Written By: Kelly Bryant
Did you know the founder of Dyson is in fact Sir James Dyson – a knighted gentleman who is actually a farmer turned inventor turned British billionaire?! He is also the man I would like to personally thank for saving me hours of extra time in the morning blow drying my hair thanks to the invention of the Dyson Airwrap – my hero.
I discovered all of this while listening to an interview with Sir James on the Tim Ferriss Show podcast last week. (It’s a must listen if you haven’t already!) Sir James tells listeners the story of his inspiration behind the famous Dyson vacuum and how he literally got hundreds of “no’s” from existing vacuum manufacturers before he said “screw it” – in a very polite British fashion – and decided to manufacture himself. (Jokes on those guys, am I right?)
My favorite part of the interview is when Sir James references a famous Henry Ford quote, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” You see, James was 10 steps ahead. He knew that vacuum users had a problem (i.e. needing to get from point A to point B faster) but they had no idea what the best solution was. I bet some even assumed a solution wasn’t possible. In fact, those pesky manufacturers I mentioned earlier literally told Sir James if his invention was so great, “surely an established vacuum company would’ve already created it, right?” Wrong.
Sir James largely attributes his great innovations to always ‘thinking like an engineer’. He explains that he questions everything. “Why was this built this way? Is this piece of the product actually necessary? Can this element be more efficient?” This is actually how he came up with the ‘bagless’ vacuum. He realized there was a better way to collect dust (sans bag) and now he’s a billionaire. If that doesn’t push you to be more curious, I don’t know what will!
I love my job at Kerosene because I get a sneak peak at what the future holds. I meet “inventors” everyday that are setting out to change the world and make life better and more convenient for everyday folks like you and I. They are able to identify a problem and create a solution we didn’t even know we needed – so cheers to Travis for Uber, cheers to Brian for AirBnB and, of course, cheers to James for Dyson, or should I say Sir James!
Who’s next… You?
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