David Zalik is the CEO and co-founder of the incredibly successful GreenSky Credit, a lender specializing in business loans used to help companies grow and homeowner’s achieve their dreams. This powerhouse company was operating from David Zalik’s basement where it has grown to boast a $3.6 billion dollar valuation. Today, David still owns over half of GreenSky Credit, which has propelled him to incredible wealth.
A Unique Approach
One of the reasons why GreenSky Credit is so successful is because of their unique approach to business. They are able to harness the power of third parties to do all of the labor-intensive work, while they are able to cash in on the profits from the endeavor.
In many instances, GreenSky Credit enlists the help of home contractors to market the loan to the homeowners. GreenSky then obtains funding from any of their 14 different partnering banks. GreenSky makes a profit from a percentage of the loan amount and also is paid a percentage of the yearly balance of the loan through the funding bank. Essentially, GreenSky is paid to service and generate the loans for the banks. They are the middleman between the homeowner and the bank while working through the contractor.
GreenSky Credit has managed to capitalize on a niche they created and has generated 1.2 million customers with unsecured loans since the company began in 2012. Estimates of performance by market experts predicted that the company would see in excess of a 25% profit margin, which is partially based on their performance in the last 5 years.
David Zalik’s vision for his company and a groundbreaking approach to lending has created a healthy environment for his company to continue to prosper. He started from humble beginnings assembling computers in college to working his way up to becoming a business visionary with his sights set on the future.
When The Founder begins, it seems as if the film is going to find itself on the same trajectory as many other movies we’ve seen in the past. Ray Kroc, played brilliantly by Michael Keaton, is a man on a mission. Specifically, he wants to sell a bunch of milkshake makers that he has created. Unfortunately, the more he travels the country in search of restaurants who need his product, the more it seems as though he won’t be able to find success. Furthermore, as a result of his financial difficulties, his marriage seems to be crumbling.
Nothing seems to be working for Ray, until one fateful day. A fast food business in California calls him and orders multiple machines. Intrigued, he drives out to find himself at the very first McDonald’s restaurant. Very quickly, he becomes enraptured by the way in which the McDonald brothers handle their business. After all, they seem to have figured out the ultimate secrets to running a successful restaurant. Being the kind men they are, they invite Kroc into their kitchen and show him how it’s done. Suddenly, Kroc begins to realize that he no longer possesses a passion for his milkshake maker; he wants to jump on the McDonald’s bandwagon and get in business with the brothers. However, the brothers don’t care to franchise their restaurant. An unsuccessful attempt has left a bad taste in their mouths.
However, Kroc is able to convince them to franchise—and the rest is history. As the film plays out, the audience slowly begins to realize that they may have gotten Kroc wrong all along. He isn’t the aging salesman to be pitied; he is something else entirely, something we haven’t really seen on the screen before. All the performances in this film are truly outstanding.