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Jeff Bezos為2010年普林斯頓大學畢業生演講

Jeff Bezos 2010 Commencement Speech at Princeton University

 

Photo of three lions hunting on the Serengeti.

講者:Jeff Bezos

2010年5月30日演講

 

翻譯:洪曉慧

編輯:朱學恆

簡繁轉換:洪曉慧

後製:洪曉慧

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關於這場演講(來源World News.com

亞馬遜網路商店創辦人兼執行長Jeff Bezos為普林斯頓大學2010年畢業生演講。Bezos於1986年獲得普林斯頓大學計算機科學及電子工程學位。經普林斯頓大學校長Shirley M. Tilghman介紹後,Bezos對2010年畢業生談到選擇與天賦的差異。Bezos指出,聰明是一項天賦,善待他人是一項選擇。他認為人的性格並非反映於與生俱來的天賦,而在於人們一生當中所做的選擇。

 

關於Jeff Bezos(來源Wikipedia

Jeff Bezos(生於1964年1月12日)是美國企業家,於電子商務的興起中扮演關鍵角色。他是亞馬遜網路商店創辦人兼執行長,為網路圖書銷售商,之後亦販售各式各樣的產品。在他的領導下,亞馬遜網路商店成為全球資訊網中最大的零售商,亦為網際網路行銷龍頭。

 

Jeff Bezos為2010年普林斯頓大學畢業生演講

 

孩提時代,我總是在德州的牧場和祖父母共度夏季。我會幫忙修理風車、替牲畜接種疫苗、協助其它家務。每天下午我們都會觀賞肥皂劇,尤其是《我們的日子》。我祖父母隸屬一個露營拖車俱樂部,那是一群駕駛Airstream拖車的人結伴遊遍美國和加拿大。每隔幾個夏天,我們會加入拖車之旅。我們將Airstream拖車掛在祖父汽車後方,準備啟程,隨著300輛Airstream組成的探險隊同行。我喜愛且崇拜祖父母,我十分期待這些旅程。在某次旅行中,當時我大約十歲,我坐在後座長椅上,祖父開車,祖母坐在副駕駛座,她在旅程中一路抽菸,我痛恨菸味。

 

那個年紀的我喜歡藉機做些估計和小計算。我會計算油耗量、計算雜支等無關緊要的統計。我曾經聽過一個有關吸菸的廣告,我記不得詳細內容,但廣告大意是說,每吸一口菸就會減少幾分鐘壽命,我想或許是吸一口菸減少兩分鐘。總之,我決定替祖母做個計算。我估算祖母每天吸菸數量,估算每支菸得吸幾口等等,當我滿意地算出一個合理數字後,我將頭伸向前座,拍拍祖母的肩膀,然後驕傲地宣佈,「以吸一口菸減壽兩分鐘計算,妳將減少九年壽命!」

 

我清楚記得接下來發生的事-完全出乎我的意料。我期待因為我的聰明和算術技巧獲得掌聲:「Jeff,你聰明極了,你應該做一些複雜計算,計算每年有幾分鐘,嘗試練習除法。」情況並非如此。相反地,祖母突然淚流滿面。我坐在後座,不知該如何是好。當祖母哭泣時,一直默默開車的祖父將車停在路肩,走出車外,打開我的車門,等著我跟他下車。我惹麻煩了嗎?祖父是一位睿智而不多話的人,他從未對我說過嚴厲的話,也許這是第一次?也許他會要求我上車向祖母道歉,我和祖父母之間從未經歷過這種情況,無法預測會發生什麼後果。我們在拖車旁停下腳步,祖父注視著我,沉默片刻後,他溫和而平靜地說,「Jeff,有天你會明白,成為善良的人比成為聰明的人更困難。」

 

今天我想告訴你們的是天賦和選擇的差異。聰明是一項天賦,善良是一種選擇;天賦輕易就能獲得-畢竟它與生俱來,選擇則非易事。如果不小心,你將會因天賦而誤入歧途,如果遇上這種情況,或許會對你的選擇造成損害。

 

在座各位擁有許多天賦,我確信你們的天賦之一就是聰明而卓越的頭腦。我十分確信這一點,因為入學競爭十分激烈,如果你們不曾展現智慧,招生處主任不會允許你們入學。

 

你們的聰明才智遲早會派上用場,因為你們將在一片充滿奇蹟的土地上前進。我們人類,儘管前進的腳步緩慢而艱辛,終會令自己驚嘆不已。我們設法生產潔淨能源,種類繁多;一個一個原子地,我們組裝微型機械,使它穿越細胞壁,進行修復。這個月有則令人驚嘆且必然的消息-我們合成了生命。不久的將來,我們不僅能合成生命,還能使它依預定設計運作。我相信你們甚至將目睹我們理解人類大腦。儒勒.凡爾納(法國著名作家)、馬克.吐溫、伽利略、牛頓-歷代所有充滿好奇心的人都渴望能活到現在。身為文明世界的一份子,我們擁有如此多的天賦,如同在座每一位,坐在眼前的你們擁有如此眾多而獨特的天賦。

 

你們將如何運用這些天賦?你們將為自己的天賦感到驕傲,或是為自己的選擇感到驕傲?

