Mark Stevens, CEO of MSCO—a Business Advisory Firm in Ardsley, NY—Discusses His Book, Your Company Sucks

Most startups do not survive the first five years. Mark Stevens of Bedford, CEO of Ardsley-based business advisory firm MSCO and a marketing expert, gives four reasons why in his book, Your company sucks.

1. Rudderless Leadership. Managers often refuse to make decisions. “A lot of people are afraid of failure, so one way they think to avoid failure is to make no decision at all,” Stevens says.

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2. The Lust-to-Lax Syndrome. When seeking a new client, companies lust after them, eager to impress—but once the deal is closed, that “loving feeling” fades and the client can be taken for granted. “You always hear about companies needing to provide ‘good customer service.’ But the word ‘thrill’ is not used in the business lexicon,” says Stevens, who insists you need to make an effort to keep those embers burning.

3. Complacency. Stevens says some companies become complacent after success, instead of, “adding new salespeople, innovating their products, and raising the bar on their team’s performance.”

4. Conventional Thinking. “Consensus management is just camouflage for committee management,” Stevens says. “It doesn’t do anything well.”