From the Desk (and Mind) of Marc Landsberg

What’s in a Number?

Last week, we hired our 25th full time deviant. Yes, we are now 25 strong, and still looking to add a few more incredibly kind, composed, left/right brained thinkers before the clock winds down on 2014.

I hesitated to write something in honor of reaching 25 people. It’s not a milestone I ever set for SOCIALDEVIANT. Whenever someone asks me “Hey how many people do you want to have by year-end” I invariably demur. Size, measured by number of people, was never and is not and will never be our goal.

Being the world’s kindest company is our ultimate goal – expressed in lots of ways, most notably through the quality of the work we do for our clients, and the way we treat each other as we get that work done.

The number of people we have is a direct result of the opportunities we have with our clients – those we can see today, and those we can anticipate tomorrow.

And as an aside – we have never, and will never, set a revenue goal. Revenue is not a goal – it is the direct result of the quality work we do for our clients. Great work, and immense value for our clients, is the goal.

And yet, here I sit, compelled to mark the occasion of our 25th deviant.

Because, after all, it IS a big deal. It’s a huge, honking deal.

It’s a huge honking deal because our work environment, and our culture, only gets better as we add more people. I’m watching, right before my eyes, our scale making us better, not worse.

I’m watching as each new deviant not only aligns with, but contributes to and shapes our culture in amazing and unpredictable yet irrefutably SOCIALDEVIANT ways.

We’re testing the conventional wisdom that bigger is worse…that size is an impediment to good. We’re hell bent on growing the right way, the deviant way – to scale the world’s kindest business.

Most start-ups don’t survive to year 3. And many that do, do so barely, hiring scarcely and focusing on generating enough cash flow to keep the lights on.


Not so much. We’re hiring at a rapid pace – 10 in the last 90 days – and will continue that pace for as long as we can sustain it.


For starters, clients demand excellence, speed, and throughput. We can almost never have enough talent to do that.

Next, we’re ambitious in our own right, publishing lots of IP, always having a POV, speaking at conferences and moving the needle for our own business at every turn. And having more talent sure helps – bandwidth begets opportunity. Positive energy begets positive energy.

After all, we’re in a people-based business. We don’t make tables, or software, or surgical sutures.

We conceive and execute inherently social ideas that engage/activate our clients’ audiences across the most relevant social spaces.

And to do that, we need great, great people to be really, really good at what they do.

Great people, as defined by kindness, curiosity, humility, transparency, and urgency.

So yes, last week we hired our 25th deviant. A number worth celebrating, indeed.


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