Ask a Billionaire

James Dyson on Negative Feedback


Dyson’s first invention was the Rotork Sea Truck, a watercraft he sold while in art school

Kalpesh Lathigra for Bloomberg Businessweek

Dyson’s first invention was the Rotork Sea Truck, a watercraft he sold while in art school

James Dyson
Managing director, Dyson
Net worth: $4.4 billion

How do you deal with negative feedback?
—@amalt

You learn from it. Often it starts a line of development: Well, yes, that person said they want a light vacuum, which is impossible, because motors are very heavy. So you say, “We might develop light electric motors—no one’s ever done it before; we must do it.” About 18 years ago, we set off on that journey. It took us 15 years before we launched a revolutionary small, light motor. Negative feedback is really interesting. I enjoy it in a masochistic way.

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