Forbes put out a great article on May 25th, titled “Bow To Your Billionaire Drone Overlord: Frank Wang’s Quest To Put DJI Robots Into The Sky,” by Ryan Mac.
The article is the first western publication interview with DJI founder and CEO Frank Wang. It is a long but fascinating read and offers many revelations about the new Phantom 3 and its rivalry with American Drone Company 3DR, which has been fueled by the fallout between DJI North America and DJI Global.
In my opinion, there are three main take-a-ways:
- DJI’s growth over that last 3 years has been phenomenal going from $160M in 13′, to $500M in 14′, to an expected $1B in revenue in 15′. Check out this video linked in the article.
- Wang did not attend the Phantom 3 launch in April in New York because “the product was not as perfect” as he expected. This is a scary revelation and if you read my previous post I hope there is not a link.
- DJI Global had a falling out with DJI North America in 2013 and by New Year’s Day 2014, DJI G had dissolved DJI NA, fired lead Colin Guinn and all his employees. Colin felt screwed and joined 3DR with a big chunk of his team. 3DR is the emerging American consumer drone company who is consider to be the new kid on the block with enough financial backing to take on DJI. 3DR has now been energized to avenge Guinn and his team, and defeat what I am sure they consider to be the evil empire. (Like the Facebook story, I predict this will find its way into a Hollywood movie someday)
Overall, I think the article tells a great story and well worth the read. I give it (5 drones out of 5). http://www.forbes.com/sites/ryanmac/2015/05/06/dji-drones-frank-wang-china-billionaire/
My Take – The fact that Wang is calling the Phantom 3, not a perfect drone and missed the launch, makes me nervous. That seems to indicate the product was rushed to market before he felt it was ready, and those situations typically end in disaster. I hope the potential Phantom 3 failure issue discussed in my previous post is not a sign of bad things to come. (more…)