The Founding Of Honda

The Founding Of Honda

In the late 1930s, Soichiro Honda built a small workshop while still in school. His dream was to create a fuel efficient and affordable engine for the masses. 

Working day and night, he often slept in his workshop, and even neglected his wife. Because he didn’t have much money, he had to pawn his wedding jewelry to get funds for spare parts.

When he finally presented the working sample of the engine to engineers at Toyota, they all laughed at him, saying his design would never work and that it was too amateurish. 

Nevertheless, Soichiro Honda didn’t give up, and spent a further 2 years improving on his design. Finally, he won a working contract.

Now he needed a factory. Unfortunately, the Japanese government was preparing for World War II, and supplies were hard to find. Rather than focus on failure, Honda invented a new concrete making process that enabled him to build his factory.

Then the war broke out and his factory was bombed. Twice.

Did that stop Honda? No. Instead, he went around collecting raw materials dropped by American planes and built his factory again.

Then, in 1945, an earthquake destroyed his factory. 

Having survived poverty, rejection, ridicule, shortages, war and natural disasters, Soichiro Honda was not ready to give up. He sent an inspiring letter to 18,000 businessmen, requesting donations.

Money came in from only 5,000, but it was enough to help Honda to start his own company. Finally, the engine he developed in his youth became one of the most popular in Japan, and he started to expand to Europe and America.

Today, the Honda company is one of the largest automobile makers in the world, though most people that own a Honda don’t know what it took to put that car into their hands.

All because one determined inventor committed himself to an idea, acted on it, adjusted when he needed to, and never gave up. Failure was simply not considered a possibility. 


Those things that most everyone does don’t take a lot of perseverance, and therefore, most everyone does them. The more value something has, the more perseverance it takes to get it. Perseverance is a big component to accomplishing the things of real value. 

When Mr Soichiro Honda was interviewed on the reason for his success, he said: “To me success can be achieved only through repeated failure and introspection, in fact, my success represents the one percent of the work that resulted from the ninety-nine percent that was called failure.”

Today, you don’t have to survive poverty, shortages, war and natural disasters. What are you waiting for?