Entrepreneurs

CEO explains why being 'unreasonably optimistic' is the key to success

The founder and CEO of Impossible Foods, which brought the world the plant-based "Impossible Burger," proudly thinks that anything is possible.

In fact, Patrick Brown believes being unapologetically optimistic is the key to success.

"You have to not only be optimistic," Brown told CNBC. "I think you have to be unreasonably optimistic."

The Stanford University professor emeritus of biology decided he wanted to make a positive environmental impact in the world, and in 2012, he started a company aimed at curbing greenhouse gases by reducing meat consumption.

"Of course we're going to be successful!" he recalled saying at the time.

Patrick Brown, found and CEO of Impossible Foods, wanted to create a product that positively impacts the world.
Source: CNBC
Patrick Brown, found and CEO of Impossible Foods, wanted to create a product that positively impacts the world.

He was right. Impossible Foods has raised more than $180 million in equity funding and attracted high-profile investors such as Bill Gates.

It has also been reported that Google attempted to buy the company, offering between $200 million and $300 million.

The Impossible Burger is a plant-based burger that looks and tastes like meat.
Source: Impossible Foods
The Impossible Burger is a plant-based burger that looks and tastes like meat.

"I figured I'd try to identify the biggest problem that I could have a positive impact on," Brown said. "I decided that it was basically the use of animals in the food system, which is by a wide margin the biggest threat to the global environment today."

Wearing rose-colored glasses makes it easier for entrepreneurs to overcome hurdles, Brown said.

"If you're trying to do something that you really feel is important," he said, "then if you have a bad day, you just have a bad day. It's not going to deter you from that goal."

"You just have to believe you're going to get there," he said.

Video by Jeniece Pettit.