Disclaimer: As everyone is entitled to his or her opinions, allow me to say that this is my opinion on Henry Ford’s famous quote and there is no intention to be dismissive of any other views on it.
The great challenge that humans have always faced to this day is our inability to know what we really need and understand that adapting to change is inevitable. This challenge, in my opinion, is one of the very few angles of perception that Henry Ford’s quote points towards:
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” – Henry Ford.
Search the aforementioned quote on the internet and you will find multiple articles on how NOT TRUE this quote is, whilst forgetting that, business strategies, customer services etc. are not the only methods of perceiving and certifying this one-in-a-million quote to be either true or false. This, my dear friends, is an example of a closed mind or, in my opinion, “Limited Visions”.
As long as we (humans) remain human and not super-humans, our incomprehensible wants will always supersede the necessity of our needs. Back in the late 80’s and very early 90’s, the importance of a well-built and fast horse(s) could not be underestimated, and it was not overrated then; but there was a grave need for a faster method and model of work and transportation. The need and vision were there, but the enthusiasm to adapt to the change was lacking gravely. A faster horse was something to brag about and be proud of during this period, and that was enough for most people.
The insatiable wants of humans can be very overwhelming and our needs are often desperate, but not as overwhelming as the former. Such that we tend to see, focus, and attend to the present problems while neglecting the real and oncoming future problems. Who can we blame? We all want quick solutions to our present problems especially the unexpected ones, so we do not feel stuck even, if in long run, the solutions to the present problems might end up not being a real solution at all. Only then do we truly realize where our true focus should have been, thus making getting back on track of our needs become a bigger struggle than it ought to have been.
The battle of losing focus between our wants and needs as humans is not something new. Neither is it easy to ignore a battle that we can be perfect at winning irrespective of how many times it has led to poor decision making. Even with so many studies and teachings that aid decision making, and emphasize sacrificing the wants over the needs, the battle is still on.
I am a strong believer of “perfect is boring” and “change is inevitable”, but with this said, “No one is perfect, we only try to be”. Focusing on having some of our wants is neither a crime nor a sin, but let us not forget that “Too much of anything tends to be bad”.
Hence, striking a real balance between “just enough” and “too much” of our foregone wants and needs is where our focus should be, which is another battle to add to the list.
So, whenever you have a vision on human needs and problems with possible solutions to them, do not hold back on them or kill them because of the change(s) it might bring to the world, or because you are scared about the world not being able to adapt to such change(s). Be confident and speak out, believe in yourself, believe in the vision, pursue the vision, because if the problem is real, the change will come naturally to the world and it is definitely inevitable.
P.S: Do not ask for just “Faster Horses”, ask for the Real Deal.