Sir James Dyson is the founder of revolutionary vacuum and household item company, Dyson. Dyson‘s first invention, named the Ballbarrow, was a modified version of a wheelbarrow using a ball instead of a wheel. This invention featured on the BBC‘s Tomorrow’s World television program. Dyson stuck with the idea of a ball, which his brother had thought of, inventing the Trolleyball, a trolley that launched boats. Dyson then designed the Wheelboat, which could travel at speeds of 64 kilometers per hour, on both land and water.
In the late 1970’s, Dyson had the idea of using cyclonic separation to create a vacuum cleaner that would not lose suction as it picked up dirt. Dyson became frustrated with his Hoover Junior‘s diminishing performance’ the dust bag kept becoming clogged with loads of dust, thus reducing suction. The cyclone idea came from a sawmill that used cyclone technology. Partly supported by his wife’s salary as an art teacher, and after five years and many prototypes, Dyson launched the G-Force vacuum in 1983. Unfortunately for Dyson, no manufacturer or distributor would handle his product in the UK, as it would disturb the valuable market for replacement dust bags, so Dyson launched it in Japan through catalogue sales.
Manufactured in bright pink, The G-Force sold for the equivalent of £2,000. It won the 1991 International Design Fair Prize in Japan. Dyson obtained his first US patent on the idea on the idea in 1986. After failing to sell his invention to the major manufacturers, Dyson set up his own manufacturing company, Dyson Ltd, from where he would later see major commercial success.
Dyson‘s breakthrough into the UK market came more than ten years after his initial idea. Through a TV advertising campaign in which it was emphasised that, unlike most of its rivals, the Dyson vacuum did not require the continuing purchase of replacement bags. At the time, the UK market for disposable cleaner bags was that of £100 million. The slogan Say Goodbye To The Bag, proved to be more attractive to the buying public than a previous emphasis on the suction efficiency.
The Dyson Dual Cyclone became the fastest-selling vacuum cleaner ever made in the UK, and outsold those of some of the companies that rejected his idea, becoming one of the most popular brands in the whole of the UK. In early 2005, it was reported that Dyson Vacuum Cleaners had become the market leaders in the United States by value.
Following Dyson‘s success, other major manufacturers began to replicate their own versions of cyclonic vacuum cleaners. In 1999, Dyson sued Hoover (UK) for patent infringement. The High Court ruled that Hoover had deliberately copied a fundamental part of his patented designs in making its Triple Vortex bagless vacuum, cleaner range. Hoover agreed to pay damages of four million pounds.
In 2005, Dyson incorporated the wheel ball from his Ballbarrow concept into a vacuum cleaner, creating the Dyson Ball, with the aim of making it more manoeuvrable. In mid-2014, Dyson personally appeared in Tokyo to introduce his 360 Eye robotic vacuum cleaner. Dyson‘s initial entry into this marketing segment features 360-degree scanning and mapping for ultimate navigation, cyclonic dust separation, a custom-designed digital motor for high suction, tank treads for traction, a full-width beater bar and user interface via free iOS and Android Apps.
One of the most influential giants in the retail sector, James Dyson is a true inspiration to all designers, inventors and businesses alike. Dyson is accompanied with a great story of success, reward and maintains one of the best attitudes that a retail giant could have.
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Watch James explain The Dyson Story here: