Mike Haldas' Internet Blog

Misc Stuff I Like & Want to Remember


Japanese vs. US Companies (Ford vs. Toyota)

Posted March 22nd, 2008.

A Modern Parable about Japanese vs. US Companies (Ford vs. Toyota)

Unfortunately, I do not know who to give credit to for writing this. It was forwarded to me by a friend.

A Japanese company (Toyota) and an American company (General Motors) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River. Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese company won by a mile. The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate
the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 8 people steering and 1 person rowing. Feeling a deeper study was in order, American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion. They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team’s management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager. They also implemented a new perform ance system that would give the 1 person rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the ‘Rowing Team Quality First Program’ with meetings, dinners and free pens for the
rower. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses

The next year the Japanese won by two miles. Humiliated, the American management laid off the rower for poor performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses and the next year’s racing team was out-sourced to India .. Sadly, The End.

Here’s something else to think about: Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US, claiming they can’t make money paying American wages.

Toyota has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US. The last quarter’s results: Toyota makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses.

The Ford management team are still scratching their heads.

Hosted Microsoft Works Free Ad Funded Version

Posted July 31st, 2007.

Microsoft plans to offer it next release of Microsoft Works for free. It is said that the new version will be hosted (online version, also knows as SaaS) supported by ads. SaaS stands for software as a service. For more details visit ZDNET.

US Trademark Electronic Search System

Posted July 26th, 2007.

Search the United States Patent and Trademark Office for current and past trademarks here:

US Trademark Electronic Search System

Notes: Words, Images, and Word + images can be trademarked