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为什么有竞争的商店要开在一起? – 译学馆
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为什么有竞争的商店要开在一起?

Why do competitors open their stores next to one another? - Jac de Haan

为什么加气站旁边总是建另一个加气站?
Why are gas stations always built right next to other gas stations?
为什么我开了一英里车还是没有找到咖啡店?
Why can I drive for a mile without finding a coffee shop
然后偶然发现有三个店在同一个角落
and then stumble across three on the same corner?
为什么食品杂货店,汽车修理店和饭店
Why do grocery stores, auto repair shops and restaurants
似乎经常以组的形式存在
always seem to exist in groups
而不是被分开,甚至是在同一个社区?
instead of being spread evenly throughout a community?
那儿有一些因素
While there are several factors
或许决定你在哪里做生意,
that might go into deciding where to place your business,
相似商户的成群出现可以解释为一个很简单的理论,
clusters of similar companies can be explained by a very simple story
叫做空间竞争的旅店模式。
called Hotelling’s Model of Spatial Competition.
假设你在沙滩卖冰激凌。
Imagine that you sell ice cream at the beach.
你的沙滩长达英里且没有竞争对手。
Your beach is one mile long and you have no competition.
为了卖出更多冰激凌你会把摊位摆在哪?
Where would you place your cart in order to sell the most product?
在中间。
In the middle.
半英里对一些人而言可能已经很远了,
The one-half-mile walk may be too far for some people
对于沙滩边的人来说,
at each end of the beach,
可你的摊位要有越多人买才好。
but your cart serves as many people as possible.
有一天你来到工作的地方,
One day you show up at work
正好你的表亲泰迪也刚到这片沙滩
just as your cousin Teddy is arriving at the beach
推着他的冰激凌小摊。
with his own ice cream cart.
事实上,他正在卖的
In fact, he’s selling
恰恰是同你同样口味的冰激凌。
exactly the same type of ice cream as you are.
你想尝试把沙滩一分为二。
You agree that you will split the beach in half.
为了顾客不用走太远。
In order to ensure that customers don’t have to walk too far
你把摊位摆在离沙滩中间往南四分之一英里处,
you set up your cart a quarter mile south of the beach center,
正好是在你所在领域的中间。
right in the middle of your territory.
泰迪的摊位设在沙滩中心往北四分之一英里的地方,
Teddy sets up a quarter mile north of the center,
他所在地带的中心。
in the middle of Teddy territory.
达成一致后,来自你南边的每个人就从你这里买冰激凌。
With this agreement, everyone south of you buys ice cream from you.
来自北边的就去泰迪那买,在沙滩上有50%的人是
Everyone north of Teddy buys from him, and the 50% of beachgoers in between
就近买。
walk to the closest cart.
没有人走超过四分之一英里的路程,
No one walks more than a quarter of a mile,
两个摊位都卖出一半冰激凌给沙滩上的人。
and both vendors sell to half of the beachgoers.
博弈论理论家认为这是一个社会最优方案。
Game theorists consider this a socially optimal solution.
它尽可能减少游客需要走到
It minimizes the maximum number of steps any visitor must take
冰激凌摊位的最多步数。
in order to reach an ice cream cart.
第二天,你来到工作摊位时,
The next day, when you arrive at work,
泰迪已经把他的摊位移到沙滩中间。
Teddy has set up his cart in the middle of the beach.
你回到离沙滩中心四分之一英里的摊位
You return to your location a quarter mile south of center
只赚来自南边25%的客人。
and get the 25% of customers to the south of you.
泰迪还是得到所有北边的顾客,
Teddy still gets all of the customers north in Teddy territory,
但你却流失25%的客人。
but now you split the 25% of people in between the two carts.
三日的冰激凌竞争后,你早早来到沙滩,
Day three of the ice cream wars, you get to the beach early,
刚好摆在泰迪领域的中心,
and set up right in the center of Teddy territory,
想着你将获得来自南边的75%的顾客,
assuming you’ll serve the 75% of beachgoers to your south,
留下来自南边的25%给你表兄。
leaving your cousin to sell to the 25% of customers to the north.
泰迪来后就摆在你的南边,
When Teddy arrives, he sets up just south of you
悄悄偷走所有南边的顾客,
stealing all of the southerly customers,
你只得到一点点往北的顾客。
and leaving you with a small group of people to the north.
你也不甘落后,往南向泰迪移动十步重新获得原来的顾客。
Not to be outdone, you move 10 paces south of Teddy to regain your customers.
泰迪趁你午休时又往南搬离你十步,
When you take a mid-day break, Teddy shuffles 10 paces south of you,
再次偷回所有来自沙滩尽头的顾客。
and again, steals back all the customers to the far end of the beach.
经过这一天,
Throughout the course of the day,
你们一直时不时往南移动
both of you continue to periodically move south
到有大量顾客的地方,
towards the bulk of the ice cream buyers,
直到最后你在沙滩中心停下来,
until both of you eventually end up at the center of the beach,
来来回回后,每人得到一半顾客。
back to back, each serving 50% of the ice-cream-hungry beachgoers.
至此,你和你的泰迪表兄
At this point, you and your competitive cousin
已经达到博弈论学家所说的纳什均衡
have reached what game theorists call a Nash Equilibrium –
所指出的你们再没有能提升的空间
the point where neither of you can improve your position
通过脱离当前的策略。
by deviating from your current strategy.
你原先的策略,
Your original strategy,
离沙滩中心四分之一英里的地方,
where you were each a quarter mile from the middle of the beach,
已经不再延续了,因为那不符合纳什均衡理论。
didn’t last, because it wasn’t a Nash Equilibrium.
你们每一个都可以移动到对方那里卖更多冰激凌。
Either of you could move your cart towards the other to sell more ice cream.
现在你们两个都在沙滩中心,
With both of you now in the center of the beach,
你再不能改变位置来靠近更多客人
you can’t reposition your cart closer to your furthest customers
否则会损失当前的顾客。
without making your current customers worse off.
可是,你不再有社会的最优选择,
However, you no longer have a socially optimal solution,
因为沙滩每一边的顾客
since customers at either end of the beach
必须走比原来所需更远的路程才能尝到一份甜品。
have to walk further than necessary to get a sweet treat.
想想所有的快餐店连锁,
Think about all the fast food chains,
商场里的时装店或者手机店。
clothing boutiques, or mobile phone kiosks at the mall.
顾客可能会得到更好的服务
Customers may be better served
如果服务分布在整个社区,
by distributing services throughout a community,
但这导致企业易受攻击性竞争。
but this leaves businesses vulnerable to aggressive competition.
在现实生活中,顾客来自四面八方,
In the real world, customers come from more than one direction,
并且企业是用营销策略去自由竞争,
and businesses are free to compete with marketing strategies,
通过差异化他们的产品线和降价,
by differentiating their product line, and with price cuts,
但其实他们的核心策略是,企业们喜欢尽可能的靠近去保持竞争。
but at the heart of their strategy,companies like to keep their competition as close as possible.

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