Our Omniquest selection for the 2017 fall semester is Irrational Persistence: Seven Secrets That Turned a Bankrupt Startup Into A $231,000,000 Business. Dave Zilko, author of Irrational Persistence, took over an unassuming startup, a fresh salsa company founded in the back of a bankrupt restaurant, from the unlikeliest of places: Detroit. Despite operating in a mature industry with a team that had virtually no formal training or formal education, he applied a unique, counterintuitive style and grew it into the largest brand of fresh salsa in the United States. Dave recently engineered its sale to a Fortune 500 company for almost a quarter billion dollars. Dave has chronicled his experience both as an entrepreneur and with Garden Fresh in a national best-selling book, Irrational Persistence: Seven Secrets That Turned a Bankrupt Startup Into A $231,000,000 Business. Today, Dave is an equity partner in and CEO of FUEL, a digital media property.
Irrational Persistence is the account of Garden Fresh Gourmet, and how two entrepreneurs turned a $1,000,000 debt to a $100,000,000 annual revenue. Woody Allen famously said that 80% of success is just showing up; but any entrepreneur can tell you that it’s the other 20% that’s key. The founders of Garden Fresh took that old saying to heart, building so many strategic advantages into their products and business that their “sales” team didn’t have to do any selling – they simply had to show up. In this book, you’ll find out what kind of legwork goes into building a mega-success product, and the strategies, methods, and just plain stubbornness that helped two guys from Detroit build a market leader. Garden Fresh Gourmet is now the #1 fresh salsa in the US, shipping over a million units every week to Costco, Walmart, Whole Foods, and other national chains – and it all began with two middle-aged guys with negative funds and plenty of ideas. This book shares their journey, insight, and passion to help you build a better business and take it to the top. Garden Fresh Gourmet is an inspiration beyond the journey – the way you run things at the top matters, too. Irrational Persistence shows you how to make the tough decisions, live with the sacrifices, and prioritize your values as you build your brand and just keep on going.
Irrational Persistence is a fast-paced read as Zilko takes us through his successful turnaround of an ill-fated business, and we know you’ll enjoy the journey.