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Soichiro Honda | Success can only be achieved through failure



Soichiro Honda

Soichiro Honda, the founder of Honda Motor Company, was a pioneer in the automotive industry. He gave the world the best technological advancements under the most challenging times. His success story is inspiring to many others. He overcame immense obstacles to get the company where it is today. Honda used his love for automobiles, his knowledge and his skills to pursue his dreams, and despite the obstacles, he fought hard to achieve his goals.

Honda’s early life and struggles

Soichiro Honda was born in a small village in Japan to a blacksmith and a weaver. Since childhood, he was a curious individual. Honda was always interested in machines, tools and how vehicles work. He was not interested in school and always aimed to learn things practically. As he grew up, he worked in his father’s bicycle shop, which enriched his capabilities. Japan’s sudden shift from agriculture to manufacturing pushed him further.

At age 16, Honda left his small Japanese hometown and moved to Tokyo. At that time, he wanted to work for the most prominent vehicle company – Toyota. Honda had developed a revolutionary engine piston ring, and it was his dream to work at Toyota. He worked tirelessly in his small workshop to make his dream come true. Once he completed the piston ring, he took it to Toyota. But, Unfortunately, the company rejected him as it did not meet their standards of engineering. He did not lose hope and enrolled in a technical school.

After working on the piston ring for almost two years, he finally came up with a design that would match Toyota’s quality. He bagged a contract but needed a factory to manufacture the rings. Since Japan was getting ready for war against the United States, Honda could not source the materials required to build the factory. Somehow he managed to construct a factory, but it was bombed twice during the war. A majority of people would have given up by this time but not Honda. He was resilient and found another way to make it work. Finally, his luck turned and, he rebuilt his factory. But in the year 1945, a massive earthquake hit Japan that destroyed Honda’s manufacturing plants. He was now entirely out of business and sold his manufacturing processes to Toyota.

Honda’s step to success

After the war, a massive fuel shortage hit Japan, making transportation around the country inaccessible. Due to his love for his country, Honda came up with an idea. He put a small motor in his bicycle and, his new invention attracted people from all around the city. People flooded him with requests, and Honda was back in business. However, Honda needed capital for the construction of the scooters. So he handwrote 18000 personal letters to bicycle shop owners asking for their support to invest in his new invention. Almost 3000 owners replied and, he got more than enough money to fund his new venture. Within a decade, Americans had embraced the idea of Honda motorcycles and, Soichiro’s motorcycles were winning international motorcycle races.

Today, Honda Motor Company manufactures motorcycles, cars and even marine and aerospace parts and equipment. Honda is now one of the leading automotive manufacturers, and the company’s motorcycles are still winning races around the world.

Lessons we can learn from Honda’s story

Soichiro Honda said, “Success can only be achieved through repeated failure and introspection.” His journey was long and filled with hurdles and challenges. Honda almost gave up many times, but he stood up to continue what he loved doing. Failure did not prevent him from pursuing his dream and urged him to find a way to succeed. We should always learn from our failures and aim to do better the next time.

Also read: Albert Einstein | Failure is success in progress

When did Soichiro Honda establish Honda Motors?


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