What a post-COVID-19 world will look like

April 11, 2020

The world right now is scary and weird. But humans are also funny. We react to situations in really odd ways. Here are some of my predictions of behavioural/societal changes I reckon we’ll see as a direct result of this pandemic.

  • Heaps of pets will be sent back to shelters from people who wanted company during lockdowns but can’t fit them into an active non-iso lifestyle. (This article reckons it may happen earlier, if people who have income uncertainty abandon their pets.)
  • Huge increase in podcast titles, especially DIY home productions. There’s probably a podcaster living on your street right now TBH.
  • Running will become Australia’s top mode of exercise. Exercise is one of the four reasons to leave the house, running has a low barrier to entry (shoes and sports bra) and gyms/the beach/public pools/yoga studios are all off limits.
  • We’ll see a temporary dip in professional athlete performance because they haven’t had the chance to practice with coaches and nutritionists in gyms.
  • 2021’s flu season will be mild because people finally understand how to sneeze (into ya elbow) and wash their hands, and finally understand why going out/going to work/taking public transport when ill is selfish.
  • Working from home will be socially acceptable (and not just raise eyebrows because everyone thinks you have a job interview to sneak to).
  • More Aussie households will get NBN.
  • Rise of officeless businesses – not just talking about freelancers, but small to medium sized businesses who will instead rely on the cloud and tools like Zoom, and perhaps meet up once or twice a month IRL at a cafe or rented meeting room.
  • Live streaming events (especially conferences and workshops) will finally take hold and feel ‘valuable’ and worth paying for.
  • Reduction in unnecessary interstate travel between Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne for sales people and agencies who finally realise that Zoom does the trick.
  • The average number of entertainment subscriptions per household will increase. Think Stan, Disney+, Spotify, Apple Music, Netflix.
  • Australians will support the local tourism industry more/earlier/before international tourist destinations.
  • More people will get travel insurance.
  • Australia Post will see profits increase YOY with everyone getting shit delivered.
  • Move over athleisurewear, fashion will now embrace loungewear that work for at home or for running errands (ahem, daily walk for exercise). I’ve noticed most of the fashion retailers now have curated collections, sales and EDMs dedicated to stylish knits and fleece that work in multiple contexts.
  • Zoom make up will be the ‘fake no makeup’ version of Instagram makeup.
  • The average Aussie will now generally have a buffer of essential groceries at home (vs. only buying shit when it runs out).
  • New Australian homes will be designed with giant cupboards for toilet paper reserves. (Half joking but half maybe not.)
  • New Australian homes will be designed with ‘safe’ areas to hide food/parcels/deliveries for contactless delivery so goods can’t be seen from the street and are protected from the elements. (Bigger mail boxes perhaps?)
  • Really small and really big music festivals will come back first. The little guys are nimble and run lean operations, and were less affected because their festival was not their main income source (huge assumption that they have a day job but hear me out). The big guys have the money, teams and resources to pump out events quickly and secure permits and lineups. It’ll be the medium-tier, 4K-15K capacity festivals that will struggle because they’re only getting income from live music, and were probably just breaking even before COVID-19 happened.
  • App dating culture may change slightly, with single peeps being more open to the idea of phone or video chats as a viable and non-weird first date. It’s like that screening phone call that recruiters do before that first job interview IRL. Also active dates (e.g. ‘iso walks’ and hikes) may continue being a fun first date idea.
  • There will be a surge in mental health issues and service uptake. I’ve seen so much coverage for the economic and health risks of COVID-19, but now that we’ve triaged the most immediate issues, we’re going to see psychological wellbeing become a bigger priority.
  • We’re going to see a huge, HUGE influx of new movies, TV shows and music in the 6-24 months after lock downs end (enough time for content creators to finish new projects). The market is going to be saturated as hell.
  • And we’ll all come out the other end of this with really wild hair that needs to be tamed, unless you’re brave enough to do it yourself.

Agree? Disagree? Have no opinion but want to talk to someone? I am pretty much staying at home except to get groceries once a week and for a daily walk around the block so hit me up and don’t be alarmed if I respond within 2 minutes.

Year In Numbers

December 24, 2018

Another year, another year in list form ? Here’s what my 2018 looked like:

  • Listened to 3,533 different songs on Spotify (down from 4,196 in 2015)
  • Celebrated my third year at Bolster in August
  • Read 8 fiction books (my favourite was The Vegetarian)
  • Went on my first ever solo holiday to Hobart in November
  • Moved desks three times at work to keep things fresh
  • Went to 8 music festivals
  • Went to Sydney five bloody times
  • Ate the exact same breakfast and lunch about 250+ times at work because decision fatigue (Special K for breakfast, brown rice, tofu and veg for lunch)
  • On a related note, got takeout exactly three times at work this entire year
  • Went to one wedding
  • Only rearranged the furniture in my bedroom twice this year which is fairly low
  • Had roughly 100 surprise visits from my favourite neighbour
  • Only posted on Facebook 14 times (but 268 Instagram Stories and counting because #bestpractice)
  • Played four gigs with Fever Land (more FL action in 2019 for sure)

On the first point, here are my top 100 tracks from the year. (Very glad that I ended up going to Meredith since The Breeders and Yaeji feature in this bad boy.) Happy 2018, and here’s to 2019 and people continuing to read this blog for reasons completely unknown to me ??

