James Dyson: The Inventor Chronicles

September 20, 2016

No design is beautiful unless it really works

He’s often referred to as Britain’s greatest export since the Beatles, and for no small reason. Maverick inventor, innovator and visionary James Dyson has shaken perceptions of gadgetry with recent announcements like the Pure Cool Link Air Purifier and the 360 Eye cyclonic robot vacuum cleaner. The billionaire champion of all break-out thinkers spoke to us on the need for functionality in design and the need to protect interests of budding inventors.

If someone wants to be an innovator / inventor like you, what advice would you give them? What traits do they need to make it as an innovator / inventor?

You must be persistent – determination and commitment in your idea is a must. It will not be easy, but you must persevere, it took me 5127 prototypes to get the first cyclonic vacuum cleaner right, there were plenty of occasions along the way where I felt like giving up, but I kept on going, and it has paid off. Science and engineering in school should serve not only to broaden one’s mind, but also excite it. Science lessons in my day where boring and didn’t encourage me to pursue them as a career. It was only until I got hands-on at University that I realized how exciting it could be. Practical and relatable lessons are a must for this.

What’s the vision behind the Dyson Centre for Engineering Design? Why is the link behind Engineering and Design so important?

No design is beautiful unless it really works – I’m a firm believer of this and that is why all the engineers at Dyson are ‘Design Engineers’. Functionality and aesthetics must fit seamlessly together. This is why we have set up the Dyson Centre for Engineering Design, to instill this message into young, budding engineers.

Fostering a culture of innovation is a hot topic in the Middle East right now. Take a young dynamic country like the United Arab Emirates, what would you say are the key things the government of the UAE should be focusing on to create a fertile ground for innovation / invention?

Tangible technology that is in demand across the globe creates a healthy economy. We should be encouraging young inventors to create and aid them in realising their dream, whether it be financially or through creating accessible incubator space for them to nurture and build their ideas. We should also be creating an environment where young inventors can easily protect their ideas through patents.


Tell us about Dyson’s growth in Middle East region. What segments do you see the greatest growth happening?

Dyson’s business in the Middle East has grown by 128% over the last 5 years.  While all Dyson products are popular with consumers the biggest growth in that period has been in Dyson Cordless and Air treatment categories.


by Anil George
Avid follower of all things tech. In between his quest for the ultimate gizmo, Anil fiddles with light meters, collects rare books and feeds his fetish for Jap horror movies. As Managing Editor of T3 Middle East for the GCC, Anil oversees content direction across print and digital. He was a CES 2017 Innovation Awards Judge, reprising his role as an Innovation Awards Judge at CES 2015 and 2016. Anil is also the Middle East's first Brand Ambassador for Ashdown Engineering.  Reach him at: editor@t3me.com.