OUR STORY

our_story_header_bg Our History SweetRush was founded by Andrei and Arturo in 2001. Knowing the hardships most early-stage businesses face, the founders set a course they hoped would ensure success and sanity. They established principles about talent (only world-class), attitude (caring and committed), and overhead (stay lean). During the early years, our work focused primarily on strategic marketing consulting and Web development. Then, the founders steered the company to the world of performance improvement and the design and development of learning and communications solutions. Along the path, we developed a solid client base and an extremely high level of client satisfaction and retention. The same is true of our employees: When you work with us, you can expect to encounter the same folks year after year. Our business helps others change and improve; we would be remiss to not apply these same efforts to ourselves. In this light, we continually improve the services we offer, and we innovate our way into new areas, such as gamification, mobile, staff augmentation, and applying ourselves in the sustainability movement. We attribute our success to our caring and committed attitude and the depth of capabilities we offer, as depicted on this site: a unique combination of instructional design, project management, multimedia and graphic design, and engineering. With a solid track record of success since 2001, SweetRush has evolved into a powerhouse of consultative services and custom content development. We know from our clients that we deliver a unique product few vendors can emulate.
The performance-improvement industry is robust and growing. Helping employees improve at what they do is a business imperative as we further transform into an economy that is based on human capital. All of us at SweetRush look forward to continued growth and to helping our clients meet new and exciting challenges as they drive their associates and organizations toward greater success. As Andrei generally signs off, “Good things,” and as Arturo generally signs off, “Be well!”

HOW DID WE COME UP WITH THE NAME SWEETRUSH?

our_story_sidebar_bg During the dot-com days and the frenzied URL land-rush, our co-founder, chairman, and CFO, Arturo Schwartzberg, secured the name SweetRush. He had conjured the name and simply liked it: “sweet” and “rush” being an interesting pairing of words, with complex texture and meanings. When Arturo and Andrei Hedstrom, our other co-founder and CEO, first conceptualized the company, Andrei gravitated to the name. Each time Andrei asked friends about the proposed name, they smiled, and that response won him over. And yet, some concerns were raised: Would it resonate with our intended corporate clients? In the end, they agreed the name is memorable, represents their shared values, and simply made them and others feel good.
Why “sweet”? It’s hard to imagine today — given the ubiquitous and even unavoidable presence of sweeteners of all kinds — that a few hundred years ago, people rarely had the chance to taste something sweet. And when they did, it was an overwhelmingly delirious event. So when we use “sweet” in SweetRush, we do so referring back to that feeling of ecstasy. In Michael Pollen’s brilliant book, The Botany of Desire, he speaks to the intoxication of sweetness. (We invite you read further if you like, and enjoy a fascinating passage from his book.) From day one, we have infused sweetness into our culture. It manifests in all we do and how we treat each other. We hope that anyone who connects with SweetRush feels this cultural underpinning. Why “rush”? Rush has two meanings, and both work into the mix. “Rush” means to do something quickly — as we are often asked to step up and move quickly to accomplish project goals. The other meaning of “rush,” in the vernacular, is a flushed, strong, and heady feeling. When combined with “sweet,” as in a “sweet rush,” the sweetness is enhanced… like a fresh breeze on a hot day. This worked for us — and it’s how we want our clients, and ourselves, to feel. Over time, we have come to appreciate our name even more. It fits us perfectly, and constantly reminds us of things we value.

EXCERPT FROM THE BOTANY OF DESIRE BY MICHAEL POLLAN

BACK TO OUR STORY + This excerpt is from Michael Pollan’s, The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View Of The World Sweetness is a desire that starts on the tongue with a sense of taste, but it doesn’t end there. Or at least it didn’t end there, back when the experience of sweetness was so special that the word served as a metaphor for a certain kind of perfection. When writers like Jonathan Swift and Matthew Arnold used the expression “sweetness and light” to name their highest ideal (Swift called them “the two noblest of things”; Arnold, the ultimate aim of civilization), they were drawing on a sense of the word sweetness going back to classical times, a sense that has largely been lost to us. The best land was said to be sweet; so were the most pleasing sounds, the most persuasive talk, the loveliest views, the most refined people, and the choicest part of any whole, as when Shakespeare calls spring the “sweet o’ the year.” Lent by the tongue to all the other sense organs, “sweet,” in the somewhat archaic definition of the Oxford English Dictionary, is that which “affords enjoyment or gratifies desire.” Like a shimmering equal sign, the word sweetness denoted a reality commensurate with human desire; it stood for fulfillment. Since then sweetness has lost much of its power and become slightly…well, saccharine. Who now would think of sweetness as a “noble” quality? At some point during the nineteenth century, a hint of insincerity began to trail the word through literature, and in our time it’s usually shadowed by either irony or sentimentality. Overuse probably helped to cheapen the word’s power on the tongue, but I think the advent of cheap sugar in Europe, and perhaps especially cane sugar processed by slaves, is what did the most to discount sweetness, both as an experience and as a metaphor. (The final insult came with the invention of synthetic sweeteners.) Both the experience and the metaphor seem to me worth recovering, if for no other reason than to appreciate the apple’s former power. Start with taste. Imagine a moment when the sensation of honey or sugar on the tongue was an astonishment, a kind of intoxication. The closest I’ve ever come to recovering such a sense of sweetness was secondhand, though it left a powerful impression on me even so. I’m thinking of my son’s first experience of sugar: the icing on the cake at his first birthday. I have only the testimony of Isaac’s face to go by (that, and his fierceness to repeat the experience), but it was plain that his first encounter with sugar had intoxicated him-was in fact an ecstasy, in the literal sense of that word. That is, he was beside himself with the pleasure of it, no longer here with me in space and time in quite the same way he had been just a moment before. Between bites Isaac gazed up at me in amazement (he was on my lap, and I was delivering the ambrosial forkfuls to his gaping mouth) as to exclaim, “Your world contains this? From this day forward I shall dedicate my life to it.” (Which he basically has done.) And I remember thinking, this is no minor desire, and then wondered: Could it be that sweetness is the prototype of all desire? Anthropologists have found that cultures vary enormously in their liking for bitter, sour, and salty flavors, but a taste for sweetness appears to be universal. This goes for many animals, too, which shouldn’t be surprising, since sugar is the form in which nature stores food energy. As with most mammals, our first experience of sweetness comes with our mother’s milk. It could be that we acquire a taste for it at the breast, or we may be born with an instinct for sweet things that makes us desire mother’s milk. Either way, sweetness has proved to be a force in evolution. By encasing their seeds in sugary and nutritious flesh, fruiting plants, such as the apple hit on an ingenious way of exploiting the mammalian sweet tooth: in exchange for fructose, the animals provide the seeds with transportation, allowing the plant to expand its range. As parties to this grand co-evolutionary bargain, animals with the strongest predilection for sweetness and plants offering the biggest, sweetest fruits prospered together and multiplied, evolving into the species we see, and are, today. As a precaution, the plants took certain steps to protect their seeds from the avidity of their partners: they held off on developing sweetness and color until the seeds had matured completely (before then fruits tend to be inconspicuously green and unpalatable), and in some cases (like the apple’s), the plants developed poisons in their seeds to ensure that only the sweet flesh is consumed. Desire, then, is built into the very nature and purpose of fruit, and so, quite often, is a kind of taboo. The vegetable kingdom’s lack of glamour by comparison (whoever heard of a forbidden vegetable?) can be laid to the fact that a vegetables reproductive strategy doesn’t turn on turning animals on.