Industrial designer James Dyson, best known for his bagless vacuum cleaner creation, has a bone to pick with the Western world.Doug Saunders at The Globe and Mail recently spoke with the legendary inventor about manufacturing and innovation.
Dyson says that the West has “lost its will to invent and make things,” and “fears it may be too late” to catch its rapidly growing Asian counterparts.
Innovation of physical goods is dying in the West and that’s not the way to go, says Dyson.
He explains the problem in his home country of Britain:
“We’re traders and exploiters, we’re the City of London, that’s our culture. So you have a greater status if you go into banking than you do if you go to a manufacturing firm in Birmingham and make something real and export it, and create wealth that way. That’s the problem – it’s historical. It’s in our schools, it’s in our culture and it’s in our government.
“The trouble with Britain is that it built its success on the riches of its empire, rather than building its success on a manufacturing economy – we went out to the empire and flogged them what products we had, and took their resources, and made money off it. There was no need to be the best.”
And that culture shift has contaminated those closest to the UK, such as Canada.
Dyson admits that American companies are “very strong on technology,” but the country still has major problems in its education system, and it needs to be restructured fast.
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