DaVinci CEO Offers Tips on Crafting a Successful Lifestyle Brand
The man who introduced bungee jumping to China is also behind one of the most influential vape companies around. Meet Cort Smith, the CEO of DaVinci.
DaVinci, the Las Vegas-based consumer technology company, has raised the standard for cannabis consumption by developing some of the most intelligent vaporizers on the market. Their devices are portable and feature-rich; each model comes with an exclusive set of functions, including precision temperature control, raising the standard of cannabis consumption.
CEO and founder, Cort Smith, is used to taking people to new heights – whether it’s bungee jumping in Asia or exploring new ways to enjoy cannabis.
We spoke with Smith about the smart vapes, his venturesome spirit, and the future of DaVinci.
An Adventurous Man Creates a Lifestyle Brand
Smith is an inventor and an adventurer. His list of achievements has earned him the title of “tech’s most interesting man in the world.”
Smith’s portfolio speaks for itself. He’s credited with introducing bungee jumping to China, produced the first China X Games, hosted a game show in Taiwan and helped build extreme sports parks throughout Asia.
Now, he’s set his sights on crafting the world’s best vaporizers.
The Palo Alto, California native moved to China in 1988 to learn Mandarin and start a business. He said he was drawn to Asia because of its potential to be the next economic powerhouse.
Smith brought his passion for the outdoors with him. He conceived bungee jumping towers, theme parks, experiences — like bungee jumping over rivers — and founded Bungee International, the world’s largest bungee jumping company.
During the process, Smith said “cannabis opened up my creativity. It allowed me to image technology that didn’t exist.”
The nature of his work required him to be detail oriented, and heavily invested in safety as “people’s lives were at stake,” Smith said.
He applies that same emphasis on quality to build to DaVinci’s line of vaporizers.
The vape was a personal project for Smith. The lifestyle traveler wanted to craft a lifestyle brand: a tool that would fit his own needs, while also advancing the conversation about cannabis.
“Just like introducing Bungee to China,” Smith said, he wanted to introduce something new to the cannabis space — something that was “euphoric, elevated,” and portrayed cannabis in a “positive, romantic, beautiful way.”
Smith founded DaVinci in 2011. The company offers a line of state-of-the-art vapes, including the DaVinci Classic, Ascent, IQ, and MIQRO.
Driving Exploration, Engagement, and Innovation
Adventure is instilled in the DaVinci brand. Products encourage consumers to explore – whether that’s different flavor profiles, temperatures, or through the company’s Explorers Club. Vaporizers can be personalized, synced with phones, and used to vape oil or flower at specific temperatures ranging from 250-430° F.
The Explorers Club is a platform for DaVinci customers. Members can earn points, access to new products and get invited to special events. Here users share stories and become inspired by “how others are maximizing their experiences in a life augmented with cannabis usage,” Smith added.
For Smith the word explorer “means to adventure into unknown places; to be a seeker of new information,” he said, “to let curiosity drive [one] to higher levels. Cannabis is a conduit to allow people to explore their minds.”
Smith said DaVinci aims to be the heralded brand among cannabis connoisseurs for “the people who really indulge in cannabis, who are driving science and change.”
Customer feedback is part of the company’s product development process. DaVinci recently conducted a survey and compiled the results of more than 400 respondents.
“We read through all of the comments,” said Smith. “We pay attention to what our family likes, what they don’t like, what words they use to describe it, the most useful features… ” he said. “To be the connoisseurs’ choice… we have to be [their] ears, we have to listen to what they want and how they want it.”
User comments inspire the company to modify designs by exploring different styles, features (like storage compartments), batteries, materials (like glass-on-glass) and more. “Our purpose statement is to empower the cannabis experience; arm our consumers with new knowledge about terpenes, boiling points, [etc.] so they can better express themselves, share with loved ones, and undo stigma [to end] 80 years of prohibition.”
A Conscious Product, a Conscious Consumer
The company is just as invested in bringing forward education about plant science – terpene, cannabinoids, etc. – as it is about the science of the material used to ingest cannabis, Smith explained.
DaVinci’s Ascent Vaporizer is made with an all glass pathway. Everything the vapor touches, from the mouthpiece to the heating element, is glass. There’s no heated metal, plastic, or silicon. The only thing the user tastes is cannabis.
“By providing an optimize tool, we can better facilitate conversations that explain flower, and raise the level of consciousness in society,” Smith said. “If we prove it’s a positive thing – we will see communities, friendships, and peace, all of which traces back to the lineage of cannabis usage. We are raising the standard of how people should be using cannabis.”
Setting higher standards goes full circle at DaVinci. Smith said employees are expected to lead and strive for the best.
“We’re not satisfied with the norm, we don’t accept things at face value,” he added, “It’s how we run our business and our lives.”
DaVinci works with organizations in the U.S. and abroad – including the Wounded Warrior Foundation – to provide refurbished vapes to medical patients in need. Outside of the cannabis industry, the company has worked to identify and build schools in mountainous regions in India and Afghanistan.
This year, the company will work with Sight to Sky, a Singapore-based foundation focused on providing low-cost health care to communities in need.
In the future, Smith said Davinci will continue to stay true to its roots but will also explore all facets of ingestion. The future is bright indeed.
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