The DOIT Leverage Method: Progress
The application of innovation to solve everyday and even mundane tasks is the most common manifestation of technology. That has been the passion of Sir James Dyson, the creator of the first cyclonic vacuum cleaner that revolutionized and disrupted the relatively stable and low-tech market for vacuums. It wasn’t an instant success, nor was it a brainstorm that he whipped up over a weekend in his basement. Dyson leveraged his knowledge of industrial design, coupled with his education as a furniture and interior designer, to apply existing technologies to improve existing household products. This led to his first breakthrough innovation: the Ballbarrow, a modified version of the wheelbarrow that used a ball that could rotate 360 degrees as the fulcrum point instead of the front wheel. While researching different methods to manufacture it, he was introduced to the technology of cyclone centrifuges that were used to collect dirt and dust in industrial settings such as sawmills.
Leveraging his keen eye for practical solutions and underwhelmed by the performance of even the best vacuum cleaners from leading firms such as Hoover and Electrolux, Dyson saw an opportunity to use this technology on a smaller scale to create a different kind of home vacuum. Trying to get his partners in the company he had started to market the Ballbarrow to support this development, he was told to leave the company he had founded. Dyson was undeterred. As he averred, “We get frustrated by-products that don’t work properly. As design engineers, we do something about it. We’re all about invention and improvement.”
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