It’s the end of the year and most of us are looking forward to the challenges of the New Year. News about James Dyson, announced today, should both cheer and incentivise all inventors.
I first met James over twenty years ago and have followed his meteoric rise with great interest (and admiration). Back then I don’t think either of us would have dreamt that today he would have an estimated fortune of £3 billion and has just overtaken the Queen in terms of landholdings.
The purchase of a 3,000 acre estate has taken his total landholdings to 25,000 acres – that’s more than Her Majesty’s 20,000 acres, according to The Sunday Times. This has fuelled speculation that he will soon be turning his inventive abilities to agriculture. He confesses that he “feels at home in the country” after being raised in agricultural North Norfolk.
Not bad for a self-made man who, through determination and a damn good idea, has become a modern Edison. Most landowners with estates of this size didn’t have to work for their success – they were born with a silver plough in their mouths.
If you’re an inventor, toiling in obscurity, just remember that James Dyson was once in your position too. He is living proof that it is still possible, even in our high-tech world, to invent a world-beating product and to reap the rewards.