"My Life and Work" is the autobiography of Henry Ford. Written in conjunction with Samuel Crowther, "My Life and Work" chronicles the rise and success of one of the greatest American entrepreneurs and businessmen. Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Company will forever be identified with early 20th century American industrialism. The innovations to business and direct impact on the American economy of Henry Ford and his company are immeasurable. His story is brilliantly chronicled in this classic American biography.
Henry Ford (July 30, 1863 – April 7, 1947) was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production. Although Ford did not invent the automobile or the assembly line, he developed and manufactured the first automobile that many middle class Americans could afford. In doing so, Ford converted the automobile from an expensive curiosity into a practical conveyance that would profoundly impact the landscape of the twentieth century. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry. As owner of the Ford Motor Company, he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. He is credited with "Fordism": mass production of inexpensive goods coupled with high wages for workers. Ford had a global vision, with consumerism as the key to peace. His intense commitment to systematically lowering costs resulted in many technical and business innovations, including a franchise system that put dealerships throughout most of North America and in major cities on six continents. Ford left most of his vast wealth to the Ford Foundation and arranged for his family to control the company permanently.
Ford was also widely known for his pacifism during the first years of World War I, and also for being the publisher of anti semitic texts such as the book The International Jew.
His father gave him a pocket watch in his early teens. At 15, Ford dismantled and reassembled the timepieces of friends and neighbors dozens of times, gaining the reputation of a watch repairman.
Ford was devastated when his mother died in 1876. His father expected him to eventually take over the family farm, but he despised farm work. He later wrote, "I never had any particular love for the farm—it was the mother on the farm I loved."
In Aldous Huxley's Brave New World (1932), society is organized on "Fordist" lines, the years are dated A.F. or Anno Ford ("In the Year of our Ford"), and the expression "My Ford" is used instead of "My Lord".
Upton Sinclair created a fictional description of Ford in the 1937 novel The Flivver King.
Symphonic composer Ferde Grofe composed a tone poem in Henry Ford's honor (1938). Ford is treated as a character in several historical novels, notably E. L. Doctorow's Ragtime (1975), and Richard Powers' novel Three Farmers on the Way to a Dance (1985).
Ford, his family, and his company were the subjects of a 1986 biography by Robert Lacey entitled Ford: The Men and the Machine. The book was adapted in 1987 into a film starring Cliff Robertson and Michael Ironside.
In the 2005 alternative history novel The Plot Against America, Philip Roth features Ford as Secretary of Interior in a fictional Charles Lindbergh presidential administration.
The British author Douglas Galbraith uses the event of the Ford Peace Ship as the center of his novel King Henry (2007).
Ford appears as a Great Builder in the 2008 strategy video game Civilization Revolution.
In December 1999, Ford was among 18 included in Gallup's List of Widely Admired People of the 20th Century, from a poll conducted of the American people.
In 1928, Ford was awarded the Franklin Institute's Elliott Cresson Medal.
In 1938, Ford was awarded Nazi Germany's Grand Cross of the German Eagle, a medal given to foreigners sympathetic to Nazism.
The United States Postal Service honored Ford with a Prominent Americans series (1965–1978) 12¢ postage stamp.
You're reading this book and you just think the whole time "man this guy is so awesome and so smart he rules." And you mention it to someone that you're reading it and they say "he was an anti-semite." And you think "oh he couldn't have been. He goes on and on about the worth of all people and he genuinely seems to care about everyone.' And then there's this one random passage in the last chapter where he basically says something like "I know we get a lot of guff for the jew thing but honestly it's not that big of a deal when one group of people are so different than everyone else you have to blah blah blah" and you go "wait what?" And that one random passage totally bums you out about Henry Ford because you had convinced yourself he wasn't that bad. And who knows. Maybe he was a product of his time. Read the rest of the book, though, it's spectacular.
Also there's all this stuff where he's like "and what's the deal with hospitals they are run so dumb. It's not that hard, I started a hospital and it works great" and you think "uh huh sure" so you google it and yes, in fact, his hospital is still going, and was and STILL IS a great hospital, pioneering in medical care. Weird. This was true with schools too. And railroads. What a ridiculously smart human being.
Well to start with I had purchased this book expecting that Henry Ford would be speaking in this book about his personal life and how did he come about establishing the FORD MOTOR COMPANY 🤔 But it wasn't to be the case!! Was I left disappointed, Hell No!!!!!
I always had this belief that great Inventors / Engineers don't make great Businessmen but that isn't the case with Mr. Henry Ford.
