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会赚钱干嘛要找工作

Chanelle Bessette 2014年02月14日

Shapeways联合创始人兼CEO彼得•魏玛沙汉从小就有强大的动手能力和商业头脑,曾经靠着替邻居修剪草坪挖到了人生的第一桶金。他说,如果总能自己找到赚钱的路子,为什么要给别人打工。如今,他创办的Shapeways已经成为3D打印领域炙手可热的创业公司。

    彼得•魏玛沙汉在荷兰长大。孩提时的魏玛沙汉就富有创业精神。他总是能想方设法赚钱,曾经创办公司为邻居提供洗车和草坪护理服务。

    他喜欢编程,很小就开始玩电脑。后来他在埃因霍温科技大学(Technical University of Eindhoven)学习应用物理,期间依然对计算机热情不减。上世纪90年代,互联网出现之后,对开源程序充满热情的魏玛沙汉开始加入初创公司。尤其是3D建模和后来的3D打印领域。魏玛沙汉说:“有了3D打印,人们面临的唯一限制就是自己的想象力。”

    2007年3月,他和其他几位联合创始人开始创建在线3D打印公司Shapeways。通过这个网站,人们可以制作、购买、出售3D打印产品。魏玛沙汉的目标是让人们更方便地创造独特的产品。42岁的魏玛沙汉现居住在纽约。他近期接受了《财富》杂志(Fortune)的专访。

    1. 你最崇拜的商界或科技界人物是哪位?为什么?

    我脑海里首先想到的一家公司是亚马逊(Amazon)。据我了解,这家公司是真正将客户放在第一位。他们希望打造一家重视客户价值的公司,而且他们并没有巨大的利润。他们每一次通过完善服务降低成本之后,都会把所产生的价值回馈给客户。他们在不断提升反馈给客户的价值。

    这让我产生了很大的共鸣。只有这样才能打造出真正迷人的体验,吸引海量的客户。创业的目的不应该为了迅速赚钱,而是要打造一家可持续的公司,让所有客户高兴,同时提供真正的价值。只要这样做,最终你的公司同样会赚很多钱。但重中之重是客户,是为他们提供最大的价值。当然,杰夫•贝佐斯的同事也支持公司的愿景。可在当初,许多人都对此深感怀疑,甚至冷眼相对。但贝佐斯最终取得胜利,成功建立了一家神奇的公司。这很了不起。

    2. 最让你兴奋的科技行业是什么?

    如果我说是3D打印,你肯定不会感到意外。3D打印将完全颠覆我们考虑产品的方式。早在19世纪之前,产品都是纯手工制作。之后的工业革命带来了大规模生产。我们可以获得许多很了不起的产品,但它们全都千篇一律。而3D打印为大规模生产所带来的是,每个人都有能力制造出他们自己想要的产品,而不仅仅是商家提供的产品。

    我认为,这是非常有吸引力的一个概念。理解这个概念需要一段时间,因为未来将不再是大公司决定大家想要什么,确定最能迎合大众口味的产品,然后进行大规模生产。想要什么样的产品,决定权在于消费者。我们的工作是让所有人能够更方便地表达自己想要的东西,然后我们以合理的价格为他们生产出来。就这么简单。大家不用再被迫购买某件东西,而是可以决定自己想要的产品。比如一件衣服,一套首饰,或一些小配件。3D打印给人们带来的是真正影响产品的能力。

    3. 创业者必须读商学院吗?

