3-Blazes’ mission is to help small businesses use innovative products, people, and systems to grow great businesses that drive economic growth. From grassroots entrepreneurship in craft food and beverage to high growth tech ventures, we add experience, insight, and resources to help innovators forge ahead.
- Learning by Doing: Innovation is an experiment. We embrace Lean Startup principles and encourage everyone to look for ways to accelerate their learning and move their vision to reality. Life should be lived on the steep part of your learning curve. That also means that we don’t just want to pontificate about what you should do, we want to role up our sleeves and get to work learning and doing right beside you.
- Innovation Everywhere: We define entrepreneurs as people who gather resources to deliver new value to others, whether through starting a new venture or pushing innovation and improvement within an existing one. It’s not about Silicon Valley or venture capital or being the next Facebook. It’s not about technology or patents or the next sexy app. It’s about people making better things and making things better. It can happen anywhere and should be encouraged to happen everywhere. We look to Main Street, makers, and doers for the next small business that delivers something amazing to its customers and community.
- Teams Create: People are the medium of business. One person can do a lot. A team can always do more. When it comes to creating value for others, it takes shared vision, diverse skills, and the ability to motivate and hold one another accountable. We’ve tried going it alone and learned the hard way that anything worth doing is going to take a team.
- Systems Thinking: Systems are the building blocks of business. Systems define what a business does and how it does. Systems enable a business to innovate and get better. Finance, marketing, sales, production, delivery, and compliance are examples of systems that are part of every small business (whether they are defined or not). In great businesses, leadership, learning, and innovation itself become sustainable systems that are always getting better.
- Be Transformative: Start with yourself. Commit to being the best you that you can be. Then focus on bringing positive change to the lives you touch. Deliver an amazing product and customer experience. Build a great team. Make your community better. Let your sphere of influence grow and give back in every way you can.
- Sustainable Growth: If you aren’t growing, you’re dying. There is no new opportunity without growth. The very purpose of 3-Blazes is to encourage business and personal growth. But the kind of growth we are pursuing is not singular or wasteful. It is not about exits and quick riches. It is systematic, cultural, and sustainable. It is growth fueled by innovation, focused on human needs and desires, and powered by continuous improvement. It is about finding balance in your life’s work, in service to your community, and for now and into the future.