1) Name

Mike MacDonald

2) How did you get to gap intelligence?

During my 5 year gig at Active Network, I was fortunate to cross paths with Michelle Monaco (then Michelle Nation). While we never found ourselves working directly on the same team, I got to know her as a friend and gained a ton of respect for her as a project manager and human being.

Years later Michelle saw my résumé posted online and she arranged a meeting with me over coffee to catch up and discuss gap intelligence, a company that immediately piqued my interest. Much to my surprise, Michelle never showed up to the coffee shop for that meeting and I ended up accepting a position at another company just days later. Fast-forward another year, the stars aligned and Michelle (overcome with guilt from standing me up the year previous) went above and beyond to ensure that I got the job at gap intelligence when a position became available that I simply couldn’t turn down.

3) What values lead you and why?

The people I have enjoyed working with the most have all had one distinct value in common: humility. Humble people are open-minded, they admit when they are wrong, they are open to opportunities for growth and they are willing to explore new ways of doing things because they know there might be a better way.

MacDonald Family

4) What skills are you bringing to gap intelligence and what skills are you excited to learn?

Given my short attention span, I found myself well-suited to becoming a “technology generalist” (“digital jack of all trades”, if you will) and I made a deliberate effort to expose myself to as many relevant technology disciplines as possible. After 15+ years and more than a dozen employers, my résumé looks a bit like an elementary school collage: UX/UI designer, software engineer, creative director, photographer, eCommerce manager, SEO/conversion optimization specialist and even copywriter (to name a few).

5) If you could have any superpower, what would it be, why, and what would you do with it?

Sure, being able to fly would be incredibly fun, and invisibility would certainly have its benefits, but those superpowers are cliché at this point. So here’s a superpower you probably haven’t heard before…the ability to control artificial intelligence.

Fun fact: Many of the world’s most brilliant minds have seriously concerned about the implications of AGI ("artificial general intelligence”, the AI you should be scared of) on the future of the human race. Oh, and did I mention that some experts predict this could happen as early as 2030?

The ability to control the actions, objectives and intentions of artificial super intelligence would be analogous to being a digital god. With my power, I would guide AI to act in the interest of human beings, never causing them harm, and ask it to show us ways to sustain humanity into the future. Lastly, I would harness AI to show me how to fly and become invisible with technology.

6) What’s the quirkiest thing about you that you’re willing to admit?

A local San Diego radio station had a weekly segment called “World Record Wednesdays” where they would bring listeners in to set obscure records live on the air (RecordSetter.com officials were even present to verify the records). Some on-air achievements included “Fastest Consumption Of A 24-Ounce Bottle Of Breakfast Syrup”, “Most Images Of Fish Sandwiches Looked At In One Minute”, and “Most Panama Kicks in One Minute”.

The host of the show was determined to break one exceptionally obscure record on-air: “Most Giraffe Tattoos on a Shoulder”. Once a tattoo artist was secured, he put out a call to his listeners to break the record, and for some reason I answered that call. Later that week I found myself sitting in a chair, in a bar, live on the radio getting giraffes tattooed on my shoulder. I was officially awarded the new record of 3 giraffes on a shoulder, blowing away the original record of (…drumroll please…): one.

Much to my dismay, the original record holder later decided to add 3 additional giraffes to his shoulder in a move to usurp me as champion. Little does he know, the battle is not over and I plan to one day reclaim the title that is rightfully mine.


7) What’s your favorite thing to do in San Diego and why?

Oddly-specific answer: driving around on a warm summer evening with the windows down and getting lost in Rancho Santa Fe (an exclusive area in San Diego) while hot air balloons are hovering just above the trees in every direction.

8) Where would you go in a time machine?

As both a self-proclaimed futurism geek (shoutout to Ray Kurzweil) and lover of ancient history, I feel compelled to give several answers to this one.

I’d start with ancient Egypt, making a bunch of quick stops in each era to figure out just how technologically savvy they were. Next I’d head back 12,799 years, just before a comet struck Earth causing global fires, massive floods (known as the Younger Dryas), rapid climate change for 1000 years and very likely wiped out the majority of civilization. After that uplifting jaunt, I’d travel back to the origins of human beings and figure out exactly where we came from.

Knowing that we are on the verge of technological advancements that will likely affect humanity, my first stops would simply be 5 year increments from today through 2050. Assuming there is anything left to observe beyond that point, I’d continue in 50 year increments for several thousand years until I am incapable of comprehending what I’m observing and the robot overlords scoff at my "rudimentary human brain”.

Do you have what it takes to be a gapper? Head over the careers section at gapintelligence.com to learn more about open positions. Find more info the bottom of our about page.