From the Desk (and Mind) of Marc Landsberg

Hurts So Good

One of the things I most love about start-ups is the pain of failure. Of getting knocked down, of getting bruised, of getting pushed back.


Because it’s a pain caused by effort. It’s a pain resulting from purposeful motion. It’s a pain that goes away, because we can make it go away.

And pain made gone is a far better feeling than pain never had.

We succeed often, here @socialdeviant. We’re thankful for that, but because of that, it’s easy to forget just how hard it is to succeed. And I wanted to take a moment to just ponder that thought.

Start-up success is, after all, small wins every day.

I love the hard work of success. It looks and smells a lot like operating models, like resourcing plans, like client brainstorms, like a re-do from time to time to make our deliverable still better, like tapping the brakes on our BD pipeline because we’re blessed to have a lot of client work to do. And more.

And so, I am reminding myself (again) to take nothing for granted.

I am reminding myself that from time to time, bad things can happen. Things out of our control.

I am reminding myself that the black cat crossing my path might in fact yield a bit of bad luck, despite my best efforts to control the situation.

And I’m reminding myself that that is ok. Better than ok – maybe even preferred.

Because there is no perfect. There is only better, every day.

And as we grow, as we scale, as we onboard new deviants, one thing remains. Our absolute resolve to do things the right way. To put our clients, and our people, first. To build the world’s kindest company, full stop.

We can’t get that right every day, and shouldn’t even try. But we must and will get that right over the long haul, and I have no doubt that we will. Why? Because that’s why we exist, and nothing will ever compromise that.

There are no easy wins. At least, no easy wins that matter.

Success, in my view, is a dish best served with resolve.

And what I know to be true about socialdeviant, is that we are resilient. And full of good old fashioned resolve. We. Make. It. So.

We are 28 months old, and by almost any measure, pretty darn successful.

And so, I wanted to pause for one moment, and share how delighted I am with our progress, how giddy I am about our clients and the work we do for them, how confident I am in our resolve, and how absolutely unfazed I am by whatever may come.

So, to all deviants, go ahead. Try something really hard. Fail from time to time. Make a mistake. Let it rip. We’re all the better for it. Because to be truly deviant, is to be perfect in our imperfection.

Because, after all, the sweet is never so sweet, without the bitter.


4 Responses to “Hurts So Good”

  1. Nick George

    Hurts so Good, Love the piece Mark, I wanna come and work at Socialdeviant. Very Inspiring. Nick x

  2. Buffy Ensing

    I do enjoy your blog – such great insights. There really is nothing like the passion and drive of a startup or entrepreneur. Combined with optimism or as you have coined it “Kindness”, can truly take on any challenge and actually wants to. Failure only becomes determination – the spark that fuels the fire to move on and push even harder. “And pain made gone is a far better feeling than pain never had.” Is equal to: “It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.” 🙂


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