Listen now on
#220 Enzo Ferrari: The Man and the Machine
December 9th, 2021 | E220

What I learned from reading Enzo Ferrari: The Man and the Machine by Brock Yates.


Come see a live show with me and Patrick O'Shaughnessy from Invest Like The Best on October 19th in New York City. 

Get your tickets here


Subscribe to listen to Founders Premium — Subscribers can ask me questions directly and listen to Ask Me Anything (AMA) episodes.


[0:01] Editorial writers around the world groped for words to express what Enzo Ferrari had meant. Many tried to describe him as an automotive pioneer, which he was not; others called him a great racing driver and engineer, which he was not. He was, however, exactly what he had repeatedly said he was: an agitator of men. And he remained true to his credo to the day he died.

[0:43] If there was one essential quality about the man it was his ironbound tenacity, his fierce devotion to the single cause of winning automobile races with cars bearing his name. For nearly sixty years, hardly a day passed when this thought was not foremost in his mind. Win or lose, he unfailingly answered the bell. In that sense his devotion to his own self-described mission was without precedent. For that alone he towered over his peers.

[44:26] Enzo Ferrari was a man with a diamond-hard will to win at all costs.

[45:08] If they were to survive, it would be thanks to their wits and their ability to play the ancient game of life. Few men understood this game better than Ferrari.

[48:49] Enzo Ferrari was born with simple tastes, and even after he became rich and prominent, he retained the ways of a simple, uncluttered man. During the 1930s, when every ounce of his energies and every lira in his pocket were being plowed back into the business, he lived a modest, frugal life.

[1:05:50] It is often said that his greatest skill was his ability to recognize talent.

[1:06:13] Ferrari appeared to be happier when he was losing, which jibes with mechanics' observations that the race shop on Monday was more serene following a defeat than a victory. But why? Was not winning the central object of the exercise? Ferrari explained: “There is always something to learn. One never stops learning. Particularly when one is losing. When one loses one knows what has to be done. When one wins one is never sure.”

[1:08:08] The source of much of Ferrari's success over the years was not technological brilliance or tactical cleverness, but dogged, gritty, unfailing persistence in competing—a willingness to appear at the line no matter what the odds and run as hard as possible.

[1:15:44] Those who knew him best understood that Enzo Ferrari would never retire. There was little else in his life besides automobile racing. It was that simple.

[1:19:34] His view of racing remained constant; the event itself was essentially meaningless. For him the stimulation came in the planning and preparation, in the creation of the machines, in the  organization of the human beings who would man the team.


Subscribe to listen to Founders Premium — Subscribers can ask me questions directly which I will answer in Ask Me Anything (AMA) episodes 


I have listened to every episode released and look forward to every episode that comes out. The only criticism I would have is that after each podcast I usually want to buy the book because I am interested so my poor wallet suffers. ” — Gareth

Be like Gareth. Buy a book: All the books featured on Founders Podcast