On to Musklandia!

By David Glenn Cox

It was over a hundred years ago, a hundred and two to be exact. Henry Ford was declared to be among the greatest humans ever to play the game. Henry Ford came in third, behind Jesus and Napoleon. He was an industrial Harry Potter. And everyone who didn’t know him personally, loved the man.

Ford began as irascible, the eccentric mechanic tinkering in his barn. The two things in life Ford took a particular dislike to were advice and bankers. So, you can imagine the combination of bankers giving their advice. The first two incantations of Ford were failures.

At the beginning of the 20th Century, there were literally hundreds of tinkers working in barns across the country. It was the computer revolution of its day, and someone was going to be Steve Jobs. Billy Durant the founder of GM, was big in the horse drawn wagon business. He saw his first automobile and changed his business immediately. You didn’t have to be psychic to see the future.

Ford did not create the assembly line or the idea for the assembly line. They had used assembly lines to build guns during the Civil War. It was the use of the assembly line for a large consumer product that allowed the relative cost of production to fall with the number of units sold. Ford was the king of make them cheap, make them simple and turning them out fast. The more the market expanded the lower the cost. The lower the cost the more the market expanded. Gee, that Henry Ford must be a genius.

Success was not kind to poor Henry. Success convinced him that he had been right about everything, all along. They had been fools for not to listening to him! All of them! But now, but now Henry didn’t have to go with hat in hand to the bank anymore asking for loans. He had more money than God. He was the richest man in America! And do you know how he got there? In his own mind, it was by being right about everything, all the time.

They begged Ford to add a gas gauge like Chevrolet, and spare tire like Dodge. Maybe paint them some other colors besides black, like all the other car companies did. But Mr. Wonderchild, he knew better. It wasn’t until Ford fell to second in sales, for the first time ever that changes were made.

The Model A was a revolution of all the former ideas, now included in a new package. The new car was designed to be manufactured. The easier to build the fewer hours it took to do it, the more money you made. That Henry Ford was a genius, but he didn’t think of it. He fought it and nitpicked it, until he was finally pushed into it.

It was all about control of companies to control pricing. Ford owned his own coal mines and his own rail cars to carry the coal to his factories. But Ford couldn’t control the cost of rubber. But Henry Ford had an answer, “Fordlandia” a sprawling plantation in South America, where Ford would teach rubber plants the correct method of growth.  

Seems rubber plants needed to be spaced out to grow properly. Ford thought that was incredibly lazy on the plant’s part and ordered them planted in rows like corn stalks. Two billion dollars later, and despite repeated bulletins from the home office. The rubber plants had failed to follow orders and were discharged.

In the end, it was eggheads with the pocket protectors and tape on their glasses that solved the problem with test tubes and chemistry.

Oh, but the genius knows everything. I cheered the Tesla roadster and the rise of electric vehicles. I thought Space X was doing good work, and the Dragon capsule was stunning technology. But success has not been kind to Elon.

Too much success is worst curse you can hurl at a person. “The boy will blow himself up for sure! Probably die alone in a hotel room with three-inch long fingernails, surrounded by bottles of his own urine.  Watching “Home Alone Two” over and over, until the madness set in.”

Fun Fact: Did you know? Twitter lost $221 million dollars last year on $5 billion dollars in revenue. Why, with the proper management and cost cutting measures, you could probably lose $221 million on only $4 billion dollars in revenue. With the right work ethic and push, you could get the revenues up to six or seven billion and lose $250 or $300 million a year. See  the problem?

Twitter doesn’t make any money, never has but for a second. But Mr. Wonderchild is going to fix it! Because he knows better than all those “experts.” Spending $44 billion to buy a company that doesn’t make any money ever, boy genius indeed.

Full disclosure: I don’t do much on Twitter and Twitter doesn’t do much with me. I’m too verbose and long form to be that abbreviated. I was working when the Twitter banner popped up telling me. “Rock Legend Tina Turner Falls…” (clicks on link) “What! Wait! Tina fell?” Tina fell head over heals in love with her new album and you will too! “Oh, so it’s going to be that way, is it? I think I see the hole in the revenue stream.

Twitter is a product of the Internet boom, like the Duesenberg car loaded with new ideas and technology, but never earning a real profit. The brand was shopped around to new buyers looking to incorporate this prestigious nameplate to their product line.

Because Twitter has made no money so far, it is only fair to ask if it is likely, it ever will. A good Idea whose time has come and gone, Like CarMax or the Nash Rambler.

But he’s going to fix it boss, he’s a genius. According to the scuttle butt, boy wonder is going to charge everyone $20.00 a month to receive bullshit on their phone. Reducing the number of participants and thus reducing ad revenue accordingly.  Twitter has been so successful, copycats aren’t flowing into the marketplace. Thus far, only one. Donald Trump’s “Truth” website, which isn’t making any money either.

In just ten years, Ford went from one of the most admired Americans to one of the most reviled, due almost entirely to his own mouth and his own bigotry. Ford was a virulent Anti-Semite who hired African American foreman. It didn’t make sense. An ignorant man raised in the back country bigotry of the 19th century. Who got lucky and thought he knew everything, about everything.

That’s what success will do to you. You know better than everyone else and nobody can tell you nothing. Nobody can tell you when you are making a mistake or a fool of yourself. I’ll fix it! “And that’s why this is the greatest pillow ever made!”

Did anyone else notice, when the Twitter deal was first announced everyone was excuse me, all a Twitter? Then the deal died and went away. Then, all of a sudden Elon owns Twitter. Almost like, nobody else wanted it, so they made the deal with Elon. The line to stand in to lose $220 million a this year is a short one, like the line filled with geniuses. And so, onward to “Musklandia!”

“After the collapse of socialism, capitalism remained without a rival. This unusual situation unleashed its greedy and – above all – its suicidal power. The belief is now that everything – and everyone – is fair game.”
― Günter Grass

2 Thoughts

  1. We now have a South African and an Australian fueling the white nationalist fires of misinformation, racism, bigotry, and homophobia.

    Like

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