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My Life & Work: The Autobiography of Henry Ford

My Life & Work: The Autobiography of Henry Ford
By Founders Podcast • Issue #17 • View online
This week’s book is My Life and Work: The Autobiography of Henry Ford by Henry Ford. You can listen to a preview of the podcast I made about the book here. You can listen to the full podcast (1 hour 2 minutes) on Patreon here.
10 quotes from the book that made me think
1. No work with interest is ever hard.
2. Business men go down with their businesses because they like the old way so well they cannot bring themselves to change. One sees them all about — men who do not know that yesterday is past, and who woke up this morning with their last year’s ideas.
3. As long as we look to legislation to cure poverty or to abolish special privilege we are going to see poverty spread and special privilege grow.
4. Real simplicity means that which gives the very best service and is the most convenient in use.
5. Leisure and work bring different results. If a man wants leisure and gets it — then he has no cause to complain. But he cannot have both leisure and the results of work.
6. An idea is not necessarily good because it is old, or necessarily bad because it is new, but if an old idea works, then the weight of the evidence is all in its favor. 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.
7. 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.
8. The essence of my idea then is that waste and greed block the delivery of true service. Both waste and greed are unnecessary. Waste is due largely to not understanding what one does, or being careless in doing of it. Greed is merely a species of nearsightedness.
9. The most surprising feature of business as it was conducted was the large attention given to finance and the small attention to service. That seemed to me to be reversing the natural process which is that the money should come as the result of work and not before the work.
10. In my mind nothing is more abhorrent than a life of ease. None of us has any right to ease. There is no place in civilization for the idler.
A few of you have emailed me saying that some of my previous emails were getting too long. That you enjoyed simplicity. I agree. Thanks for keeping me in check. 
Thank you for reading. I will talk to you next week, 
David 

 

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