Henry Ford to Steve Jobs

Lately, I have found myself gravitating towards these two men and their profound influence. I also just happen to be reading their autobiography and biography simultaneously. On purpose. The reasoning behind this came from a recent discovery that a quote/idea that I had been crediting to Steve Jobs, was originally said by Henry Ford! This blew my mind. I came to find through a perusal of internet facts that most modern day business ideas and standards of innovation are all a throw back to Henry Ford. Pardon if this knowledge is widely common and I have simply been in the dark…but WOW. The amazing thing is, I really don’t think that most people realize what they are doing; they may never have even read about Henry Ford, but are paraphrasing and re-quoting him nonetheless. I believe that my error is also common, as Henry Ford did not have the internet, YouTube or Twitter. All of his ideas are preserved in only a few literary tomes; and as wonderful as books are, unless they are on the New York Times Bestseller List, they do not have an expansive reach. (and even then)

I am only on the very first chapters of both biographies, Steve Jobs and My Life and Work (free on your Kindle btw!) But I am excited to read about them both. At this moment, of course, I am more familiar with the life and work of Steve Jobs, as he is a modern and wide-spread phenomenon. In terms of the book, from what I have digested so far, I can tell you with certainty that I identify with Steve Jobs, he is an inspiration to me, in the way in which someone who speaks your language and repeats your thoughts can underscore and enhance your belief and ability to pull them forward. He was far from a perfect man, manager or product developer; but he had a vision, a really kick ass vision and a vision the he himself didn’t even fully understand the magnitude of. He screwed it up, a bunch of times; made the wrong choices, said the wrong things…but he was a passionate, unique and brilliant human being who constantly saw beyond the status quo. People call him a genius, they do not call him a saint. I dream that someday, the world will say even a minor offshoot of that, about me (though his genius and mine do not begin to compare).

Here are a few nuggets that have already caught my eye:

“Almost any one can think up an idea. The thing that counts is developing it into a practical product.”—Guess who?….Henry Ford

Why I love the guy:

“As things are now organized, I could, were I thinking only selfishly, ask for no change. If I merely want money the present system is alright; it gives money in plenty to me. But I am thinking of service. The present system does not permit of the best service because it encourages every kind of waste–it keeps many men from getting the full return from service. And it is going nowwhere. It is all a matter of better planning and adjustment.” -Henry Ford

“Some mistakes will be made along the way, but that’s good, because at least some decisions are being made.” -Steve Jobs

I say, let’s all try a little bit harder to embrace our inner crazy, misfit, rebel and reject the status quo. Because…

“Those people crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”               –  Apple II/Think Different

Your Rebel,