Henry Ford is one of the most influential entrepreneur of the 20th century. He founded the Ford Motor Company that revolutionized transportation through the introduction of the Model T which was the first affordable automobile that middle-class Americans could travel in. The Model T was named in the 1999 Car of the Century competition as the most influential car of the 20th century.
Henry Ford developed the assembly line technique of mass production, reduced working hours and the five-day work work, and he changed the transportation industry through his eponymous company. His autobiography: My Life And Work is a great book about how he built the Ford Motor Company, his business and life philosophies, his approach to philanthropy and success.
Here are some great quotable quotes from My Life And Work by Henry Ford:
- Ideas are of themselves extraordinarily valuable, but an idea is just an idea. Almost any one can think up an idea. The thing that counts is developing it into a practical product.
- Freedom is the right to work a decent length of time and to get a decent living for doing so; to be able to arrange the little personal details of one’s own life.
- Being greedy for money is the surest way not to get it, but when one serves for the sake of service—for the satisfaction of doing that which one believes to be right—then money abundantly takes care of itself.
A man ought to be able to live on a scale commensurate with the service that he renders.
- Real simplicity means that which gives the very best service and is the most convenient in use.
- Rushing into manufacturing without being certain of the product is the unrecognized cause of many business failures.
If we had devoted all of this energy to making changes in the product we should be nowhere; but by not changing the product we are able to give our energy to the improvement of the making.
- Waste is due largely to not understanding what one does, or being careless in doing of it. Greed is merely a species of nearsightedness.
- One who fears the future, who fears failure, limits his activities. Failure is only the opportunity more intelligently to begin again. There is no disgrace in honest failure; there is disgrace in fearing to fail. What is past is useful only as it suggests ways and means for progress.
Given a good idea to start with, it is better to concentrate on perfecting it than to hunt around for a new idea. One idea at a time is about as much as any one can handle.
- If ever I wanted to kill opposition by unfair means I would endow the opposition with experts. They would have so much good advice that I could be sure they would do little work.
- I cannot say that it was hard work. No work with interest is ever hard. I always am certain of results. They always come if you work hard enough.
- Many inventors fail because they do not distinguish between planning and experimenting.
- Money is not worth a particular amount. As money it is not worth anything, for it will do nothing of itself. The only use of money is to buy tools to work with or the product of tools. Therefore money is worth what it will help you to produce or buy and no more.
Business men go down with their businesses because they like the old way so well they cannot bring them- selves to change.
- Time spent in fighting competition is wasted; it had better be spent in doing the work. There are always enough people ready and anxious to buy, provided you supply what they want and at the proper price—and this applies to personal services as well as to goods.
- The man who has the largest capacity for work and thought is the man who is bound to succeed.
- No business can improve unless it pays the closest possible attention to complaints and suggestions.
- We do not hire a man’s history, we hire the man.
We get some of our best results from letting fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
- Everything can always be done better than it is being done.
All the Best in your quest to get Better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.