Ask a Billionaire: James Dyson on Dealing With Failure

The vacuum cleaner company founder shares his strategy for dealing with failure

Photograph by Kalpesh Lathigra for Bloomberg Businessweek

James Dyson
Founder and chief engineer, Dyson
Net worth: $4.4 billion

What’s your strategy for dealing with failure?

“I mean, 99 percent of my life is failure, because we’re building prototypes all the time. We’re trying out ideas, and they all fail. You then have to try and make it work, and that requires hundreds or thousands of prototypes—all of which are failures—until you get the one success. So we’re totally used to failure. Failure’s fascinating. It’s much more interesting than success. And it’s what, you know, we build our lives on.”

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