 

16年前,我興起創立亞馬遜的想法。我面臨的情況是,網路的使用以每年2300 % 的速度成長,我從未見過或聽過成長如此迅速的事物。創立擁有數百萬本書籍的網路書店,這是某種無法存在於現實世界的東西,這個想法令我興奮不已。當時我剛邁入30歲,結婚才一年。我告訴妻子MacKenzie,我想辭去工作,進行這件瘋狂的事,很可能不會成功,因為大部分創投業皆是如此,我不確定之後會發生什麼。MacKenzie-她也是普林斯頓畢業生,坐在第二排-說我應該勇敢追尋夢想。孩提時代的我曾經是車庫發明家。我曾經利用填滿水泥的輪胎,發明一種自動關門裝置;用雨傘和錫箔製作了一台不太好用的太陽能炊具;用烤盤製作的警報器陷害兄弟們。我一直想成為發明家,妻子希望我追隨心中的熱情。

 

當時我在紐約一家金融公司工作,與一群十分聰明的人共事,還有一位才華洋溢、令我十分欽佩的老闆。我來到老闆面前,告訴他我想創立一間公司,在網路上販賣書籍。他帶我在中央公園裡散步了好一會兒,仔細聽我述說,最後他說,「聽起來似乎是個相當不錯的點子,但這個點子更適合某些尚未獲得一份好工作的人。」(笑聲)這個邏輯似乎頗有道理。他說服我考慮48小時再做最後決定。照這個邏輯看來,這確實是個艱難的選擇,但最後我決定放手一搏。我認為自己不會因為失敗的嘗試而後悔,我想我會因為不曾嘗試過的決定而飽受煎熬。深思熟慮後,我選擇那條較不安全的道路,追隨心中的熱情。那個選擇令我自豪。

 

明天,毫無疑問地,你們的人生-一個從零開始、自行打造的人生即將展開。

 

你將如何運用自己的天賦?你將作出何種選擇?

 

你將接受慣性的引導,還是追隨自己的熱情?

 

你將墨守陳規,還是勇於創新?

 

你將選擇安逸的生活,還是奉獻與冒險的人生?

 

你將屈服於批評,還是追隨自己的信念?

 

犯錯時,你會試圖掩飾,還是勇於道歉?

 

你會因害怕遭受拒絕而掩飾心意,還是在陷入愛河時勇敢採取行動?

 

你會穩紮穩打,還是稍微冒險一試?

 

遇上困難時,你會放棄,還是堅持到底?

 

你會成為憤世嫉俗的人,還是積極的建設者?

 

你會犧牲他人地展示聰明,還是展現善良品格?

 

我想大膽做個預測:當你們80歲時,在某個安靜的自省時刻,獨自對自己陳述你最私密的人生故事,其中最充實、最有意義的片段將是你所做的種種決定。最終,我們的選擇塑造了我們本身。為自己創造一個精彩的故事。謝謝,祝好運!

 

以下為系統擷取之英文原文

About this talk

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos gave the Baccalaureate address to Princeton University's Class of 2010. Bezos graduated from Princeton in 1986 with a degree in computer science and electrical engineering. He was introduced by Princeton University President Shirley M. Tilghman. Bezos spoke to the Class of 2010 about the difference between choices and gifts. Cleverness, Bezos pointed out, is a gift, while being kind to others is a choice. One's character, he suggested, is reflected not in the gifts one is endowed with at birth but rather by the choices one makes over the course of a lifetime.
 
About Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos (born January 12, 1964) is an American entrepreneur who played a key role in the growth of e-commerce as the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, Inc., an online merchant of books and later of a wide variety of products. Under his guidance, Amazon.com became the largest retailer on the World Wide Web and the model for Internet sales.
 
About the transcript
"We are What We Choose"
Remarks by Jeff Bezos, as delivered to the Class of 2010
Baccalaureate
May 30, 2010
 
As a kid, I spent my summers with my grandparents on their ranch in Texas. I helped fix windmills, vaccinate cattle, and do other chores. We also watched soap operas every afternoon, especially "Days of our Lives." My grandparents belonged to a Caravan Club, a group of Airstream trailer owners who travel together around the U.S. and Canada. And every few summers, we'd join the caravan. We'd hitch up the Airstream trailer to my grandfather's car, and off we'd go, in a line with 300 other Airstream adventurers. I loved and worshipped my grandparents and I really looked forward to these trips. On one particular trip, I was about 10 years old. I was rolling around in the big bench seat in the back of the car. My grandfather was driving. And my grandmother had the passenger seat. She smoked throughout these trips, and I hated the smell.
 