About the Book :- The book starts with Henry Fords early years and the founding of FORD MOTORS COMPANY. The USP of this book is the Vision of Mr. Henry Ford, he being someone way ahead of this time altough most of the Business techniques and suggestions that he has stated in this book may appear to be outdated but what stands out is his Business Planning, Vision & Business Mind. Ford has also systematically stated the duties an Entrepreneur has towards Society, Country, Employees, Industry and So on.
To me this book appeared more than a Business Management book than a Autobiography and recommend this book to all those readers who love reading works of Businessmen and Entrepreneurs. I enjoyed reading the life and work of the great Henry Ford🙂
От my Life and Work имайте предвид, че 95% от книгата си е за my work и това явно е отличителна черта на първите предприемачи в новия свят - оформили и неговия облик, а и този на останалия свят. Трудолюбие - това е водещата дума.
В голяма част от книгата ми напомни на практическо помагало, което да се чете след Адам Смит. Защото прилага на практика теорията. Доразвива я и я изговаря с думи разбираеми на база целия натрупан опит от реалния бизнес. Абсолютно задължително четиво за всеки предприемач, тъй като залегналите принципи, формирани тук, са валидни и до днес.
Набързо прави на пух и прах теорията и практиките на болшевиките. По едно време се изказва и по "еврейския въпрос", където, поради дистанция на времето, ми бяга смисълът да присъства в тази книга, но явно си е било тема по това време. Просто не съм сигурен за контекста.
Много ми харесаха принципите. Това е Хенри Форд, това признава - принципи и работа. Какво още ме впечатли: - Дал е пример с първите реклами на Форд. Маркетирали са се като услуга. Продавали са услуга, не продукт. - Искал е колите да са издържливи, с взаимозаменяеми части. Това е устойчиво мислене, не печелбарско. - В един случай, когато са продали по-скъпо някакви коли, после са върнали пари на клиентите, за необоснована надценка. - Продавачите са ги считали за партньори. Всеки работник е считал за партньор. Поне такава е концепцията. - Надникът се изкарва. И др...
Препоръчвам! Универсална книга с устойчиви поуки на над век.
Released around 1923, except for the prices, this book could have been written yesterday.
Mr. Ford is a character with very stringent and seemingly unbending views and beliefs on life and what is right and what is wrong. He speaks with great authority and makes many sweeping statements that caused me to wonder.
A book about a man who changed the world with his vision and philosophy. The book is filled with wisdom and core principles about business which are as equally valuable today as it were back then. Hord was a big believer in self-reliance, simplicity, and honest hard work. While most of the other businessmen in his industry were chasing revenue, Henry Ford was focusing on service and developing a good product that would be available for everyone. Entrepreneurs today can learn a lot from this.
Генри Форд описал историю своей компании такой, какой он хотел бы, чтобы её видели другие. Сильно разбавил это своими взглядами на бизнес в целом и его предназначение, на работу, на человечество, на будущее. Очень ценно то, что многое из описанного Фордом до сих пор выглядит прорывом в бизнес-практике, даже современной. В описаниях улавливаются элементы того, что сейчас принято называть "бирюзовыми" организациями. Вместе с тем, читая книгу, приходится включать "защиту от розовых очков". Возникает желание узнать взгляд на происходящее с другой стороны, чтобы уравновесить восприятие.
I got this when it was free for Kindle from Amazon. I didn't know much about Ford and really, I still don't. This is purely a business book. There's not much of his "life" in it. I checked to see when he died, how many kids he had, etc and then I found out about his other issues. There's only a brief mention about his discriminations and politics, as the Peace Ship, here.
For a book edition that says 206 pages, it took me forever to read it so be forewarned with this Kindle edition.
What I did find out about was the manufacturing of cars and I have to admit, this book put me to sleep quite a few nights on those details. But it was amazing what he accomplished in the way of hiring the handicapped, women (assuming that their husbands didn't have jobs) and even a factory where farmers could do work during the off-season. Prices on Model Ts (and yes, there were other Models, such as K was a racing car and A, C and S) were lowered every year and workers had that famous $6 a day, 6 days a week job (later 5) yet sales increased.
He was able to make those savings by streamlining all aspects of his business--for example there were no titles (except those mandated by law), no phone extensions and bosses didn't have offices. Every suggestion by the line workers to ease work, or speed it up, was taken seriously. As he said, when you make 4,000 cars a day, a half penny savings adds up.
He bought a railroad because he really wanted the land it was on, and ended up running that better than others despite the government and lawyers. When a founding hosptial asked him yet again for donations, he bought it, returned all the donations, built it and ran it successfully. A school for boys not only gave them skills and a basic education, but a paycheck.
