How Frank Wang DJI Innovations Conquered The Drone Market

In the past decade drone manufacturer DJI grew from a sole proprietorship into a company with a turnover of one billion dollars. An estimated DJI currently accounts for 60% of sales in the drone industry. But how did the founder Frank Wang managed to create a multi-million dollar business in such a short time?

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The video at the bottom of this article tells the story of Frank Wang, who as a child dreamed of remote controlled robots. He crashed his first helicopters, but Wang did not drop in the towel and he quickly repaired the toys.

Flight controller

During his studies at a technical university in Hong Kong Wang developed his first electronic flight controller, the piece of electronics that makes a drone stable in the air and requires little input from the user to hover in the air. That formed the basis of DJI, and his Quest To Put Robots Into The Sky.

The real breakthrough came in 2013, when DJI introduced Phantom 1. This was the first truly RTF quadcopter with which ordinary consumers could make magnificent pictures, a great improvement with respect to the toy drones available on the market at that moment. Whole tribes went there with the Phantom out to make beautiful aerial shots. And then DJI put a drone on the market that formed the standard for consumer camera drones, the Phantom 2 Vision.​

Professional systems

Since that first flight controller and Phantom, speed on DJI releases of new models and innovations is unprecedented. Not only the Phantom line was developed at a rapid pace, at the top of the market DJI introduced professional systems such as the S1000 and later the Inspire. DJI also came up with all sorts of derivative innovations such as Ronin and Osmo.

World player

With the recent acquisition of Hasselblad, DJI seems to broaden its product portfolio even further. Meanwhile, DJI keeps trying to talk to several more markets, think of agriculture, inspections, monitoring. However, a major obstacle to the development are regulations, which are hopelessly lagging behind many countries in innovations where DJI always comes along. Nevertheless, DJI has evolved in 10 years into a world-class player, where we can expect many top products.

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Nathan Mayer
 

When not thinkering around drones, you’ll find me researching latest technology insights from UAV industry.

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