In 1922, Henry Ford published the book "My Life and Career".  recounts his entire life and thoughts on founding Ford and on many other issues. This book gives us a better understanding of a man who changed the world, even though for the first 40 years of his life he was unknown to many. The book is not a mechanical formula for some profession that readers can follow as directed. It is the comprehensive synergy of the objective laws of economics, science, and human behavior that Ford calls the universal code. Ford applies this code in every industry he enters to drive his business through, while delivering high profits, high wages, and low prices. It helped him realize unprecedented innovations for industries ranging from coal mining, to railroads, even to the medical field.

The book describes the basic elements of today's Toyota production system as well as the human resource and organizational relations principles needed to reach all types of customers.

About the author

Henry Ford was an American industrialist, founder of the Ford Motor Corporation and a major sponsor of the development of mass production line technology. After 2 years of diligence and performing hundreds of experiments, in 1896, Henry completed his first car. Although it could only run at a speed of 10km/h and lacked many other necessary features, this "four-wheeler" caused a stir in public opinion at that time. He linked up with a number of partners, in turn forming different companies, specializing in the research and development of "four-wheeled" vehicles. In the summer of 1902, Henry and a friend re-founded the company. In 1903, their company changed its name to Ford Motor. In just 5 years, 8 different generations of Ford cars were born.

Thousands of orders from all over the world flew in. In order to be able to mass-produce the car, he installed a chain-based car production system. If with the old production method, each worker almost had to assemble a car with hundreds of components by himself, now it only needs to perform a few stages. As a result, specialization is enhanced and product quality is also greatly improved.


Henry's mother sees her son as a natural mechanic. The best moment of his childhood is every time he sees the traction engine, the steam locomotive used to pull the plow on the farm. Those were the first tractors that Ford noticed were not pulled by horse power.

He enjoyed the work of mending, by the age of 15 Henry was able to fix all kinds of errors and watches, and was widely regarded as the professional watchmaker of the region. But the ideal of "no need to use horse power" always motivated him. Ford built a locomotive of his own and tested it out to reap on the farm.

When he learned to be a mechanic at the age of 17, he always finished work ahead of time and continuously promoted in the workshop. In his spare time, Ford focused on researching and building kerosene engines, dreaming of designing a "car of mankind", a means of transportation that could make commuting cheaper and bring Safer trip for everyone.

During a brief meeting with the scientist Thomas Edison, Henry's "kerosene engine" dream in his twenties was further reinforced when Thomas advised him to continue pursuing his passion despite the crowd. New electric energy is the future of mankind.

Henry's boss promised to give him a promotion if he put this "obsession" aside. And can you guess how he reacted? “If I were to choose between my job and my car, I would choose the car and quit, it's obvious. Because I know the car will definitely succeed. I quit my job on August 15, 1899, and started manufacturing.”

“If I were to choose between my job and my car, I would choose the car and quit, it's obvious. Because I know the car will definitely succeed. I quit my job on August 15, 1899, and started manufacturing.”

… Reality

Because of the lack of funds, Ford teamed up with a group of inventors at the Detroit car company. He gradually realized that this group of people were only focused on making a quick profit instead of building a more advanced machine. So, after a year with 20 cars, he quit.

Four years later, at the age of 40, Henry founded the Ford car company with a total investment of $100,000 and he held a quarter of the shares. In the first year of production, more than 1,700 cars were shipped, model A (the first model) was trusted by everyone. In the second year, due to pressure from the board of directors, Ford added 3 new models to the market and increased product costs, but production decreased that year. Henry realized that he needed to take the reins of the company to grow it in his direction; use the proceeds from his sales; he gradually increased his shares to over 50% and then gradually took all shares of the corporation.

More than 10,000 cars were sold between 1908 and 1909, but the pressure to diversify products rested on his shoulders. On the contrary, Ford claims that the company sells only one model: the Model T, and not only that, he sells only one color. His famous quote was: “Any customer can get a car painted any color he wants while it is still black.”

"Any customer can get a car painted any color he wants while it's still black."


