Every once in a while I write a blog about what we do at Take Flight and our philosophy behind it. Compelled by an unexpected meeting I had this weekend with a Traceur from Montana named Micha, I felt like writing one of these. The topic of this writing is competition from the business perspective and what “competitors” mean to us. I think you’ll be surprised about how we at Take Flight look at it.
Our view on competition from a business perspective is this: in the world of Parkour we don’t view anyone as competition. Rather we view everyone as groups that we respect and want to work with. We believe that when we all work together we all advance together much further than we would as individuals, and excluding groups or trying to conquer groups or any of that regular business mindset that most companies have just isn’t conducive to our collective bigger goal of spreading Parkour.
A few weeks ago I was talking to Ryan Doyle about becoming a Take Flight athlete. He was on board and we even discussed some in depth ideas about how to work together. But before we could move ahead, and the last thing that had to be done before we could, was he said he needed to speak to WFPF. I don’t know what conversation went on between Ryan and those at WFPF or possibly other managers/agents etc, but Ryan came back and said he couldn’t move ahead at the present time because of contractual issues.
A lot of groups in the Parkour have the mindset of making athletes stay exclusive and protecting their brand or ideas in that way. The “You can’t be with that company if you are with us,” is the thinking, and the “if they succeed we don’t” perspective is the other false mindset that others operate by. But we don’t believe in this. In fact we don’t see things this way at all! On the contrary we want to work with and support all groups, athletes, and organizations in the Parkour world. There are so many great groups out there and new Traceurs and organizations are rising up all the time.
Move to Inspire is a great new example of an up and coming organization that just came on the scene. We love this group and we love their motto, ideas, and vision! And not to mention they make shirts for Traceurs and they are awesome too. We wouldn’t dream of calling them competitors, because even though our ability to produce clothing in some ways depends on our sales, Move to Inspire and Take Flight are ultimately working for the same goals. We’re proud of them and we want to see them succeed. Yes, we are a business, but why would we want to consider Move to Inspire competition? To do so is to put profits above Parkour, and that’s not how we think or operate.
At Take Flight we think about helping those in the Parkour community, and helping everyone grow together. That starts most prominently with our helping our athletes and partners which we are always looking to grow, and it extends to the entire community via our community posts, the support we give, and the message we spread. We do this because Parkour is more important to us than profits. And as we said before, we believe that when we help each other succeed we all benefit and advance further together than we would if we just tried to advance alone as individuals.
That’s our stance and we’re sticking to it.
Adam Dunlap is the founder and CEO of Take Flight. In addition to his role at the company Adam is currently working closely with David Belle in films and on other projects in order to advance Parkour in the US and around the globe. Previous projects of Adam’s include starting the Revolution Parkour gym in Portland, Oregon, and running various Parkour blogs. Adam is an avid Traceur and can often be found training both outside and at Parkour classes in whatever city he finds himself. Adam currently takes no salary from his work with Take Flight.