3 Remarkable Truths About Designing Breathtaking Products
Creating a world-class product once is hard. Creating several outstanding products is almost impossible.
James Dyson has delivered three breathtaking products(Airblade, Vacuum, Air Multiplier) which firmly puts him in the league of design greats such as Dieter Rams and Jonathan Ive.
Every public space we visit seems to have a Dyson Airblade for drying your hands, and their ball-shaped vacuum cleaner sets the standard for the home appliance category.
In solving hard problems, Dyson has also created enormous value is his company which is valued at over $3 Billion. Let's dive into his philosophy and approach and discover what we can learn about designing breakthrough products.
Design is Solving Problems
Dyson loves to solve problems that users face. He starts with breaking down the problem and the current solution. At this stage, he looks to employ engineering to make something work dramatically better than today.
Like Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos, he delights in the discovery of a problem to solve. This moment is where great design begins - the problem.
Design is relentless invention
With over 35 years of experience, what Dyson teaches us that we will not find the answer the first time we try to design. He believes that the struggle of testing many times is the hard work required. If we stay the course we will eventually make a breakthrough. He tested his vacuum prototypes 5127 times before he solved the problem.
Jonathan Ive from Apple also believes that rigour and time are basic requirements of the long design journey from start to finish. There are no shortcuts.
Design is Something that Works
Dyson believes design goes deeper than what we see on the outside. He takes a much more in-depth view of design. It's about creating something that works. And the product must work far better than anything else on the market today. He often uses his engineering mind to put technology at the heart of his new inventions.
Dyson's thoughts align nicely with the Google X team that live across the Atlantic from Dyson HQ. Astro Teller of Google sees design and innovation as the intersection of a big problem, a radical solution, and breakthrough technology.
After studying James Dyson, he shares many traits of Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia. Dyson is designer and creator of anything else. He's almost an accidental businessman. The beauty of his lesson is that the more he focusses on solving problems, the more entrepreneurial success he has.