Vacuum cleaners in England and various parts of the world have a surname and this is Dyson, as the brand has provided unique, practical and useful models since the 90s. However, behind this success is a man who, against all odds, managed convince the international market that their ideas were worth it; his name: James Dyson.
If you just hear his name out of context, you probably don’t recognize Briton James Dyson. However, as soon as you know that this person is responsible for Dyson cordless vacuum cleaners, then you will surely know who we mean; And it is that one cannot think of Mr. Dyson without his great company coming to mind, recognized worldwide for the quality of its vacuum cleaners and for selling other devices such as dryers, fans and dehumidifiers.
Currently, the company has thousands of workers around the world and has managed to record millionaire annual profits continuously for several years. However, even though James Dyson is now one of the most recognizable people in England, his origins are more humble and his story is an example of determination and effort. Good ideas will always be worth millions, for that reason, success came to his life.
A designer with vision
Anyone who saw Mr. Dyson in his early days would probably doubt that he would be able to build the empire that he has today. Studying furniture design at the Royal College of Arts in London, he married his partner and, relying on credits, they managed to support themselves by growing vegetables, baking bread and working nights to provide for the family.
However, aside from any problems that came his way on a daily basis, there was only one thing on James Dyson’s mind: building the perfect vacuum cleaner.
This obsession came to his brain in 1974, because, to clean his home, the man bought a Hoover Junior vacuum cleaner and, in a short time, it became clogged and lost its suction power. Looking to save money, Dyson emptied the bag and tried everything to keep the vacuum running as before, but the suction was still weak. The bag was clogged with dust and nothing could be done.
In 1978, while working in his wheelbarrow factory, constant blockages in the air filters caused him to lose patience and, based on the systems used in sawmills, Dyson built a cyclone dust collector for his company. His effectiveness made me think about the possibility of taking it to a smaller scale, because that way the problem with the vacuum cleaners could also be solved, and that’s where it all started.
“Hoover would have already invented it”
This was the response that Dyson received from its partners when bringing their brilliant idea, because for them, if there could be a better vacuum cleaner, then it would have already been manufactured. Therefore, they scrapped the idea of him and fired him.
Beginning in 1979, thanks to several loans and investment from his friend Jeremy Fry, James Dyson produced prototype designs of various characteristics; he determined to make the best vacuum cleaner in the world. However, no company was interested in his inventions and, by offering the design to Hoover, this brand did not want to license it either, as it was a direct threat to the vacuum cleaner market that the company led.
In 1983, Dyson managed to sell his design for the first time to the Zanussi company, but this model only sold about 500 units since its launch. It was considered a failure, but the industrial designer did not give up and tried in other countries.
After 5,127 designed prototypes, the Japanese company Apex Ltd became interested in his creations, and by 1986, Dyson launched an improved version of their previous vacuum cleaner, now called the G-Force, together with Apex. Sales began to increase, and in 1991 his artifact won the Japan International Design Award.
This recognition and success ended up being what Dyson needed to start his own company the same year.
Not only does James Dyson have some 7,500 patents registered in his company name, he is also the richest person in all of England with an estimated net worth of £16.2 billion. This money has been used to finance new projects that make his company increasingly offer more solutions for the home; however, his earnings have also given him the title of the largest landowner in England, displacing Queen Elizabeth II.
Surely this man, despite knowing that his idea was valuable, did not think that his determination to strip vacuum cleaners of bags and cables would have the result that it has today. Those designs that were rejected for years are now the base that produces a vacuum cleaner every 12 seconds and generates profits that exceed 4,000 million euros in annual sales.
His brand has been based on continuous work and effort, so for him there are no strokes of inspiration, but rather the progressive reinvention of ideas until he finds perfection, or whatever comes closest to it.
This style of work has allowed Dyson to rise in the market for other products as well, as its dehumidifiers have been praised for achieving the highest possible indoor environment purity and its hand dryers are standard in airports and various establishments. James Dyson takes something common and outdated and turns it into gold; that way, it is possible to create a fortune with just a vacuum cleaner.
The main objective of this British inventor is to continue to make his company a leader, however, he has taken on other interests to enable other people to succeed.
For that reason, the most famous designer in England has created his own university: “Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology”, now reinventing the educational system and allowing its students to earn competitive salaries while studying for free and participating in different projects.
If the students manage to surpass the teacher, surely one of the best cordless vacuum cleaners of 2022 will come from their hands; but, even if this happened, Dyson will always be remembered for his success and for, today, training the new generation of engineers who may soon be able to change the world.