Kamprad: How Dyslexia Shaped IKEA

This video is all about how dyslexia shaped IKEA. It has a VW beetle with lots of boxes on its roof as the central image as we all know that with IKEA, you’re tempted to buy so much and load your car up with it all!

This video is inspired by an article by virgin.com titled ‘How dyslexia helped to create IKEA’.


The story begins with a Swedish boy who struggled at school with reading and writing. In spite of his difficulties he ended up performing well in his studies and this may well have been because his father rewarded him financially!

At the age of 17 this boy used this financial gain started a business. This boy was Ingvar Kamprad and the business he began was IKEA. This story is about how dyslexia shaped IKEA and it highlights the positive impact of dyslexia because Ingvar built a business around what he was good at and used innovative ideas to overcome things he found a challenge.

IKEA began as a mail order company and Ingvar delivered the products to people’s houses. This explains why so much of IKEA’s furniture comes as a flat pack. In the early years Ingvar used a milk truck to make his deliveries.

For Ingvar, the numerical codes for each item were a real challenge and this is a great example of how dyslexia shaped IKEA. The individual codes which were too difficult for a dyslexic to remember were replaced with Swedish names for each piece of furniture.

The next challenge for his dyslexia was the complex written assembly instructions. Dyslexia helped to create the IKEA instructions we know today because Ingvar replaced the words with illustrations that actually make sense. The furniture isn’t always easy to build but the pictures definitely help!

The addition of an Allen key and the screws and fixings that you need with your flat pack furniture meaning you have the tools you need for the assembly is also a helpful dyslexic work around. It ensures you are ready for the job at hand without the distraction of searching for tools and equipment.

The next, time you pick up your Allen key to build your flat pack IKEA furniture you can remember how dyslexia shaped IKEA and how Ingvar Kamprad harnessed the creativity of his dyslexia and left us with the amazing legacy of IKEA.

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