Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Best in Your Own World - Example of Akio Toyoda

Everyone says Toyota is the best company in the world, but the customer doesn't care about the world. They care if we are the best in town, or not. That's what I want to be.
Akio Toyoda

Akio Toyoda - President of Toyota Company
Akio Toyoda - President of Toyota Company
If only more people were able to recognize the true meaning of being the best. Toyoda summarized it very ably while referring to his personal business philosophy. However, there is actually a lot of applicable wisdom in what he had said. A famous Christian philosopher once claimed that people can only think of or think about things which exist. To be precise, he was claiming we would not be able to think about something nor understand something that is already not a part of us (from the Christian perspective, he was basically claiming that God put the idea and concept of Himself into people and that is why people are able to comprehend the idea and think about Him).

However, one can say – Alright, it makes sense, but this also means that if I think of, or better to say imagine, a living creature made of paper that eats glass and lives in the forest – does that mean this creature exists just because I am able to think about it, get an idea of it? Tricky question indeed. Moreover, many would even use such arguments to dispute the logical sense of this statement and many did use it to oppose the mentioned philosopher. There is, however, one more thing to keep in mind – anything can exist but not on every level of consciousness.

Idea is a powerful tool. Nobody can catch it nor grab it. It is a product of the mind or it comes in a form of an inspiration. In any case, idea precedes the manifestation in ‘real life’. Everything that was made, existed in the world of ideas in the first place. Some ideas will never manifest, they will stay trapped in their own world until someone or something manifests them. They still do exist in a form of potentials. Everything man-made shares the same destiny. Vehicles, cars, motorbikes etc. as well. First someone had to think of the idea of the car. It did not exist yet in material world, but it existed as an idea or concept. Then a man decided to make one on this level of consciousness. And he did. And so he made many other various vehicles.
Toyota Logo
Toyota Logo


After a certain thing or deed has been manifested, the next step will often be development and/or improvement of it and Mr. Toyoda is working in this direction as well. Toyota was founded in late 30s of the 20th century as a special branch of already existing company which will be specialized in cars and other necessary products related to them. It grew into an independent company that became one of the best ones and one of the most famous ones in the world. The constant improvement and integration of new ideas has been making possible for the company to keep up with the rivals. Being the best in little towns makes it possible to be the best in the whole world. Just like ideas, Mr. Toyoda first has to make sure the foundations of being the best are firm and well-developed on another level so that they can be well-manifest in the whole world. Being the best comes from inside, just like confidence does. In the same manner, a certain philosophy which resulted in success in one’s personal life reflected to business seems to be working. Even though Mr. Toyoda joined the company in early 80s, his way of dealing with work has resulted in great outcomes in relatively short period of time. The wisdom with which he approached work must have been a summary of earlier experience and practical knowledge.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Cars – When Is It Too Much?

Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, allowing us to do things more quickly and efficiently. But too often it seems to make things harder, leaving us with fifty-button remote controls, digital cameras with hundreds of mysterious features and book-length manuals, and cars with dashboard systems worthy of the space shuttle.
James Surowiecki
James Surowiecki - American journalist
James Surowiecki - American journalist
You know things have gone too far when cars are being compared to space shuttles. Back in the 19th century, in the early days of cars, cars were simply defined as self-powered motor vehicles of usually four wheels. They gained massive popularity in 20th century when their production started to be concentrated on every day’s people’s needs. Most of the car users, i.e. buyers, live in North America, Europe and Australia. This especially applies to English speaking countries. Nevertheless, car production and development does not occur only in those areas.

Instead of greater focus on nowadays problems caused by cars, such as road accidents, traffic jams and air pollution, developers often concentrate on comfort provided by a vehicle a little bit too much. Comfortable seats are, for example, luxury but also a necessity for long distance drivers. However, putting TVs in cars, having special cup holders along with so many functions regarding radios, navigation systems and so many other car gadgets proudly participate in distracting users' attention from bigger (potential) problems.

