30. Seasons of Melbourne

To everything there is a season

Photo by Agathe Marty on Unsplash

Let’s all agree that Melbourne in July = cold. Agreed? Good. Great. Moving on.

I spent the week in Melbourne with my friends, catching up and doing a “best of” tour of my favourite restaurants. I visited:

Two things stand out about this list: One, I was not vegetarian this week. It was an intentional choice, I wanted to enjoy my visit here with old favourites pre-vegetarian. Two, it’s a lot of food. I am very fat and full. Time to #jazzercise.

It was also lovely to see a select group of old friends – I couldn’t see everyone, so sorry if I missed you! I’m planning a return visit in early January for a few birthdays – and also when it’s not so painfully cold.

Many thanks to Az & Corey for hosting me for the week, and Holly & Blake for lending me their couch on Friday night. xx

It’s been a nice week to mark the end of a season of my life, being the season where I lived and worked in Melbourne. 2009 – 2018.

Not a lot of reading this week, but a few things to share!


This week I explored approaches to selling that aren’t cold call lead gen 1980s hardcore phone sales. I like to think there’s a more human approach. I mix sales & marketing together – in my head, marketing is the story, and sales is the action once the story is told.

To Sell Is Human is a 2012 book by Dan Pink of Drive fame. It started me thinking about this sales approach.

I like to tell stories, so this idea of Human-to-Human (H2H) sales is interesting.


The Art of Happiness by HH Dalai Lama XIV & Howard Cutler. After my meditation retreat in Thailand, I’m interested in exploring the ideas of happiness, and how it’s different from pleasure and what role suffering plays.

Meditation is deep on the idea of the “beginner’s mind”, and Charlie Adler covers the principles well.

Listening to

I’m finishing up the last few episodes of The History of Rome. It’s only taken me two years. I can confidently say that my favourite period of Roman History is the later years of the Republic, before the Republic went belly up and became the Empire (not that anyone realised it at the time, it just kinda happened). This period is where the norms that ruled the Republic for hundreds of years eventually got ignored as men of power tried to get more power, and men of merit were sidelined. It’s basically a period of stagnation for the Republic, and it led to the people wanting change – any change – to move beyond the BS that the Senate had become. All it took was some of those men who wanted more power actually getting it – and then doing the right thing with it. Cue Julius, Augustus, the hot mess that was Tiberius, and the remaining Emperors of Rome. Here’s a great interview with Mike Duncan, the host.

The ol’ uni rite of passage that is Splendour in the Grass was on last weekend. I enjoy a good cover song – so here’s a wrapup of the best. Give DMA’s cover of Cher’s “Believe” a whirl.


This episode of The Outer Limits, written by Harlan Ellison, that was a source of inspiration for a period of sci fi that included James Cameron’s Terminator.


Best life

Aaron has a book on Ramen. It has the recipe for chashu pork – the pork that I ate 4 out of 9 days in Tokyo. Being vegetarian is hard when pork is that good. So I’m gonna make it for someone and live vicariously. Who wants ramen with amazing pork?

The week ahead…

I’m heading down to the north coast of NSW for the annual general meeting of my company, MiniMega. We’ll be reviewing the last year, and putting some guiding rails up around this year.

I think 2018/19 will be a pivotal year in our 7.5-years-young company. It’s the year after the release of our third major title, and we’ll see whether it has the longevity of our first two. Can lightning strike thrice? We’re about to find out.

Some of my family will be joining me down there for a few days, which’ll be lovely.

29. Startup

Everything'll be ok, kid. They're just stairs.Photo by Mikito Tateisi

Starting this adventure up! I’ve been journaling in a mood diary app for the last 6 weeks, and I’m finding it quite cathartic to get things out into the world. So each week, I’m going to share the awesome things I’ve found.

This week I was studying for an industry certification (PRINCE2, which is a method of project management). It’s been a while since I’ve studied, but it was kinda nice.

I’ve also spent time with friends & family in the evening and during the day. I’m reacquainting myself with folks that I haven’t properly seen in a long time. Not through any lack of love; geography has been the problem.


Lately I’ve been reading up on product design and management. I’m interested in the why of products, since the why relates so directly to the problem being solved (or the opportunity being taken).

Three steps to deliver the best product experience, Dropbox.

Making things people want, Intercom.

Product manager vs product marketing manager, HuffPo. I liked this delineation.


Currently reading The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker. It explores the reasons why we gather — to acknowledge, to learn, to challenge, to change — and how to organise gatherings to be more relevant and memorable. We all hate bad meetings, or boring birthday parties – so why not try something new?

The Network Man, The New Yorker. (8500w, 43min) The article is an old one (2015) that explores Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn. It’s still a fascinating read about how his brain works, and what’s next.

Why most people will never be successful, HuffPo. “Success is continuously improving who you are, how you live, how you serve, and how you relate. So why won’t most people be successful? Why don’t most people evolve?” Since I’m currently going through an identity rediscovery process, this article struck a chord.

Comic: Buffy Season 12, Issue 2, Dark Horse Comics. This is the last season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it went to comics after the TV show ended. Looking forward to seeing how the story wraps entirely. <3 u SMG.

Listening to

Accelerando, Vijay Iyer Trio (Google Play / Spotify). I was in a classical/jazz mood this week, and Vijay Iyer is a modern marvel.

A16Z podcast. Andreessen Horowitz (big Silicon Valley VC) have a podcast that has really smart guests. It teaches me different perspectives on business topics, so I’ve been binging through a few older episodes. Recommended:
The Case Against Education. Something I’ve thought about a lot this week as I studied. Do we get an education because we’re actually learning, or because we’re signalling to employers that we have a piece of paper that says ‘we are educated’?
– The Internet of Taste, Streaming Content to Culture. The chief content officer of Netflix talks about their business and the role streaming content plays in the entertainment industry (spoiler: it’s a bit of a shakeup).
The Business of Continual Change. Charles Koch talks through Koch Industries and their approach to continuous change over the last 50 years. It’s pretty interesting stuff, if like me you’re into understanding people & innovation.

Running the Game, Matt Colville. I just love Matt’s explanations of how to be a dungeon master for D&D. His guides were my gateway into enjoying being a DM. I’m re-listening for the sheer pleasure of hearing his mellifluous voice.


These cheap colourful socks from Uniqlo.

Simple cord wraps from Officeworks for sorting out the mess that is my laptop cable management.

This site that reviews all the macOS/iOS apps, and tells you which app is brilliant for what purpose.

Roll20, an online virtual tabletop site for people to gather and play old school pen & paper roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons. The hardest thing about playing D&D is finding a group to play with that you also gel with. Roll20 makes the first part (finding a group) waaay easier. I’m currently playing a human monk in D&D: Storm King’s Thunder. The group isn’t quite what I’m looking for; they’re a bit young (age wise, they’re mostly college students in the US) and the maturity isn’t where I’d like it to be, so I may swap groups next week if this group doesn’t work out.

Best life

Cauliflower pizza is my new jam.

This article on how to recover from burnout seemed appropriate, since I’m in the final stages of recovering from burnout!

The week ahead…

I’m heading down to Melbourne for five days to eat all the things and see all the friends!


Full tip of the hat to Rachel Miller over at The REWM whose format and candor I am readily applying to this adventure. You’re my #inspo.