Daryl Bryant ’00 is the CEO and Co-Founder of Hudson Horizons, an Integrated Web Agency located just outside New York City. With an integrated approach, the company specializes in website design, custom website development, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), paid search management, and Social Media Marketing (SMM) services for small, mid-sized, and Fortune 500 companies. But before there would ever be a Hudson Horizons, Bryant had to sit in the classrooms of Montclair State University. Bryant studied computer science and mathematics. Learning about programming, Bryant says, taught him what he needed to know.
Upon graduating in 2000, Bryant took a job as a software developer in New York City. In 2002, the company that Bryant was working for imploded during the Internet Bubble, and after surviving three rounds of layoffs, Bryant was let go from the company. He began to wait tables and “look internally,” as he says, about what it truly was that he wanted to do with his life. Adding that he “saw the future in the Internet,” this lead to the realization that he wanted to start his own business – and so it began. He waited tables by night, and worked on his business by day. Noting that he has “always been entrepreneurial,” he teamed up with his business partner, Matt Mayernik ’02, also an alumnus of Montclair State.
The duo continued to wait tables at night while building the business. This meant reaching out to businesses to develop their websites and continue to try and acquire new clients. The company has continued to grow, doing exceptionally well since 2008. Hudson Horizons currently has 25 employees and counting – including some other Montclair State alumni - and a growing client list.
This growth in the company has led Bryant to move the company into a bigger office space – complete with kitchenette, pool table, flat screen TVs, gaming system, bar, lounge chairs, Razor scooters, and more. When asked to describe a typical day, Bryant says, “We get a lot of work done. We focus on professionalism and the client, but we have a lot of fun along the way. I learned a lot about how I don’t want to run a business while working for another company.”
Hudson Horizons has succeeded in a damaged economy and an environment where many others like it could not. Bryant notes that there were rough times – twice where he and Mayernik almost had to close up shop, but they “worked like dogs – building the business and getting clients. We just kept pushing and persevering,” adds Bryant.
Bryant offers up some advice to alumni or students who want to become entrepreneurs themselves: “Ask yourself…are you 100 percent passionate about your venture? The true definition of an entrepreneur is to breed success and create a business you are passionate about, not just create a job for yourself.”
Visit the Hudson Horizons website at: http://www.hudsonhorizons.com/