Last week we kicked off our blog series on American Manufacturers in the Movies. We started our series by identifying movies featuring Millionaire Manufacturers (who are most likely billionaire manufacturers by now). These fictional characters created incredible wealth in manufacturing. This week we discuss three movies based on Real-Life Manufacturers who also found massive success in manufacturing.
Real-Life Manufacturers Who Made an Big Impact
Ray Kroc (McDonald’s)
McDonald’s is an international franchise giant. However, if you are a millennial like myself, you may not know the name, Ray Kroc. Ray Kroc is one of the Real-life Manufacturers who truly changed the American landscape.
Why did we select a restaurant franchise as a manufacturer? Glad you asked. Ray Kroc and the team at McDonald’s perfected the art of mass production of the hamburger.
Ray Kroc saw potential in a small California restaurant run by the McDonald brothers. He, in turn, took that potential and created something massive. The McDonald brothers had instituted an assembly line concept similar to that of Henry Ford with the Model T. By manufacturing something as small as hamburger, McDonald’s was able to create an incredible legacy.
While McDonald’s has expanded around the world there are some differences from the McDonald’s we all know. Other countries were leery at first of McDonald’s. In some countries, they have had to redesign certain foods that they are famous for. Particularly their hamburger. There are countries where eating beef is not acceptable. So, in order to prosper in those countries, McDonald’s had to replace that particular ingredient. By working with locals, they were able to come up with more acceptable replacements. Some of these replacements included vegetarian options with local spices along with a chicken version of the Big Mac we have in the USA.
However, there are things that did not change no matter the location. Along with the golden arches McDonald’s has created an image that even small children recognize. They have well-known mascots and the brand recognition that other companies wish they could achieve.
Steve Jobs (Apple Inc.)
What leadership is, is having a vision, being able to articulate that so that people around you can understand it, and getting a consensus on a common vision. – Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs had a vision for what he wanted Apple to become. Steve Jobs is one of the most well-known Real-life Manufacturers. Even since his passing the brand has stood strong. They have new developments and a following of customers who are deeply loyal to the Apple brand.
The greatest people are self-managing. They don’t need to be managed at all. What they need is a common vision, and that’s what leadership is.- Steve Jobs
With all of Steve Jobs’ hard work he never could’ve planned Apple‘s success to be what it is today. Much like many entrepreneur manufacturers, Jobs began with an idea. He then found a way to make it become reality. However, seeing what they have become it is hard to imagine that it all started in a basement. However, as the business grew so did his managing skills.
Howard Hughes Jr. (Hughes Aircraft Company)
Howard Hughes was a manufacturer of aircrafts. He also piloted his own aircraft. However, Hughes’ beginning was in the film industry. His original dream was to make movies. However, Howard chose to follow in his father’s footsteps of being an inventor. Howard Hughes did not only create planes that broke speed records. He also created planes and helicopters for the military.
All of Hughes planes were impressive. However, one stood out from the rest. The Spruce Goose is still the largest plane to ever be built. Also, it was built using a surprising material, wood.
Hughes was well-known for pushing the limit. He broke many of his own speed records. Also, Hughes did what others viewed as impossible with his wooden plane. Along with all of his work with aviation he also opened the door to new explorations of space. While aviation was not Howard Hughes first choice of careers, he had many achievements. Especially with the otherwise impossible.
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Keep a lookout for our continuation on our Movie Manufacturers series. The next blog will be on Accidental Manufacturers.
You can read our first instillation of this blog series here!
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