Frank Wang’s story is an amazing one because he took his childhood passion was able to grow it into the largest manufacturer of consumer drones globally, DJI. It is proof that you can follow you dreams, and you can turn your dreams into success, if you persevere (and if you get very lucky with all the right external conditions).
Inventor Frank Wang loved model planes as a child. Ten years ago, in a college dorm room, he turned that early passion into the makings of a business that has since gone on to control 70% of the fast-growing market for consumer drones. Indeed, his company, Dajiang Innovations (DJI), has largely shaped the idea of what we think of as a drone.
Remote-controlled model aircraft had long been high-end toys for rich niche hobbyists, but DJI took the notion mainstream. The company’s increasingly ubiquitous quadcopters are an easy to use, affordable and eye-catchingly sleek consumer product. They feature built-in camera, stabilizers, GPS and an increasing range of useful modes. Revenue of the company increased 100-fold between 2011 and 2015.
Growing your business is one thing, but being able to keep it growing and diversifying is another hurdle; however, there are many successful models, Amazon and Bezos for example. So what can we expect from Frank Wang and company as DJI grows in the future?
A challenge for all drone makers is how to adapt to the needs of different industries. In agriculture, the needs of farmers differ from location to location. In China, farms are relatively small and scattered, and it is hard for farmers to use large machines, so drones are used mainly for pesticide spraying. In the United States, farms are large and small drones could not handle such a job. Drones are better used there for surveying, inspection, mapping and collecting growth data to reduce pests, improve irrigation efficiency and make harvest predictions more accurate. If we want to enter an industry, it is not just about the drone itself, it is about how different industries require different functions. We tailor our products to the different needs in terms of the hardware, software, service and operation system. Now, we are expanding into the energy sector where solar energy companies are using our cameras to inspect rooftop solar panels. Another area we focus on is infrastructure construction, as our models can be used in geographic mapping. We think that in the industrial market, drones are best used for capturing and collecting data.
Creativity is at the heart of every dream. Every idea, every groundbreaking leap that changes our world starts with the vision of talented creators. At DJI, we give these creators the tools they need to bring their ideas to life.
Our platforms empower them to capture images that were once out of reach. Our flying and camera stabilization systems redefine camera placement and motion. Amazing photos and video, treasured personal memories, and high-end professional imagery are captured every day, in every corner of the world using DJI products.