Walter J. Surdak, Jr., Head Coach
My son, Chris Surdak, has been a challenge. He was an entrepreneur as early as junior high school. In 7th grade, he saw that a demand for chewing gum was not being satisfied during school hours. He noticed back then that school lunches cost $0.60, which meant that every kid in school started their day with at least one dime. He also noticed that gum cost $0.05 per piece, and that represented an opportunity for a 100 percent markup.
He started small, bringing to school about 100 pieces of gum per morning. Within two weeks, I was driving him to our local K-Mart, where he bought their entire stock of bubble gum at nearly wholesale. Within a month, he had franchised his business, and had five other kids selling gum for him. He was wildly successful – until the school principal shut down the operation. It’s evident that he fully understood the value of context even then.
Thirst for Knowledge
Chris has always had a thirst for knowledge in every field. You can see proof of that in his two books, but especially in Jerk. Jerk: 12 Steps to Rule the World defies categorization. Its objective is to describe how the world of business got to where it is, what the challenges will be, and what can be done to succeed. To fully explain all that, Chris provides the history of humanity in as comprehensive a manner as I have ever seen, and weaves in the philosophical and psychological factors that drive us as humans. He throws in Yogi Berra and Samuel Clemens quotes to show off, and a little sci-fi in the last chapter that the reader will find fascinating. So this is a business, technology, history, philosophy, psychology, comedy, sci-fi, futurist book. It is engaging, enlightening and a very easy read. It’s also frightening and challenging, if you stop to think about the consequences.
Actually, Jerk is the Strategic Plan for Surdak & Co. – a unique consulting company Chris launched to benefit only a few companies. Why only a few? Because, Surdak & Co. wants to be a consulting company that truly partners with ONE company in every industry to guarantee their success, and will not share that strategy or tactical plan with any competitor, i.e. those few companies get complete exclusivity. That’s meaningful because Chris only hires THE best in the world. And as he continues to succeed, Surdak & Co. will corral the rest of the best.
AND, the best part is that I get to participate in this (ad)venture. I spent my entire career doing Business Process Reengineering (BPR), and deploying technology as a business process enabler. The technology has changed as the power of computers has multiplied, and new tools have made what was once inconceivable, doable. The one thing that hasn’t changed is us. CHANGE was the toughest part of BPR. It still is. And Chris and his team know how to make that happen.
So after 25 years of gaining experience and being totally frustrated with the bureaucratic nightmares of major corporations, my son is becoming an overnight success, and I’m as proud as I can be to see that happen, and continue to be a part of it.