Sir James Dyson – the billionaire inventor, turbo-bespectacled, closely buttoned, best known for things that suck and things that blow, but specifically ones that do each very well – took to a stage in early March 2018 in the Meat-packing District of New York and began to tell the crowd about how his latest product sucked like never before.
The item in question was a vacuum cleaner called the V10. (Dyson products tend to have names you suspect engineers coined; this is not unrelated to the fact, as Dyson himself admits, that, “The company is run by engineers now. The CEO is an engineer. All the product directors are engineers.”) It was the latest in Dyson’s range of “stick” battery-powered vacuums, which is to say it is more like a gun you fire at the floor, complete with trigger, than a hulking machine you push around. The difference has seen some unexpectedly comic consequences – when a couple buy one, for instance, the man will often start taking up cleaning duties.
“Hello,” Dyson said, arriving to light clapping. “That’s very kind. Now…”