Valuable Lessons

Henry Ford, a great inspirational figure in the history of technological development once said that “when everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it”. Ford faced great technological challenges in building the Model T; a car that he wanted the average citizen to be able to afford back in the early 1900s. He committed his life to challenging the norm and bringing technology that touched the lives of real people.

While challenged with the status quo and at times by ignorance and entitlement, he merely saw “obstacles as those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal”. Ford’s commitment to making technology available to all resulted in more than 15 million Model Ts being sold between 1908 and 1927.

Valuable lessons.

  • john smith

    You really believe everything you read, don’t you? The only thing remarkable about the construction of the model T was the assembly line and even that he stole from others.

  • Anonymous

    I agree, he had no remarkable achievements. What a loser. ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/jspaleta Jef Spaleta

    I believe the Preston Tucker story is also an important counterpoint in automotive history. Especially considering that Tucker’s story involves competition with dominant automotive players (Ford!) in a market that had become innovatively stagnant for years.

    Tucker’s story is about challenging stagnant, established, mass market production with innovative promising new designs..and having to walk away from significant design promises in order to ship a product… while fighting political and market pressure protecting the incumbent business interests (Ford!).

    Whereas Ford’s Model T story is primarily pivoting from boutique manufacturing into mass market production. Ford’s Model A was a boutique car. So were the models that came after the A up through S. In particular model C, F and N were low end market cars, and the sale of which fueled the Ford Corporation’s revenue leading up to the model T. Ironically Ford took a very strict “keep it the same” approach to the model T through years of production over which the model lost marketshare to competitors who were willing to include additional features and comfort.

    It could be argued that without the experience building previous moderate to high end models.. Ford could not have turned the corner, gotten their price point down below competitors like the Oldsmobile runabout. The Oldsmobile runabout is a very interesting bit of history. It was already a mass produced entry level car and quite popular prior to Ford’s model T. In fact the model T wasn’t so much a lesson in innovation, as it was a lesson in cost control in order to move Ford products down along the economic demand curve and compete with Oldsmobile.

  • Avik Topchyan

    So you’re comparing yourself to Henry Ford?..

  • Michael Hall

    We can admire people without comparing ourselves to them. We can seek to be like people without claiming to have already done so.

  • http://www.vishnupadmanabhan.in/ Vishnu Padmanabhan

    “obstacles as those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal” – Truth Jono!

  • http://jewelfox.dreamwidth.org/ Taryn Fox

    You are insinuating that others are acting out of a sense of “entitlement,” for not being sufficiently grateful to a for-profit corporation which acts solely in its own self-interest.

    Meanwhile, your employer is burning through goodwill like a late 90’s startup went through venture capital funding, and then saying “good riddance” to those who are turned off by this.

  • Anonymous

    If you dislike what we do so much, why not just ignore Ubuntu and everything I write? :-)

    I am not suggesting we are perfect, but if you clearly have an objection against our strategy and focus, why not use one of the many other Free Software projects. I would love for you to be an Ubuntu user and part of our community, but your comments and posts are so clearly emotionally resentful to the work we do and myself that I don’t see why you don’t just move on and use something else?

  • http://www.vishnupadmanabhan.in/ Vishnu Padmanabhan

    True Jono, I would say just use something else. There are a ton of alternatives. Nobody is forcing to use Ubuntu. Though I am primarily an Ubuntu user, I sure do try other free products. Some suit my needs and some don’t. Ubuntu just happens to be the best one that fits my needs and I use it. Everyone is free to choose, if you don’t like it, dump it and stop thinking about it! :-) Why waste time and energy bashing it over and over again? :-)