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Publisher's Summary

Dyson has become a byword for high-performing products, technology, design and invention. Now, James Dyson, the inventor and entrepreneur who made it all happen, tells his remarkable and inspirational story in Invention: A Life.

Famously, over a four-year period, James Dyson made 5,127 prototypes of the cyclonic vacuum cleaner that would transform the way houses are cleaned around the world. In devoting all his resources to iteratively developing the technology, he risked it all, but out of many failures and setbacks came hard-fought success. His products - including vacuum cleaners, hair dryers and hair stylers, and fans and purifiers - are not only revolutionary technologies, but design classics. This was a legacy of his time studying at the Royal College of Art in the 1960s, when he was inspired by some of the most famous artists, designers and inventors of the era, as well as his engineering heroes such as Frank Whittle and Alec Issigonis.

In Invention: A Life, Dyson reveals how he came to set up his own company and led it to become one of the most inventive technology companies in the world. It is a compelling and dramatic tale, with many obstacles overcome. Dyson has always looked to the future, even setting up his own university to help provide the next generation of engineers and designers. For, as he says, 'everything changes all the time, so experience is of little use'.

Whether you are someone who has an idea for a better product, an aspiring entrepreneur, whether you appreciate great design or a compelling story, Invention: A Life offers you inspiration, hope and much more.

©2021 James Dyson. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, UK

What listeners say about Invention

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an absolute ledgend

This is an incredibly inspirational true story about a career that has had many issues to overcome. I'm very grateful to have had this oppurtunity to learn from James Dyson and his sometimes rocky but ultimately successful life.

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Excellent Book and story.

A great story and an inspiration to all that have tried and failed. Solution: Celebrate failure and try again!




















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Starts well but gets repetitive mid way through.

History and starting Dyson was really good but second half becomes more like an infomercia. It turns into a long list of buildings, architects, awards, dollar values of grants and James stating how annoying British bureaucracy is. Shame because I really enjoyed the first half of the book.

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  • Michael Wilson
  • 20-11-2021

A really great read

Now I might be a tad predisposed to such a tome. I’m an entrepreneur who originally studied industrial design, loves both history, a good yarn and emerging tech (isn’t it an amazing time to be alive). But I really did love this book. Very inspiring.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-11-2021

Inspirational and honest

This is a great book that I hope to read over and over again.
It’s really useful for the budding inventor/ entrepreneur.
Thank you James and family for sharing your story with us.

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  • Alishair D'Whitt
  • 07-11-2021

Wonderfully inspiring

I always prefer an audiobook which has been read by the author and James Dyson's delivery is wonderfully calm and precise. His values and design principles are inspiring and his is a path I wish more would follow.

I was especially interested in his experience dealing with attitudes to manufacturing in different countries and sadly can only agree with his view of the short-sighted and ill-educated attitude of government and the civil service in the UK.

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  • irune
  • 03-11-2021

inspirational, admirable, an example for all

thank you for sharing your family and business life, it is a very good example for all the world to look into and follow when going about life, admirable! Congratulations and my best wishes for a long life with more inventions please. I listened with gusto an anticipation, Sir Dyson reading it also makes more pleasurable the experience.

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  • Darren Barlow
  • 28-10-2021

Awesome!

Truly awesome from the main man himself. Great insight to the Dyson brand and family.

Thank you Mr Dyson!

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  • Oli
  • 13-10-2021

Interesting & very informative

Fantastic book that at age 21 has got me rethinking what I want to do in life!

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  • VR
  • 11-10-2021

Brilliantly written and truly inspiring.

A quintessential perfectionist. Proud to have such an individual represent Britain on a global scale. If you’ve read Steve Jobs’ biography (which I also highly recommend), you will also love and appreciate this. Very well written, and yes some sentences are repeated in this version of the audiobook, but very minor and just needs post-production editing refinements.
A great read overall!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-10-2021

Eccentric British inventor creates fortune from shed…

A good old fashioned rags to riches story; madcap British eccentric inventor changes the world from their shed, except it’s not set in the gloomy smog of the industrial revolution with kids sweeping chimneys.

Enjoyable in the whole and good to hear it narrated by the man himself, which gives a genuine insight into his obsessive compulsion to solve problems we didn’t know needed solving, commitment to excellence and his passion for design and engineering - interspersed with rants about how terrible the UK is at valuing the manufacturing industry and cultivating entrepreneurialism - albeit he is trying to make a difference through the Dyson university.

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  • max
  • 26-09-2021

Excellent Dyson Brochure

Honestly I had high hopes, and there are some excellent and interesting parts to his history but overall this is like one long Dyson brochure on how the Dyson company is bigger and better than it’s rivals. I really missed some deeper insights and he often repeats things that have already been explained earlier in the book, if you favour other business / biography books such as ‘shoe dog’ ‘billion dollar coach’ etc, stay clear.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-09-2021

Inspirational.

Every child should read this book, demonstrates how with pure grit and determination you can achieve greatness. Halfway through I was trying to invent air products in my head driving home!!!

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  • MartynK
  • 25-09-2021

Engineering Masterclass

As a British product designer, I thought I knew a lot about Dyson the company, and a little about James Dyson.

Hearing the full story, it was amazing to hear his struggle and how close he came to failure multiple times.

I enjoyed the fact James Dyson is reading the book himself and he repeats a line, no more than 3 or 4 times. It is nice to know this engineering machine is still human.

I recommend this to anyone interested in design, engineering or business

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