The next Apple is…

I’ve been an Apple enthusiast for quite some time. A few weeks ago, I was backstage at a speaking event and I had my MacBook on my lap, my iPhone on my knee and my iPad on the chair next to me. A crew member walked by, shook his head and said, “You’re sad.” Perhaps. 

Obviously, Apple’s a great case study for a wide range of business topics including branding, advertising, design, innovation, business strategy, and more. That being said, I’m a little tired of talking about them. I use Apple in speeches all across the country and they’re kinda becoming a cliché. Mention their name and crowds start to auto-nod as if they’ve already heard it. It’s probably because they have. 

But who’s the next Apple?

I think it’s Dyson.

It all started when founder James Dyson was cleaning up with a vacuum and thought, “There must be a better way.”

There wasn’t. So he invented it.

Interestingly, most other manufacturers chose to ignore negative consumer opinion over vacuum bags. Hell, their business model depended on people buying them by the crate. Why address something that would eliminate a $500 million a year disposable bag business? Not companies focused on the bottom line. So they stayed the course.

Unfortunately for them, Dyson was rather focused, too.
Dyson became the UK’s best selling vacuum in 1995.

Can you say, “Disruption”?

Who doesn’t love the Dyson Airblade? I always wanted to help save the environment by avoiding paper towels in public washrooms but the gerbil-propelled hand dryers took 20 minutes to heat up and I’d only end up wiping my hands on my jeans anyway.

 Then, Dyson showed up.

They created a hand dryer that wiped the water from your hands with purified air traveling at over 640km/h. Throw in the fact that it uses 80% less energy and it’s easy to see why they’re popping up everywhere.

The Dyson brand promise is simple: We’ll make it better.

They made vacuuming better.
They made drying hands better.
They have even made fans better.

What I most like about them is that they don’t restrict themselves to any specific category. Vacuums. Dryers. Fans. I can’t wait to see what they’ll tackle next because I know that at the heart of it will be a well-designed product that solves a real customer problem by just being better. And if all goes well, we’ll line up for it at a Dyson store, book times with the Dyson geniuses, and look to them to save us from our daily frustrations. 

We’re waiting, Dyson. Please keep thinking. 


_________________

Thanks to @mylifeonlinenow for forwarding this article on James Dyson from Wired Magazine:


 

7 Comments

  1. alipkin

    Totally agree. And I'm not just sucking up (ha)Anthony Lipkino: 647 317 3889 c: 416 471 4290 http://www.dx3canada.com

  2. Ron Tite

    I taste smoke.. it must have been blown up my butt… ; )

  3. DinaVard

    Ron, I particularly like the comment around not eliminating a customer irritant like vaccum bags because its a revenue source. It takes real business guts to lead product development with the customer in mind–what a concept 🙂 Dina

  4. Ron Tite

    Thanks for reading. I think that point is the most important of the whole process. Innovation couldn’t occur because true innovation would have required a change to the business model. As you say, keeping the customer in mind… what a concept.

  5. Jorge

    I have had a Dyson for a number of years. Part of the reason that I invested in it was the fact that James Dyson’s story is so compelling. When I heard that they were making fans, I was pretty stoked.Unfortunately, I can’t afford those suckers (yet). But man, when I can…

  6. Ron Tite

    Yup. Love to have one myself…

  7. mike zane

    Fine, except one thing. Paper towels are renewable, most electricity is not. Dont get sucked in so easy.

Leave a Reply to Jorge Cancel Reply