Tag Archives: Honda

Failure from the Entrepreneur Point of View

Isn’t failures what makes entrepreneurs grow? The attitude of “Yes, this failed. Lets try it this way now.”. We see what is not working, and we are willing to pivot to try new things.

We value our time and know we have to learn from our failures to not waste that valuable resource. As Soichoro Honda did in a previous blog, he went and learned from his initial mistakes. Thomas Edison could have felt like a failure at a young age, but his mother nourished his education which allowed him to create great things to change our life even to this day.

We also apreciate the Albert Enstein quote of “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”. We know we must tweak our approaches and learn from our failures to reach our highest goals.

Failure – Honda

Timeline for Soichiro Honda, the found of Honda

— 1937 worked as a mechanic but decided to get financing from an acquaintance and founded a company to make piston rings. After a few initial failures, the company he founded won a contract to supply piston rings to Toyota but lost it due to poor quality. After this, he attended engineering school (did not graduate) and visited factories to understand Toyota’s quality process.

— 1941, Honda was able to mass-produce piston rings acceptable to Toyota using automated processes even for the “unskilled wartime laborers”.

— WW II found Honda’s company taken over, demotion from president after Toyota bought 40% of company, and he had to aid the war effort by working with other factories on automation. His own factories were bombed, and he sold what was left to Toyota.

— 1946, he founded Honda Technical Research Institute with a staff of 12 working in a “shack”. They started building “motorized bicycles” with purchased engines. When they ran out of purchased engines, they started building their own.

How about that for failures and an “overnight success”? Poor quality overcome only to have factories bombed and selling the remaining parts of his original dream to only go in a totally different direction and produce what is now motorcycles.