Ask the What if Question?

Sunshine Coast Innovation Centre

Innovation starts when people ask the What if Question? Today I attend a great lecture in connection with the 10 year anniversary for the Sunshine Coast Innovation Centre. The lecturer was Steve Huff, form managing director of Typefi, an automated publishing too used by companies such as Apple, Lonely Planet and Telstra.

Steve Huff was sharing his entrepreneurial experience, which he did really well. In 1999, just after the IT bobble busted, he founded Typefi, after asking the question; What if we could automate book publishing and save the publishers money by shortening the editing process from several days to today’s just 3 minutes. The entire lecture was framed by this question of: What if? Because as Steve said, that is the main question entrepreneurs ask themselves.

Steve shared a great story of an episode with an online conference call with Apple in Cupertino, where they experienced constant fall outs. The Apple employees became pretty frustrated about the situation and Steve Huff and his team had to admit that they did not have broadband.

Even though Steve’s story was pretty amazing, he underlined that being an entrepreneur is a hard job and he also had a few stories to about sleepless nights, extreme frustration and fear. But as he stated, if you are passionate about what you do, you don’t want to take a break from it.

Today Steve has asked himself the question: What if we could supply refugee camps in Africa with lightning and by that minimize the risk of assault and rape of women and children? With this question has Steve set out to create jobs in a whole new industry of lightning under the name of Doble.

The anniversary also gave the opportunity to say hello to Gideon Shalwick, an online video marketing entrepreneur specialized in turning online videos into cash. I had the pleasure of sitting in on a guest lecture held by Gideon just a week earlier on Campus. It was a great lecture, and I was happy to be presented with the opportunity to have a little chat about Gideon’s book publishing history.

All over a regular Thursday turned into an extraordinary Thursday. Now I am about to ask myself the What if Question? And so should you?

The World is Beautiful! (New Zealand Special)

New Zealand

What a statement: ”The world is beautiful!” and it sure is. I’m currently in Australia on my 8th month and must say I am enjoying it grand scale. Especially one part of my stay stands out in my memory, the magic of travelling. “To Travel is to Live” so did H.C. Andersen write, and I must have to agree with him. Therefore I would like to share the best of my latest travel experience.

New Zealand, the country of magical landscapes and sheep outnumbering the Kiwis by far. I went with great friends of mine, and we did what I would like to call a jet-set tour, with speeding across both islands in just two weeks. Not the way you are recommended to experience this fairy-tale land, but for sure a good tour anyway.

Dunedin and Otago Peninsula

Dunedin Otago
Dunedin Otago

Otago Peninsula is a wonderful stretch of land giving access to Albatross Point, where if you are luck you can get to see an albatross up close. However, this is not it. The winding roads taking you from Dunedin to Albatross point is a race drivers dream. Combine this with a stunning nature, and beautiful bays, and you got half a day of fun.

Milford Sound

Milford Sounds Lord of the Ring
Milford Sounds Lord of the Ring

“Like sailing in a painting.” Milford sound is one of these places that you for all the best in the world should not miss. We went kayaking and got up close to seals, waterfalls, and mystery bobbles appearing on the surface of the water. Milford sound is one of these places where you can fully allow yourself to quietly take in the breath-taking natural beauty.

Queenstown

Queenstown Bungy Jump
Queenstown Bungy Jump

The adventure capital of the world, where you can bungy jump, skydive, paraglide, climb mountains or some of the other adventurous activities, for not mentioning skiing during the winter season. Queenstown got everything you desire, even a good night life, if wanted. Queenstown is not just a place for the adventurous, but surrounded by absolute stunning mountains and the impressive Lake Wakatipu.

Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier
Fox Glacier

Have you ever climbed a glacier? I have. The Fox Glacier is just a must do, and even though you wonder what is so special about walking on a massive chunk of ice, it is just such a unique experience. We spend a full day climbing the glacier and we got to experience an ice cave. I recommend everyone passing by Fox Glacier to experiences this unique piece of nature, and I must say I was impressed by professionalism of the guiding team. They did a good job.

Ferry from Picton to Wellington

Wellington Burger
Wellington Burger

What an amazing ferry ride out of Queen Charlotte Sound. The ferry ride alone is worth all the money. Extremely beautiful! Wellington might be New Zealand’s only larger city with a bit of soul. We spend a day in the city enjoying the atmosphere of a creatively designed seafront, the Museum of New Zealand: Te Papa Tongarewa, which was really nice. Wellington was also the city where I had the best Burger I have ever tasted. “Like heaven on a plate.” Did I remember the bar that served it, I would have mentioned it, but sadly I don’t.

Rotorua and Waimangu

Rotorua Volcanic
Rotorua Volcanic

Rotorua is the place of thermal activity, where mud pools is part of the regular walk in the park. When we were there we headed out for Waimangu Volcanic Valley, which is a place of significant geothermal activity. We had a great one hour walk, and saw beautiful lakes such as Frying Pan Lake, Inferno Crater Lake and Lake Rotomahana. This was my first time ever walking on a volcano and the whole experience of gasses and bobbles pumping out of the mountains were just wicked.