    我没有读过商学院,但我自认为还算是一个不错的创业者。我认识许多没有上过商学院的创业者。在我看来,一个人或许并非天生的创业者,但创业者一定在很早的时候就从事这项事业。甚至有人早在10岁之前就有了创业的念头,它就像人们对自由的感受一样,是与天俱来的。既然我可以通过一种聪明的方式做些事情,为什么要去找工作呢?我总是能找到一些项目或机会来赚钱,因此我不必找工作。这是一种思维方式,某些时候,你必须先拥有它,之后经过自我训练,就能更好地驾驭它。随着一家公司,比如Shapeways,日益壮大,一个人需要学习很多东西。例如,如何进步,如何扩大市场等。软件工程已经成为我的一种本能,而且我学过应用物理,所以我对技术方面非常了解。商学院可以帮人们更好掌握框架和环境,但只要愿意学习,即便不去商学院也能做得很好。

    Peter Weijmarshausen grew up in the Netherlands. Even as a child he had an entrepreneurial spirit, and he always found ways to make money, building businesses such as a car washing service and lawn care for neighbors.

    He loved coding and started playing with computers at a young age. When he went to study at the Technical University of Eindhoven, he studied applied physics and kept up his interest in computers. After the Internet emerged in the 1990s, Weijmarshausen began to join startup companies, fueled by his passion for open source software. That was especially true for 3-D modeling and, eventually, 3-D printing. "With 3-D printing, your imagination is your only limitation," Weijmarshausen said.

    He and his fellow co-founders began to build Shapeways -- an online 3-D printing marketplace -- in March 2007. People can make, buy, and sell 3-D printed products through the site, and Weijmarshausen's goal is to make it easy for people to create unique products. Weijmarshausen, 42, is based in New York. He spoke with Fortune.

    1. What business or technology person do you admire most? Why?

    One of the companies that jumps out at me is Amazon (AMZN). From what I can tell, they really put their customers in the center. They want to make a company that values their customers, and they don't have huge margins. What they do every time they have an improvement in their service that reduces their cost, they give all of that value back to their customers. They give the customer an ever-better value for their money.

    That resonates well with me. That's how you can build a truly magnificent experience that is compelling for an enormous amount of people. It's not about making a few dollars quickly. It's about building a sustainable business that makes all of its customers happy and provides true value. If you do that, then, in the end, as a business you're also making money, lots of money. But it's first and foremost about the customer and getting them the most value. And of course the people that work with Jeff Bezos are supporting that vision. And in the beginning, a lot of people were very skeptical or cynical about it. But he's prevailed, and he's built an amazing company. That's quite something.

    2. What technology sector excites you most?

    It probably won't surprise you that I'll say 3-D printing. It has the ability to truly disrupt the way we think about products. Way back in the 1800s and before, products were made by hand. And then came along the industrial revolution where we had mass manufacturing. Mass manufacturing has given us a lot of really cool products, but they're all the same. What 3-D printing brings on top of mass manufacturing is the ability for the individual to get the exact product that they want and not just what is available.

    To me, that is such a compelling concept. It takes a while to really grasp because it's no longer big corporations that figure out what you might want by deciding what is the lowest common denominator and mass-producing it. No -- it's you who has an idea for what you want. Our job is to make it easy for you to express what you want, and then we'll make it for you at a reasonable price. Isn't that what it's all about? Not that you get pushed into buying certain things, but that you can decide what you want. Whether it's clothing or jewelry or gadgets, it doesn't really matter. The ability to truly influence the products that you get, that's the power that 3-D printing brings.

    3. Is business school necessary for entrepreneurs?

    I didn't go to business school, and I think I'm a pretty good entrepreneur. I see a lot of entrepreneurs who didn't go to business school. I think maybe you aren't born an entrepreneur, but it's something that you start acting on early in life. Even as early as before 10 years old, it's like this freedom that people feel. Why would I get a job if I can start doing things in a smart way? I always found projects or opportunities to make money instead of jobs. It's a way of thinking that at some point you have to get, then you get better at it. As a company like Shapeways becomes bigger and bigger, you have to learn a few things. Like how do you advance and expand into marketing. Software engineering was already in my blood, and I studied applied physics, so I understood the technology really well. Business school can help you get the framework and context even better, but if you're open to learning, you can do it perfectly well without business school.

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