Sucky & Bucky
‘You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.’
— Richard Buckminster Fuller
I think two of the most interesting inventors are James Dyson and Bucky Fuller (there is an interview with Dyson in the latest edition of Idealog Magazine.
Fuller's ideas were well ahead of his time. He had the insight to ask the question "Does humanity have a chance to survive lastingly and successfully on planet Earth, and if so, how?" His first priority wasn't his own wealth, but the wellbeing of mankind and the planet.
Many of his ideas were never successfully implemented, but there are some people who are catalysts, rather than the mechanical implementers of ideas. That is something that I think is often ignored - conception happens on a high plane and implementation at the lowest. Ask Henry Ford.
Dyson I admire for his fortitude. He had the courage to challenge the accepted way that things were done and gave the world the Dyson cyclone (I'd argue that, if he hadn't, the world would be much the same as it was before…Fuller didn't get things done that should have been, others have made things that they shouldn't have).
Dyson also had the courage to move manufacturing from the UK to Malaysia in the face of militant criticism from people who didn't understand where the true value of the business lay.
Don't misinterpret my comments about Dyson that seem critical - we like clean houses and nice design. Both Dyson and Bucky are significant for their influence on others.
I also like the Dyson motto: Making Everyday Work Better - The importance of the word 'work' is worth thinking about.