This is one of the best books I have ever read. Henry Ford has an undying passion, urge to simplify things and is obsessed with quality, minimalism an...moreThis is one of the best books I have ever read. Henry Ford has an undying passion, urge to simplify things and is obsessed with quality, minimalism and ethics, the kind of qualities you look for in a role model. In this super-cool business management book Ford explains how he made commercial motor cars at large scale possible, the humongous challenges he faced and a variety of morons he had to deal with.
Ford's take on ideas are amusing. It is the hallmark of an intelligent man when he says 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
I truly and clearly believe that men/women are not equal although there are economic/social policies that advocate the opposite. That we have seen these policies failing in various countries is a different debate however there is a passage which states There can be no greater absurdity and no greater disservice to humanity in general than to insist that all men are equal. Most certainly all men are not equal, and any democratic conception which strives to make men equal is only an effort to block progress. Men cannot be of equal service. The men of larger ability are less numerous than the men of smaller ability; it is possible for a mass of the smaller men to pull the larger ones down—but in so doing they pull themselves down. It is the larger men who give the leadership to the community and enable the smaller men to live with less effort.
When Ford entered the Motor Car market most cars were bespoke, made to order like a tailored suit. Needless to say this meant huge costs to the customers, lack of post-sales service and poor customer engagement and satisfaction levels. Ford had a vision and he attacked the motor car market with ferocious passion, by optimising the manufacturing workflow of a motor car, eliminating waste, mastering production processes to bring the cost down to an absolute bare minimum. So cheap that every single common man of America could afford it. It would not be an exaggeration if we say one of the most important factors in America's rise to super power is the transport links and Ford and his motor cars are important elements of this transition. And so he says Making "to order" instead of making in volume is, I suppose, a habit, a tradition, that has descended from the old handicraft days. Ask a hundred people how they want a particular article made. About eighty will not know; they will leave it to you. Fifteen will think that they must say something, while five will really have preferences and reasons. The ninety-five, made up of those who do not know and admit it and the fifteen who do not know but do not admit it, constitute the real market for any product. The five who want something special may or may not be able to pay the price for special work. If they have the price, they can get the work, but they constitute a special and limited market. Of the ninety-five perhaps ten or fifteen will pay a price for quality. Of those remaining, a number will buy solely on price and without regard to quality. Their numbers are thinning with each day.
Throughout the book Ford tackles many topics including addressing disability at the workplace, pay conditions, handling employee unions, placing product and service ahead of profits and economy. It is amazing how all of these are still applicable in the 21st century and how our voracious devouring capitalists need to learn a lot from him. Having also read Steve Jobs biography I can't help but compare that these two man have similar traits, predisposition towards quality and undying passion in what they were working on.
Oh... this book is free of cost so you now have no excuses :)
This is more of Sunil's story up until 1976, his second West Indies tour. So this is not a "full" auto-biography as he scored a lot of runs in the 80s...moreThis is more of Sunil's story up until 1976, his second West Indies tour. So this is not a "full" auto-biography as he scored a lot of runs in the 80s. Morever this book sounded like a running commentary of some of the matches which you can obviously get in cricinfo but may be when this book was written readers did not have access to archives such as cricinfo. Nevertheless a decent read.(less)