For two years I conducted walking tours around the central business district of Melbourne. I tramped a regular route through Melbourne’s grand boulevards and artistic laneways, relating stories to my guests and imparting local knowledge.

Last week I wrote about my experience and using the Airbnb Experiences platform.

While COVID-19 and other factors mean that I no longer run this tour, I have decided to bring the tour to you! This article works best if you open it on your phone while you’re walking around the streets of Melbourne.


For two years I gave walking tours through the majestic streets of Melbourne. I used Airbnb ‘Experiences’ to source the ‘guests’, advertise the tour, handle the transactions, and communicate with my guests. This is a story about my experience creating my own tour and working with the Airbnb platform.

The Spark

I was catching up with a friend one day and he told me about how he had started doing this thing called ‘Airbnb Experiences’. In an Experience, the host doesn’t rent out their property to guests, but rather they sell their time to provide a local’s perspective to tourists. Examples of…


Header — The Ultimatum Game
Header — The Ultimatum Game

Inherent within the human character is the belief that we should all be treated fairly. For some, injustice might be high levels of poverty in the developing world, while for others it might be the umpire calling a foul and costing their team the game.

The Ultimate game is a famous experiment used to test people’s values of fairness and cooperation. The most famous description of the game was published in 1982 by the German economists Güth, Schmittberger and Schwarze.

How it works

There are two strangers playing the game — the person proposing the offer and the person receiving the offer. …


Have you ever accidentally subscribed to a newsletter and not known how or when it happened? There’s a good chance that you fell prey to a UX dark pattern.

A dark pattern sounds rather incriminating, doesn’t it?

A UX dark pattern is a “user interface that has been carefully crafted to trick users into doing things”.

Sometimes dark patterns are easy to spot and we can smile and wiggle our finger at the screen. Other times, however, they are conniving and devious, and can fool even the most careful person. …


You may have heard an AB test success story that goes something like, “All we did was change the button colour from orange to blue and our conversion rate increased 30%!”

What is the likelihood that you could replicate this triumph with a similarly tiny change?

When designing an experiment, one of the key decisions is how many different variables to test. The answer to this question will depend on our objectives in running the experiment.

At one extreme we could test changing the smallest thing possible, such as a button colour, font size or even simply a word. At…


The art of persuasion is one of the most important skills we can harness in our professional careers. But not only confined to our work, we are also constantly trying to persuade our friends and family members to see it our way. Chinese or Thai takeaway for dinner tonight? The Bachelor or Married At First Sight?

Aristotle believed that persuasion (rhetoric) is made up of three elements, or ‘appeals’. Each persuasive message that you craft should contain each of these three appeals: logos, pathos, and ethos. Let’s dive into each in more detail.

Ethos

Ethos refers to your character — who…


Header — backpack on an island
Header — backpack on an island

It was four years ago that I first embarked on my personal journey to become a digital nomad.

I loved the word nomad. It evoked imagery of freedom, exploration, and all-out adventure. I wanted to be that person whose front-gate opened onto La Rambla and whose backyard was Copacabana beach. The pace of technology and ways of working were moving quickly enough that this dream started to materialise in my mind as an actual potential reality.

What is a digital nomad?

A digital nomad is someone who utilises technology to work remotely. Most jobs that don’t require face-to-face interactions should be able to happen remotely…


As product managers, marketers and digital strategists, we often ponder how to encourage our users to do the things we want them to do. That might be as simple as watching a video, or signing up for a product, or perhaps subscribing to a 12-month premium access pass. It can be difficult to know where and how to start thinking about user behaviour, let alone how to influence it.

Luckily for us, there’s a very smart guy called B.J. Fogg, who has developed a model to help us conceptualise user behaviour. …


One of the primary responsibilities of a product manager is to develop a product’s roadmap. The goal of a roadmap is to communicate what changes are going to be made to a product and when. In its most unimaginative form, a roadmap can simply be presented in a Gantt chart aka Microsoft Project 2010. On the other hand, a roadmap can be a slickly designed infographic that has been crafted by graphic designers for 3 months. To be clear, I’m not advocating for either of these two extremes.

The items on the roadmap can be prioritised in many ways. They…


Something interesting happened to me one evening when I was collecting my UberEats order from the front door.

The delivery guy had just handed over my food and as I was about to shut the door, he held out his hand and offered me a KitKat.

As he placed the chocolate bar in my hand, he informed me that it was actually his birthday today.

I smiled, wished him a happy birthday, shut the door, and then stared at the chocolate in my hand.

This gift confused me.

If it were his birthday, then why was he the one giving…

Stephen Ratcliffe

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