Henry Fords “My life and work” was a great book. It was full of great ideas about business and life. In the book he told some about his childhood and growing up, how he grew up on his family farm but always wanted to implement smarter ideas to make his work easier. He told about his business ideas including ways he cut down weight and save money while creating an overall better product. I would recommend this book to anyone in high school or over looking for a thoughtful read that makes you think a lot about the way the world works.
У цій книзі Генрі Форд розповідає про свої ідеї та їхні реалізації на практиці, доводячи, що бізнес — це не про гроші, а про надання якісних послуг. Його ставлення до цінової політики, якості продукту, забезпечення робітників найкращими умовами праці та спрощення виробництва заслуговують на величезну повагу, а головне — ці міркування працюють. Звісно, деякі його слова щодо "людського фактору" можуть і мають бути розкритиковані, але, чесно кажучи, мені стало надзвичайно цікаво, наскільки б змінився текст цієї книги, якби він був написаний після Другої світової.
Генри Форд в моих глазах затмил огромную плеяду предпринимателей. Он идеалист, но идеалист с необычайно высокими жизненными ценностями и моралью, и только после этого ещё и величайший предприниматель, реформатор и оптимизатор.
Конечно же идеальных людей не бывает. Это же и касается Форда. Есть некоторые моменты, где автор очень уж перегибает палку, а иногда очень критичен, и навязчив своей идеей. Как по ��не главная ошибка Форда это то, что всем людям нужен только самый доступный товар. Он совсем забыл о таком понятие как позиционирование. Но это можно понять так как человеку сложно совмещать в себе так много сильных сторон и качеств как это удалось Генри Форду.
Terrific perspective from a great man whose principles guided him to become one of the most defining men in American industrial history. IMO, this book, although published almost 100 years ago, gives a still timely recipe for what it takes to be successful for any true business person, and should be read by anyone interested in what it takes to be a part of the true "American Dream," a notion that's hanging on only by a thread in this country today. Anyone who's in any kind of manufacturing role today should read this book. It's beyond 'techniques' for success - it's about how to make a truly positive difference to the individual, the employees, and to the country as a whole.
We were lucky as a nation to have such men as Henry Ford. Truly.
Після прочитання я зовсім не здивувався, що в 20 сторіччі Фордизм став дуже популярним. І навіть Хакслі відзначив його ідеї у своїй чудесній антиутопії. По-факту - пізнавально, доступно і легко для сприйняття. Форд ділиться своїми ідеями, і думками. Хоч в певних моментах можна засумніватись в ідеях які він пропагує, але не взяти їх до уваги - неможливо. Одиним реченням - маст рід для тих, хто цікавиться постіндустріальним супісльством і все що з цим повязано.
Summary: Must read. It's often quoted, but without having read this, you can only but have these intense words of wisdom out of context. Ford was a genius and he would have been a success even today. Wow. This is a top 5 book for 2019 for me.
P. 8 - He talks about work being the natural order of things and that to move against it will cause angst. He just thinks that if we're going to do it, we ought to do it cleverly. He then says: "I am not a reformer. I think there is entirely too much attempt at reforming in the world and that we pay too much attention to reformers. We have two kinds of reformers. Both are nuisances." He then talks about the type of person that would smash a button because the butthole is too small, rather than just fix the size of the hole. From here he talks about the difference between a business person vs. a reformer.
He is so ahead of all those that might describe business as the act of solving problems. Brilliant.
p.10 - He talks about how the man who works with his hands is often at odds with the man who works with his brain. He sites the Bolshevik revolution who threw out everyone with a brain only to realize they can't do much with more IQ points. He sees these "reformers" as a sort of evil as they try to drive discontent between those who work with their brains vs. their hands. As relates to the two types of reformers then: "The one crowd wants to smash up the whole world to make a better one Th other holds the world as so good that it might well be let stand as it is - and decay. The second notion arises as does the first - out of not using the eyes to see with. It is perfectly possible to smash this world, but it is not possible to build a new one. It is possible to prevent the world from going forward, but it is not possible to prevent it from going back - from decaying." His point is the world is either in a forward or backward motion.
p. 11 - "Speculation in things already produced - that is not business. It is just more or less respectable graft. But it cannot be legislated out of existence." He is very anti-gov, but his way of talking about it is a bit more clear than others as it predates a lot of the crazy structures that are now our US gov.
