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#293 : Ray Kroc (The Making of McDonald's)
March 6th, 2023 | E293

What I learned from rereading Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald's by Ray Kroc.


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[2:00] I have always believed that each man makes his own happiness and is responsible for his own problems.

[4:00] I was fascinated by the simplicity and effectiveness of the system they described that night.Each step in producing the limited menu was stripped down to its essence and accomplished with a minimum of effort.

[5:00] When I flew back to Chicago that fateful day in 1954, I had a freshly signed contract with the McDonald brothers in my briefcase. I was a battle-scarred veteran of the business wars, but I was still eager to go into action. I was 52 years old. I had diabetes and incipient arthritis. I had lost my gall bladder and most of my thyroid gland in earlier campaigns. But I was convinced that the best was ahead of me.

[6:00] It’s not what you do it’s how you do it:

Ralph Lauren: The Man Behind the Mystique by Jeffrey Trachtenberg. (Founders #288)

Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire by James Wallace and Jim Erickson. (Founders #290)

The Invisible Billionaire: Daniel Ludwig by Jerry Shields. (Founders #292)

[8:00] I never considered my dreams wasted energy. They were invariably linked to some form of action.

[10:00] For me, work was play.

[13:00] I vowed that this was going to be my only job. I was going to make my living at it and to hell with moonlighting of any kind. I intended to devote every ounce of my energy to selling, and that's exactly what I did.

[14:00] Francis Ford Coppola: A Filmmaker's Life by Michael Schumacher. (Founders #242)

[20:00] This was the first phase of grinding it out—building my personal monument to capitalism. I paid tribute, in the feudal sense, for many years before I was able to rise with McDonald's on the foundation I had laid.

[21:00] Make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to perfect.

[26:00] I was putting every cent I had and all I could borrow into this project.

[28:00] Perfection is very difficult to achieve and perfection was what I wanted in McDonald's. Everything else was secondary.

[29:00] If my competitor was drowning, I'd put a hose in his mouth.

[44:00] Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller by Ron Chernow. (Founders #248)

John D: The Founding Father of the Rockefellers by David Freeman Hawke. (Founders #254)

[47:00] The advertising campaign we put together was a smash hit. It turned Californians into our parking lots as though blindfolds had been removed from their eyes.

[48:00] Authority should go with the job.


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