QFF In 2019 Co-Founded a cost management software for small and medium-sized businesses in the construction industry. Honed in on their business model using the Strategyzer tools, secured pre-sales from a large client before building the product. (James Baker)

podcast qff Nov 03, 2022

In this week’s episode, Michael interviews James Baker, the Co-Founder of Varicon, a construction cost management software, based in Hobart, Tasmania. James is all about efficiency in business, it’s what drove him to co-create Varicon.   

James' software helps small to medium business owners in the construction industry. To test then lock-in their business model, before securing pre-sales before building the product, he used the Strategyzer BMC (Business Model Canvas) - which he states is a powerful tool for business owners. It shows all of the key building blocks of the business and how it comes together, aiding business owners in being efficient in costs. Leading to a well-understood value proposition.

James has spoken from experience that “before we go and spend a lot of effort on something, we want to find out how we can do this as cheaply as possible, with as little possible capital investment.”

This Cast Covers:

  • The importance of efficiency in business startups.
  • Carefully evading possible risks.
  • Proving the significance of your product in the market.
  • A business owner should be an expert.
  • The advantages and disadvantages of being an expert.
  • Generating capital for the startup.
  • Constantly thinking of ways to innovate.
  • Finding ways to involve customers in your business.
  • Utilizing the Business Model Canvas.
  • Business owners should be more curious and humble, listen to customers.


Additional Resources:




“So we went through before even incorporating our business, we spent about a year just interviewing as many potential customers as we could.” — James Baker.

“So as a business owner, you might be the expert in this thing that you do. And sometimes being an expert is a massive advantage. But sometimes it can be a big disadvantage.” — James Baker.

“But the experimentation journey didn't definitely didn't finish there. We're doing it all the time. And a lot of the time, we're doing things like things very manually, that will be done in the future by software.” — James Baker.

“But the reality is that for someone to come and ask for something doesn't cost them anything. Whereas on that journey, we get our customers more and more involved. And this is what any small business owner can be doing.” — James Baker.

“If there was one thing that I could recommend to any business owner to do is to be more curious and to be humble.” — James Baker.



Music from https://filmmusic.io “Cold Funk” by Kevin MacLeod https://incompetech.com. License: CC by http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0



Join Our Weekly Leadership email