How did Henry Ford Hack Failure?


Henry Ford actually failed several times:

  • He burned through all the money from his first group of investors without producing a car
  • He eventually produced a car and raised another $60,000 in share capital, but his Detroit Auto Company went bankrupt
  • In the 1920s, Henry Ford refused to update the Model T car, leading sales to fall dramatically
  • Ford tried to launch a political career, but never succeeded

Yet Ford played a tremendous role in shaping car engineering, assembly line production, business, pacificism, social leadership in business, education and other areas.

But rather than viewing failure as doom, Ford saw it as an indication that improvement was needed. Perhaps that’s how he seized on the opportunity to refine Model T manufacturing, reducing assembly time from 14 hours to about 90 minutes.

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Shane Lester




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