Business & Entrepreneurship,  Events,  Inspiration,  Travel

What I’ve Learned from Henry Ford

There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible -Henry Ford

I have the priviledge to travel 10,000 miles away from Jakarta to Detroit, Michigan, to attend North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), courtesy of Ford. I went there with 3 of my friends from Indonesia (and the only team from SouthEast Asia) @dondihananto @rezaprabowo @amirK and more than 100 bloggers from all over the world. It was a fabulous event, and my first visit to USA. So, you can imagine my excitement!


Before I go to NAIAS, I thought I’m only going to see Ford’s latest cars. But Ford is more than just car. Ford, revolutionize manufacturing industry with moving assembly line and cut production time to just 90 minutes from 700 minutes on 1908, that cut production cost as well and make the car price lower. Ford has make a used to be luxury item cars, into cars that everyone can afford.

It was Henry Ford the brain behind the launch and the success of Ford Motor Company. I saw the first Model T they market in 1908 in Henry Ford’s museum. I said to Dondi, where were we back on 1908 when American make cars? He said, we were on war. Oh, right :(

In 1914, Henry Ford made what was called one of the best business decisions ever: he doubled the wages to $5 a day and cut working hour from 9 to 8 hours a day. He also reduced the car price from $800 to $350. With more money and cheaper cars, many of his workers now able to afford the car they built. Henry Ford aim to bring a high quality, affordable car to the masses in order to improve their standards of living and he believed that by contributing to the wealth of society in general, business would prosper and worthwhile. He said, “A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.”

Based on his great grand father’s valuable business philosophies, Bill Ford now leading a highly environmental friendly factory and cars with several Ford’s green initiatives:

  • Ford use sustainable seating fabric produced from recycled post-industrial waste
  • Ford use EcoBoost in their cars that designed to deliver power with better fuel efficiency and less greenhouse emissions while still keeping the price affordable
  • When we visit Ford Rouge Factory, we witness the world’s Largest Green Roof. My first question was: what does Ford make green roof for? Later the guide explain to us that the roof can absorb up to 4 million gallons of rainwater annually and is part of a broader storm-water management system installed at the Rouge. The roof also produces oxygen and provides natural overhead insulation for the final assembly building, thereby reducing energy costs. It also is expected to last twice as long as a traditionally constructed roof.
  • I saw Ford office in Dearborn on my way to The Islamic Center of America. It was surrounded by a big green environment meant to preserving natural resources, providing wildlife habitat, absorbing rainwater and reducing erosion. I just wish more and more companies think that way in Jakarta.

Best part from my trip to Ford NAIAS is that now I know how to assembly a car from watching it for an hour in Ford’s Assembly Plant Walking Tour. It looks pretty easy hehe. And best thing is, I got to be able to sit and try on Ford trucks and sport cars without being self-conscious about it because that’s what I’m there for. To touch Ford’s! :D And I must conclude that if the rain keep coming and no fundamental change happen in Jakarta, I might need one of those trucks (the new Ford Atlas concept to be exact). Yeah, I’m talking about Jakarta floods that was welcoming me home :(

I admire Ford’s innovation in technology and being aware of social media positive impact in today’s world. Ford create apps special for NAIAS and they also open their APIs for developer to build in-vehicle app for Ford cars, more info check here

And of course, Ford invite us! Bloggers who blog about various topics from technology bloggers, mom-bloggers, crafts and DIY bloggers, to storm chaser blogger :D Ford will have a lot of different perspective from their event for sure. Check out #FordNAIAS hashtag on twitter and instagram to see more pictures of the event. Check out my own #FordNAIAS photos in my Flickr.

Thank you @Ford & @FordIndonesia for the wonderful experiences, thank you blogger friends I met in NAIAS please keep in touch, thank you Henry Ford for all the insprations!

Disclosure: I was a guest of the Ford Motor Company for their Digital Summit at NAIAS. All opinions are strictly my own.



A writer of 30 books. Co-Founder & CMO & Initiate StartupLokal, the biggest startup community in Indonesia. Co-Managing Director of Girls in Tech Indonesia.


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