p. 16 - This is so relevant in this current period of nonsense within private equity - "It is the function of business to produce for consumption and not for money or speculation. Producing for consumption implies that the quality of the article produced will be high and that the price will be low - that the article be one which serves the people, and not merely the producer." This whole concept of customer-centric was all Ford's way of thinking.
p. .17 - "An it is absolutely necessary to have money. But we do not want to forget that the end of money is not ease but the opportunity to perform more service." He's super against a life of ease. I have mixed feelings about this. I think in modern times you can do what you love as long as you apply yourself. Still, I think that he's likely right for the most part.
p. 18 - I just thought this quote is funny (albeit I'm taking it out of context). "I think that dress reform for women - which seems to mean ugly clothes - must always originate with plain women who want to make everyone else look plain."
p.20 - This flies in the face of what a lot of start-ups are doing. But I tend to agree. He talks about businesses that start with no knowledge of how to produce or market. He says these incremental improvements really never end up being good businesses. He'd rather people not do much until they really know what it is they are actually doing. It's kind of brilliant. I've totally struggled with helping start-ups that get too much of overly nonsensical pivot advice at the expense of really producing something (an MVP and then trying to market it).
p.21 - He talks about how they go about what we now call innovation and how others do it incorrectly. I'm paraphrasing, but in today's words, they test out MVPs and then figure out how to improve manufacturing once they prove it's a good product. There is nothing incremental about it.
p. 21-23, These pages are key for my research. The idea is that Ford knew that every single aspect of his work would change, from the raw materials to the tools (which he himself was building when it made sense). there was no consideration that things would be stable. "Our big changes have been in methods of manufacturing. They never standstill." I believe that there is hardly a single operation in the making of our car that is the same as when we made our first car of the present model. That is why we make them so cheaply."
p. 23 - "I have striven toward manufacturing with a minimum of waste, both materials and of human effort, and then toward distribution at a minimum of profit, depending on the total profit upon the volume of distribution." He pays the most he can given these constraints. He has 3 principals: 1) An absence of fear of the future and of the veneration for the past. 2) A disregard of competition. 3) The putting of service before profit. 4) Manufacturing is not buying low and selling high... Profit must and inevitably will come as ar reward for good service.
The last one people have said so often, but they focus WAY too much on service. It's a balance. You create quality because the quality is the point. It has embedded within it service. Not this crazy nonsense I keep hearing spewed by people with no experience. You have to actually add value.
p. 38 - Ford had to choose between staying at Edison or his car biz. He chose the car biz and quit on August 15, 1899. I think it's interesting that he was 36 years old. He had experience. When you think about how old Jeff Bezos is and you think about everyone in today's age that is so much younger. It's just fascinating.
p.49 - As he thinks about the bankers that come in try to run his biz: 1) That finance is given a place ahead of work and therefore tends to kill the work and destroy the fundamental of service 2) That thinking first of money instead of work brings on fear of failure and this fear blocks every avenue of business -- it makes a man afraid of competition, of changing his methods, or of doing anything which might change his condition. 3) That the way is clear for anyone who thinks first of service - of doing the work in the best possible way.
P. 51 - He goes on a rant about standardizing. His point is the highest quality at the lowest possible price is what you should be providing but people think of this as standardization and they are WRONG. Standardizing implies "The freezing of design and method and usually works out so that the manufacturer selects whatever article he can the most easily make and sell at the highest profit. The public is not considered either in the design or in the price." There's a bunch more and he thinks it's folly.
p. 59 - at first he had to use the materials that were offered. Later he describes in subsequent pages the types of machines he created and how they saved a lot of money.
P. 76-77 The way he thought about good cars are: 1) Quality in material to give service in use. 2) Simplicity in operation. This was super controversial.
p. 81 - "It is self-evident that a majority of the people in the world are not mentally - even if they are physically - capable of making a good living." His point is that we are dependent on each other. And also, there is no need to be mean to people that make a living with their mind.
