Tag Archives: Henry Ford

Giants of Enterprise: Seven business innovators and the empires they built

giantsofent.jpg Giants of Enterprise: Seven Business Innovators and the Empires They Built, by Harvard Business School professor Richard S. Tedlow, is the story of seven great American entrepreneurs of the last century who created new industries or new business from nothing. In this 528-page book, Professor Tedlow describes the lives and works of Andrew Carnegie (the steel magnate), George Eastman (the founder of Kodak), Henry Ford (the man who brought cars to the masses), Thomas Watson Sr. (the founder of IBM), Charles Revson (the man behind the success of Revlon), Sam Walton (the founder of Walmart), and Robert Noyce (the driving force behind Silicon Valley). Professor Tedlow is impressed by the contributions of these seven great American heroes. (as are almost all of us), but that does not stop him from critically exploring their personal and professional triumphs and failures.  

The book is very informative BUT it is long! I personally don’t have an issue with reading long books, especially when they entertain and inform me about highly succesful entrepreneurs who broke old rules and created new ones, but I know of many people for whom the biggest obstacle to reading this book is its length. Frankly, I think Professor Tedlow could write a much shorter version of the same book and likely find it to be more popular for use in business schools and entrepreneurship classes.    

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Iacocca- An autobiography

iacocca.jpg This is an autobiography of Lee (Lido) Iacocca, an outstanding leader of the American automobile industry, an American legend, who many urged to run for President of the country. This well-written book is Iacocca’s account of his typically Italian upbringing in the US, his rise through the ranks of Ford to become its President, and his transformational leadership of Chrysler. Iacocca describes the automobile industry of his day, the Japanese ‘attack’, and how he managed first Ford and then Chrysler through those turbulent times.

I liked the book not only because it provided a great look inside two big corporations that almost all of us have heard about, but also because of what it tells us about the American automobile industry. Even during his time in Ford and Chrysler, Iacocca was worried about the American reliance of foreign oil, the inability or unwillingness of leading American companies to introduce smallers cars, and the increasing American foreign debt. Iacocca’s autobiography is an insightful book for not only business men and women, but even ordinary people who want to learn more about the automobile industry or how things look from the top of any corporation.   

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