In 1992, Shi Zhenrong, founder of Acer Group, proposed the “smile curve” theory of “rebuilding Acer”:
The OEM process is at the bottom of the curve, with the lowest added value of the enterprise. On the contrary, the profit of R&D front-end and sales terminal is higher.
In the past 30 years, for Chinese enterprises, from “Made in China” to “Made in China”, there has also been a smile curve in the high-quality transformation and upgrading of strong products, technologies, and brands.
The brave have no boundaries, from developer to definer
Once upon a time, international brands were synonymous with quality and advancement in the minds of many Chinese people.
For example, Dajiang, founded in 2006, has become a pioneer in intelligent manufacturing in the field of aircraft. It has accumulated millions of users worldwide and has customers in over 100 countries, like a business card of “China Smart Manufacturing”.
How to overcome difficulties?
A vivid keyword is “innovation”. Founder Wang Tao once said, “Dajiang’s success stems from an attitude of always focusing on products.” This is directly reflected in products with strong insight and technological attributes.
In 2013, Dajiang launched the “Spirit” Phantom, the world’s first all-in-one aerial photography machine, which quickly set off a “Spirit Whirlwind” overseas.
No assembly required, flying out of the box. It can be flexibly controlled through remote control and smart phones, greatly reducing the technical threshold and cost of aerial photography. Industry analyst Hao Rui believes that the significance of Dajiang’s exploration in the non professional drone market is comparable to that of Tesla in the new energy vehicle industry.
It’s no exaggeration to say that every time Dajiang launches a new product, whether it’s an aerial drone such as DJI Air 2S and DJI FPV, or a handheld photography product such as DJI Pocket 2, such as professional imaging devices such as Shadows and Inspire… innovative experience and technological disruption always amazes the market and has industry leading significance.
Strong strategic position comes from strong technical strength.
Xie Tian, Director of Public Relations of Dajiang, once said, “Every component of Dajiang UAV that can be disassembled is produced by oneself, and the underlying code is their own. It is difficult for any drone company to bypass Dajiang, whether it is a patent or a research method.”
Here, I have to mention the words of Wang Tao, the founder of Dajiang: “In our father’s generation, China has always lacked products that can move the world, and made in China has always been unable to get rid of this situation.” Winning the market through cost performance. The success of enterprises in this era should have different concepts and values. Dajiang is willing to focus on making truly good products, reversing this situation that makes people less proud. ”
This kind of geek spirit has accumulated for many years, making Dajiang an incubator of divine artifacts. From disaster relief, agricultural spraying, to precision mapping, Dajiang, which accounts for about 70% of the global market share of consumer grade drones, is exploring broader application space. In addition to the industrial drone at the code B end, intelligent hardware such as motion cameras, camera accessories, and related products in the field of intelligent driving have also been introduced.
In other words, Dajiang is not only a technology developer, but also a definer of productivity.
Due to the market share and strong product pressure, Dajiang’s revenue has steadily increased: from 2015 to 2017, its revenue was 5.98 billion yuan, 9.78 billion yuan, and 17.57 billion yuan, respectively. The board of directors of Dajiang stated that the revenue of Dajiang will reach 170 billion yuan in 2022.
Why has the volume of performance sales soared?
In the field of intelligent cleaning, a new force of “geek spirit” has also emerged.
Dyson hair dryers and vacuum cleaners have long occupied the top spot in China’s cleaning market. However, its dominant position is being eliminated by domestic brands.
For example, in October this year, Dyson finally launched the “first dual purpose floor cleaner”, which is several times slower than Datong, Tianke, Mijia, and Shunzao.
Similar to the dominant position of Dajiang in the field of aircraft, technological innovation is particularly important in the field of intelligent small appliances in the dogfight between strong and powerful countries.
In October 2021, it sought to obtain 3.6 billion yuan of round C financing, creating a new high in financing for the intelligent cleaning industry.
Why attract capital?
With high-speed digital motors, fluid dynamics, and robot control as its core technologies, the company has been seeking to expand its product line to four categories: sweeping robots, wireless vacuum cleaners, floor washers, and high-speed hair dryers for several years, and has been exported to more than 100 countries and regions such as China, the United States, and Germany.
Why does the wind cause water to rise?
Close relationship with founder Yu Hao. When he graduated from Tsinghua University in 2015, Yu Hao, who loved aerospace since childhood, did not choose drones, but instead switched to smart home appliance circuits.