p. 83 - A Ford car contains about 5,000 parts - that is counting screws, nuts, and all. p. 84 - he talks about the birth of the assembly line. The idea was to reduce the waste related to space and time. p. 85 - he got the idea fro watching Chicago packers dressing beef. p. 89 - he hates people that dwell on what "can't be done." as a result, he cares not about what someone's past is when hiring. He cares what they are capable of in the future. For that reason, he goes on to talk about how he's leering of experts. p.95 - He doesn't trust work friends, b/c he thinks they cover up for each other at the expense of each other's capabilities and his firm. p. 100 - He talks about growing your talent from within. p. 106 - His thoughts on automation are brilliant. He saw the world as growing, so he did not see a reason to fear the loss of a job. P. 110 he has a lot to say about hiring disabled men. remember he's speaking from the time of WW1 and trying to figure out how to help those that served. His point is to allow them to be profitable, don't put them in conditions to fail or be made to feel less than. p. 113 - Wow... he kept stats on his employees like crazy. They had 9,563 "substandard men" who we would no deem those with physical disabilities. He truly enumerated everyone of them including epileptics. WOW! They stopped enumerating at one point, but I wish they hadn't. WOULD HAVE LOVED To go through those numbers. If ANYONE at Ford is reading this, please call me if you want this work done. Actually this whole page is an HR dream. He talks about who took time off and how they did it and if they had to be fired because of it. There are also stats on women, which were only hired if their man did not have a job. p.115 - talks about how to minimize politics and handle fights. It's crazy. I will have to revisit all of this at some point.
p. 121 - Again in this world of start-up private equity nonsense - "If men, instead of saying 'the employer ought to do thus-and-so would say, "the business ought to be so stimulated and managed that it can do thus-and-so," they would get somewhere. because only the business can pay wages. Certainly, the employer can not..."
p. .129 - the order of who ought to get paid is a bit sexist, but it's here and it was a point in time. Sadly, the world still works this way.
p. 131 - He talks about how Easy Money messes up the ability to have work. Easy money makes men lazy. And giving people too much money too early makes them lazy.
p. 149 He makes the point that if you can pay someone 6$ but make more or have them be more productive/lowers unit costs, but you only pay them that if that's true (i.e. it makes him less worried, more focused, etc).
p. 150 - You only standardize at the end. You do not start with standardization (design, etc). This is freakin brilliant actually. I need this for my book for sure.
p. 161 - He talks about how money is provided exactly at the wrong time for a lot of companies, i.e. when they need it and aren't able to make it. You should be trying to shore this up when you don't need it and when it's used for pure expansion. The rest you should just let fail and die.
p. 178 - "And that is the danger of having bankers in business. They think solely in terms of making money. They think of a factory as making money, not goods. They want to watch the money, not the efficiency of production. They cannot comprehend that a business never stands still, it must go forward or go back." He goes on... it's pretty brilliant.
p. 179 - "No financial system is good which favors one class of producers over another."
p. 182-184 - This whole discussion of his point of view of the gold standard. so brilliant. Will likely need to revisit.
p. 211 - "The charitable system that does not aim to make itself unnecessary is not performing service."
p. 212 - He talks about the use of prison laborers but in a way that is actually progressive to reforming people to have a livelihood after jail.
P. 213 - He talks about the failure to skill/educate as a burden on the state. We have so moved away from this.
p. 225 - this whole section is amazing if you're trying to understand the current ridiculousness of the the US Railway system.
p. 242 - He talks about how War is bad for business and the only businesses that benefit are doing so at the expense of the people in way the government should protect against. Sadly, he says the interests are not aligned to ever do that.
p. 257 - He's got an opinion about unions from that period. But this is still a great quote: "The only true labor leader is the one who leads labour to work and to wages, and not the leader who leads labor to strikes, sabotage, and starvation."
p. 269 - "There are two fools in this world. One is the millionaire who thinks that by hoarding money he can somehow accumulate real power, and the other is the penniless reformer who thinks that if only he can take the money from one class and give it to another, all the world's ill will be cured. They are both on the wrong track... If we all created wealth up to the limits, the easy limits, of our creative capacity, then it would simply be a case of there being enough for everybody, and everybody getting enough" He then talks about the concept of abundance outside of money. That should be taken care of. the money is something different. (p. 272)
p. 279 "If the factory system which brought mediocrity up to a higher standard operated also to keep ability down to a lower standard - it would be a very bad system... "More brains are needed to-day than ever before, although perhaps they are not needed in the same place as they once were." He called this the mental power-plant.
It's just a seriously brilliant book. Wow. Love it. Top 5 for sure.
Such an interesting read. So many ideas that make good business sense that are still ignored today. I love not just the descriptions of his work and ideas, but how it starts out talking about the thought process behind his decisions. He talks about the kind of people who need to use their thinking processes on the job and those who don't want to think. He talks about the different kind of workers and that you need some of each to run the business. I also found the percentages required of each fascinating. He had so many accomplishments. An amazing man and highly entertaining read.
The 2nd time I read this book and –again- I am impressed by Henry Ford.
Henry ford was born July 30, 1863, on a farm at Dearborn, Michigan.US. He was the founder of The Ford Motor Company and the first person to develop the assembly line of mass production. He was the first person to produce a car affordable by public people.
