible at this early stage.”

Teixerira说到:你还是一个初创公司,你应该找到那些愿意接受你的不足帮你找毛病的用户。满足他们的所有需求在早期阶段并不一定合适。

 

Next Lesson: From 1,000 to 100,000,000

下一课,从一千用户到一亿用户

With early adopters in place, a company can start thinking about how to expand their customer base through more traditional means of marketing.

当有了早期用户以后,公司应该开始思考如何通过市场营销的传统方式去获得更多的客户。

 

To tackle that problem, Teixeira wrote a sequel case study, Airbnb, Etsy, Uber: Growing from One Thousand to One Million Customers, and is currently working on a third entry in the trilogy that will examine how a platform can go from one million to many millions of customers.

为了解决这个问题,Teixerira写了另外一篇研究报告,Airbnb,etsy,Uber如何从1000用户到一亿用户,现在正在研究第三阶段,一个平台如何从一亿用户增长到更多的用户,

 

In each case the strategies are different. While word-of-mouth might work for the first thousand it’s not going to get you to a million. “You have to be more proactive and control the acquisition process, which word-of-mouth does not allow for.”

在每个阶段所用的策略都是不用的。在前一千个用户时候,口碑很重要。但口碑不能让你从一千增长到一亿。“你应该更有前瞻性并能把握整个节奏,这是口碑传播所不具备的。”

 

That’s where digital marketing can help, allowing companies to target specific customers through search ads or social media at a low cost.

这就是数字化营销可以做到的,帮助公司通过广告或者社会化媒体以低成本的方式找到目标客户。

 

“It’s highly targetable and you can do it on the cheap,” says Teixeira—adding that digital marketing also makes it easy for companies to rapidly iterate its advertising message, tweaking it to figure out what works best. “Only after passing the millionth customer can you go into advertising on traditional media. That’s when you need massive scale, so you go to mass marketing.”

Teixeira说到,这是非常有目标性的而且你可以低成本的达到,加入数字化营销同时可以让公司更快的传递自己的广告价值,从而分辨出哪些方法运行的效率更高。“只有当你的客户量达到亿万级以上,传统广告方式才有效果。这个时候你要去拓展更多的市场,所以你采取更大的市场营销策略。

 

As a company grows, it must consider the purpose of advertising in order to achieve the best effects in gaining new customers.

当公司逐渐成长的过程中,我们一定要考虑到广告的目的,这样才能以更好的方式来获取用户。

 

“Some tools are better for the beginning, some are better when you are bigger,” says Teixeira. “It’s not about, should I use digital marketing or word-of-mouth or TV ads. The question only makes sense when you say, 'I am at this stage, what approach should I take?' Only when you answer that question will you know what tool is most appropriate.”

“有些工具是在一开始的时候好用,有些工具是在你逐渐扩张的情况下更好用”,Teixeira说到,你不应该去问我是不是要做电视广告,要不要做数字化营销或者口碑营销,而应该去问我在这个阶段应该用什么方法?”你只有这么思考问题的时候才知道应该用什么工具。

 

In other words, he says, “You need the right size of eggs for each stage of your nest.”

换句话说,在公司的不同发展阶段,需要不同的发展战略,

 

 

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