Creative Forecasting

August 16, 2018

Taking a break from our usual programming… with a podcast recommendation.

Like your standard advertising agency employee, I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes with things such as productivity, creativity and forecasting. I listened to this great episode of HerMoney With Jean Chatzky with Adam Grant, and it had so many bloody gems. Here are a few standouts:

  • On creative forecasting: studies show that creatives can’t critically evaluate their own ideas because they love them too much. Creatives’ managers are too critical and underestimate the ideas. The group that was the most accurate with predicting success of a creative idea was actually peers.
  • If you don’t have the luxury of running your ideas past your contemporaries, Grant suggests writing at least 20 (or up to 200, wtf) possible solutions for your scenario. Then number them from your favourite to least. Weirdly, creative forecasting studies show that your second favourite item will usually be the most successful.
  • When it comes to innovation, it’s often better to be a fast follower than a pioneer. The iPod was not the first to market, but it soon became eponymous for the MP3 player. (Let it be known I’ve never owned an iPod. I went straight from a Sony Discman to Spotify because I had some kind of music tech coma for ten years.)
  • In a similar vein, MVPing is very important. Shipping a minimum viable product is better than labouring away for years to make a perfect product, and then suffer when you launch because the market is crowded. (The example Grant gives was Polaroid, but a past workplace springs to mind for me. I worked in a team where where my managers were mad about perfection, to the point that everything we did was re-worked so much that by the time it was ready, the project was completely irrelevant and not timely for our end users.)

I’ll stop now ? Just listen for yourself below.

(Side note, this is the best podcast I’ve listened to in my entire life. If you’re into personal finance, the psychology of money, saving tips, stock markets, investing or all of the above, check it out.)

Awkward, You Didn’t Check The Date

April 2, 2017

Happy April Fool’s Day!

Yesterday the Bolster crew pulled an April Fool’s PR prank that, um, didn’t work. We put up social media posts and a blog post about starting a new arm of the business… specifically a doggo club in Collingwood, by the name of WALKIES.


I thought our pun-filled blog post made it pretty clear that this was a pisstake. Come on, ‘Courtney Barknett’? Apparently not.

A whole bunch of mates and clients messaged us to tell us how utterly excited they were. Sorry guys. It’s not real.

But not all of the blog post is wrong. We are moving office very soon, and the Collingwood converted warehouse in that pic is where we’ll be setting up shop very soon (albeit minus the Photoshopped WALKIES branding). Update on new office digs shortly!

2016 Year In Review

December 27, 2016

2016 was a very weird year for everyone involved. Hey there, Brexit/Trump/Bowie/Snape/Malcolm Turnbull! On a more personal level, I had some shit things happen to me too (i.e. having my flu misdiagnosed as meningococcal and getting sent to the ER) but otherwise, some pretty sweet things happened to, including:

  • Celebrating an entire decade of calling the world’s most liveable city home.
  • Running a BIGSOUND Conference workshop with Alex for Bolster that ended up being the most popular workshop at the whole conference by far.
  • Getting to play five shows at Canadian Music Week with Darts, and successfully navigating LAX with 22kg of music gear.
  • Back on home soil, getting the chance to play some amazing Darts gigs this year, including opening for Tiny Little Houses, Bully, Bleached and Polish Club, plus playing Volumes Fests in Syd.
  • Finding a FREE HAT.
  • Figuring out what I sound awful why I try to sing. (It’s to do with my breathing, apparently.)
  • Heading over to Singapore in November and eating all the foods.
  • Successfully doing a webinar on digital advertising.
  • Speaking at the 8 Percent conference panel around the place of record labels in the current music climate.
  • Watching The Cure play Splendour In The Grass.
  • Completing a 100-day healthy challenge where I had to eat cleanly for 100 days. I accidentally found out that not eating processed food for over 3 months cures adult acne. The more you know.
  • Learning to knit!
  • Getting the chance to work with some absolutely phenomenal clients at Bolster, including Iggy Pop, Adele, Flume and more.
  • Finishing an online course in best practices for copywriting for web and learning some new things too.
  • Travelling more than I ever have in my entire life, with a record of 22 flights over 12 months. No flights booked for 2017 though and that makes me so happy.
  • Learning that I will never be satisfied with whatever headphones I own. (Currently on the Aiaiai TMA-2 Studio Presets which are okay, but HMU if you know something better.)

Happy New Year, guys!