When young, he was a very good watch repairman. At the age of twelve, he encountered a road engine one day when he was driving to town and it was that engine which took him into automotive transportation. His father was not entirely in sympathy with his bent toward mechanics. He thought that he ought to be a farmer.
In this book, Ford puts all his ideas about the industry and how business should be run. His main idea that business must not be a way of only generating money, but it must be a way of doing service to public. It must generate jobs, enhance the quality of living and produce more educated people.
In the book, He showed that he's against unions that do strikes against their management and he clearly mentioned that Jewish people are destroying the ethics of America ( or to put in his word- trying to make America a Jewish country).
Ford had the idea that a lot of people can think, many are well educated but few people are well skilled in putting ideas into practices. He is clearly a practical man who always try to improve and change things.
I cannot put words to praise the way Ford see things. He has a very different way of seeing things compared to many great people in history. I will demonstrate how diverse his interest by putting some quotes from the book: My mother always said that I was born a mechanic.
Almost any one can think up an idea. The thing that counts is developing it into a practical product.
As we serve our jobs we serve the world.
There is no place in civilization for the idler.
If the man is not right the machine cannot be; if the machine is not right the man cannot be.
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.
One idea at a time is about as much as any one can handle.
I read everything I could find, but the greatest knowledge came from the work.
No work with interest is ever hard.
Many inventors fail because they do not distinguish between planning and experimenting.
Life, as I see it, is not a location, but a journey.
Business men go down with their businesses because they like the old way so well they cannot bring themselves to change.
I refuse to recognize that there are impossibilities.
It is not necessary for people to love each other in order to work together.
I never met a man who was thoroughly bad. There is always some good in him—if he gets a chance.
One cannot become skilled by mere wishing
There is a pleasure in feeling that you have made others happy—that you have lessened in some degree the burdens of your fellow-men.
If any one has anything better than we have we want to know it, and for that reason we buy one of every new car that comes out.
The worst sin we can commit against the things of our common life is to misuse them.
To teach a child to invest and use is better than to teach him to save.
Modern industry requires a degree of ability and skill which neither early quitting of school nor long continuance at school provides.
The man who is too set to change is dead already. The funeral is a mere detail.
Some men get rich out of war; others get poor. But the men who get rich are not those who fought or who really helped behind the lines. No patriot makes money out of war.
Trying to take the trade of the world can promote war. It cannot promote prosperity.
A man's real education begins after he has left school. True education is gained through the discipline of life.
What can you do to help and heal the world? That is the educational test.
Every man of common sense knows that there are men whom he dislikes, who are really more capable than he is himself.
When laziness, carelessness, slothfulness, and lack-interest are allowed to have their own way, everybody suffers.
It is fair to say that this book should be studied not just read… An Excellent book and highly recommended
This book is all about Henry Ford. Telling the reader about his life as a small children all the way to his successful career in Ford's Motor Company. It is full of information and facts about him and his business. Like when he was 15 he took apart and repaired a hand watch. Also this book has information about when he created his self-propelling engine and his first vehicle the Quaricycle.
I really liked this book about it was full of information about Henry Ford and his life. I think that Henry Ford did do a good job writing this book. This book was really good and was a page turner. I have always had an interest in cars since I was younger and still do. In this book I did learn something valuable because even when Henry Ford's father wanted him to become a farmer he didn't lose hope in his interest in mechanics. I think a lot of people who may wonder what Henry Ford's life was like should read this.
I give this book a 4 out of 5 because it is a good book an full of facts and information. I give it a 4 because I liked it and when I was reading it, it made me zone out of reality and just keep reading. I also liked this book because Henry Ford is a interesting person and invented something that almost all people use today.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Đọc mới thấy cái tâm và cái tầm của ông trùm ngành ôtô này, những gì ông viết trong sách làm mình bất ngờ đến nỗi tại sao ở thời ấy mà tầm nhìn của ông đã vượt xa thời gian đến như vậy. Triết lý kinh doanh của ông rất đơn giản: vì xã hội đã rồi lợi nhuận sẽ tự động đến theo. Ông không ngừng cải tiến và không bao giờ tin rằng có giải pháp tốt nhất - luôn luôn có giải pháp tốt hơn. Ông nêu lên quan điểm của mình về lương cho công nhân, các cuộc đấu tranh giai cấp, chủ nghĩa xã hội, phong trào dân chủ, thế chiến I,... Ngoài những điểm đó thì hơi không thích cách ông quá cực đoan với công việc, cảm giác như ngoài công việc và cống hiến ra thì ông không quan tâm đến bất cứ thứ gì khác - gần 500 trang sách mà nhắc đến vợ được vài dòng...; cũng có thể do quyển này chỉ tập trung vào sự nghiệp thôi.
