mattress industry

8 Years in the Rearview Mirror

Since I announced my resignation from Leggett & Platt, things have passed by as a blur. I want to thank Furniture Today, Sleep Savvy, Bed Times, Furniture World, and Home Furnishings Business for writing about my departure. As for Sleep Geek, Mattress rear-view-mirrorIndustry Executives on LinkedIn, and the Dos Marcos podcast, you guys are obligated to talk about it because the properties still report to me…at least for now, so no love for you (joking). I also want to thank everybody who has called, left me voice mails, texted, contacted me on LinkedIn, or sent an e-mail. I have saved every single one of them for a day when I am going to need some encouragement, which I am sure will be in the not-too-distant future.

Whenever people transition from one thing to the next, I think it is natural that there is some reflection on where you have been to offset the anticipation of what is to come. Allow me to think out loud on both subjects.

Looking back:

  • I learned that doing things counter to a company’s culture is incredibly hard. Make sure you respect the culture first through a deep understanding, and then see if you can shift things a little at a time. If you are lucky, you can turn the ship. Keep pushing.
  • I learned you can make anything sexy if you work hard enough at finding the right angle. I really don’t think there is anything being sold today that can’t be romanced to make it more interesting. Dig deeper.
  • I learned in today’s world we are all media companies, not just manufacturers. There are so many places available to engage people in a conversation about our products and services, and the people that understand how to work in those circles will have a big advantage over those that don’t. Grow always.
  • I learned that EVERYBODY is your customer. Your boss, your staff, people buying stuff from you, and especially the guy renting you a car. Be a good supplier, but more importantly, be a good customer. Serve more.

Looking forward:

  • I know there is still a general lack of creativity and innovation in the mattress industry and that following is more common than leading.
  • I know the consumer experience is not what it should be – from the minute they enter the market to the moment they leave.
  • I know that for whatever reason, we are okay allowing confusion and complexity to rule the day.
  • I know we sell a lifestyle product like a commodity.
  • I know that private equity controls much of who we are and what we do.
  • I know there are many unmet needs for someone to address if they have the brain, passion, and will to take them on.
  • I know that the right combination of people can do just about anything.

The next step is going to be exciting for me and I hope you follow along as I try to figure it out. From time to time, I am going to screw up but hopefully I will do it cheaply and ring up more successes than failures along the way. For anyone that reads this blog, I want you to know what it means to me to have people out there that are interested enough to spend time reading every week as I share my passion on what I think is an incredible industry. You are beyond appreciated.

On a separate note, I want to thank Mark Kinsley and Paul M. Johnson, my editors for Q’s Views. I will miss their contribution to this blog and know it won’t be the same without their ideas and support.

Check back next week as I do an in-depth analysis on the various threads that are available to sew a bed shut. I’m kidding, but do check back!

12 thoughts on “8 Years in the Rearview Mirror

  1. Although we have crossed paths, we have not met. However, we value your input and insight in the industry. Sleep Geek is great; your Dos Marcos podcast, views and articles will be missed.

    Looking forward to seeing you again soon.

    All the best to you and your loved ones,
    Glenn Wilcox

    1. Glenn,

      What a great note to get, these have more impact than you know. My last day is tomorrow so I am really in this reflection mode and feel very fortunate to have had this opportunity over the last 8 years. I am going to keep writing Q’s Views and hopefully Kinsley will let me on UNO MARCO every now and then. We actually tape our last podcast tomorrow. All my best to you and your family and I hope we get a chance to meet in person some day. Thanks for following, and for the encouragement. You are awesome!


  2. Mark,
    I have been following you for what seems like way more than eight years. You are an inspiration to the mattress industry and to the entire marketing field. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.
    Warm regards,
    Bill Hammer
    Shifman Mattress Company

    1. Bill, this is a great note to get and I really appreciate it. You guys have a great product and approach to the market so keep up the good work representing the industry as you do. I am looking forward to getting back in as soon as things work themselves out a little and I look forward to continuing this blog so stay tuned. If there is anything I can do for you just give a shout.

      Best regards,

  3. OMG..My goodness, I went to your blog and you were talking about leaving Leggett? I have to say I was shocked. As brilliant as you are I am sure it is for bigger and better opporunities..where are you going? Please keep in touch. You are such a brilliant and amazing person I really hate to lose touch. I developed a certain fondness for you. 🙂 You know where I am. Take care of yourself!
    You are in my prayers…Heather

    1. Don’t lose touch! I am going to keep writing this blog as it is great therapy for me! 🙂 You are a terrific person Heather and I really appreciate the note. The next phase is really exciting and should be a lot of fun so stay tuned. Be well and many blessings to you.


  4. Mark,

    It was with great sadness when I read that you were leaving Leggett & Platt. We have all benefitted from your unique take on our beloved bedding business. Please keep up your writings. We all enjoy your perspective on things. You have kept what some would call a boring business, exciting!

    Best of luck in your future endeavors.

    Ira Fishman

    1. Thank you Ira for those comments and the support. I appreciate all of your input over the years and YOUR perspective on things. I am taking this week off from the blog but will be back sharing thoughts on this crazy industry. These messages mean a lot and I sincerely appreciate it.


  5. Always great to read your reflections, humor and doses of humility in all of what you write. I’m excited for you, Mark. I truly am.

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