2011 will be chalked up as one of the best years in the history of gap intelligence.  We turned eight years old in 2011 and to me companies are like people in their development.  At eight years old we can run and jump and solve long division problems.  We can take care of ourselves, feed ourselves, even tie our own shoes, but we know that our best years are well ahead of us.

Our eighth year is also when we took some big swings as a company.  We went through a significant metamorphosis from a firm focused on what and how we do business to why we are in business.

The why.  That’s our 2011 in a nutshell.

But let’s go through the year in gap intelligence:

In January, gap intelligence moved into our fifth business location:
1) 345 15th Street
2) 1380 Garnet Avenue
3) 3300 Third Avenue
4) 701 C Street
5) 2448 Historic Decatur Road

Liberty Station

The new office is about 7,200 square feet of pure awesome and located in a freshly renovated business park called Liberty Station.  Renovated in 2005, Liberty Station was formerly the Naval  Training Center for the Pacific Fleet and just about any World World II Navy seaman passed through this facility.  The designers did an amazing job in modernizing Liberty Station, but at the same time kept the spirit of the Corps in the walls and surrounding grounds.  Our offices are a converted barracks that touch the old quad – you can almost hear Reveille echo in the night…..

New office space for the inside, new website on the outside:

New_Website
Special thanks to Steve Stadwiser and Cathy Nerenberg of Sessionwise for development.

A bit of controversy with the new website is its very unorthodox right-side navigation bar. I love it!

2011 Kick Off

Our annual kick-off was held in February and we toasted to a successful 2010 and laid plans for what became a phenomenal 2011.  Beyond the new categories, projects, and initiatives that we would embark on, we focused on our why.  Why are we in business?  Do we work for revenues and profits or do we want gap intelligence to be a different kind of company?  By the end of the day we realized that we have an opportunity to become something very special.  We recognized that we all give roughly 1/3rd of our day to our work and that time is something that should be cherished.  We have to make that time rewarding, fun, engaging, powerful and impactful.  From that day forward we will strive to make our work at gap intelligence contribute to something bigger than us, bigger than the company, and create an environment that generates an unparalleled spirit…..we’ll have fun.

Here is our 2011 mission statement:

“gap intelligence is a values-led corporation. We strive to deliver the highest quality of research and service to our clients, expand opportunities and professional growth for our team members, and operate a company that recognizes the central role that business plays in our community.”

“We are driven to contribute to something bigger than ourselves and trust that our hard work will turn into something great and that we’ll have fun along the way”.

Now that is sweeter than YooHoo.

gap_university

We launched several big initiatives that February day that would impact not only our client facing services, but also the team within gap intelligence.  No initiative proved to be bigger than gap University (www.gapintelligence.com), our own institution of higher education.

gap University aims to build a strong and united community by sharing ideas and skills in a fun and creative way.  Our team consists of people from a wide range of skills and backgrounds and we wanted to collectively share our experiences with each other.  While other organizations hold mandatory meetings on invoicing or cold calling, gap intelligence wanted to go a step further (make it fun) and create our own University.

gap University Professors hold classes twice a month that cover subjects both professional and personal.  We held classes on giving presentations (Professor Young), Conducting Meetings (Professor Peterson), Photography (Professor Peterson), Bug Ticket Generation (Professor Cowan), Baking (Professor Greetis), and Social Media (Professor Stone).  The school has its own Dean (Dean Dahukey), Department of Athletics (AD Keenan Thomson), and fraternity (Gamma Alpha Pi).

For the record, the gapU Beach Volleyball Team lost in the first round of the playoffs.

Here is our Freshman Class of 2011:

Rookie Class

gapCon

Our first annual gapCon was held in early May.  gapCon is a convention that celebrates ourselves – our culture and our people.  In short, we wanted to give our analysts a forum to conduct market presentations in a group setting.  Instead of forcing analysts to give presentations to a half empty room of imprisoned co-workers, we wanted to make gapCon a “gap intelligence” event – so we made it fun.

This video says it all.

gapCon blossomed into something bigger than we ever dreamed.  Headlined by our opening speaker, San Diego City Councilman Kevin Faulconer and technology keynote speaker Kelly Abbott, gapCon made the local news.  At one point, three television news crews covered gapCon and highlighted the launch of Social Media app mygivingtweet.com.

Here is the coverage!



gapCon 2012 is scheduled for June 8th and is free to the public.  RSVP at info@gapintelligence.com

Another Press Mention:

Speaking of press, our own Mobile Computing Analyst, Deron Kershaw, made national news with his insights on falling notebook computer prices.

