James Crawford – cofounder of Beanhunter

James Crawford is the Co-Founder of Beanhunter and is based in Melbourne. He has had a passion for business and entrepreneurship since he was a teenager and believes this is due to both his dad and grandfathers influence. On a regular basis the three of them would talk about businesses and business ideas which ultimately influenced James’ career choices.

It all starts with trying to find a solution for a problem. Once you have the problem it can be impossible to stop thinking about until you have a solution.

Tell us a little bit about your idea and what made you decide to take the plunge and make it happen?

Beanhunter helps people to find and share their coffee experiences.
 While doing this we also increase the discoverability of independent cafes; and support the specialty coffee industry both here in Australia and worldwide.

Beanhunter is a door into a city’s coffee culture. In 2012 Beanhunter won the Editors Pick for ‘Best Mobile App’ as part of the Lifehacker Awards and was recently mentioned in Mashable article, ‘6 Coffee Apps to Help You Savor Every Sip’.

What are you working on right now and what are you most excited about in the next three months?

Over the past few months the Beanhunter team has been working tirelessly to completely redesign Beanhunter’s website. It is the biggest update that they have ever done!New features Beanhunter have rolled out include:

  • Redesigned interface
  • Improved search
  • Region pages (e.g. Fitzroy, Melbourne etc.)
  • Login with your Facebook account
  • Easy sharing of your activity on Facebook and Twitter
  • Follow your friends to find out where they’re drinking coffee via the activity feed
  • Brand new cafe page layout highlighting the best content and the key information that you need to find good coffee

We also have a big update for our iPhone app coming soon. Stay tuned!

I try to go to the Melbourne Learn Startup Meetup once a month. I really enjoy the community feel and learning from some great entrepreneurs as they share their experiences. It is a great event for networking.

How do you make ideas happen?

It all starts with trying to find a solution for a problem. Once you have the problem it can be impossible to stop thinking about until you have a solution.It is then a matter of finding a great team and to getting started. It is also important to stay motivated and set goals.

What does your typical day look like?

7AM: wake up

730AM: check emails, twitter, sites analytics

830AM: grab a coffee on my way to work

9AM: sit down at my desk and reply to urgent emails

1030AM: Spend the majority of my day working with our team building out the product

7PM: go home and eat some dinner

9-12PM: do more work, usually emails

What challenges have you faced when starting or growing a business/organisation in Australia?

When we first launched Beanhunter there wasn’t much of a startup culture like there is today. Not having easy access to other startup founders or advisors used to be limiting, but now as the cultures are shifting, it is much easier to get tips and learn from others. Learning from others and what worked for them can really help accelerate your growth.

What is one idea you are willing to give away for free?

Surround yourself with people mentors, advisers and those that have done it before you. Learn from and study what they did to help grow your business. In return, be a mentor or adviser for other entrepreneurs and their companies.

What people/companies/organisations do you think are doing really cool stuff in your industry, in Australia at the moment?

I really like what the Adioso team is building. They making finding flights easy and enjoyable! It is a very impressive product with huge potential.

I a big fan of the light bulb that Phil Bosh and his team at LIFX Labs are creating after an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign.

What about internationally?

Uber is an awesome concept. I used it for the first time here in Melbourne a few weeks ago and had a great experience. Everyone should try it at least once.

Name 3 websites you would recommend to our readers?

The Fetch

Start Up Smart Australia

Start Chart

Name 3 Australians we should follow on Twitter?

@tomhoward

@guyking

@StuAC

Are there opportunities for people to get involved with your idea (e.g. are you looking for funding, interns, marketing help)?

We aren’t currently looking for any interns or marketing help as our team is 100% focused on building out our platform, however I am more than happy to hear from anyone who feels like they could help out in the future.

Our readers are smart, creative, talented and good looking. Here’s your chance to ask them anything.

Do you drink much coffee? You should and if you don’t start drinking it. Not only does is it amazing, but it will help with all the late nights if you are working on your own startup. I also know a really great app to help you find great coffee.

What’s your favourite bar/café/restaurant?

My favourite cafe would have to be Proud Mary in Collingwood, Melbourne. Melbourne is extremely lucky as there are so many great places to eat and drink.

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