Hi, I'm Benson Garner, and I should tell you first and foremost that I’m a husband, father, son, brother, friend, and a believer
. Second to this, I’m a creative business designer, innovator, strategist, entrepreneur, and lifelong learner. I am a co-founder and owner of The Innovation Principle, a boutique business design firm with a focus on strategy and innovation. I'm a native to Mesa, AZ, USA (part of the Phoenix Metropolitan area) but now live in Lakeside, AZ (the White Mountains) with my wife Sarah, daughters Abby and Harper, son Whitman, and a Black and Tan Coon Hound Atticus. I enjoy extreme sports, camping, the outdoors, and working with entrepreneurs. I'm a Mormon
As a child and teenager, I started several small enterprises and was known in my neighborhood as an aspiring businessman. Upon graduating from Mesa High School I served a two year proselyting mission for my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
, whose members are most commonly referred to as Mormons
. I spent those two years working primarily with West African war refugees and the Latino people in the ghettos of Philadelphia. Upon returning home I received a BS in Management and earned additional certificates in Small Business and Entrepreneurship as well as in International Business from the WP Carey School of Business at Arizona State University
. I continue to be involved in my community and continue to serve in my church in a variety of teaching functions but have worked most extensively with the youth in the capacity of Cub Master and as Scoutmaster within the embedded Boy Scouts of America program.
At the start of my career, I worked in a variety of capacities in several small businesses and startups. I was constantly trying to innovate within those companies and regularly found myself redesigning business processes to make them more efficient. I have been aiding and consulting local startups and entrepreneurs ever since. I have founded two of my own startups and my consulting experience has offered me insight into a range of businesses and industries.
I recently co-founded a small boutique consultancy, The Innovation Principle, with Sidnee Peck to meet the demands for cutting edge innovation and strategy methods as requested from larger corporations. At the Innovation Principal we focus on strategy and innovation, helping innovators and organizations to implement better innovation processes and practices, including Business Model Generation
, Customer Development
, and Lean Startup
methodologies. I initially stumbled across these methods and tools while working on my first startup and immediately set out to implement the concepts into my business. I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to participate in the inaugural cohort of trainees at the Lean LaunchPad for Educators conference at UC Berkeley put on by Steve Blank
and the NCIIA as well as to attend one of Alexander Osterwalder
's masterclasses in San Francisco. I've never really been the same since.
Quickly following those experiences I taught and facilitated three different Lean LaunchPad courses with a colleague and business partner, Sidnee Peck. These courses were put on in a mixture of settings with diverse participants including a local co-working space with community startups, at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University to student lead teams, and in the various ASU Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group programs located in the ASU SkySong incubator. In each of those 9-12 week courses, nearly every team experienced a substantial pivot, many earned their first revenues, and several were offered funding as a result of “getting out of the building”. I have formally taught the Lean LaunchPad course with dozens of startup teams. I'm a scholar of these methods and have taught and coached countless entrepreneurs, investors, educators, and enterprises visual thinking, business model innovation, customer development, lean startup, and agile methods. I continue to evangelize these methods and best practices to all who will listen and sometimes even find myself applying these techniques in various aspects of my life outside of business.