Habitat for Humanity

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In June 2011, gap intelligence made a difference in our local community.  After raising $1,500 for Habitat for Humanity, gap intelligence went to National City to help build a home for a family in need.

The experience was extremely rewarding as it gave us a chance to give back to our community and make a difference in San Diego.  The day was also fun for a me personally, as I got to play with countless power tools – jigsaws, power sanders, and nail guns.  We climbed scaffolding, hung panel, put up a chimney, and installed a HVAC system.

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Giving back could not have been more fun….and exhausting!

Приветствия в Узбекистан

Most people don’t know that gap intelligence’s unique culture expands across international borders.  Our team located in Tashkent, Uzbekistan contributes significantly to our market intelligence services, but also embraces the spirit of gap University and giving back to the local community.

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The Tashkent team has held gap University classes on Art, Self Defense, Microsoft Excel, and baking and has made a tremendous effort to give back to the city of Tashkent.  This year, the team decided to help sponsor an orphanage in Tashkent and just recently was a contributor to a Christmas event that donated toys to the children.

The why of our business, contributing to something bigger than ourselves, translates to any language regardless of region, continent, or government.  Team Tashkent’s daily efforts to deliver high quality services and giving back to their local community is no less important than our work here in San Diego.  2011 was my first visit to Uzbekistan and I was overwhelmed with pride to know that we are working with such great people.

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The Awards:

Have I mentioned that we won some awards:

San Diego Best Places to Work Finalist

Inc Magazine’s Top 5,000 Privately Owned Companies – #1,814
Top Tax Relief Firm Honored at Inc 500 Awards Celebration in Washington DC on Oct 2, 2010

 

San Diego’s Fastest 100 – #39

Texas A&M University
The May’s School of Business – Aggie 100 (#44)

2006 Aggie 100

While its great to be recognized, I am always reminded that the rewards do not come from slick sales and boastful promises.  Our success comes from our people and a culture that empowers them to make a difference to the business and to the community.

Susan G Komen
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In October, gap intelligence raised funds for two causes that are close to home.  Susan G Komen for the Cure and American Lung Association Fight for Air.  I doubt that anyone of us doesn’t have a loved one that that has suffered from cancer or is impacted with lung disease.  The gap intelligence family is certainly not alone and this year we made great efforts to raise funds to help these causes.  In 2011, the gap intelligence team raised nearly $13,000 for Susan G. Komen for the Cure walk and thousands more for the American Lung Association and The Jimmy Fund.

This little company is doing great big things.

Did I mention that we launched a new Data Center?
Data_Center
We try to make everything at gap intelligence fun including how our clients gather our information.  We use a shopping cart system to organize and share our information with others.  Our clients can customize their own “Headlines” page just like Facebook and can even give themselves their own avatar.   Now that’s fun!

My avatar looks like Ashton Kutcher, because we look so alike…
Ashton_Kutcher

Holiday Parade & GAP Awards

2011 ended with our annual Holiday Party and G.A.P Awards Show.  On December 3rd we hopped on a float and were a part of the Ocean Beach Christmas Parade, a first for the company and one of the most fun events we have ever been a part of.  Thousands of people lined the streets and waved at our passing “Retro Christmas” themed float that featured a disco dance floor, disco balls, and retro-costumes.

Holiday-Party-2011-048

The G.A.P Awards headlined the evening as the coveted “gappy” was given to dozens of gap intelligence team members.  Some of the highlights:

Most Valuable gapper – Tom Young
People’s Choice – Scott Peterson
Presenter of the Year – Deron Kershaw
Leader of the Year – Jake Fishman
Team Spirit Award – Sarina Dahukey
Nickname of the Year – Diedre Kennedy aka Dr. Dre
Hardworker of the Year – Gurpreet Kaur
Rookies of the Year – Erin Vogelsanger & Natasha Belak-Berger
Impact Player of the Year – Liana Greetis
Research Assistants of the Year – Taryn Poppelewell & Mike Broome
Can’t Live Without You Award – Laurel Popplewell
Professor of the Year – Joshua Stone
#1 3T (Time, Treasure, Talent) – Katie Hess
Lean on Me Award – Kendra Gebhart
and many others…..

Holiday-Party-2011-123

2011 was a remarkable year for this company.  We found our why and with it we accomplished things we never thought possible and I have never been so proud of a company.  We raised close to $20,000 for local charities this year.  We built a house, supported an orphanage, and we won some awards along the way….

My hope is for all of you who contribute to gap intelligence whether as a client, a vendor, or a friend, that you know your support is turning into something great.

We have even bigger plans for 2012 and we welcome you all to join us for the ride.

It’s going to be fun.