Did you know that until 1952 Boeing had not made a single commercial aircraft?
Sounds surprising, right?
While reading the book called “Good to Great” – Jim Collins, I came across Boeing’s story of a SUPER BOLD move!
Until early 1950s Boeing focussed on just creating huge flying machines for military.
Boeing had virtually no presence in commercial market.
But they were rudely put down.
“You make great bombers up their in Seattle, why don’t you just stick to that.”
It was at that time that commercial air craft space was dominated by McDonnell Douglas.
They specialised in creating smaller, propeller-driven planes that composed the commercial fleet.
Boeing saw an opportunity to leapfrog McDonnell Douglas by marrying its experience with large aircrafts to its understanding of jet engines.
In 1952, Bill Allen and his team made the decision to spend a quarter of the company’s entire net worth to build a prototype jet that could be used for commercial aviation.
They built the 707 and launched Boeing on a bid to become the leading commercial aviation company in the world.
1954: The Boeing 367-80 made its first flight from Renton Field southeast of Seattle. The jet-powered airliner became the Boeing 707 and ushered in the jet age for passenger travel.
3 decades later after producing 5 most successful commercial jets in history, Boeing stood as the absolute, unquestioned greatest company in the commercial plane industry world wide.
The 3 Key Requisites
1. The company could become the best in the world at commercial jet manufacturing even though it had no presence in the market.
2. The shift would significantly improve Boeing’s economics by increasing profit per aircraft model.
3. The Boeing people were very passionate about the idea.
Author Jim Collins presented this story to explain a great concept called “BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goals”.
To achieve a BHAG, three things are a must:
Hope you enjoyed the story 🙂
Wish you the best on your journey from “Good to Great” !
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