Dyson blowing hot air?

BBC report

James Dyson with hairdryer -- BBC

James Dyson with hairdryer — BBC

I don’t mind if I only sell 100 a year, as long as those 100 people think it’s really good. I wouldn’t make much money but that’s not always the point. That’s not what drives us, that’s not what makes it exciting.

— Sir James Dyson

Has Sir James Dyson gone mad? After spending 50 million pounds investigating problems of hair-dryers and launching his own luxury hairdryer retailing at 300 pounds, he says he would be happy to sell just 100 units. As long as his customers are happy. That would generate a revenue of 30,000 pounds. Or roughly a loss of 50 million pounds. To recoup the money roughly 200,000 units would need to be sold. Wow! What a charitable man!

The product will launch in Japan, a country of around 200 million, where 96% of likely customers already have a hairdryer.

The Dyson company founded by James Dyson, had a turnover of 1.7bn pounds last year, is best known for its bagless vacuum cleaners and high-speed hand dryers, and says it has a further 40 products in development.

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1M Prize for Engineering

Presumably to celebrate the Queens Diamond Jubilee, and to also celebrate engineering, a 1M pound prize has been announced to be given biannually for achievements in engineering.

Lord Browne, Chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Prize Foundation, said, ‘Too often the engineers behind the most brilliant innovations remain hidden – The Queen Elizabeth Prize aims to change that. It will celebrate, on an international scale, the very best engineering in the world’.
Candidates from around the world are able to win the prize, which is funded by 11 British and Indian companies, including BP. Organisers hope that the £1m award will come to rival the level of prestige enjoyed by the Nobel Prize.

http://www.iom3.org/news/prime-minister-launches-1m-queen-elizabeth-prize-engineering

This is interesting, but I think to rival the Nobel prize a fund would need to be established where the funding for the prize is completely independent from the sponsoring companies. I also think it is worth pointing out that although the Nobel Prize is given in Physics, Chemistry, Peace, Literature and Physiology or Medicine, it is worth reminding people that is was established by an Engineer.

— update —

The first Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering of 1 Million Pounds was awarded to Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Robert Kahn, Vinton Cerf, Louis Pouzin and Marc Andreessen for their pioneering work developing the the internet.

Read about the first QEEP at the BBC

Corus Teeside

2005 – Consortium starts with plan for 10 years of production.

Corus Press Release May 2009, Consortium’s termination of contract triggers consultations on future of Teesside.

2009 – a song.

2009 – 3000 march at Redcar to protest against closure of the Teeside plant.

BBC news 4 Dec 20091,700 jobs to go as production scaled down

Kerby Adams (CEO Tata Steel Europe) press statement

B Muthuraman, says future of Teeside in Employees hands, and they have to cut costs (Oct 2009)Video, Full Story.

BBC news 15 Dec 2009 – how much will loss of 1,700 jobs cost local community?.

Industry Losses

2 stories from BBC.
BBC is reporting about it’s citizen journalist scheme. One lady from Port Talbot in Wales has made a program about the threat to Jobs at the Corus plant there. She was refused a interview with the Corus’ new CEO Kirby Adams, she went to Mumbai and interviewed the head of Tata Steel – Balasubramanian Muthuraman.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8152853.stm

The second story is scandalous. Workers are staging a sit-in protest over closure of the UK’s only wind turbine plant, and the loss of 625 jobs at Newport in the Isle of White (525 jobs) and Southampton (100). The Dutch parent company says Northern European orders are falling, but at the same time the UK government says we need more “green jobs”. The parent company at the same time reported a quarterly sales rise of 59% to 1.11bn euros.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hampshire/8160218.stm