The Silicon Review
“Our mission is to allow drivers and passengers to interact with their displays in a completely new way!”
Glaza Inc is an automotive software startup that develops human-machine interfaces. The Glaza software uses the front-facing camera of a device to track where the driver is looking on the screen. When the driver blinks, it registers that as a tap. This allows the driver to interact with the console display hands-free as well as serving as a brand-new luxury feature. Glaza serves clients in the United States.
The company was founded in 2019 and is based in Los Angeles, California.
The Silicon Review reached out to Cristian Gonzalez, CTO of Glaza Inc, and here’s what he had to say.
Q. How would you describe your professional journey so far? What marked the beginning of your success, and what do you regard as your greatest achievements throughout your journey?
One of my favorite quotes is: rejection is redirection. As a startup person, I have been at the bottom many times. People always reject your ideas or undermine you but that should only open an opportunity for you to improve and analyze necessary feedback. You can never win every single battle but what’s important is winning the war. Looking back at my career, I became a member of a great team of innovators and successfully built revolutionary technology that exists in the automotive industry today. The fact that we now have the privilege to work with the biggest names in the automotive industry speaks for itself.
Q. CTO is the design and creative force behind the success of a company’s technology platform. What are your major roles and responsibilities at Glaza Inc?
As our technology leader, I define our technological vision and strategy. A startup can have a great idea, but it also needs to have a clear implementation plan. As Glaza’s Chief Technology Officer, I created our technology portfolio from the ground up, secured major partnerships with the world’s leading corporations, and navigated our company in the direction that allowed it to become one of the most promising automotive technology startups in the world.
Tell us what inspires you and your employees to innovate.
First of all, I am an innovator. I believe that constant innovation is what is driving all of us forward whether it’s our personal lives or professional endeavors. I started my career as a person who is always coming up with new ideas and I hope to end it this way too. It is also very important to be self-sufficient as you don’t always have people who believe in you. This is your opportunity to prove everyone wrong and proving everyone wrong is what brings people on board in the end!
Q. Who is your role model and how has the individual inspired you to culminate into the inspiring leader you are today?
My co-founder and Glaza’s CEO – Denis! We have been in the startup trenches together. Denis approached me a long time ago and asked if I wanted to join the company as its technology leader. Since then, we were able to navigate this entrepreneurial world and created something that very few people achieved. Together we overcame all the obstacles that we had in front of us and supported one another in difficult times. I believe that we inspired one another in a way that allowed us to lead Glaza to success.
Q. Why was Glaza born? What pain points did you set out to solve?
We are seeing two trends: vehicles becoming autonomous and entertainment displays becoming bigger and more powerful. In the near future, we will see drivers becoming passengers, and given that they won’t need to drive cars themselves, they will be able to spend more time interacting with their displays. Our vision is that in-vehicle displays of the future will be as important in everybody’s lives as smartphones and laptops. Drivers and passengers will be able to play video games, watch movies, browse the internet, download apps, and scroll through their photos and documents. Good interaction is the key to good user experience and that is why Glaza was born. Our mission is to allow drivers and passengers to interact with their displays in a completely new way!
Tell us, what’s next for Glaza.
One single most important challenge that incorporates both safety and convenience is the autonomous vehicle. We keep seeing videos coming from automakers and startups displaying their driverless cars, however, mass production keeps getting pushed back…for the right reason. Startups hope to see their vehicles on the road with full autonomous ability right away, but automakers are making a better decision – unveil semi-autonomous features in their vehicles one by one, get needed data and improve upcoming fully autonomous vehicle packages. Our goal at Glaza is to face that challenge and offer our technology to solve those problems that automakers face.
Q. How do you see Glaza changing in five years, and how do you see yourself creating that change?
Push-back from established automakers is always a concern. We must stay resilient. Too many startups try to tackle everything all at once but knowing how tiresome the automotive industry is, it is important to make small steps forwards. At Glaza, we always try to initiate a proof of concept first followed by a pilot project. You have to have a good understanding of automotive product lifecycles and adoption as this is a very lengthy process that you must survive.
This decade will be pivotal in the automotive industry as it is focused on rapid technology adoption. My mission for the next five years is to enhance our product and technology suite. That will allow us to capture that new market direction.
Q. Is there anything else you want us to highlight that we might have missed?
Having a successful career in the automotive sector, I have acquired several key learnings and success mantras from my journey.
Never underestimate the importance of showing your product in person. In our digital age, it is very easy to just email somebody or send them a link to your product. But as a startup founder, you always have to be prepared and ready to show your product. If it takes a flight to another continent to demo what you have been working on, then go ahead and book that ticket. You being in that room face-to-face is what creates great connections with potential customers and will lead you to success.
Cristian Gonzalez, CTO | In His Own Words
As a technology and product leader with several years of experience working with numerous entrepreneurs and startups all over the world spanning different industries and overseeing technology lifecycles from their very beginning to the end, I enjoy defining the purpose and establishing the vision for the product and its technology just as much as tracking budgets, roadmaps, and teams. Whether it is just an idea, demo, or a ready-to-ship product, I always strive to enhance features and user experiences while generating meaningful revenue for investors.