x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Dyson with destiny

James Dyson, the genius behind the "cyclonic" bagless vacuum cleaner that revolutionised that chore, explains that it all began when he saw a problem and taught himself how to fix it.

If you are a budding entrepreneur looking for a mentor, look no further than James Dyson. The story of the success of the British engineer and inventor, as told in the Business section of The National today, is a masterclass in making things happen. Mr Dyson, the genius behind the "cyclonic" bagless vacuum cleaner that revolutionised that chore (and spawned many imitations), explains that it all began when he saw a problem and taught himself how to fix it.

His "bright idea" became a global business and Forbes puts Dyson's personal wealth at Dh15.5 billion. But, as Thomas Edison noted, genius is only 1 per cent inspiration - perhaps even less in the case of Mr Dyson, who built 5,127 prototypes of his vacuum cleaner over five years before he got it right. Even then, no established manufacturer would take it on. So he started his own company.

Persistence paid off for Mr Dyson, and he is now giving back - not just by his own example but through the James Dyson Foundation, which aims to inspire and encourage young people to become engineers.

The lesson is that, even if you think you can build a better mousetrap, the world won't necessarily beat a path to your door. You have to do the hard work to make it happen.