Hey! I’m Derek Glass, the founder of Glass Web Projects. I unofficially started the company when I was a returning student at IUPUI in the fall of 2011. My first project was with the egg-cellent company of Nap Town Chickens. I began working with Andrew Brake on NapTownChickens.org when Andrew inspired me with his vision such that I immediately wanted to get started. I worked with Ashlee Fujawa, who created the graphic design, and we became our own little chipper unit. I provided my services for free to develop this website, learned a great deal about web development and acquired an understanding of what the public wants from a website. I served as a diligent little volunteer to create something interesting and creative. What I didn’t expect to happen was that the website would have so much utility and value for Andrew.
Throughout the following year, I provided many updates to NapTownChickens.org. I started to feel an immense satisfaction from encouraging and influencing an organization I really believed in and wanted to support. I WANTED MORE. I told Andrew that I would never accept a dime from him but did expect him to say my name at least once per sentence when talking to friends. I was involved in a few other projects, including working with a local insurance company – ShipLtc.com – and providing enhancements for my Dad’s local tax business – GlassTax.com. Much of my time in 2012 (when not caring for my pregnant wife) was spent planning and creating what I needed to run the company. My drive for the business was cheerful goodwill to others while trying to make a little profit, so I could occasionally treat ourselves to locally-made cupcakes.
After putting in the time to prepare for business, I started to realize the profound power I had been given as a business owner: I have the ability to assist and influence whomever and whatever I want and really have a chance to do something great. I graduated from IUPUI over the summer of 2012 and was given a pretty good job where I had been interning. For once in a long while, money wasn’t the main issue and I was really able to expand my creative business ideas without being held back by the pressures of paying the light bill. Our bubbly firstborn arrived soon after graduation. Life was great and I started to have an entirely new perspective on everything. I thoroughly enjoyed being a new father and learning that I can pass on a principle-centered and loving culture to my family. I started being a part of the community and enjoying new and fulfilling relationships. These are things I simply didn’t have time for as a student and really started to rethink how I should be spending my days.
I strive to use my powers for good and drive to positively impact my community. Beyond the profit margins and dollar signs, I want to learn why local businesses thrive and help other businesses like them get to that crucial point. I want to remove the barriers of doubt and confusion caused by large businesses and get down to just solving problems, efficiently and effectively. I want to teach my community that businesses aren’t built around concrete and walls or profit and loss but the people who work there and the passionate ideas they want to spread. Most importantly, I want to teach my community, by leading through example, the power and simplicity of doing what’s right and show them that they too have this profound ability to make an impact.
Where did the idea for this company come from?
Many places. It started out like every other web development company. I wanted to build websites and content management systems for businesses to make them more efficient and look really good. After planning out the company, I realized that this was extremely boring and had already been done 30 million times over. I wanted something unique that would make a real impact.
After reading the book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, I began to look at how I spent my time and what I really valued. This was the first warning sign that my company was on the wrong track. What value do I really have in life if I’m just making websites like everyone else? I started to really take deep looks into every area of my life. Many of the changes were very painful, yet out of that pain came incredibly rewarding changes such as this company and my wonderful family. I was inspired by the book “The Better World Shopping Guide” which helped me outline the criteria for the organizations I want to work with.
While I was hunting for my first job out of college, I realized that the company I was searching for didn’t exist. Thus, I went to work creating my dream employer by changing my existing business. I spent all of my time focused on planning for the company that I never took time to imagine what I might be creating. The result is that I’m now employing and servicing an incredibly intelligent, thoughtful and all-around amazing group of individuals. What a spectacular treat! As it turns out, I wasn’t the only one searching for a company like mine. And the benefits and rewards continue to double each day.