经济学人DAY5|Turning a Page and a Brin

最新消息 2019-12-13 10:41:49



Turning a Page and a Brin





注:题目“一语双关”,既指创始人的名字,又寓意谷歌随着创始人的退休,迎来新的一页。 What next for Google's parent after its fathers depart?创始人双双卸任,谷歌的母公司将何去何从?


“GOOGLE IS NOT a conventional company,” declared Sergey Brin and Larry Page as they took their firm public in 2004. “We do not intend to become one.” On December 3rd they bowed outas, respectively, president and chief executive of Alphabet, Google’s parent and the world’s fourth-biggest listed firm. Their creation remains unconventional in some ways, if not in others. They leave a mixed legacy for Sundar Pichai, a career Googler in charge of its core search-engine business, who assumes both roles. 


卸任:bow out, step down, leave the scene, hand the reins to2004年,谢尔盖·布林(Sergey Brin)和拉里·佩奇(Larry Page)在他们的公司上市时宣称:“谷歌并非一家传统公司,我们也无意成为其中之一。”今年12月3日,他们分别辞去Alphabet(谷歌母公司,全球第四大上市公司)的总裁和首席执行官职务。从某些方面而言,谷歌仍然保留了非传统的特质,但在另外一些方面,谷歌已然不复从前。他们给桑达尔·皮查伊(Sundar Pichai)留下的“遗产”良莠兼具。他是一名职业谷歌人,负责谷歌核心搜索引擎业务,如今即将身兼两职(谷歌和Alphabet的CEO)。 


Messrs Brin and Page lived the Silicon Valley dream. Their solution to the problem of indexingthe growing world wide web grew out of government funded research at Stanford University, and was honed in a friend’s garage. Google was founded in 1998. Today it handles over 2trn search queries a year, and produces the Android operating system that powers 80% of the world’s smart phones. It has shaped the age of the internet and mobile computing in the way that Microsoft helped define the age of the desktop PC. Its revenues have grown from $3.2bn in 2004 to $136bn last year. Its market capitalisation has nearly doubled since 2015, to $910bn.


Index v.使与,挂钩PC (personal computer)个人电脑capitalisation n市值,资本化




Its internal culture is famously casual (visitors were often astonished when meetings were interrupted by volleyball games on the central lawn). It hasset the tone for a generation of startups, says Karim Lakhani of Harvard Business School. Yet Google was also quick to embrace professional managers. In 2001 it hired Eric Schmidt, a veteran executive, as CEO. Mr Pichai likewise offers what Mr Brin once jokingly referred to as “parental supervision”. 


veteran n. 资深/经验丰富的人startups n.新创办的小公司set the tone for 为,设置基调


谷歌的企业文化是出了名的随性(比如到访者时常讶异于中心草坪上的排球比赛可以打断公司会议)。哈佛商学院(Harvard Business School)的卡里姆·拉克哈尼(Karim Lakhani)认为,这为一水儿初创企业打了样儿。然而,谷歌快速引入职业经理人制度。2001年,谷歌聘请资深高管埃里克·施密特(Eric Schmidt)担任首席执行官。皮查伊成为了谷歌另一位布林曾经开玩笑所说的“成人监护人”。(第一位是施密特,具体看衍生资料)


The firm has grown conventional in other ways, too. Its dominance has attracted the gaze of regulators. Like other powerful firms, it has hired legions oflobbyiststo fight its corner, but with only limited success: from Brussels to the Beltway, politicians rail against its power and attitudes to user privacy. The EU has fined it $9bn. Antitrust investigations loom on both sides of the Atlantic.


 Lobbyist n.(游说政客或议员)的说客


 legion n. 军团;大量(某类型的人)






Its employees are growing restive; 20,000 walked out a year ago over the firm’s handling ofsexual-harassment cases. Those still wedded to Google’s once-official credo, “don’t be evil” (ditched in 2018), have condemned decisions to offer acensored search engine in China (also binned) or work with America’s armed forces. It has sacked staff involved in unionization efforts. Several said this week that they will file charges with regulators. 


restive a.不耐烦的。不满的sexual harrassment (尤指男性对女性的)性骚扰Censor v.审查 n.审查员Unionization n.加入工会




Perhaps the two founders wanted to palm these problems off to someone else. Perhaps they want to focus on the pet projects—from self-driving cars to human-like artificial intelligence and life-extension technology—which Alphabet has cross-subsidised from its ad business. Mr Brin is seldom seen these days; Mr Page did not turn up for Alphabet’s annual shareholder meeting this year. Mr Pichai is seen as a safe pair of hands. However, since Messrs Brin and Page retain control via dual-class share structure, his freedom will be circumscribed. Small wonder its share price moved little on the news. 


via prep.通过,经由Dual-class share 双重股权




Although Alphabet rakes in billions, it remains a one-trick pony. Ads bring in over 80% of revenue, little changed from 2015. Its share of the online-ad market is down a bit; that of smaller rivals, such as Amazon, is up a lot. Microsoft has successfully reinvented itself as a cloud-computing firm after Bill Gates stepped down in 2000; it is now worth more than Alphabet. PageBrin bets on futuristic technologies are intellectually thrilling, but have yet to pay off. How long will investors’ patience last?






bow out 退出,辞职Index v.使与,,,挂钩PC (personal computer)个人电脑 capitalisation n市值,资本化 startups n.新创办的小公司set the tone for 为,,,设置基调 Lobbyist n.(游说政客或议员)的说客restive a.不耐烦的。不满的 sexual harrassment (尤指男性对女性的)性骚扰Censor v.审查 n.审查员 Unionization n.加入工会 via prep.通过,经由Dual-class share 双重股权veteran n. 资深/经验丰富的人 legion n. 军团;大量(某类型的人) hone v. 磨练;训练bow out (of sth) 退出;

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