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Against the Odds: An Autobiography Hardcover – 30 Jun 1997
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"extended and re-issued, Dyson's autobiography is an engaging piece of work... His career is recounted in an infectious, hands-on style..." -- The Times, 10 February, 2001
A frank and engaging account of one man's journey from rags to riches, all because of a very good idea. -- Creative Review, February, 2001
An excellent read about a rather excellent product, its history, development and inventor. -- M2 Communications, November 14, 2001
Dyson sheds light on the 'invention process' in this autobiography, which humorously traces his growth... -- Scotland On Sunday, January 28, 2001
Dyson's autobiography, describes his achievements in refreshingly honest terms. -- The Times, February 24, 2001
James Dyson's autobiography is an engaging piece of work. -- Sunday Times, February 11, 2001
James Dyson's story is an object lesson in how companies who overlook the value of design do so at their peril. -- Terence Conran
The book shows just how great an inventor Dyson is, with inspriation greater than Brunel and Edison. -- Docklands News, February, 2001
This autobiography caught me by surprise. Never in my wildest dreams had I thought a book about a vacuum cleaner could be so entertaining. -- Australian Financial Review
This is a book against the traditional way of doing business. -- Daily Telegraph
This is a truly inspirational British success story about a hero of technology for the modern age. -- Blackpool Gazette, January 6, 2001 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Author
It must have been some time in 1979 that I first heard the words, "But, James, if there were a better kind of vacuum cleaner, Hoover or Electrolux would have invented it." That was when I left the first company I had set up - gave up security, income and respectability - and persuaded an old friend to come in with me on a project I was developing in the pigsties behind my home. After hundreds of prototypes, thousands of modifications, and millions of tests, I was in terrible debt, but in love with the Dual Cyclone. By 1997 I had a company turning over #100 million in the UK, and had generated sales of more than #1 billion worldwide. This is the story of how I did it. (JAMES DYSON, from the Preface) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
James Dyson's effort stands firmly as the efforts of a truly inspirational character - one who does not require the reader to treat his many wounds, or even accept any sort of sympathy for the hurdles that were inescapable. This was one man's quest to acknowledge right from wrong and, in the process, to put himself, his family and his financial security on the line.
How did he persevere in creating so many great products? The answer is in the question; he never stopped solving problems. Although famed for his cyclone 'bag-less' vacuum cleaners, Dyson worked his way up to that position through persevering with many other projects, some worked and some failed miserably.
The thing to take away from all this however is that he was just as naive as you or me. His success wasn't born from any kind of talent other than his ability to see opportunities where others had failed. As an aspiring entrepreneur myself, this book was a thoroughly enjoyable set of accounts that provide motivation, belief and above all a gauge to which standards should be met in product design. But as Dyson himself says, the former values have largely been lost in what is a nation that expects failure as a standard.
The book is written in an enjoyable informal style, and peppered with the occassional slightly rude expression, making it readable and often funny.
It describes the huge lengths he went to during this period to get to the point where he was making vacuum cleaners. How much personal debt he accumulated. How much he spent on legal battles with multinational companies trying to cheat him. How it affected his personal life. It is easy to sympathise with him while reading the book and in similar situations it is hard to imagine many people would have continued.
The book is written in a friendly style and broken up into chapters covering chronological sections of the story. It would be good reading for anyone entering the design or manufacturing business.
I don't agree with all of the opinions he includes in the book, but they are certainly food for thought.
I really enjoyed reading this book.
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