From the Desk (and Mind) of Marc Landsberg

Deviantism #3: Start-ups are about small wins, every day

There are a lot of misconceptions about life in a start-up. We run around playing games all day, in our black t-shirts racing our razor scooters around our cool loft offices.

Ok…the cool loft office part, maybe.

But in reality, start-ups are no different than any commercial operation. 

We obsess about delivering the goods. We obsess about finding the right talent, and deploying that talent in smart, efficient ways. We obsess about doing the right thing, as wasted motion and wasted energy are the death knell for any small business. We obsess about building a great culture, a world-class work environment, about investing in training and professional development, and about scale.

In short, we focus on all of the things that make a business successful.

And at SOCIALDEVIANT, we adhere to one super important rule. We do our level best to not get ahead of ourselves.

It’s so easy to entertain the discussion of the “end game,” or “exit,” when you’re a start-up. Not so much because it’s on our minds, but because everyone asks about it. They assume that the sole purpose of a start-up is to drive hard toward an exit. Ah, the Exit – that mythical place where start-ups hang out, just next to heaven and a short pitching wedge from nirvana.

So the focus can easily become the ever elusive Exit. Which means, as a result, that start-ups are playing to hit a home run. The assumption being, we take a huge, big honking swing – and that if we hit the ball, it’s an outta the park 4-bagger and we run the bases on our way to glory (yes, the Exit).

But here’s the deal.

SOCIALDEVIANT isn’t at all about the Exit. Our daily obsession is about creating value for our clients – through smart content strategies and creative executions that move the needle.

And by keeping our heads down, we make strides every day. Strides that not only help us deliver the goods for our clients, but also enable us to be a better, kinder company every single day.


The glory of a start-up are the small wins every single day. A new hire. A pat on the back from an important client. Working Internet. An invitation to speak at a conference. Cash flow. A new model invented around an old process.

Yes, every single day, amazing things are happening at SOCIALDEVIANT. Life is no doubt about the journey, and in a start-up, our senses our heightened to the things on a daily basis go well. We take nothing for granted, ever.

And in a world where you take nothing for granted, even small wins seem tectonic. Because they don’t come easily. Because they are hard-earned. And because we come by them honestly, through grit and resourcefulness and pure invention.

If we were just swinging for the fences, we’d ignore these small wins, or at best acknowledge them quickly before shrugging them off.

Not SOCIALDEVIANT. Not a chance.


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