My Life and Work by Henry Ford - Summary

Below you find my notes of Henry Ford's book: My Life and Work.

My life and work by Henry Ford



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. If the money feature is twisted out of its proper perspective, then the production will be twisted to serve the producer. The producer depends for his prosperity upon serving the people. He may get by for a while serving himself, but if he does, it will be purely accidental, and when the people wake up to the fact that they are not being served, the end of that producer is in sight.

Money comes naturally as the result of service.


The beginning of business

What I learned about business


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Starting the real business

Emphasized manufacturing points:

The secret of manufacturing and serving

Getting into production

Machines and men

This man has nothing to do but regard himself as important and all others as inferior.

Oh, that doesn't come under our department. Department X, 100 miles away, has that in charge.

Everything can always be done better than it is being done.

The terror of the machine


How can this industry be made safe and profitable, so that it will be able to provide a sure and comfortable living for all of us?

In a partnership of skilled management and honest labour, it is the workman who makes high wages possible

A man who is living aright will do his work aright.

Paying good wages is the most profitable way of doing business

Why not always have good business?

Rather take less profit and keep business moving than keep stock at high prices and bar the progress of a community. A person like that is an asset to a town.

How cheaply can things be made?

Do not buy less if the price be high and we do not buy more if the price be low

Money and goods

Money - Master or servant

Why be poor?

The cure of poverty is not in personal economy but in better production.

Money has no more value than the people put into it by production. It can be so superstitiously worshipped as a substitute for real wealth as to destroy its value altogether.

The tractor and power farming

Why charity

The habit of failure is purely mental and is the mother of fear.

The railroads

Things in general

Great piles of knowledge in the head are not the same as mental activity. A man may be very learned and very useless. And then again, a man may be unlearned and very useful.

Democracy and industry

What we may expect

Everything is possible ... "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

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