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  • Writer's pictureStef

About creativity: the ingenious entrepreneur

Most people associate creativity with the arts and everything that has to do with aesthetics. If I ask you to think about a creative, you will most probably form an image of a painter or a designer in your head.


Creativity however, is something we can all have and apply in different areas of our life, business included. Let's take the stories of some ingenious entrepreneurs to inspire us.

I've always been struck by the inventiveness of Ferruccio Lamborghini, the son of a farmer with a strong passion for motors. Yes, Lamborghini the luxury cars brand.


Did you know that Lamborghini started as a tractors factory?

This is the story of his founder.




FERRUCCIO HAD A VISION

We are around 1930s, not too far from Bologna.

Ferruccio has so much passion for motors and so much drive that he goes against his father's will to run the farm after him, and, only a teenager, goes to work as an apprentice at a local smith, learning to solder and work with iron.


From there, he manages to get hired by the most important motors workshop in Bologna, taking care of the Italian army vehicles, gaining important skills for what will come.


RESILIENCE AND INTUITION

At just 18, he opens his own workshop. After two wonderful years fixing vehicles and driving them at speed through the countryside, war strucks. He's sent to Rhodes to maintain and repair the army vehicles there, which gives him a chance to work with the most advanced mechanical instruments of the time. After running away from the City because of the war, he comes back in civilian clothes and opens his workshop there, with the permission of the Germans who prefer to take advantage of his skills rather than imprison him. In 1946 he's free to go back to Italy, which leaves the war with a strong will to recover.


Agriculture in Italy is in deep crisis, and Ferruccio decides to build a tractor which is economical yet powerful for the local farmers, so they can take advantage of the latest mechanical innovations to rise again. Thanks to his skills and the knowledge acquired in the army, he creates his first tractor, which is very well received and attracts lots of orders. At the beginning of the 1950s he has a good number of staff and moves to a bigger workshop, effectively going from artisanal to industrial production. His name starts to become famous and a commercial network develops. He acquires important clients and he personally takes care of customer relations. His intuition keeps guiding him in the right direction, expanding production as we head to the 60s Italian economic boom.


Old Lamborghini 165 racing  tractor with Lamborghini logo and badges
"Lamborghini 165 Racing tractor"



IT'S THE 60s! IT'S TIME FOR LAMBORGHINI AUTO

Now is the time to invest in his original dream: building cars. He knows exactly how he wants his cars to be. Plus, mr Ferrari made him livid after he went to advise him about improvements they could make to their clutch and was told to just stick to his tractors. He has to prove what a legend of a car he can make. He hires the best from competitors and puts together a car workshop, choosing a bull as a symbol of fight and resilience for his logo (it's also his Zodiac sign!).


Despite skepticism, he presents his car first in Turin, then in Geneva, which features a clutch that's adapted from a tractor, and then starts industrial production. So it's happened: Lamborghini Auto is one of the first to produce Granturismo cars.

He then makes history with the P400 Miura: innovative, elegant, fast!



Blue sportscar on gravel, seen from the frontal left angle, with background of trees and sky.
1971 Lamborghini Miura S


WHEN DOES HE STOP?

There's no stopping this charismatic, competent and charming man, who's been also launching air conditioning machines in the meantime, inspired by a trip to the US.


Even after some difficult years influenced by a challenging political and economical situation, when he decides to retire from Lamborghini auto, he buys land turns it into one of the most advanced farms in Europe, with a unique cellar for the time. He is telling himself he's there to relax, however his entrepreneurial spirit is still strong. Why noy add some tennis courts, a swimming pool and a golf course and develop it into an agroturism destination?


THAT'S CREATIVITY!

That's the mark of creative people: no matter the environment and the challenges, they work to apply their skills and knowledge to make the best of it. In fact, it can be argued that challenges fuel creativity. One of the first concepts of design I was taught was that it's far easier to design when you're given limitations. If you have to create a chair for tall people with back problems, you'll end up with a far more interesting result than If you had to design a chair for everyone: how can the quality of this chair be judged? Who does it serve?


One of the most variously designed items is certainly chairs, any excuse to present a new chair. A famous Italian designer once said, I paraphrase, "There are more chairs than asses". What keeps inspiring the creations of new chairs? It seems to be the changes in lifestyle, from working from home, to the way we work in the office. Real creativity makes sense.


CONCLUSION

If you have read my previous article about vision, this is the natural progression: after vision there's creation. Ferruccio Lamborghini had a vision that drove (pun intended) his entire life, that he committed to against everyone and everything. He was also a very creative person, despite never lifting a paintbrush (as far as we know at least). He applied his skills and knowledge to whatever the market needed at a certain time.


I hope this articles gave you a good puch to review your vision and analyse how you can apply your own creativity to achieve your goals. And please share any inspiring stories with me in the comments!


I leave you with this very insightful video where Ferruccio's son, Tonino, recounts the days and the words of his father, who seemed such an incredible man.





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