Soichiro Honda was born in Yamahigashi on November 17 1906. His father, Gihei Honda, was a local blacksmith. His mother, Mika, was a weaver. The family was not wealthy, but Gihei Honda instilled into his children the ethic of hard work, and a love of mechanical things. Honda spent his early childhood helping his father, a blacksmith, with his bicycle repair business. Soichiro soon learned how to whet the blades of farm machinery, and how to make his own toys.
Honda's subsequent spirit of adventure and determination to explore the development of new technology had its roots in his childhood.
In 1938, while still in school, Soichiro Honda took everything he owned and invested it in a little workshop where he started to develop his idea of a piston ring. He wanted to sell his idea to Toyota Corporation, but was turned down by Toyota. He had to go back to school for two years as a result of his failure. With sheer persistence, after the two years Toyota gave him the contract.
As the Japanese government was preparing for war, he was not given the concrete needed to build his factory. Because of this he created his own form of concrete and managed to construct his factory. Unfortunately, his factory was burned down twice and a major portion of it was destroyed. Then, a major earthquake destroyed his factory and he finally decided to sell off his piston ring factory to Toyota. After this, he tried a few other business ventures but did not have any success.
In 1947, after the war, there was a gasoline shortage in Japan. He could not use his car, so he thought of an idea to attach a small motor to his bicycle. His neighbours were impressed with his motorized bicycle, and asked him to make one for them. He finally ran out of motors, and decided to start a factory to build his own motors.
In order to raise funds for his factory, he wrote to 18,000 bicycle owners and received 5,000 replies to provide him with the necessary capital. When the motorized bicycles were manufactured, the sales were not as expected because the motorized bicycles were too big and bulky. Later, he came up with the idea to improve the motorized bicycle, and finally introduced to the world the “Honda Cub”.
Today, Honda Corporation employs over 100,000 people in the USA and Japan, and is one of the world's largest automobile companies. Honda succeeded because one man made a truly committed decision, acted upon it, and made adjustments on a continuous basis. Failure was simply not considered a possibility.
~ Author Unknown
“Diamonds are nothing more than chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs.”
~ Malcolm Stevenson Forbes