This Is Why I Can’t Have Pets

July 2, 2016

So happy to announce that Darts will be heading over to Sydney next month for Volumes Festival. Looking forward to watching Nicholas Allbrook, Royal Blackouts, Rainbow Chan and Terrible Truths.


And from there, my year will be Splendour In The Grass (yes, hello, come at me), BIGSOUND in September, and then Queensland again in summer. This is why I can’t have nice (furry) things (with names and feelings and expensive vet bills).

If you’re also flying to the east coast for SITG or BIGSOUND, hit me up so we can share a coconut water and secrets. Or just coconut water.

Valentine’s Day craziness

February 15, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 11.55.30 pm

We’re a bit wacky so we sent Valentine’s Day bouquets to a handful of our clients, complete with cheesy puns… One of our clients had them sitting pretty next to an ARIA Award but Remote Control takes the cake with this gherkin jar. Happy V-Day, y’all ;)

P.S. Oh yeah, Bolster got an Instagram account.

P.P.S. Also happy six month Bolster-versary to me!

P.P.P.S. Why are you still reading?


2015 in 25 bullet points

December 31, 2015

  • Made it through the year with 17 plants still alive as of December 31. #greenthumb
  • Had a blast working at Shock Records with the best music team.
  • Ate watermelon for the first time in my entire life and didn’t mind it.
  • Darts released an album that we’re proud of and people seemed to not hate it but I still feel a bit awkward about it all.
  • Discovered Star Talk Radio like a good nerd.
  • Started working at Bolster Digital. So happy to have landed a job with an awesome team/work space/sweet treats/clients/campaigns. Ate a cronut at work today.
  • Had lots of fun shooting Two Halves, who absolutely killed it this year.
  • Saw a blue cactus.
  • Started making my bed regularly. Know that’s weird that but my parents would understand how this is noteworthy.
  • Headed over to BIGSOUND in Brisbane for the third time, and the very first time as a performer with Darts.
  • Stabbed myself. And then got drenched in blood.
  • Played at the Corner Hotel. BRAIN MELTING.
  • Bought a pretty new lense!
  • Practised my resting bitch face on camera here. And here. And pretty much everywhere.
  • Went to four weddings and no funerals.
  • Got Google AdWords certified!
  • Have kept a gratitude diary for the second half of the year. Not going to lie – a lot of it is food and I’m okay with that.
  • Played at Paradise Festival again. Highlight was the rave (first floor) cave. Low point was sleeping on a slope.
  • Dyed my hair pink. Again.
  • After a failed attempt at hot yoga with my neighbour (read: not enough coconut water in the world to ever make me do that again), I started doing room temperature yoga at home thanks to the internet. Goal for 2016: be able to do a beautiful downward dog. I still suck a lot.
  • Listened to lots of new music. My top two picks here on Happy blog.
  • Volunteered at Open House Melbourne. Had fun telling people where they could and could not go. Felt like Gandalf.
  • Spent possibly too much time drawing/buying art supplies.
  • Was in Elle Magazine ^___^
  • Drove a car only once this year.




Truly Paradise

December 3, 2015

Darts played at Paradise Music Festival year 1, back in 2013… and we were so stoked to get invited back to play at Lake Mountain Alpine Resort again this year. So rad seeing how much the festival has grown in the three years and hope it continues on until I’m an old lady.

Highlights included watching My Disco against a backdrop of blood red trees, having a bird-size moth chill with us on stage, watching everyone spill their paella (sorry, tiny bit of schadenfreude happening here), dancing with Jessie in Clubland (who insisted on trying to find Andrew every five minutes) and sharing our band bourbon with Leisure Suite. Also having a ridiculously huge crowd of babes watching us (see first pic below) was also very surreal.

Some of my shitty Insta snaps below. Some coverage of the festival as a whole on The Thousands and Poncho.tv.


A photo posted by Paige X. Cho (@tigerburning) on

A photo posted by Paige X. Cho (@tigerburning) on

A video posted by Paige X. Cho (@tigerburning) on

A photo posted by Paige X. Cho (@tigerburning) on

Some snaps from Open House Melbourne

July 30, 2015

As promised, pictures from Open House Melbourne last week.

Day 1 was a booked tour of the Public Records Office in North Melbourne. Was super interesting to see how the government stores documents. I loved the juxtaposition between the modern facilities (see the first pic below – super shiny shelving) and the actual artifacts being stored.

DSC_0959_EditDSC_0027_Edit DSC_0911_Edit DSC_0918_Edit DSC_0990_Edit

The second tour I went on was at Collingwood Town Hall… Photographs for CTH have mysterious gone missing, but here’s a consolation prize image of the police station sign at the back of Town Hall.


Day 2 was volunteering at the absolutely stunning South Melbourne Town Hall.

DSC_0220_EditDSC_0161_Edit DSC_0200_Edit DSC_0212_Edit DSC_0216_Edit

Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie