Distinguished Alumnus – Daniel Black
Interest Cluster – Entrepreneurship and Technology
Daniel Black, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Glass – Media, Inc. received his Bachelors of Arts Degree in Economics, Government and a Leadership Sequence from CMC in 2011.
At CMC, Black was part of the Student Investment Fund, Winston Churchill Society and worked as the Lead RTA for a year. Awardee of the “CMC Entrepreneur of the Year,” Black launched a fast food delivery service, devised a custom glassware business and piloted a textbook/furniture exchange online marketplace for the 5Cs.
During his undergraduate career, he founded the College Matchers Inc. which was a free online marketplace for students to buy and sell textbooks, furniture and more on campus. Launched in 2008, this website helped students at the Claremont Colleges save more than $50,000 over three semesters.
After graduation, Black headed to San Diego, working as a Marketing Associate at Underground Elephant–the company provides a platform to combine technology, data driven analytics and media as a way to connect clients through vertical marketing strategies. Black says he “spent the bulk of [his] time A/B testing Facebook Ads in an attempt to increase click through rates (CTR), improve lead quality and lower the cost per lead (CPL).”
Black made his way to Dallas in 2013, working as a Program Manager at DigiWorksCorp. DigiWorks uses matchmaking concepts to deliver the right device to the right customer, based on their demands. He spent much of his timed providing innovative project ideas, managing project schedules and identifying risks for stakeholders.
After working at the Underground Elephant, Black said he became interested in making the “offline-online retail experience considerably more seamless.” He started developing his business model after working for months on research and development.
Finally in 2014, he founded Glass – Media Inc., a perfect example of an industry change leader advancing end-to-end marketing solutions for Fortune 1000 brands with physical footprints. The company’s display of technology works to enhance customer experiences in the digital world.
While remembering the days of developing his business model, he suggested, “time heals all wounds, practice makes perfect, don’t make the same mistake twice, fail fast, fail often and rely on employee feedback.”
As a self-taught entrepreneur, Black highlights several changes in the entrepreneurial and technology industry over the years:
1.) High millennial and college graduate unemployment rates are pushing more individuals into entrepreneurship.
2.) Government and private organizations are investing in entrepreneurial resources for their constituents.
3.) Large corporations are doubling down on innovation centers in an attempt to accelerate the adoption of leading-edge technologies.
Being a true entrepreneur involves finding the problem and creating a solution. Black experimented with various business ideas by looking for problems amongst the students and pursuing them with student friendly solutions at the Claremont Colleges. His career path after school allowed him to actively understand and observe the upcoming market trends, which led him to combine the flourishing technology industry with entrepreneurship and finally found Glass – Media Inc.
Black’s experiences reflect his careful consideration in choosing which jobs best suited his career goals of what jobs to take up in order to get the most out of a job. Apart from his work, Black reflects on having a good work balance in order to lead a good life. Talking about his CMC experience, Black’s experience emphasizes the positive impact that the alumni community played after he graduated.
Black was always an active member of the CMC Community. While he was a student at CMC, he experimented with various startup ideas to make student life easier. Now he also works with the CMC Admissions Office as an alumni interviewer.
He’s doling out some advice for current CMCers:
- If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.
- Live within your means.
- In your early 20s, salary is everything. You’ll eventually wake up and realize just how important work-life balance really is.
- If you’re going to be risk-seeking professionally, do so while you’re young. Married life, kids, and a mortgage will change things.
- Surround yourself with good people.
- Never forget the art of a firm handshake and good, but non-awkward eye contact.