Invention: A Life (Hardcover)
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Dyson has become a byword for high-performing products, technology, design, and invention. Now, James Dyson, the inventor and entrepreneur who made it all happen, tells his remarkable and inspirational story in Invention: A Life.
Famously, over a four-year period, James Dyson made 5,127 prototypes of the cyclonic vacuum cleaner that would transform the way houses are cleaned around the world. In devoting all his resources to iteratively developing the technology, he risked it all, but out of many failures and setbacks came hard-fought success. His products—including vacuum cleaners, hair dryers and hair stylers, and fans and purifiers—are not only revolutionary technologies, but design classics. This was a legacy of his time studying at the Royal College of Art in the 1960s, when he was inspired by some of the most famous artists, designers, and inventors of the era, as well as his engineering heroes such as Frank Whittle and Alex Issigonis.
In Invention: A Life, Dyson reveals how he came to set up his own company and led it to become one of the most inventive technology companies in the world. It is a compelling and dramatic tale, with many obstacles overcome. Dyson has always looked to the future, even setting up his own university to help provide the next generation of engineers and designers. For, as he says, “everything changes all the time, so experience is of little use.”
Whether you are someone who has an idea for a better product, an aspiring entrepreneur, whether you appreciate great design or a page-turning read, Invention: A Life offers you inspiration, hope, and much more.
About the Author
James Dyson was born in Norfolk in 1947 and studied at the Royal College of Art in London, before joining Rotork to engineer and make the Sea Truck, a high-speed flat-bottomed boat, with Jeremy Fry. Best known for his revolutionary cyclonic vacuum cleaner, his products have been sold around the world, renowned for their innovative technology, design, and efficiency. James believes that engineers can improve the world and he helps them to do so through the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology, The James Dyson Foundation, and the annual James Dyson Award.
"Whatever problem Mr. Dyson has tackled, he has sought to come up with a product that is paradigm-shifting....The bulk of this new book focuses on Mr. Dyson’s inventing, promoting, manufacturing and selling products beyond the upright vacuum....in some detail and with plenty of passion.... Stories of consumer products and gadgets drive Mr. Dyson’s narrative forward, but parallel to describing the process of inventing, Mr. Dyson tells a story of the struggles of entrepreneurship."
—Wall Street Journal
"An entertaining and inspiring memoir by a fellow who’s nearly impossible to pigeonhole—and good thing, too....The British inventor and vacuum-cleaner magnate delivers a paean to creativity and creation....His overarching point is very well taken: He makes a powerful argument that our educational systems are not giving sufficient attention to fostering creativity and the independent spirit required of the inventor, thereby stifling innovation."
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review