LayerWorks is the name of a web design company that I started in 2009 along with two close friends. At the time, I had just graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Design and Visual Communications, and I was determined to make this start-up venture a success. Sadly, after about 2 years, much of our business dried up as a result of emerging content management systems (CMS), as well as online website builders such as the one that I'm using right now (how's THAT for irony?). My friends and I would often joke: Why hire a professional to build you a custom website when you can do it yourself on GoDaddy for $5 per month? You just can't compete with those Danica Patrick super bowl ads, ya know?

In all seriousness, I think that living and working in the Bay Area gave me a skewed perspective on what it takes to run a successful business. With companies like Apple and Google in your backyard, it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you can start a company as long as you have cool name, t-shirts, and a garage to work out of. The reality isand probably always has beenthat it's hard. Very hard. And it definitely helps to have an extremely large project and/or product offering right from the start, or an angel investor to get things going for youSomething substantial enough to justify going all in and leaving your day job behind.

So, the company LayerWorks is no more, but the name, which I am still very fond of, remains. It appeals to me because the idea of a "layer" exists in many of the paradigms that I've worked in. In software architecture, a "layer" is synonymous with a "tier" of an application, such as the presentation or business logic tiers. In Design, it refers to a transparent surface that you can apply effects or graphics to, in order to organize and separate the elements of your design.

While I still enjoy designing for the web, it has been my work as a web developer that has afforded me with the opportunity to work for some really great companiesThe top three that come to mind are the John Muir Institute of the Environment, ICF International, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. If you're interested, you can check out some of my work in the projects section of this site.

Today, I work as a Digital Technology Director for a company called Sitecore. Sitecore is a leading .NET CMS platform and e-commerce solution.</title>

Derek Hunziker