While everyone assumed that falling auto prices would put the company on the brink of bankruptcy, Ford was counting on the rapid expansion of the market. And as intended, he built the largest corporation in the world, Highland Park, with the production of this product segment increasing from 6,000 cars to 35,000 units. Although the number of cars sold on the market increased nearly 6 times, the number of workers only increased almost twice.

In the 1920s, the company recruited 50,000 more employees and produced 4,000 cars a day. There were 5 million cars produced in 1921 alone. By the end of that decade, 15 million cars had been built in the form of mass production lines.

Global demand

The first car was considered a "toy of the upper class", sold according to the financial status of the customer. Ford changes this by promoting the benefits of the items he manufactures, customers can customize the price to suit their vehicles for each purpose: commuting to work or traveling with family. Cars are now sold according to the needs of customers: "Anyone can buy a Ford".

And yes, what made the Model T so popular was the price, which cost only $950 in 1909-1910. Ten years later, the price continued to drop to $355. Sounds crazy right? In fact, Ford did not have the idea that "a car must have a high price". His strategy is to set reasonable prices based on production costs. Like Sam Walton did with his Walt-Mart store, Ford realized the company would make more money if it sold more products at a lower price, rather than going the other way. If you can sell high-quality products at low prices, you will satisfy a huge demand in the market that is called “Global Demand”.

Career and remuneration

These production lines gradually became popular in America. Work that used to be intellectual has now turned into repetitive steps that are both physically and mentally boring. With wages above the average of 6 dollars a day, the company's workers gradually became less interested in their work. The obvious thing that Ford realized is that higher wages will make employees work harder, their families are better taken care of, while strengthening the workforce and turning them into consumers. only of the company but also of other services. This will keep the economy vibrant.

Ford's recruiting method is quite unusual. He wanted to find out more about the candidate's point of view than their name, age, marital background, he wanted to know if they had a real desire for the job. Lack of ability to speak English and having a criminal record were not a concern in this recruitment. Ford doesn't hire experts because they tend to look at the "impossible" more than the "possible," so he prefers "idiots" who take problems with an optimistic mind and give their best. Work. Whether dumb, deaf, blind or disabled are recruited with the same salary. Ford wrote:

“I think that in order for an industrial organization to fulfill its role, the majority of its personnel must be able to perform a job ratio roughly the same as that found in most of society at large. show."

That philosophy was taken for granted, but not in the 1920s.

“Ideal Service”

In the early days of the auto industry, Ford pointed out that we didn't have after-sales service. The manufacturer is only focused on selling the product rather than building a good relationship with the customer. Charging a premium for spare parts was once seen as a viable business approach, as customers had no choice but to buy them.

Ford believes that selling a car is just the beginning of building a relationship with a buyer. He manufactures each part of the car and ensures that they are interchangeable, cheap and easy to install. This ideal service may sound crazy when it comes to other businesses, but for Henry, building trust in the community is invaluable.

In Ford's experience with innovators, the fundamental source of a profit focus can destroy a company's seed of innovation (which can grow into something big). Business is not just about making money but creating something that enhances the quality of life. And if businesses do this, profits will automatically return to them – that is the law of cause and effect!


As the ideal model of the 20th century, Ford converges all four elements to become extremely successful: "unmatched" ideas and a visionary vision with the potential to change the world, obsession Photos down to every detail can drive people crazy.

There are also negative points in Ford. He followed the executives he recruited, believing in the conspiracy theory that Jewish banks would take over the American market.

He was also ridiculed when he said that "history is just bullshit". That expression represents the view that education is not simply memorizing facts and re-learning the old, but teaching people how to think better, more innovatively. People with high or low salary, most of them still tend to choose jobs that do not require much thought. While Henry admired Edison's always creative thought.

His achievements are truly inspirational, but what is the message Ford wants to send to readers through "My Life and Career" ? He opposes worrying too much about saving and investing as we usually do. Ford once said:

“Suppressing your ability and reducing your productivity is not frugality. On the other hand, you are throwing away the most abundant source of capital, throwing away the value of a practical investor.”

The first priority investment is to refine your thinking ability, it is sure to bring the best return.