Auckland

Auckland New Zealand
Auckland New Zealand

They like to call themselves a miniature of Sydney, but sadly they are just not. Auckland is sadly a big city with a great need of a unique soul. Oh yes, there is beautiful places to go, eat and hang out. However there just isn’t anything unique where you think WOW, I am in Auckland.  One of my favourite places was the harbour, especially because Auckland is a great place for sail sport.

All over I had an amazing experience in New Zealand and one lesson that I took with me and that applies to all my travels.

“It is not the places you see, it is who you see them with!”

Must Do in Queensland Australia!

I have been traveling a bit in what I am calling my second home. That is what has inspired me to do this little overview of a few Must-Dos in Queensland, Australia.

If you fly into Brisbane get out of the city as quickly as possible. This is the first on the list.

1.    Brisbane Southbank

Brisbane South Bank
Brisbane South Bank

Brisbane is a beautiful city, but not a place you want to waste your precious time. Spend Maximum one day in Brisbane and then head up the coast where real Queensland is coming to life.

When you are in Brisbane, take a walk on Queens Street, direction west, towards Victoria Bridge. When you cross the bridge experience Brisbane Art Gallery. The Building in itself is an Architectural masterpiece. What is my Must-see, is the Brisbane Southbank man-made lagoon and beach. For Europeans this is quite a unique sight. After enjoying Southbank and possibly a great lunch at one of the nice cafés, with the view of the skyline reflecting in the river, take the Goodwill Bridge to the Botanic gardens, and you are once again back down-town. Should you have an extra day in Brizzy, why not visit Brisbane’s official site and find out what is going on right now.

2.    Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo
Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo is the first stop you want to make when you get out of the City.

Take the opportunity to feed kangaroos and get to hold a koala, or just let you wonder in this massive beautiful park filled with creatures from all over the world. Don’t miss the Croc show, where all the parks most spectacular animals are showcased. The Crocodiles are not that impressive, but the rest is. Australia Zoo for sure a Must-Do when in Queensland!

3.    Noosa

Australia Noosa
Australia Noosa

Don’t miss out of Noosa, which is the posh part of the Sunshine Coast. Noosa got beautiful beaches, beautiful houses, beautiful women, yes Noosa got it all. Spend half a day here and take a walk in the national park, discover heisting’s street, or just beach it. The Noosa Surf Club is the place you want to experience a great Australian Lunch in a relaxed environment with great Australian self-service, and the greatest view in town. Get a seat outside!

4.    Tin Can Bay – Dolphin feeding

Tin Can Bay Dolphin Feeding
Tin Can Bay Dolphin Feeding

Have you ever been hand feeding a dolphin?

I Australia there is a lot of opportunities to do so, but probably one of the cheapest is Tin Can Bay Dolphin Centre. You have to get up early if you are not staying in town. However there is absolutely no reason for staying in Tin Can Bay overnight. Probably the most boring town in the area. However a beautiful morning drive from Noosa and up will take you two hours and will be one of the most beautiful drives you have done. Be there around 7 to 8 and the dolphins will be in for a morning snack.

5.    Fraser Island

Alexander hold Fraser Island
Alexander hold Fraser Island

Fraser Island is one of the more expensive, but for sure one of the most beautiful. Experience the world’s largest sand island on a 2 or 3 day trip. The longer the better! I have previously described Fraser as paradise on earth, and I must say I still stand with that. A great natural stop after Tin Can Bay. Remember to ask to go see Indian Head, and you feel like you are a part of a Pirate of the Caribbean movie.

6.    Town of 1770 or Agnes Water – The world´s cheapest Surf School

Town of 1770
Town of 1770

Agnes Waters, or better known for the town of 1770, where Captain Cook for the first time sat foot on the Australian Continent, are where you will find what is known as the world’s cheapest surf-school. For only 17 Australian Dollar can you enjoy a great 3-4 hours of surfing in the Pacific Ocean. You have not really been in Australia if you haven’t been surfing!

 

7.    Koorana Crocodile Farm

Koorana Saltwater Crocodile Farm
Koorana Saltwater Crocodile Farm

After been surfing an enjoying Town of 1770, make your way up to Rockhampton and drive off towards Emu Park. Here you will find Koorana Crocodile Farm, which for sure will make even the toughest machos fear the ancient creatures of nature. At Koorana you can put your teeth’s to a real life Croc Stake or you can just join the guided feeding tour of the crocs, where you will see why you should keep clear of the rivers of Rockhampton and north. You won’t be disappointed at Koorana and are keen; you can even get a chance to hold a real life crocodile.

8.    Whitsundays Sailing

Whitsundays Island
Whitsundays Island

Whitsundays Islands might be the reason why you are heading north and this is as far as I have made it so far. However this does not make the place any less attractive. What everybody does at the Whitsundays Islands is to go sailing, and you should do the same. Why not experience whales, dolphins and the best of Mother Nature from a great yacht cruising these beautiful waters. Do yourself a favour and book a tour on a real sports sailing ship as the old Volvo Ocean Race boats or similar, for the thrill of real life sailing. Whitsundays is also the place for snorkelling with a million fish and if you are lucky you might see a turtle.

That was seven of the best Must-Dos/Sees of Queensland, but maybe you can help me finish the list? If I missed anything, please feel welcome to share and I might get inspired to some new places to discover.