In 1947, James Dyson was born as the third child of a middle class family in Norfolk, UK. Both his parents were teachers and his father died when he was nine. In 1968, James Dyson married Deirdre Hindmarsh. They have three children.
James went to the Royal College of Art where he became interested in building design. He started to make inventions at this time. In 1970, Dyson was involved in the design of the Rotork Sea Truck. In 1974, he made the ballbarrow, which is basically a wheelbarrow with a spherical wheel. The use of a ball instead of a wheel was a key concept in his design of the DC15 vacuum cleaner in 2005.
The invention that changed James Dyson’s life and turned him into a globally renowned entrepreneur was the cyclonic vacuum cleaner. Noticing how his vacuum cleaner lost suction due to the clogging of the vacuum bag with the dust particles, he set out to find a more efficient way to make a vacuum cleaner. In a nearby sawmill, Dyson observed the use of centripetal force for separating small particles from larger ones and decided to apply the same principle in vacuum cleaner design. From 1979 to 1984, he concentrated on making vacuum cleaners and produced over 5,000 prototypes. His wife, who worked as a teacher, supported him during this time.
When James Dyson took his bagless vacuum designs to leading companies, he was rejected because a bagless vacuum could cause a serious disruption in the vacuum bag market. In the end, he was able to market his first vacuum in Japan and it quickly became very popular and received design awards. In 1993, James Dyson started the Dyson Company in UK. Within two years the sales of Dyson caught up with Hoover, the manufacturer of the first electric vacuum and the market leader for nearly a century. Dyson entered US market in 2002 with a model that featured a transparent dust bin. By mid-2000’s Dyson vacuums had become the market leader in UK and US.
James Dyson’s success in engineering and marketing has earned him renown as well as money. In 2010, UK government asked him to write a report on ways to revive the British spirit of entrepreneurship. In response, Dyson wrote an article named “Ingenious Britain: Making the U.K. the Leading High Tech Exporter in Europe”. James Dyson is also the head of the Dyson Foundation that supports promising engineers and inventors.