Thursday, December 5, 2013

"The pencil will remain alive"

Faber-Castell-Werk in Stein bei N├╝rnberg: The factory
in Germany, courtesy of Rolf Krahl/Wikipedia
"The pencil will remain alive much longer than we believe." That's my favorite quote from Jack Ewing's excellent New York Times business history profile of Faber-Castell and its CEO, Count Anton-Wolfgang von Faber-Castell. The Count's ancestor invented the pencil in the 1700s; the company now makes pens, crayons, art supplies, erasers, and sharpeners too.

The count also says: "Why do we manufacture in Germany? Two reasons: one, to really make the best here ... I don't like to give the know-how for my best pencils away to China, for example. Second, 'Made in Germany' is still important." He's a man with control of his corporate narrative.