If the sky is the limit in starting and running a business, Dan Goman wants to see just how high he can go. A serious fear of heights has inspired him to travel all over the world and seek out opportunities to climb to the top of the tallest buildings. He’s been to Prudential Center in Boston, the Space Needle in Seattle, the top of the World Trade Center in New York, and the Grand Canyon Skywalk, among others.

“I try to force myself into scary situations,” said Goman. “My worst fear is to coast through life and not take any risks.”

Goman, 40, is founder and chief executive at OwnZones, a Beverly Hills tech company that facilitates the delivery of customized content for over-the-top, streaming, and mobile networks, working with media partners such as Magnolia Pictures, Cinedigm, and Amazon Inc.

It took courage to get out of his comfort zone – steady, high-paying jobs at Fortune 100 companies such as Microsoft Corp. – in order to take a leap of faith into the unknown world of content creation. But in life as in business, he said, the sweaty palms and nerves associated with reaching great heights are just part of the journey.

“I have a goal of riding the tallest, fastest roller coasters in the world. In addition, every chance I get, I make sure that I go to the tallest buildings in each city,” he said. “This is how I confront my fears head on, and it also helps me in business.”

Building Up Abroad

Architect Julie Smith-Clementi’s eye for design follows her abroad. Earlier this month, she took a trip to Europe and made a stop in Barcelona, Spain, where she took a liking to the century-old work of Spanish Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi.

“His work has almost mythological qualities to it,” said Smith-Clementi, a partner at design firm Rios Clementi Hale Studios of Larchmont Village and chief executive of the firm’s product company, notNeutral Inc.

Smith-Clementi, 52, explored Gaudi’s famed basilica Sagrada Familia, a living monument still under construction, 90 years after Gaudi’s death in 1926.

“Simply walking into the space gave me such a very powerful, visceral feeling,” she said.

She also admired Barcelona’s use of public space, which provided a strikingly immersive cultural experience that strongly diverged from the vehiclecentric infrastructure of Los Angeles, she said.

“So many cities are becoming more similar to one another and it’s become so difficult to find unique places,” Smith-Clementi said. “Travel allows you to find the essence of a place – giving you a glimpse of what it’s like to be a part of a different culture.”

Staff reporters Kristin Marguerite Doidge and Jonathan Ponciano contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by Editor Jonathan Diamond. He can be reached at jdiamond@labusinessjournal.com.

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