So I set out to create something that didn’t rely on me to be successful. Create an object that people want to engage with because it became a meaningful object to them.
It takes a lot of people to keep GRAV running like a fresh-from-the-lathe coil showerhead water pipe. From product development to order processing and shipping to sales and marketing and everyone else in between, the GRAV family is big and always growing. But none of us would be here without one person: the founder and CEO Dave Daily. Dave isn’t one for tooting his own horn or jumping into the spotlight. He said it best himself when he told me “I like to be in the shadows a little bit.” However, recently Dave was kind enough to emerge from the shadows (not really, most days he can be found roaming the halls of GRAV headquarters with a hoodie and a smile) and sit down with me for an interview. We covered everything from starting a company to living in a prohibition state. Below are the highlights, edited for clarity and brevity.
In 2004 Dave started GRAV as we know it today, on his own, from the ground up. When I asked him about the motivation behind this huge endeavor, he replied
When strangers have our products there is no better feeling.
The Era of the Gravitron
In the beginning, Dave only sold GRAV’s namesake, the Gravitron, which he invented. He described the process of making each Gravitron by hand:
Transitioning Into a Multi-product Business
Dave expected to find success selling only the Gravitron, but eventually, he changed course. He explained:
Watch Dave talk in more detail about the birth of the Taster and this era of GRAV.
Taking on Leadership
Dave described how the experience of being GRAV’s CEO has changed over the years:
He also revealed his favorite part of the journey so far:
When I asked Dave if there was a certain turning point when he knew GRAV was going to be successful, he gave me a deadpan “Um, no. Let me know when that happens.” Finally, he conceded:
Dave spoke about engaging with that wide ocean that is the cannabis industry with obvious excitement:
I think the biggest challenge facing cannabis in the future has a lot to do with amnesty. You know there’s still a lot of people that are in jail for it that should not be and that’s gonna take a big shift in local politics to really affect that.
Dave’s hopes for individual cannabis brands as well as the industry, in general, revolved around one theme: ending prohibition. He explained:
Working towards prohibition is not an abstract concept for GRAV. Dave noted that “...we take a lot of pride in contributing a lot of money to reformation organizations and there are certainly some [cannabis brands] that do a better job than we do but most of them don’t. And picking good reformation organizations and giving generously will accelerate the changes that we like to see.”
I asked if he was optimistic about Texas going legal any time soon. He said “No, not at all…. I do think that we’re going to see some strides. They should expand qualifying conditions. We’ve got some really exciting decriminalization language that we think is gonna pass. So yeah I wish that I could be more optimistic about legalization but we’ve got a lot of educating to do to get there.”
Of Tasters and Unicycles
Of course our conversation wasn’t all business plans and political projections. When it came to his personal Cannabis use, Dave revealed, “I don’t use it medicinally… it’s a recreational sport for me,” and described himself as “a once a week guy.” He added “I always smoke out of a Taster,” proving that he still has a soft spot for his second ever product.
I got my biggest surprise when I asked Dave if he had any New Year’s resolutions. His response was immediate: “I really wanna learn how to ride a unicycle. I always wanted to do a backflip so I really wanna do a backflip this year which means I need to like go get a coach and I need to do it in a smart way. I don’t wanna die learning how to do a backflip.”
As we closed out our interview, Dave hinted at “some secret projects that I can’t talk about” and I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.