On June 16, 1903, an American Icon was born. Its humble beginnings didn’t have massive roll-outs with fireworks, fanfare, or models (pretty girls) showing the cars. It didn’t offer the buyer with 20 different options and colors.
In fact, my favorite Henry Ford saying was “You can have ANY color ford you want as long as it is Black!”
The firm didn’t start with 1000s of dealerships across the world and multiple plants. It started like most firms, with a visionary who saw a need and a better way to do things. It started with twelve investors putting in small amounts of money for shares, and funding a dream where traditional financing wouldn’t.
Ford Motor Car was funded with $28,000USD; that’s $700,000 in today’s money. Some of the investors put in $2500 (with borrowed funds) and some put in $5,000. There were engineers, lawyers, coal dealers and clerks. One thing is for sure, since it was a new industry, this was uncharted territory.
Henry Ford did not invent the automobile. His contribution was incorporating the assembly line, which brought the time from 12 hours of making a car down to just over an hour. This of course dramatically reduced costs. This made a car affordable for the common man. His method of manufacturing was duplicated around the world and adapted to many industries and is still used today.
The original price of a Model T (1908) was $825 (about $21,000 today).
So how did the early investors do? Some investors exited early with quick profits of 500%, in 1906. Most were bought out by 1919, just 9 years after the first Model T.
Here is an example of their results:
- John and Horace Dodge (sold out early to start their own car company) sold their $10,000 stake for $25,000,000.
- John Gray’s heirs sold his original $10,500 stake in 1919 for $26,250,000.
- Horace Rackman sold his $5,000 stake in 1919, for $12,500,000.
- John Anderson borrowed the $5,000 from his dad and sold in 1919 for $12,500,000.
What am I trying to tell you?
Really… only twelve people willing to invest in Ford Motor Car at the beginning? The “horseless carriage” being replaced, really? It sounds ridiculous now, but that’s what happens and what’s said to us every day at Grace Century.
“Electronic Medical Records? It WILL NEVER happen, and I’ll give you 10 reasons why…” says the potential investor. ”Stem Cells? Science Fiction! There is no proof,” says another potential investor.
My response? Open your eyes! There are tremendous opportunities knocking on your door every day. Those who get in early stand to reap the incredible bounties of a new entity. It will never be tied up in a ribbon with an invitation card on it.