At that age, I'd take any excuse to make estimates and do minor arithmetic. I'd calculate our gas mileage -- figure out useless statistics on things like grocery spending. I'd been hearing an ad campaign about smoking. I can't remember the details, but basically the ad said, every puff of a cigarette takes some number of minutes off of your life: I think it might have been two minutes per puff. At any rate, I decided to do the math for my grandmother. I estimated the number of cigarettes per days, estimated the number of puffs per cigarette and so on. When I was satisfied that I'd come up with a reasonable number, I poked my head into the front of the car, tapped my grandmother on the shoulder, and proudly proclaimed, "At two minutes per puff, you've taken nine years off your life!"
 
I have a vivid memory of what happened, and it was not what I expected. I expected to be applauded for my cleverness and arithmetic skills. "Jeff, you're so smart. You had to have made some tricky estimates, figure out the number of minutes in a year and do some division." That's not what happened. Instead, my grandmother burst into tears. I sat in the backseat and did not know what to do. While my grandmother sat crying, my grandfather, who had been driving in silence, pulled over onto the shoulder of the highway. He got out of the car and came around and opened my door and waited for me to follow. Was I in trouble? My grandfather was a highly intelligent, quiet man. He had never said a harsh word to me, and maybe this was to be the first time? Or maybe he would ask that I get back in the car and apologize to my grandmother. I had no experience in this realm with my grandparents and no way to gauge what the consequences might be. We stopped beside the trailer. My grandfather looked at me, and after a bit of silence, he gently and calmly said, "Jeff, one day you'll understand that it's harder to be kind than clever."
 
What I want to talk to you about today is the difference between gifts and choices. Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice. Gifts are easy -- they're given after all. Choices can be hard. You can seduce yourself with your gifts if you're not careful, and if you do, it'll probably be to the detriment of your choices.
 
This is a group with many gifts. I'm sure one of your gifts is the gift of a smart and capable brain. I'm confident that's the case because admission is competitive and if there weren't some signs that you're clever, the dean of admission wouldn't have let you in.
 
Your smarts will come in handy because you will travel in a land of marvels. We humans -- plodding as we are -- will astonish ourselves. We'll invent ways to generate clean energy and a lot of it. Atom by atom, we'll assemble tiny machines that will enter cell walls and make repairs. This month comes the extraordinary but also inevitable news that we've synthesized life. In the coming years, we'll not only synthesize it, but we'll engineer it to specifications. I believe you'll even see us understand the human brain. Jules Verne, Mark Twain, Galileo, Newton -- all the curious from the ages would have wanted to be alive most of all right now. As a civilization, we will have so many gifts, just as you as individuals have so many individual gifts as you sit before me.
 
How will you use these gifts? And will you take pride in your gifts or pride in your choices?
 
I got the idea to start Amazon 16 years ago. I came across the fact that Web usage was growing at 2,300 percent per year. I'd never seen or heard of anything that grew that fast, and the idea of building an online bookstore with millions of titles -- something that simply couldn't exist in the physical world -- was very exciting to me. I had just turned 30 years old, and I'd been married for a year. I told my wife MacKenzie that I wanted to quit my job and go do this crazy thing that probably wouldn't work since most startups don't, and I wasn't sure what would happen after that. MacKenzie (also a Princeton grad and sitting here in the second row) told me I should go for it. As a young boy, I'd been a garage inventor. I'd invented an automatic gate closer out of cement-filled tires, a solar cooker that didn't work very well out of an umbrella and tinfoil, baking-pan alarms to entrap my siblings. I'd always wanted to be an inventor, and she wanted me to follow my passion.
 
I was working at a financial firm in New York City with a bunch of very smart people, and I had a brilliant boss that I much admired. I went to my boss and told him I wanted to start a company selling books on the Internet. He took me on a long walk in Central Park, listened carefully to me, and finally said, "That sounds like a really good idea, but it would be an even better idea for someone who didn't already have a good job." That logic made some sense to me, and he convinced me to think about it for 48 hours before making a final decision. Seen in that light, it really was a difficult choice, but ultimately, I decided I had to give it a shot. I didn't think I'd regret trying and failing. And I suspected I would always be haunted by a decision to not try at all. After much consideration, I took the less safe path to follow my passion, and I'm proud of that choice.
 
Tomorrow, in a very real sense, your life -- the life you author from scratch on your own -- begins.
 
How will you use your gifts? What choices will you make?
 
Will inertia be your guide, or will you follow your passions?
 
Will you follow dogma, or will you be original?
 
Will you choose a life of ease, or a life of service and adventure?
 
Will you wilt under criticism, or will you follow your convictions?
 
Will you bluff it out when you're wrong, or will you apologize?
 
Will you guard your heart against rejection, or will you act when you fall in love?
 
Will you play it safe, or will you be a little bit swashbuckling?
 
When it's tough, will you give up, or will you be relentless?
 
Will you be a cynic, or will you be a builder?
 
Will you be clever at the expense of others, or will you be kind?
 
I will hazard a prediction. When you are 80 years old, and in a quiet moment of reflection narrating for only yourself the most personal version of your life story, the telling that will be most compact and meaningful will be the series of choices you have made. In the end, we are our choices. Build yourself a great story. Thank you and good luck!

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