Saint Patrick’s Day brings with it leprechauns, green drinks, greenless pinches, and of course the Lucky Charms of the Irish. The topic of “luck” often comes up this time of year and how luck can impact business. Brilliant business educator, Jim Collins, teaches that all businesses experience both good and bad luck all of the time. Collins stresses that great businesses are the ones that make the most of their good luck. We can all agree that this global pandemic has been a bit of bad luck, but even within these unlucky times do fortuitous bounces come our way.  gap intelligence, for example, has quietly been tracking in-stock availability of online products for years with little to no commentary from our clients. However, when global supply chains were turned upside down as a result of the pandemic, our data proved invaluable and was broadcasted on Good Morning America.

That was a bit of good luck.

Jim Collins also writes that even more powerful than good luck is “who” luck, the people that you meet that are willing to invest their time, talent, and treasure in you. I am reminded of my own “who” luck when gap intelligence celebrates its birthday because without tremendous “who” luck, there would be no gap intelligence today. 

In 1999 I reached out to an adult soccer league in hopes of continuing my wildly mediocre career as an amatuer soccer goalkeeper.  The commissioner of the league suggested that I attend a try out and they’d find a team for me to join. Luck would have it that there were twelve other wildly mediocre soccer guys just like me who were looking for a team. We were piecemealed together and called the “X-Men” as no one else wanted us.

The X-Men were great!  We won a lot of games, we won a few tournaments, and we beat teams from around the world. Even better, the X-Men were loaded with “who” luck.

Flat lay composition with horseshoe on green background. St. Patrick's Day celebration

When I started gap intelligence, I needed a logo and X-Men midfielder Micahel Jaramailo came up with the iconic “G” that you see today (and Garth Brooks stole).  Knowing that my prospective clients were Fortune 100 firms, I needed to make gap intelligence look like a BIG research company that had a real office with a real address. X-Men forward Reid Carr gave me a desk and address at his brand new advertising agency called Red Door Interactive. gap intelligence needed a website (and a cheap one at that)  and X-Men defensive back Kelly Abbott built our first website and online database (revolutionary at its time). Through X-Men forward Ted Fates, who was in law school at the time, I met Nikki Dell’Ara who wrote gap intelligence’s Articles of Incorporation and is still the company’s attorney to this day.

It takes a village to raise a child and it took a soccer team to build a small business. The “who” luck that was generated from the X-Men became the foundation of gap intelligence. I am forever grateful to those folks who helped me get on my feet and there are countless lessons I have learned from “who” luck. I treat everyone I meet as a potential source of “who” luck, not just for me, but for them. How can I be “who” luck for you?

gap intelligence started March 1, 2003 and by July the phone still hadn’t rung and I was a few weeks away from going broke. I had to attend a family wedding in late July and I set the expectation that if I didn’t get any work by then this little adventure called gap intelligence would have to close down. Luckily, the day before I left for that wedding my friend Dan of HP called and had a consulting project for me. Dan’s project kept the lights on for a few weeks and then Denise of Epson called, then Tom of Canon, Maria of Kodak, Magaly of FujiFilm, Julia of Olympus and here we are 19 years later.

All lucky breaks.

Every business has good and bad luck. The key is to make the most of your good luck and never, ever discount your “who” luck.

For the last 19 years, gap intelligence has served manufacturers and sellers by providing world-class services monitoring, reporting, and analyzing the 4Ps: prices, promotions, placements, and products. Email us at or call us at 619-574-1100 to learn more.