Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Innovation Experience of a Drone Company----DJI

For a technology company, the most important thing is innovation. The article Cisco’s CEO on Staying Ahead of Technology Shifts mainly told us about how a successful technology can stay on the frontier of technology. However, Da Jiang Innovation (DJI) is a Chinese technology company that manufactures unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), also known as drones, for aerial photography and videography, gimbals, flight platforms, cameras, propulsion systems, camera stabilizers, and flight controllers. The strategy of DJI is enabling creators to form a culture of constant innovation and curiosity.

To some extents, DJI shares lots of things in common with Cisco when they face to the important changes which are necessary. For these two companies, they both see the market disruption as an opportunity rather than a threat. DJI is also brave like Cisco when it faces a change.

When they first enter the civilian-drone industry, most of the aerial photo and video was recorded by a cameraman on the helicopter, which is a pretty high-cost work. Only the production project with a sufficient budget can think about aerial video. So DJI precisely aimed at the low-cost civilian drone. They face a huge pressure because at that time there is no company produces a civilian drone like DJI. Most of the drone in the market is for military use. Finally, because the creative positioning of DJI’s product, the present of DJI product make an aerial video and photo a very common shooting method. And DJI became the leading company in civilian-drone industry in no time.

After DJI establish its status in the civilian industry, they never stop innovation. DJI is just like Cisco, they see the market disruption as an opportunity rather than a threat. DJI always replace its existing products with the new generation actively regardless the disruption of sales of its older product. For example, when DJI launched the newest generation product Mavic Pro. Comparing to previous product Phantom4 with the same potential consumers, the newer product is no doubt more competitive in all aspects than Phantom4. According to the provided data, Mavic Pro have better flight performance, larger transmission range, more intelligent flight autonomy and better image quality. Additionally, Mavic Pro is more portable due to its foldable design. So DJI is never afraid of a better product will threaten their sales of the existing product. They believe that the evolution of technology is the best opportunity to expand the market.

Although innovation and technology change is a good way to stimulate the technology company’s development, there is still some concern needed to be considered. First of all, the Geography can play a part in spotting market shifts. For DJI, it is headquartered in Shenzhen which is widely considered as China’s Silicon Valley. So DJI enjoy many benefits of the good policy and human resource of Shenzhen to help its innovation. Apart from that, all innovation of DJI is based on its adequate sales of the various product. Only when they have sufficient profit from the sales, they can invest more in research and development. In order to get a sufficient sale, DJI focus on distribution through e-commerce channel instead of the traditional physical store.


Above all, these efforts contribute to the innovation of DJI and keep DJI still on the frontier of the civilian-drone technology. The technology company should learn something from the experience of DJI and Cisco. Only in this way can the company have a leading status in the industry, even redefine the industry.

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