Startup Grind Melbourne kicked off 2018 with a lovely summer session at MYOB’s Melbourne office in Cremorne. While you’d expect a low turnout for an event in early January, storied guest speaker Tony Wheeler (Lonely Planet) made sure that a few dozen sparkling eyes were in attendance.
Tony regaled the audience by sharing anecdotes from Lonely Planet’s humble beginnings in the early 1970s to his and his wife Maureen’s most recent work with The Wheeler Foundation and the Global Heritage Fund. He also discussed how Lonely Planet was a very early adopter of digital publishing and even published its books and maps on portable devices in the 1990s and early 2000s. Interestingly, Tony noted that Lonely Planet’s offline sales have grown despite the overall physical book market shrinking – maybe we’re too worried about paying for data overseas to use our smartphones.
The majority of the attendees seemed to be 30-somethings who were looking for inspiration and advice on their next projects. We attended the event to meet some of these wide-eyed hopefuls to see how we could help them fulfill their dreams.
As for the venue itself, MYOB’s office certainly appeals to the start-up crowd, but its uncomfortable seating and small foyer was not conducive to a pleasant listening or networking experience. Speaking of networking, it would be a good idea to get StartUp Grind early if a storied speaker like Tony Wheeler is speaking because the majority of the crowd tends to flock around the speaker for photos, book signings, and a chance to chat.
All in all, Tony was the highlight of an otherwise okay start to StartUp Grind’s 2018 calendar.
Things of note:
- Location: MYOB, 167 Cremorne St, Cremorne
- Cost: From $30
- Highlight:Tony Wheeler’s stories and photographs
- Hot tip:Come early for a better chance at networking
- Networking opportunity: 3/5
- Speaker: 4/5
- Venue: 2/5
- Food: 2/5