I have read books by writers with fanciful imagination. Finally, I got time enough to read one by the author who has always captured people’s fancy and imagination. His accomplishments have inspired many, and we can’t really do without his useful little contraption. A rigorous capitalist who wishes to do a service to his people, Henry Ford is indeed a man of many contradictions (or so it seems to the casual observer!).
I had My Life and Work for quite some time. But being a lazy reader who is continually being pampered and indulged by fiction writers, I had difficulty in going through it as not even a single fly was killed or a zit was popped by the end of first few pages. Hence the reading of the aforementioned book was deferred until this reader was possessed of sane judgement. If Mr. Ford was to read this review, he would remark angrily, ‘Stop being such a wuss.’ Time and again, I do make the right decisions and one of them was to once again pick up the book.
I have inherently believed that only a strongly opinionated man could achieve what he set out to do. Experience has given him an insight into the workings of the world, and he has a firm set of notions about how it works and what is needed to be done to change the status quo. With well-defined set-points and laws framed to govern one’s life, one can systematically find his way to ‘success’ (but Mr. Ford will shirk away from using that word as he considers it as an epitaph). You might not agree to all that Henry Ford has to say, but this is one Working Man’s manual you can’t do without.
The book is riddled with useful aphorisms. Sample this where he instructs the young to not be parsimonious:
Young men ought to invest rather than save. They ought to invest in themselves to increase creative value; after they have taken themselves to the peak of usefulness, then will be time enough of laying aside, as a fixed policy, a substantial share of income.
This one tells them to have patience:
…it is the fellow who can stand the gaff of routine and still keep himself alive and alert who finally gets into direction. It is not sensational brilliance that one seeks in business, but sound, substantial dependability. Big enterprises of necessity move slowly and cautiously. The young man with ambition ought to take a long look ahead and leave an ample margin of time for things to happen.
To inspire and to instruct happens to be his motto! The single most important message that Mr. Ford wishes to convey through this book is to do a business, keeping service to the society as the basic objective, not the profit. Though he believes that profit is essential for business to expand and surplus isn’t essentially evil, service to his fellow men is of prime importance to him. Yet his idea of service is different. According to him, service means to offer useful products to his customers at affordable prices and to ensure the well-being of his employees. It is not good management to make profits at the expense of worker’s wages or by exacting a large price from the customers by selling them inferior quality products, he believes in making “the management produce the profits”. Only one recourse to profit was provided, “Put brains into the method, and more brains, and still more brains – do things better than ever before; and by this means all parties to business are served and benefitted”.
At the same time, he didn’t believe in charity as that increased the non-productive costs of the company (he was blunt!) and created a society where “whole sections of our population were coddled into a state of expectant, childlike helplessness”. He feels that philanthropy should try to make charity unnecessary, by making people self-reliant. The business of philanthropy is to ensure that it soon goes out of business! To this end he established a training institute for the young and affordable hospital providing quality healthcare. Also, as a rule, he was against employing differently-abled people in jobs which didn’t utilize their 100 percent. He rigorously evaluated each type of job work that was being performed in his company, how much effort has to be put into a particular job, which faculties are to be used in executing that job, and identified areas where a blind or a crippled man can perform at his efficient best. Hence he didn’t employ them with a regard of doing charity for the society, he employed them as regular workers, who worked with dignity and got full-pay.
He was forever finding synergies between industry and farm. He advised his plant workers to go farm during the slump period, and provided non-seasonal employment to the farmers once the crops have been harvested. He constantly searched for ways and means to remove the drudgery out of farming with the use of machines. It was with this intention of making a farmer’s life easy that he set out in the business of making cars (and tractors!). Though he intended to remove the drudgery from work, he firmly believed that there was no substitute for hard work. Stop being so goddamn sentimental and work hard! He hated lazy people.
Yet at times, while reading the book, I felt exasperated. How can a person believe that business needs monopoly to counter bad capitalism?!
Sample this argument:
Whosoever does a thing best ought to be the one to do it. It is criminal to try to get business away from another man – criminal because one is then trying to lower for personal gain the condition of one’s fellow-men, to rule by force instead by intelligence.
