September 2018 – Gabriel Mays

Gabriel Mays and wife

Meet: Gabriel Mays

Head of WordPress at GoDaddy

 “CapeSpace gives me a place to work near home, focus and makes me substantially more productive than working from home.”

1. What is your current occupation?
I’m the Head of WordPress at GoDaddy and involved in everything from product development and strategy to partnerships and acquisitions.

For context, WordPress is a content management system (CMS) used to create websites. Around ⅓ of all websites run on WordPress. GoDaddy is a public technology company—the world’s largest domain registrar and website host.

2. What do you love most about your job & why?
Starting a business is one of the purest, most challenging pursuits there is. Helping people build businesses as great as their ambitions is what GoDaddy does. In my role, I get to do this through WordPress, which I love and have been working with for over a decade. So, my job combines two of my favorite things–it’s pretty great.

3. What has changed in your industry in the past five years?
Hosting has been around for decades, but traditional hosting is evolving into site builders (Squarespace, Shopify, Wix, etc.) at the low end and cloud service offerings (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, etc.) at the high end. CMSs like WordPress and traditional hosts are evolving to adapt to these trends. There are growing pains, but it’s better for consumers in the long run–things should get easier and cheaper.

4. How has CapeSpace improved your work life?
We have an office in Kendall Square in Cambridge but commuting off Cape everyday isn’t an effective use of time. CapeSpace gives me a place to work near home, focus and makes me substantially more productive than working from home. I really love it here.

I also started the WordPress Cape Cod meetup at CapeSpace with Jean, another awesome CapeSpace member. The professional community here at CapeSpace is fantastic and the team makes life easy, so I can focus on my work.

5. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I really love what I do. So, if I’m not at the gym or with my family I’m usually playing with some new WordPress technology, building something with WordPress for fun or creating a resource for others to use.

Not only do I enjoy these things, but I use our products so it gives me a deeper understanding of what our customers go through and of the WordPress ecosystem. This all helps me guide our teams in building better products for our customers, making the right acquisitions, choosing the partnerships, etc.

6. What is your favorite place on Cape Cod?
My wife and I enjoy spending time at Chatham Bars Inn. I also spend time at the Plum Porch, my wife’s gift shop in Marstons Mills. I built the tech stack they use including the POS system, so it’s fun to help solve new problems or find ways to optimize existing workflows to serve their customers better.

7. If you could invite any three people living or dead to a dinner party who would they be and why?
My wife, Steve Jobs and Elon Musk. In that order. Sorry Elon.

My wife because I’ve found that the days I have dinner with her are better than the days I don’t. Steve Jobs and Elon Musk because I derive happiness from positively impacting people through the work I do. They’re among the best at this and I could learn quite a lot.

8. What is your superpower?
Apparently, it’s marrying a woman out of my league.