Yet Honda did. It's easy to say that postwar Japan needed transportation, and Honda seized the moment. Yet so did many others, and where are they today? Japan had its own established giants, but Honda somehow made himself their equal.
This man, despite being a results-oriented pragmatist who suffered no fools gladly, was driven at the core by a dream. He was born at the junction of old and new, as Japan swept from agriculture to manufacturing. Strong contrasts filled his early life, as this blacksmith's son gazed with wonder at the future's new machines – engines, pumps and airplanes. Young Soichiro ran after the first car he saw, savoring its exotic breath. He dreamed of transcending the dusty road with machines that moved, that multiplied human abilities. And machinery made sense to him. Book-learning did not. He couldn't wait for school diplomas to unlock his future – he plunged into practical work with cars and engines.
Honda knew his own countrymen well enough to lead them, and he sought in others talents he himself did not have. He was no isolated engineering nerd, dreaming in private. Honda demanded practical results, and he found a way of working that brought those results. He learned to regard failures as necessary steps toward understanding. He instilled in others the drive to learn without fear of failure. Such was the road to success.