From its origins in a small workshop in rural England, Dyson (www.dyson.com) has grown into a technology company with a global footprint. They now employ over 8,500 people.
Dyson is good at lots of things, but they are differentiatingly great at engineering.
The Dyson website makes this crystal clear, “For us, engineering is everything.” Or, in our language, engineering is their One Thing!
Not everyone at Dyson is an engineer, but they encourage everyone to think like one. And they are focused specifically on “transforming people’s lives with our radical ideas, by solving the problems others ignore.”
The story of Dyson is a testament to the irrational perseverance required to become differentiatingly great at something. It took James Dyson five years and 5,127 prototypes to perfect the Dual Cyclone™ technology that is at the core of the Dyson vacuum.
In 2007, Dyson created The James Dyson Award, an international award that inspires the next generation of design engineers. Each year, hundreds of engineers submit their designs.
In 2018, the grand prize went to Nicolas Orellana and Yaseen Noorani for their O-Wind Turbine, a 25cm sphere that converts wind into electricity. Other winners included a water-cleaning robot, a smartphone device to test for malaria, and a wheelchair designed for air travel.
In 2017, the company launched the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology in partnership with University of Warwick. Students work in a position at Dyson for four days a week, receive a salary, and have their tuition fees paid, allowing them to graduate debt free.
“These capable young engineers will be developing new technology alongside world-leading engineering practitioners, creating real products that end up in real homes—doing their academic work alongside their engineering projects.” explained Dyson.
“Our philosophy remains the same as it was 25 years ago when James Dyson invented the first cyclonic vacuum cleaner. We remain family-owned. We don’t bow to outside shareholders or report to the stock exchange. Instead we plot our own path, unshackled from conventional thinking.”
James Dyson is driven to apply engineering to solve problems that other companies ignore. Perhaps that is why he is now Sir James Dyson, appointed to the rank of Knight Bachelor in 2007.
Is engineering your company’s One Thing?