Last year was a significant milestone for The Missing Link. We turned 25 years old, baby!  

There’s been a lot of ups and downs – but I’m so proud of where we are today. I thought there was no better time to share some of my (hopefully) sage wisdom about being a business owner after 25 years. 

Gifts vs. choices 

For me, it all starts – and ends – with choices. I’ll tell you why:  

Recently I watched a video of Jeff Bezos, who was talking about gifts.   

For example, being really tall like our SOC leader Nick, or super good-looking like one of our legendary pen testers JJ, or a wizard at maths like our CISO Aaron. He said gifts are easy because we don’t need to work hard for them. 

Jeff then said we can only really be proud of our choices. It got me thinking. When we’re 80, will we be prouder of choosing an easy and comfortable life, or one filled with service and adventure? Of course, it’s going to be service and adventure.   

It’s easy to get down about the last few years, but there’s never been a better time to be alive. I’m inspired every day by the projects we are working on with some of the best banks on the planet, schools, medical companies, construction goliaths, and even small to medium businesses that are improving the world with technology.  

Making PROGRESS at The Missing Link

Here, I wanted to take you back to my travels in South America 20 years ago, exploring how these experiences shaped how I do business today. 

It all comes down to PROGRESS.  



My personal trainer told me to track my progress by taking lots of photos. I haven’t taken one for the last 6 months. Please no one tell him!   

The past 25 years have flown, and the kick-off to my South American trip feels like ages ago. Make sure you take many photos now, whatever stage of life you’re in – it'll show you how far you’ve come.  

Alex Gambotto at the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio De Janeiro

Here’s one of those photos of me from 2002. I’m about to kick off the South American adventure of a lifetime.  


This is me at the beginning of the most dangerous road in the world (the Yungas Highway).  

Alex Gambotto on the Yungas Highway or "Death Road" in Bolivia.

I completed a 75km bike ride along it which was, thankfully, mostly downhill. It's got no barrier to stop you from going over the 300m cliff and you can see trucks containing the bodies of people that have fallen off the whole way.  

Making technology decisions can feel a lot like travelling Death Road. The amount of options out there is overwhelming, the threat landscape is expanding, and we see companies making technology missteps which are broadcast publicly every day.  

Despite this, I’m not telling you to take less risks. In fact, I’m encouraging you to take the leap and fully commit to that idea you’ve been dwelling on for way too long or try that suggestion from your team. Why? Because some of the biggest risks I’ve taken have had the biggest rewards.   


By now, you can probably tell I’m an optimist.  My family and team will attest I have no issues embarking on my next project, no matter how crazy it seems. 

I believe my optimism is one of the reasons for The Missing Link’s success, and many professionals agree. Psychologists say the benefits of being an optimist include suffering less anxiety, better adaptability, faster recovery, more productivity, and (apparently) even a longer life.    

Another side effect of being an optimist is starting a project you think will be easy on the world’s largest salt flat, Salar de Uyuni, and quickly discovering otherwise. 

Alex Gambotto on site at Salar De Uyuni in Bolivia.

Here, I embarked on a gruelling project to show my gratitude for my mum and dad. 


Showing gratitude is a vital part of being a professional. Your partners (I’m looking at you Aaron, Sam, Daniel and Karen), team members, employees, and clients all need to know you appreciate their support. Being nice to someone or giving them a compliment can make their day!  

Incahuasi Island on Salar De Uyuni in Bolivia


Gratitude has been a big focus of mine for as long as I can remember, and South America was no different. This island was in the middle of the Salar. When we arrived, I had a crazy idea: create a postcard message for my parents out of rocks on the salt flats.  


My cool idea became a 100 metre relay, running back and forth to collect a bunch of rocks. I was so unfit, and in the end, I was... kinda happy with the result? 

Alex Gambotto's message to his parents on Salar De Uyuni in Bolivia

I wanted to give up halfway, but my resilience helped me complete it.   

This attitude has carried on throughout my career. It's never easy to kick goals at work, but the rewards are worth it in the end. 


Now, who doesn’t like enthusiasm?  

Some tasks are long and painful, but it’s important to see them through until the end. So, how can we keep up the enthusiasm? I’ve always made sure I can see the bigger picture and surround myself with good company.   

This philosophy was particularly important for me when we were on a 4-day hike to Machu Picchu.  

Alex Gambotto and his Norwegian friend on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru.

This photo is around 4200m above sea level. For me, it was all about appreciating the amazing experience I was having and visiting one of the Wonders of the World. And I was gonna make damn sure I had the worst dress sense in all of Peru!  


Of course, I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t touch on the tougher stuff. You can’t avoid it, whether you’re on the trip of a lifetime or at work. Achieving big goals requires sacrifice, as you can see here at Machu Picchu.  

Alex Gambotto re-enacting a human sacrifice in Machu Picchu.

On a more serious note, as with most adventures in your twenties, my South American trip certainly wasn’tcosy!   

Alex Gambotto sleeping on the floor during his South American adventure.

I’ve traded my 25 years to be here running The Missing Link, and I’d do it all again knowing what weve accomplished because of these sacrifices.   

Alex Gambotto on sacrifice during the past 25 years at The Missing Link


When all else fails, sometimes you have to surrender to all the highs and lows life deals you.  

Nothing has ever shown me the power of nature more than Iguazu Falls, which is made up of over 275 individual falls and has more than 1,000,000 litres flowing over the edge per second.  

Alex Gambotto at Iguazu Falls in Argentina.

In these sorts of situations, there’s nothing to do except go with the flow (yes, that pun was intended) and sit in wonder at the way the world works. If you’re adaptable, you could find yourself amazed at where you end up when you just... surrender.   

Alex Gambotto on the lookout at Iguazu Falls in Argentina

When I was there, I knew I was going to propose to my future wife right in that spot. I didn’t know her then, but I did exactly that in 2011. And I’ve been surrendering ever since! 

My questions for you 

So, after reading my story, I want to ask you a few questions:   

  • What choices will you let define your life and career?   
  • Will you follow the status quo, or will you be original?   
  • Will you choose the life of ease and comfort, or are you going to choose the life of service and adventure?  

Whatever you choose, whatever your goals are – remember: make choices that help you progress, make sure you have great allies around you, and make sure you have a plan. 

Thanks so much for being a part of our community here at The Missing Link, wherever you’ve fit in over the past 25 years. I hope you take something valuable away from my story and advice and won’t be a stranger in 2023! Bring it on. 


Alex Gambotto