The reason is simple: products should be able to enter thousands of households; There must be certain technical barriers and business expansion.
At that time, Dyson entered the Chinese market and became a popular crispy fried chicken. Yu Haomin gained insight into the core technology of his hair dryer: “high-speed motor”.
When the rotational speed of the motor increases from 20000 rpm to 100000 rpm, the suction increment is the square of the rotational speed increment, that is, 25 times.
From a business logic perspective, what is the effect of getting twice the result with half the effort? The effects of decades can overturn many consumer experiences, and also contain business wealth invisible to ordinary people.
In order to find the core anchor point, Yu Hao has built a composite team including core research and technology implementation. In 2017, the first 100000 rpm high-speed digital motor was officially developed.
At the end of 2017, Datong Technology officially joined the Xiaomi ecological chain, responsible for intelligent cleaning products.
In December 2018, the first product, the wireless vacuum cleaner V9, was launched through crowdfunding. It was sold out in six days, with 18888 units sold and sales exceeding 15 million yuan.
Since then, pursuing sales has been like a ladder, doubling from 500 million in 2019 to 2 billion in 2020, and then to 4 billion in 2021. Get the world from consumers
。 It can be said that the pursuit of leapfrog popularity is similar to that of Dajiang, which is to retain consumers with the ultimate product experience.
In the field of ground cleaning, where many heroes have emerged, pursuers are known as “the king of performance”.
In terms of vacuum cleaners, take its latest wireless vacuum cleaner, the Chase Wind V16S, as an example. It is upgraded from the original 210AW power of the V16, and features green light dustproof display edge soft plush floor brush, removable battery pack, and other functions, anti entanglement and anti mite brush, removable dust cup, and flexible flat suction head.
In terms of sweeping robots, the pursuit of intelligence is also well done. Once upon a time, the “artificial intelligence” of sweeping robots was jokingly referred to as “artificial intelligence disabilities”. In September 2022, it sought to reach strategic cooperation with the artificial intelligence platform Spitzer. The latter will provide Datong with intelligent sweeper solutions, endowing sweeping robots with intelligent voice interaction capabilities, and making products more intelligent and interactive.
From a vertical perspective, improve performance parameters and fully pull the product; Horizontally, continue to deepen and improve the user experience, streamline details, enrich intelligent technology, and consolidate the moat. The interweaving of the two dimensions further seeks product power and echoes the original intention of using more advanced technology to make better products. “We need to provide better products and services to consumers.”.
Not only intelligent cleaning, but also a broader vision and pursuit of competition under the trend of intelligent development.
Yu Hao said, “Pursuing the future will be a broad robotics company, and we will continue to do well in the heart and brain of robots. The heart is a high-speed motor that provides a source of motion, and the brain is an image based on perception, recognition, planning, and control. With the heart and brain, we can expand one field after another.”
Of course, challenges remain. Compared to the rapid development of “heart” motors, the improvement of “brain” core intelligence is still a barrier. There are also many competitors. In the intense track competition, it is even more important to strive to get rid of homogenization.
See also the advantages of catfish technology outweigh the disadvantages
Intelligent manufacturing is so magical
It can be “from top to bottom” like Dajiang and Star Chasing, or “from bottom to top” like Laifen.
Laifen Technology was established in early 2019, positioning itself as an innovative technology company focused on motor technology and structural innovation. Although only three years old, its explosive growth has made it a catfish.
In December 2021, the sales volume of Laifen Company was 7 million yuan; In September 2022, the media reported that the sales volume of Lefin was close to 1 billion yuan, with an average monthly sales volume of over 100 million yuan.
According to Ye Hongxin, the founder and chief engineer of Laifen Technology, Laifen’s market share has increased from 1.4% in 2021 to 30% now, significantly surpassing that of Japanese established company Panasonic and high-tech founder Omori. Accelerate the hair dryer industry.
“This is not only the achievement of Laifen, but also the confidence and recognition of Chinese brands.”
How does catfish stir up the industry?
As the saying goes, cheap goods are not good, and good goods are not cheap. However, Lefin has brought about a disruptive revolution in technology upgrading and price reduction.
On September 26th, Lefin Technology held a new product launch conference called “Carrying out Technology Inclusion to the End”, officially releasing the new SE (Special Edition) version of high-speed hair dryer, upgrading the “Low Price High” operating price, which was once again unveiled, at a price of only 399 yuan, 200 yuan lower than the original series. With wind speed performance far ahead of competitors, the price is one fifth of that of top international brands.
