Interchangeable parts led to interchangeable people

In 1765, a French General named John-Baptise Gribeauval was obsessed with streamlining the process of repairing guns. The idea was if you could switch out different parts of a musket seamlessly, you could keep costs down.

Thomas Jefferson observed what was happening with Gribeauval and came back to the US advocating for an interchangeable parts system.

Fast forward to the turn of the 20th century, Henry Ford began to perfect this system of automation with the assembly line.

As a result, instead of hiring workers at $1.50 per day, Henry Ford was able to hire his people on $5 per day—making us all extremely rich. And for a while, it worked, until it didn’t.

The problem with building a system on interchangeable parts is that it eventually led to interchangeable people. Factory owners began to have the edge and could hire the lowest skilled workers to get a job done.

Every day, this system of interchangeable parts and people becomes more and more automated. While this frightens many individuals, there’s also this door that is opening.

Just like 200 years ago, when we left the farm for the factory, we now have more time on our hands to do work that matters. We don’t need to focus on plowing a field or fetch water from a well to quench our thirst. We now don’t need to focus on spreadsheets. We can focus on helping people that need our help or make something that needs to be made.

We are at the doorstep of something great and something daring. Again.

The question is: What are you going to do when it’s your turn?