Wouldn’t market forces take care of that? If a guy is producing good quality product at a cheaper rate, people would assuredly buy from him and the other guy would be forced to adapt or shut shop. Granted, he sounds convincing, when he argues like this:
..destructive competition lacks the qualities out of which the progress comes. Progress comes from a generous form of rivalry. Bad competition is personal. It works for the aggrandizement of some individual or group. It is a sort of warfare. It is inspired by a desire to ‘get’ someone. It is wholly selfish. That is to say, its motive is not pride in a product, nor a desire to excel in service, nor a wholesome ambition to approach to scientific methods of production.
And though he appears to encourage “generous form of rivalry” in the above extract, it is my observation that throughout the book he considers all competition as BAD. There is nothing like a GOOD monopoly. The market needs to function freely, if providing better services at cheaper costs, is one’s motive!
The other thing which confuses me is his stand on financing. I totally agree when he says that when a business is having troubles, it mustn’t be financed from outside but must be restructured internally so as to weed out bad management decisions. I can even understand his aversion for evil, manipulative bankers, but he is against paying dividends to the stockholders! Though he has specifically mentioned that financing is perfectly valid when one goes for expansion, yet I find it difficult to digest that he refuses to pay dividends to the people who have invested in his company but expects them not to be driven by the money-aspect! Why would any person, invest in any company, if not to earn money? When it is your belief that the entire profit must be used to further your business and increase the purview of service you render and not pay any dividends to money-minded investors who couldn’t see the big picture, don’t take money from them in the first place!
He is also anti-immigration and anti-globalization. I won’t explicate my stand on these aspects as it would simply be brushed aside by the argument that I am Indian.
Yet indeed he was a great man. And this is a great book. I have written this review solely on the basis of the book, and I haven’t considered the man. I am indeed in awe with the person who brought about a dramatic change in society which initially thought that motor-vehicles were a luxury only within purview of the rich. He was a pioneer and a hard working man, an inventive genius with managerial acumen. Henry Ford is a person worth emulating and My Life and Work is indeed an SOP for every business.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
The legendary inventor who created the first motor car back in the 1920s. If it hadn’t had been for him we would be where we are now, this was an interesting read on how he created his cars and how he survived the Great Depression. I studied about the Great Depression and 1920s USA for gcse history so was interested to read this and glad I did
Надзвичайно надихаюча книга! В ній цікаво все, а найбільше роздуми Форда на найрізноманітніші теми. Не часто у нас є можливість зазирнути в думки геніальної і визначної людини, а дана книга дає можливість зробити саме це, тому не втрачайте цю можливість :)
"The natural thing to do is to work - to recognize that prosperity and happiness can be obtained only through honest effort."
My Life and Work is the autobiography of Henry Ford, an industrialist and the founder of Ford Motor Company.
On this book, Ford starts by describing his first meeting with clockworks and automobiles and a little of his story before he founded Ford Motor Company and how he worked to make it start and grow. As the Ford Motor Company become well-established and well-known, Ford presents the reader his views on business, industry and mass production, wages and money, social concerns and charity and how he applied the principles of the Ford Motor Company plants to a school, a hospital and the railroad. He also, but very superficially, mentions his anti-Semitism.
I found this book to be very interesting: Henry Ford was a visionary for his time – he kept a successful business, happy employees and happy consumers. Not only that, but he successfully applied his principles to other areas and businesses making them efficient and self-sufficient as well.
Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Company are important symbols of the 20th century automobile and industrial production; anyone who is interested in automobile and industrial history or enjoys reading biographies will enjoy this book.
Так, автор цієї книги саме той Форд, який придумав першу автівку. Написана та перекладена гарно, дуже легко читається, цікаво, але... Мені стало сумно, і я її не дочитала. Ну от дядько розповідає про чудовий бізнес з хорошими умовами праці, про розвиток бізнесу впринципі, викладає свої роздуми стосовно розвитку економіки, про політику та війни. Він так класно все пише, але це так далеко від нашої реальності, що я не змогла це перетравити. Але раджу почитати будь-яким керівникам.
This is gold. I had hoped but never imagined to the extent that Henry Ford was the real deal entrepreneur. Ford was the original engineer who embraced the power of economic markets to further his aims for humanity. His life, work, schools and systems of education are awe inspiring.
Young farmer Ford took 12 years until he created the model T. His first car was hellishly noisy, had no reverse, two gears and bicycle wheels. He thought farmers would appreciate his automated trawlers but instead they feared being replaced and having no jobs! The humanity behind Ford’s intentions has been largely forgotten. The negatives of his factory line model have eclipsed a conversation around it’s place within a wider system of values and progression for all those involved. He employed 10s of thousands of men through innovation after innovation, largely creations and investigations which were products of the men he employed. I implore anyone who may criticise Henry Ford to first read of him through his own words.