Automotive Holiday Deals Books Holiday Gift Guide Shop Women's Cyber Monday Deals Week Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Prime Music Sweepstakes egg_2015 Fire TV Stick Grocery Gifts for Her Amazon Gift Card Offer mithc mithc mithc  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage R6 Siege Outdoor Deals on bgg

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Against the Odds: An Autobiography 2nd Edition

25 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1587991707
ISBN-10: 1587991705
Why is ISBN important?
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used
Condition: Used - Good
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: (Hardcover) This book shows minor wear and tear, it may or may not have a cracked spine or dog eared pages.
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
27 Used from $4.04
More Buying Choices
13 New from $50.60 27 Used from $4.04
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James Dyson is an inventor and the founder of Dyson Appliances. He invented the Dual Cyclone, the country¿s biggest selling vacuum cleaner. He is also a board member of the Design Council. He lives in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.

Teacher Supplies
Browse our Teacher Supplies store, with everything teachers need to educate students and expand their learning.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Texere; 2 edition (April 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587991705
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587991707
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,317,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Important Information

Example Ingredients

Example Directions

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Donald B. Siano on October 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The story told here, an autobiography, is one of the most inspiring that I've read in a long time. Dyson is an inventor and industrial designer who has taken his bagless vacuum cleaner from the garage to a huge enterprise. I loved this story and wound up really admiring the man. His distinctive approach to industrial design, his perseverance and gutsy self confidence enabled him to show that even in the world of huge multinationals, with all their central research laboratories, there are still opportunities for the lone inventor to make it, big-time.

I especially enjoyed the part about the early development of the machine, in which he made something like one version per day for over three years, varying things one at a time, measuring everything to exhaustion, all the while sinking further and further into debt. Edisonian it was, but sometimes that is the only way--the quest for the quick breakthrough emphasized by modern industrial managers can be a real obstacle to progress. I've seen it at work first-hand.

The book is rather lavishly produced with ten pages of glossy photos, many of them in color, supplemented by many sketches and drawings. The big margins and the attractive typeface on acid-free paper combine to make a very pretty book, worth owning.

This is the sort of book that once you put it down, you feel better about the world, the striving of man-the-builder, and realize that, even in England, things can get better.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By John C. Dunbar on January 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great story of a stubborn, possibly cantankerous, designer turned manufacturing entreprenur. It was a real page-turner and I couldn't put it down.

This Brit took on the vacuum sweeper industry worldwide and now is introducing washing machines that may be technologically superior -- just like his sweepers. He has invented and introduced several products to the world.

Here's what you can get from this book:

1) A humorous story of entrepreneurial struggle and then success,

2) Dyson's rules for product design,

3) Dyson's rules for start-ups for manufacturing companies,

4) Some great words to improve your vocabulary (he's British remember),

5) Lessons in patents and the lengths to which you will have to defend them,

6) How entrenched product manufacturers will buy companies to squelch a superior technology to keep it off the market,

7) How your wayward son who goes off to study art may actually end up richer than you.

8) How to protect yourself from unscrupulous competitors (are there any other kind?)

Most important of all are his rules for design and for startups.

His basic rule for coming up with new products goes like this:

Find a durable consumer product that every household buys. Find out what bugs people about this product. Use technology to dramatically improve its performance -- preferably find the technology in other industries. Look for new materials providing superior durability. Prototype, prototype, prototype. Test, test, test. Then design outward for style and ergonomics (Form follows function.) Don't listen to others. Don't hire consultants. Market and manufacture it yourself.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is subtitled "an autobiography," but it isn't really about James Dyson, the man. It is about James Dyson, the inventor and designer who conquered the vacuum cleaner market. The difference? Dyson includes everything that might explain his success as an inventor, but gives only limited attention to his personal or interior life. Dyson briefly mentions some crucial points, like the strain his ongoing travels put on his marriage, or his wonderment at his companies' many lawsuits, but if you're seeking a man's inside emotional story, this isn't it. However, if you're looking for an exciting account of an inventor who proceeds, as Dyson puts it, in an Edisonian fashion, read this book. We recommend it to anyone engaged in design, engineering, marketing or innovation. The stories it contains, especially the descriptions of inspiration or frustration - are refreshing in this theoretical age, as is his advice on creating and marketing innovative products. Dyson's book proves that a vital place still exists for individual vision and old-fashioned perseverance.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Burris on October 31, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading a really great book that I think that anyone would enjoy. The name of the book is "Against the Odds" and the author is James Dyson. I bought my copy from book has everything and was hard to put down. It is a recent (2002) well written fascinating autobiography of Dyson who took huge risks and overcame tremendous difficulties to rise from poverty to become Sir James and a billionaire by inventing the very successful cyclonic vacuum cleaner and other products. The book is about innovation, what makes people resist innovation and act against their own interests, business principles and organization, marketing in different cultures, education, etc. and is a great story especially when you are in need of a little inspiration. Read what he did when he was told "Your product can't be any good because if there was a better way to make a vacuum cleaner, Hoover would have already done it".
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: filofax japan, corrugated plastic sheet, against the odds