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Archive for the ‘Required Reading’ Category

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7 Tips & Trips for Travelling from Australia to America 

Flying as frequently as I do from Australia to the US you learn a few things.  Here’s my current tips and tricks:

  1. Qantas is by far the best airline on the route with stunning lounges, the best Inflight service, great seats, and friendly staff. But…
  2. They are ridiculously over priced. Both United and Air NZ offer great value for money with a reasonable drop in service in United’s case and close to parity with Air NZ.
  3. Don’t fly Qantas to San Francisco. They have their museum grade, ancient 747-400s on this route. The seats are awful and lie about as flat as a Byron Bay Backroad. On my last three flights neither the power or lousy video screen worked.  On the LAX route you get fancy new planes. Don’t pay the same for less.
  4. United is flying the Dreamliner to San Fran and LA. It’s fantastic.  There is something about the lighting and air quality that makes the flight better.  But alas, it’s United so the food is awful, the staff unpleasant and any other hope of little touches are best not anticipated.  
  5. Air NZ via Auckland is a great alternative if the price is right.  Great staff, generally modern planes on the long haul routes, and upgraded lounges that as a whole are far too packed with travellers from a multitude of airlines to enjoy.
  6. American is flying these routes more. But then you’d have to be seduced by an amazing price or really want to fly American. 
  7. If heading to NYC, try the Sydney – Honolulu – NYC route. It’s an overnight flight so sleep is easy and you have the option of a day or two in Hawaii on the way up or back.

Hope this is useful and welcome other thoughts and tips.  

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Tuxedo ROI

On pondering the merit of yet another new iPhone purchace – to which the only benefit I can see is a better camera – I got to thinking about how one might justify the purchase.  

They ain’t cheap. I already have a museum grade collection of digital devices. And the one of got is ok enough. 

But here’s the difference between this purchase and most – I live on my phone.  According to Instant, between two and four hours per day. And I take a heap of photos.  Thousands per year in fact. 

So unlike a Tuxedo – which maybe gets used 40 times in ten years – maybe, just maybe, upgrading every year makes all the sense in the world. 

Once it was the PC we could justify upgrading due to all that added power and functionality.  Now it seems it’s the phone.  

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Where to Drink Coffee in Sydney

Some suggestions for a friend so thought I’d share here:

  • Ground Control: In the Ferry Building – on the side facing the street. Three minute walk to amazing coffee.
  • Hills Bros, 19 Food & Coffee 5 Martin Place, Sydney. 7-4.30 Mon-Fri – in the Lobby of the building. Very clever food and amazing coffee. Same people that own Reuben Hills. 10 min walk from hotel.
  • Cross Cafe, 155 Clarence St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia – amazing food
  • Reuben Hills Cafe, 61 Albion StreetSurry Hills, Sydney, 2010 – great coffee and food.
  • Reformatory Caffine Lab, 17-51 Foveaux Street, Surry Hills, New South Wales
  • Gumption, Strand Arcade – awlays a line, always great.
  • Sensory Lab, Bondi Beach – St Ali gang’s Sydney hangout.
  • Good list here: http://concreteplayground.com/sydney/best-of/the-eight-best-specialty-coffee-spots-in-sydney/

What are your faves?

  • Loved

Information Insanity

What we get exposed to on a daily basis is insane. The media looks to capture our attention through a non-stop barrage of anger, violence and poison. Reading headlines – which seem to ebb and flow hourly – you’d think civilization is collapsing. It’s not. Information is collapsing our consciousness. Ray Kurtzweil said it well today:

“People think the world is getting worse. … That’s the perception. What’s actually happening is our information about what’s wrong in the world is getting better. A century ago, there would be a battle that wiped out the next village, you’d never even hear about it. Now there’s an incident halfway around the globe and we not only hear about it, we experience it.”

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The Virtual AGM


I’m not sure how many people attended our AGM in Wellington last year.  Had to be over 1,000.  This year we went virtual so the room in Sydney has less than 100 people in it.

This has to be a good thing:

  • People from over 15 countries engaged live
  • Xero offices tuning in and some have shareholders dropping by for morning tea – so good and much more human
  • Saves money and time – and better for the environment
  • People seemed OK asking questions online and the smaller room was great

Interestingly, over 500 people tuned in over the web from more than 15 countries.

Wonder why more don’t do this? Thoughts?

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