Frustrated by using what felt like an overpriced broom led James Dyson to engineer the first bagless vacuum in 1993. More than 100 models later, his company is a global technology innovator – and it’s got the headquarters to match. They recently expanded their campus in Malmesbury, England, to span 56 acres with 129 design labs, where they also create air purifiers, fans and hair dryers.
1. Best place for a business lunch Lightning Café at our Malmesbury campus. I love our chef’s tomato and bean soup.
2. In business, now’s a good time to think long term. We spend millions every week in research and development, and we’ll launch 100 products in the next four years.
3. My go-to gadget is the Seiko Astron GPS Solar watch. It automatically adjusts to a new country, so I don’t have to worry about changing the time when I arrive.
4. My eureka moment After noticing how a sawmill removed sawdust, I used a cardboard cyclone to separate dust in a bagless vacuum.
5. In my carry-on, you’ll find ginger biscuits. I have a penchant for Fortnum & Mason.
6. My business mantra Learn to fail and do it often. I did it 5,126 times; it took 5,127 prototypes to develop the Dyson DC01 vacuum cleaner.
7. What I had to learn on the fly That market research isn’t needed when launching a new product. It either tells you what you already know, or puts you off from going for it.
8. The biggest risk I ever took Investing in creating a lighter, more efficient digital motor. There was nothing like it, and now it’s at the heart of most of our technology.
9. I always listen to young people. When we were designing the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer, our young engineers completely rethought the appliance, making it faster and more powerful.
10. Window or aisle? Window. I love seeing the world from a different angle.