James Dyson on Killing the Contrarotator, His 'Educative Failure'

Sir James Dyson in 2000 with his Contrarotator washing machine part Photograph by Michiel Hendryckx

James Dyson famously took 15 years and 5,126 prototypes before coming up with the bagless vacuum cleaner that made him a household name. But that doesn’t mean the U.K. inventor doesn’t know when to quit. While Dyson has since moved into products from hand dryers to bladeless fans, he reluctantly abandoned one of his favorite inventions: the Contrarotator Washing Machine. He spoke me about his decision to kill the innovative—and expensive—product.

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