Complicated consoles with too many gadgets
Complicated consoles with too many gadgets

No matter how great the company is, every buyer should think through a couple of things. Price is, of course, very important but not as much as the actual efficiency of the car. Looks and gadgets of a car should never be the first things considered. On the other hand, one of the most important topic is safety. Popularity of the company and higher price do not necessarily mean the best quality. Things such as air bags, ABS (anti-lock braking system) and ASR (anti-slip regulation) are crucial in emergency situations and their characteristics should be checked first. Then comes the fuel – the type of the fuel the car is using and the amount spent on certain distances. The type of the fuel could determine the price of the car very often. New, innovative fuels which are safe(r) for environment could be more expensive, however, in long terms this is often paid off by cheaper price of the recharging and protection of the environment as well. The amount spent per certain distances is usually well considered if one decides for “traditional” fossil fuel vehicles. Energy consumption and its participation in environment pollution is very important in tax charges in some countries.

ABS saves lives
ABS saves lives

Cars are not space shuttles, therefore, there is no need of mystification. Certain things are important while others are there to provide comfort to the user. When cars become luxury and not necessity, which often means their gadgets are added just as symbols of prestige, their prices are higher and their primary efficiency are quite often lower proportionally. Parking guidance function can be of huge help to fresh drivers or drivers of bigger vehicles. When it is on a MINI Cooper – its purpose does not serve as much. Gadgets are appealing but should not be considered more than a car’s primary functions. They are usually the reason for comparing a car to a space shuttle. However, when things get out of control, when emergency situations become reality, no one reaches for a fancy cup holder or looks at a cool decorative sticker on the trunk. At such moments it is more than helpful not to get distracted by so many buttons and shiny lamps on the console.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The World Of Cars

The cars we drive say a lot about us.
Alexandra Paul

Many people think having a car at home is a necessity. For the very much reasons people will often buy more of them as a sign of prestige – because nothing says “I'm rich a.k.a. better than you are“ more than an extra thing which you perhaps do not actually need. The earliest people can trace back the history of cars, as in personal vehicles powered by the internal mechanism, is back to the 18th century. Seems so early if you compare it with the history of the human kind itself. Cars have been on this planet for not more than three centuries. The so-called modern humans, or Homo Sapiens if you will, have been on this planet for about 200 thousand years. If we look at the history of human kind as a period of 24 hours, cars made their first appearance about a half of one minute to midnight. It is quite impressive how long we had been surviving without cars.

Now that the point has been made, just to clear it up – this is not an attempt of proving that cars are useless. It is here just to show how much of an importance is given to them today and how unimportant they actually are, from the diachronic point of view of course. What actually is important are vehicles. Vehicles have helped people explore different continents. Vehicles helped in building pyramids. Vehicles have been connecting people in so many ways. Cars are vehicles, but not all vehicles are cars. You do not need a car. You need a transport or a vehicle. Having a car is not a dogmatical fact and your feet were made for more than just pressing the accelerator.


How much cars do we actually need?
How much cars do we actually need?
For an average new car, people are ready to go into debts by borrowing money or taking loans. By the time the loan is paid off, the new shiny car lost its value for at least 50%. Moreover, after, for example, 10 years, regular maintenance might cost up to 200$ per month. Therefore it is obvious that buying a car out of any other reason than an actual necessity is pointless and says a lot about our money managment and personality. A well planned car shopping is definitely a serious thing. Not only for the individual and his or her family but also for the environment. The planet has never been more poluted than today and despite the fact that there are amazing options for buying environment-friendly cars, people ignore it thinking they might cost them more than the “old-fashion“ automobiles.

Car maintenance can cost up to 200$ per month
Car maintenance can cost up to 200$ per month

So, what can a car say about their owners. First of all, their reasons for buying a car and how well those reasons are thought through are obvious. Cars should not be bought because they are made in our favorite colours or because we want to have more cars than our neighbours have – because in the end they might cost us more than what we can afford and we might spend much more money than the amount of money we are trying to prove we have. In any major town or city, public transport is available. It should be considered how much a car would cost, including its fuel and maintenance, during several years and then compared to the price of public transport. Another factor is the fuel the car goes by. There is a reason so many scientists are working on new kinds of automobiles which are more environment-friendly than the current ones. Last but not the least, buying some other type of vehicle might be a better option – for example a bicycle or motorbike.