Basic Info

Joel Macdonald
Contributor Status:
Initial Contribution Date:
Primary Location:
New York, NY, USA

Career Info

Primary Industry:
Personal Career Headline:
Founder & President, GetSwift
Business Description (One-Liner):

GetSwift is a smart delivery platform that allows you to manage drivers, dispatch tasks, and track goods delivery all in real-time.

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Career Snapshot:

Obsessively curious entrepreneur who likes to solve problems and make people happy. Started and built 5 companies since high school. GetSwift (current) has been the most successful and (for different reasons) one of the more publicized companies that I started and now manage alongside my colleague, Bane Hunter. Product, growth and business development are my passions and that is where I like to play on a daily basis. For an early part of my life (11 years), I was a professional footballer in the Australian Football League (“AFL”) – an incredible time that helped me really develop a strong set of skills that have shaped my business approach & tenacity. I love to travel, read, dream and create!

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How did you get into the industry?:

We started an alcohol distribution company and we needed to build out some software to automate our last-mile logistics operation. The software that we developed eventually became a SaaS business of its own and we quickly pivoted and spent our entire time on the newly-created SaaS business that is known today as GetSwift.

Emerging industry trends?:

Delivery-bots will make delivery in any country extremely viable. Right now the biggest cost to delivery is the human taking it from A to B. Once you remove the most expensive cost of delivery, the market will shift in a big way. As soon as robots become the norm, the unit economics make delivery very attractive for everyone in the market place which in turn will deliver exponential profits to companies who are best positioned at that point in time.

How do you motivate others?:

I think any good leader understands the concept that no individual is the same and each has a different hierarchy of needs. The leader’s job is to understand the needs hierarchy of that individual and augment that with the broader common movement of a group, team or organization in order for all stakeholders to reach a level of purpose, achievement, motivation, and fulfillment. It’s also probably a good idea to do an audit of yourself first about your own hierarchy of needs and what drives you as a person to have a better and more empathetic perspective on the people around you.

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What are your aspirations? (Personal and Business):

To live a good life filled with a balance of health, wealth, love and happiness. Some people only want to be wealthy or only want to be happy which I feel is an unfulfilled life. I know a lot of poor healthy people and I know a lot of rich unhappy people. Fulfillment and balance in all 4 categories is something really important to me.

Biggest Success?:

I think what I am most proud of is the level of perseverance, resilience, and resistance to pain that I have been able to develop over recent years. Maybe it was from my previous football life when I was consistently picked or dropped from the weekend team selection. Wherever those traits came from, I am very grateful for receiving them.

Most Challenging Moment?:

My most challenging moment for me both personally and professionally has probably been the last 12 months where myself and our company (GetSwift) have been on the receiving end of what felt like a negative media campaign by a media outlet in Australia. It isn’t easy being the target of a multi-week campaign that seems intent on focusing negative publicity while ignoring news that I feel most people would find more exciting and newsworthy; however, sometimes we have to be patient, professionally measured and tolerate a lot of pain resulting from apparent lies and innuendo being published about us.

The positive to all the above is that when faced with adversity, you truly come to know a person’s character and who your real supporters are, as well never forget those who were only there during the good times.


No matter how tough or challenging things can get each day, and as long as the data and your conviction have not changed, history has taught me that: “Stress, pain and the temptation to quit are usually at their most intense right before you are about to break through towards another milestone.”

This gives me the confidence to keep charging forward and to never ever give up. Go take a day off or sleep in to regroup, but never ever give up!

Favorite People/Role Models?:

Elon Musk, Marcus Aurelius, Snoop Dogg

What Else To Know

Tell Us More:

A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

Aspects of what I love about New York is also an aspect of what I can sometimes dislike about the city!

The craziness, the energy, the scale, the noise, the people, the unlimited options & possibilities as you leave work every day to name a few…

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Sweating: Gym, Meditation or Yoga

10:00 AM – Talking: Meetings or calls

12:00 PM – Eating: First meal for the day for me. I like to intermittent fast from 8pm the night before. NYC diners are growing on me…

7:00 PM – Talking: Either I will be at home on calls to different time zones with friends, family, investors, clients, lawyers, staff or I will be out with friends for dinner/drinks

11:00 PM – Dreaming: ZZZzzzzzzzzzz. Do not disturb.

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

Have been cold turkey from coffee for almost 2 months. Experimenting with green tea/matcha vs coffee. Noticing lengthier sustained energy periods throughout the days with green tea in comparison to coffee and better sleep! (oh and less stress/anxiety…)

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

Spotify & Kindle

What should everyone try at least once?

Think of something that really scares you. As long as it doesn’t put your life in danger, go do that. I think everyone should try and face at least one of their fears this year. Speaking in public. Chatting up someone in a bar. Asking your boss for a raise. Try it sooner rather than later as you will most likely realize “that wasn’t so bad after all” and enjoy a new level of freedom via the realization that fear is just a mental construct. Fear is just an illusion in our minds. It’s amazing how our minds hold us back from doing so many great things. It’s just a program ingrained in our brains to ensure survival. Our job is to identify these daily limitations/fears and confront them until we become a better, freer version of ourselves.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

I typically find myself lost deep in a rabbit hole researching some crazy topic for hours on the web. I also find it nice getting lost in a (safe) foreign city.

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