Gordon Smith, the founder of Jetsam Technologies, was a Tool & Die maker by trade. He always had a passion for building and started working in his chosen trade at the age of 14.
Gordon first developed an interest in rebreathers around 1968 when he first read about Walter Stark and the Electrolung.
The first rebreather Gordon built was in 1995. Over the following years he built several different versions. In 1998, five versions later, he made 5 units which were sold to local friends.
All the early research and development, building of the various units and the first 5 units which were sold, were funded by Gordon personally. The funds from these first 5 units sold, was invested back into the company.
In 1999 he modified version five, to what is now known as the Classic KISS. He made another 5 units which sold over a few months. As before, the money went back into the company which allowed him to increase the next batch to 10 units. Following was another batch of 10, then 20 units and then finally Jetsam was building batches of 50, which is what we still do today. In putting the profits back into the company early on, Gordon managed to build a stable, healthy, profitable company.
In 2004 the Sport KISS was finally released to the marketplace after almost 3 years in development.
The KISS philosophy, Keep It Simple, came from Gordon’s background. As a Tool & Die maker by trade and a designer & builder of molds, he knew that some of the most reliable machines are those that are straightforward, easy to use and easy to repair. Knowing that he was building a machine that was to be taken underwater and that was life support equipment, he felt strongly about the KISS principle. He felt uncomfortable in adding clutter and electronics to the unit as trouble shooting underwater would be difficult.
A key point to remember is that everything eventually fails. This is especially true with anything you take underwater.
GORDON SMITH 1950 – 2006
Gordon Smith passed away on January 9, 2006. Jetsam Technologies is carrying on with Gordon’s dream of building closed circuit rebreathers. We will always remember him for his love of diving and the new innovations that he brought to this industry.