On the daily

A slightly less Uber Uber in a good way

A new on-demand transport service is trialling in our neck of the woods. It’s called Bridg and it’s very clever. As the name suggests it bridges the gap in those areas where public transport doesn’t offer the needed coverage. In our case the morning and afternoon school run. For a 10 minute journey to school the kids would otherwise be taking two Government-run buses and spend around 50 minutes doing it.

It’s the first real tangible experience I’ve had of “dynamic big data”. The app offers pick up windows but interestingly depending on where each rider is coming from, the pick up location changes each day.

So far it’s worked perfectly and it’s as cheap as chips. We have visibility on where the kids are and with successes the trial will expand to cover more of Sydney.

We have been back in Sydney four years now and as an experiment decided to see if we can avoid buying a car. They’re expensive in Oz, we live near the beach so the salt kills them and parking is scarce and pricey. We rely mostly on my Vespa and Go Get car sharing. So it’s actually working. And the Bridg bus makes it even easier.

The next challenge? Our 15 year old turns 16 on Sunday and I’m not totally sure how he’s going to learn how to drive!

On the daily

Step back in time

My 16 year old son Fynn has a mate, also 16 who for reasons I still don’t understand is obsessed with the music of my generation.

I know this because there was a “gatho” (no, not a party or a rave or a shindig, a “gatho”…don’t ask) at our place and Fynn’s mate was playing DJ.

This was some of his play list:

INXS – Never Tear Us Apart

B52’s – Love Shack

Benny Andersson- One Night in Bangkok

George Michael – Careless Whispers

Earth Wind & Fire – September

Soft Cell – Tainted Love

Duran Duran – Hungry Like the Wolf

And so on and so forth.

How someone born in 2002 would end up musically back in the 1970’s and 80’s is beyond me.

But it’s fabulous.

Thanks to the power of Spotify I can now enjoy a blast from the past. Better yet, Fynn and his mates now know all these tunes and I have finally found a DJ for my 50th.

On the daily

The Murdoch connection

Waiting with gritted teeth to watch Steve Bannon, the very worst of America being interviewed on the ABC’s 4 Corners program tonight. He is in Australia for a tour to I assume promote his special breed of hate. Given he was fired from the White House he’s gotta make a buck somehow.

I heard a theory lately that wherever Murdoch is, right wing, extremists lurk.

In the US, Murdoch’s “Fair and Balanced” Fox TV delivered the White House to Trump and continue to be the mouthpiece for the Orange one.

In the UK, Murdoch’s SkyTV delivered the Brexit result the nationalists were after.

In Australia, Murdoch owns The Australian and Daily Telegraph Newspapers. He also owns the Sky TV network featuring an evening cavalcade of right wing, anti-immigrant, climate denying talking heads screaming down the lens at a relatively small viewer base. In combination they delivered one of the poorest organised political coups anywhere in the world. In the end they didn’t get their man in the top job. But it revealed with absolute clarity the influence Murdoch’s media outlets have on the political scene Down Under.

Each of these these countries are facing a nearly unprecedented level of political instability. They are each directionless with no clear policy views.

Canada and New Zealand offer a stark contrast. No Murdoch media interests in either country and both feature clear political leadership.

Chalk and cheese.

On the daily

Putting everything in its place.

After another year of non-filing, of efficiently putting bits of paper in random places, today was the day I pulled the office apart.

And it was glorious. Business-y things in this pile, tax returns in that pile. The kids school reports over here, bills over there. A pile for goodwill. A pile for recycling and some for the bin.

Two observations.

1. The amount of paper in our lives is plummeting if you choose to e-pay everything. That suggests that at some point in our kids lives filing cabinet makers will be going the way of the Farrier.

2. I’m not convinced human beings are wired to be organised. I did a thorough piece of research using a massive dataset made up of my two co-workers in the office here and revealed that a full 66.6% of all workers globally are catastrophically disorganised. The growing number of books and businesses that have emerged to help the hopelessly disorganised supports this view

Of my own experience, while I felt pangs of anxiety through yet another year of disorganised chaos the sense of relief after filing / throwing / burning won’t be enough I fear to keep the habit up.

Why I wonder? There’s a PhD in there for sure.

On the daily

Something from nothing

The work of an entrepreneur is to make something from nothing. And that’s pretty hard which is why so many start ups fail and fail really early on.

I was thinking of this today as I followed the hilarious story of Peter Dutton. Last week Australia endured yet another political coup. A small group of right wingers in the Liberal party (basically the Republicans) self-immolated by axing their Liberal leader and current Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull in favour of what everyone thought would be Peter Dutton, a not-very-popular Immigration Minister with no real personal appeal. In the end Dutton failed in his bid and we now have Scott Morrison who likes to be called #ScoMo and believes that if all his Ministers wear Australian flags on their lapels they will actually be reminded to work for us, the people who elected them.

Twitter of course lit up over this farce and there was collateral damage. Twitterers nailed Peter Dutton over his coup attempt and backroom dealings. The only thing was many attackers were targeting the wrong Peter Dutton. @PeterDutton5 responded: “I wish the people of Australia would look at my profile and realize I’m a 30 yr old black man before sending me tweets and DMs”

The Australian public then embraced this young man from Texas. Even The New York Times ran a story. We got to learn that he has a wife and they are expecting their first child in January. People urged him to run for the leadership. He dubbed himself the “People’s Prime Minister” and thanks to a GoFundMe campaign, he and the First Lady are coming to Australia next month!

He runs a popcorn empire “SoulFood Popcorn” and I think he’s after distribution down here!

So what’s this got to do with creating something from nothing? Peter has done this in spades. This morning on Twitter he mentioned his wife and given him new golf kit as an early birthday present. The Aussie Twitterverse replied immediately wishing him a happy birthday and letting him know that today is in fact Father’s Day down here. As the People’s PM he will now be celebrating two Father’s Days once his little one is born!

As a lover of golf, I invited him to play golf with Peter during his trip and he agreed! We are also workshopping his business and my sons have agreed to be popcorn taste testers! Twitter can be a hate- filled mess or a place where anything is possible. A place where a random stranger on one side of the planet ends up as the People’s PM on the other side of the planet.