Dan Goman is the founder and CEO of OWNZONES Media Network, an entertainment technology business that originated as a content company before breaking into SaaS. The son of two immigrant parents who sought political asylum in the United States after expressing dissent towards the communist government in their native Romania, Goman used his intuition and technological acumen to help media companies such as Microsoft, Lucent Technologies and AT&T Wireless advance their technology before trying his hand at entrepreneurship.
Before navigating his adulthood in the booming technological industry of the United States, Goman was born in western Romania, and until the age of seven called the country home. His parents were both university professors, and would often express their dissent to the country’s totalitarian government and religious restrictions. His father was particularly vocal in his opposition, and as a result he along with his wife were fired from their positions, forcing them to work menial jobs to support Goman and his eight siblings. They applied for political asylum in the United States, and after an anxious few months during which they struggled to put food on the table and were constantly worried about government surveillance such as phone bugging, they were granted asylum.
Fearing for their life, the family left three days ahead of schedule in the night, taking only two suitcases each and leaving the rest of their belongings behind. They traveled by train to Serbia and on to Italy, followed by New York and finally Los Angeles where they settled. Dan spoke no English, and soon learned the frustration that comes with a language barrier. As with many who wish to learn a new language, he picked up much of it from the television shows that were available to him such as Wonder Woman.
From a young age Dan showed a prowess for technology, and at age twelve after his family moved from Los Angeles to Seattle his father purchased a used IBM computer and some floppy discs. Dan quickly commandeered the device and spent hours teaching himself programming, until he promptly crashed the computer once he had used up all of its memory. His youth also gave him the chance to flex his entrepreneurial skills, as his parents opened up a copy and print center when he was in high school. He spent many hours after class helping out his parents at the shop, and although the business eventually failed he learned valuable lessons that can only be gained from working at a startup business.
Goman briefly attended Seattle University after graduating high school, but found it wasn’t the right fit for his aspirations and left the college, moving back to Los Angeles where he had spent some of his youth. He eventually went on to graduate from the University of Maryland, but before that he became a computer operator at Pacific Bell Telephone Co. overseeing the running of computer systems and ensuring that the machines and computers are running properly. The company eventually merged with Qwest Communications International Inc. and after staying on for a time he took a position at the company’s software development center Qwest Software Services. In that position, he was able to travel handling repairs and replacements for the company’s technology, and provided service for large companies such as Walt Disney Co. and CitiBank.
After a time at the company traveling across the country and around the world, Goman moved his home base back to Seattle and began working for Computer Associates International Inc. doing technical presales, assisting in the enterprise sales process as a technical resource. Showing his superlative technical skills, he was soon promoted within the company to a post-sales position, working in an architectural capacity on the technology itself and assisting in the implementation of it for companies such as Boeing and American Express. He also worked for the telecommunication companies AT&T and Lucent Technologies (now Nokia) rolling out their new data network and as a senior consultant respectively.
Goman’s final job before branching out on his own was for Microsoft. When he was first entering the technological sector, he enrolled and completed the Microsoft Certified Professional certification program, becoming a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MSCE) and allowing him to gain a leg up against his competitors. Now, he was able to work for the company itself, becoming a program manager and helping the company integrate an Austin-based gaming company it had recently purchased. His skills and tenacity saw him become a software developer and network management specialist for the company, and he was given the task of managing Microsoft’s entire network worldwide, on all of their devices.
In the aughts, Goman began noticing the ever-increasing shift towards digital content, both from paper and broadcast media. His experience at Microsoft provided him insight into digital rights management and planted a seed in his mind for a company that would allow access to different forms of content in one location. Feeling the pull of his individualistic and entrepreneurial spirit, Goman left his job at Microsoft and in 2009 started OWNZONES.
For the first six years the company functioned as a content company, creating, launching and operating over 400 digital channels, managing over 5 million assets, and distributing to over 25 countries. Utilizing his background in software, Goman made sure to build within his company a talented team of software and tech experts to ensure that they wouldn’t be held back should the technology for the innovation they desired not be available yet elsewhere. However, upon realizing the value of their technology to the content partners they had gained, Goman and the company pivoted to focus on their state of the art technology, becoming a SaaS company and offering their digital supply chain solutions and cloud-native media workflow B2B. Today, OWNZONES has become a one-stop shop for post-production companies to transform, deliver, and monetize their content. Recently, OWNZONES patented FrameDNA technology won TV Technology’s 2019 Product Innovation award, and the company has partnered with GrayMeta to integrate its AI search capabilities with their Connect video supply chain technology.
Today, Goman lives in Beverly Hills, balancing his busy work schedule with spending time with his wife and five children. He makes health and fitness a priority in his life, advocating the benefits of healthy eating, gym workouts, and IV vitamin therapy. When he can find spare time, he also enjoys hiking and practicing his skills at flying drones, always interested in the next big ideas in tech.