“Radical” play has a certain relationship with Ye Hongxin himself.
Unlike Wang Tao and Yu Hao, Ye Hongxin is not a technology tycoon who graduated from a famous university, but his rich entrepreneurial experience and e-commerce accumulation have kept him feeling like a top seller. After graduating from university in 2006, Ye Hong joined the entrepreneurial tide. He helps companies build their own websites, and he also does e-commerce himself. He has strong ideas about the product itself and is familiar with the idea of blockbusters.
“I think hair dryers must be a popular product because the product experience has been improved too much and there are too many selling points.”
In the first two years of its establishment, “0 Product” has been in the research and development stage, specializing in core components and motors. The resulting product power can be quantified: the speed of the Thunderwind Motor is 110000 rpm, which can blow out an ultra-high wind speed of 23.65 meters per second. The rotational speed of the Dyson motor is 115000 rpm, while the rotational speed of an ordinary hair dryer is 1-2000 rpm, making the motor smaller.
In an interview, Ye Hongxin said that Leifen’s research and development has made many “impossible triangles”.
“For example, the optimization of motors, air ducts, and rotating blades have a parameter called dynamic balance. If the balance is within one milligram, the stability will be very high. In industry, five milligrams was normal, but we insist on achieving one milligram.”
It can be seen that Lei Fen’s pursuit of technology research and development and geek spirit is also in a continuous line with the pursuit of Xinjiang and the pursuit of stars.
What is more worth mentioning is that such strong performance, like domestic beauty makeup, can make a certain brand premium. However, Ye Hongxin insisted on not raising prices and even introduced a cheaper version of SE. This also stems from its special understanding of price: price is an important factor in consumer decision-making. As prices decline, more and more consumers will be covered.
With this counter common sense logic, the “unworthy” Laifen stands out. With a combination of solid product strength and Ye Hongxin’s e-commerce experience, Laifen quickly achieved a breakthrough from 0 to 1, and its sales volume continued to explode, becoming an industry catfish.
But it’s not without hidden worries: hairdryers, as durable goods, have a slower iteration speed and lost “high-frequency” consumer support. How does Lefin increase the market?
Industry analyst Yu Shengmei said that the future trend of the domestic hair dryer market is not only the competition between single brands, but also the deeper logic behind it. On the one hand, vertical industry competition has deepened the market, and on the other hand, enterprises should also enhance their risk resistance capabilities and appropriately strengthen extension barriers.
In response, Lefin has two directions in its external statement: continue to introduce higher level and higher performance versions in the field of hair dryers, suitable for use by the American industry; Create a new path and launch a new category of electric toothbrushes next year.
Admittedly, should we establish an all consumer market? Laifen and Ye Hongxin need to make further choices.
A deep level of thinking is that the market for smart small appliances is inclusive and cannot escape the logic of channels.
Currently, Laifen is still the king online, but there is no complete offline sales channel. As an internet-based Xiaomi brand, offline experience stores have mushroomed, while both Daimori and Panasonic are relatively complete in terms of terminal access, whether they are exclusive channels or supermarkets.
Obviously, after the emergence of the black horse, how can we make this growth more solid and sustainable? It is also the soul test of Laifen and Ye Hongxin.
Industrial logic transformation
China’s Intelligent Manufacturing Accelerates into Deep Water Zone
Teng Binsheng, a professor of strategy at Changjiang Business School, said, “Hard tech unicorns are becoming the pacesetter in China’s technological innovation. They represent industry trends and national competitiveness, and are often seen as pacesetters.” Their scale has become an important indicator of a country’s and regional business environment, innovation capabilities, and innovation ecology. ”
Yes, we can see the vivid epitome of China’s innovative enterprises through the development path of new talents and new kings. Behind the dominance of unicorns and the subversion of catfish is the industrial logic of accelerating change: supported by a complete industrial chain, many high-end and cutting-edge fields are constantly attacking cities and villages, technology research and development is becoming increasingly high-quality, and Chinese brands are becoming increasingly prominent
From the edge to the core, from the strength of a single product to the comprehensive competition of the entire chain such as the industrial chain and supply chain, the rise, substitution, and transcendence of domestic products are moving towards deep water areas
Each milestone not only gives Chinese people a greater sense of gain, but also gives domestic manufacturing a stronger voice. From 0 to 1, from 1 to 100, China’s “smart” manufacturing runs faster!