The engine behind Josephmark ventures

An Interview with JM Technical Director, Uzi Bar-On

Uzi mapping out a system on a whiteboard with pens and stickynotes. Visible words include “Public vs Private Workspace” and “Permissions Heirarchy”.
Uzi, smiling. He’s wearing a black t-shirt and his long hair is tied in a ponytail.
Technical Director of Jospehmark, Uzi Bar-On
Three work in progress images of the Queensland Ballet dancing with motion sensors placed all over their bodies. Jess and baby Flo are standing in one image. In another, one of the dancers is behind the camera watching her friends in action.
Behind the scenes of a VR experience for The Queensland Ballet
A dual-monitor desk setup lit only by the screens. An Oculus VR headset sits in the foregrounds, and the screens show multiple fidelities of prototype.
Haven Mixed Reality Prototyping

As a prior serial-entrepreneur myself, the common pitfall in tech-backed ventures is to think that you can do it by yourself.

If you look at statistics, in the first year most startups fail: but then in the second year, a few less. On the third year, even fewer . If you survive 6 years, I think you’re almost safe! If you have a great team, it doesn’t really matter what product you make, as long as everybody has the same culture and vision for the impact or value they want to achieve.

Well to begin with, it’s not just about serving up a product. We build businesses. We literally build businesses from 0–1 and 1–scale. Joining JM allowed me to do that at scale, and we’re building between 6–12 ventures every year, which is massive for anyone.

It’s a good challenge, I love the challenge. I feed from it. We really do have a passion for startups, and a very unique approach to this process of creating them. The first pillar for myself is to always ask “Is this the right thing to do?”, “Is it the right thing to do now, in these times of technology?”, and “What will be the impact for my kids?”. That’s the first step with any venture that I begin looking at.

An image of Uzi windsurfing — you can’t see the parachute, just the sky, the ocean and Uzi dangling from a harness in mid-air.
Not the ‘flying cars’ future we’d envisioned, but we’re getting there!

With a venture studio, we’re retaining the same team in the same place, so all of the learnings and IP remains protected within the studio, ready to be extracted when necessary. The breadth and knowledge across the varying ventures we work on is the exact reason why we can ignite ventures in months, not years.

The speed in delivery happens because the team has so much compounded experience across different domains. There’s so much lived experience that any similar approach can become a complete prescription so you can focus on what’s new. This is how you do it. You want to get to 10 million users? You can. It happens step by step: just follow the venture studio yellow brick road. We did it before, and can do it again. That’s the main benefit.

A desk setup with a lamp, a large speaker, an Oculus VR headset, two monitors, a laptop, multiple keyboards and a plethora of other tech knick-knacks.
Where the magic happens – Uzi’s personal workspace

Ultimately, I’m trying to see how fast we can deliver an MVP. We want to validate our assumptions first at the lowest cost possible to make the most efficient process for the venture.

In your own words: Who is Josephmark?

Uzi and his son’s hands putting lego together. His son is holding a piece, and Uzi is instructing him in how to connect it.
Uzi teaching his sons the building blocks of engineering

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Josephmark

Design is our language. Venture is our mindset. We are Josephmark.