in 111 Books in 2011

#23/111: Grinding It Out

What is it about?

I have always believed that each man makes his own happiness and is responsible for his own problems. That’s the first sentence in this book and Ray Kroc meant it. He describes his pursuit of happiness from a piano player to the chairman of McDonald’s.

Key points?

You are responsible for your own life: In the early years a franchisee opened a McDonald’s restaurant nearly to some other burger restaurant. The other restaurant offered burgers for 10 cents each (15 cents at McDonald’s) but people got their fries and milk shakes at McDonald’s. After a while the other restaurant lowered all prices to 10 cents. The manager of McDonald’s called Ray Kroc and asked if he should inform the Center for Combating Unfair Competition. Ray Kroc said: “No, make burger which are worth 15 cents.”

Stay Green: Basically you should try to get not too conservative or too comfortable. “When you’re green, you’re growing. When you’re ripe, you rot.” Try new things, be open and don’t afraid of failure. At McDonald’s they introduce a lot of new meals, some fail, some prosper (e.g. the BigMac).

QSC and V: Quality, Service, Cleanness and Value these are the main values of McDonald’s. They are easily portable to other businesses.


What a great book! I love how Ray Kroc impersonates the American Dream. He worked hard, he took responsibility for himself and he helped other people to reach their dreams. Definitely a recommendation!

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