6 things Melbourne gets beautifully right and 5 things it gets horribly wrong.

Recently I was in Melbourne for work with a customer. We’re building a marketing funnel and accountability process using some pretty awesome (if not complicated and unexplored) content marketing tactics.

I’ve never been to Melbourne or even Australia before so it was somewhat of an eye-opener. I was traveling with my girlfriend Liv and we managed to see some local and tourist attractions. Melbourne is a stunning city, cut with diversity, art and modern architecture blended with older buildings, grimy alleys and hipster pretentiousness.

This is THE definitive and exhaustive list of Melbourne.  A city I spent 7 days in (4 of which were working) and is totally objective and no way biased. Don’t Google any articles on Melbourne after this because this pretty much covers everything. Don’t thank me.

RIGHT: Coffee

“I’d rather drink water than most of the coffee in the UK”. I heard a couple of Melbournites (Melbournonians?) say this when we talking in a group and at first I was FURIOUS with their pretentious attitude.

After one long black from a coffee bar – I totally agreed with them.

Melbourne folk take their coffee seriously. Like, SERIOUSLY seriously. Barista’s earn a decent wage and are more concerned with making decent coffee which people enjoy, rather than twatish gimmicks like caramel sauce on top of whipped cream.

(Starbucks attempted to open in Melbourne and was essentially shunned out of business except in a few malls).

Coffee here tastes so good that other cities (Sydney, Milan, London and Paris) have started opening ‘Melbourne style cafes’. Because it’s roasted, pressed and cared for properly, the coffee doesn’t need more sugar or flavour. Also, soy and almond milk aren’t that bad.

Melbourne, you’ve nailed coffee and you should be proud.

WRONG: You can’t fill a train for shit

People of Melbourne. As a collective bunch of commuters, you’d all be slaughtered in London on the tube. Let me give you a piece of advice. If more people want to get on the train, move into the goddamn aisle and grab a handle.

Are there spare seats? Then sit in it or let someone else. Don’t just stand in the doorway and refuse to move. Christ it’s getting me mad just thinking about it.


I ended up just not asking if the food was good when we were taken to a new restaurant. Or if I was asked to try something, I very quickly just figured I should eat it, whatever it was.

“Not like the chicken shops back home is it?”

My customer (who grew up in the UK) said to me.

Naked Chicks is where we were eating at the time and it was different types of chicken served with rice, salad, fries, chips and sauce. It was sublime. It might have been the best chicken I’ve ever eaten.

Even better than Chickenland (sorry lads). I was at a casual lunch that had myself, Liv, the guys from WPElevation and the team from Foundr just eating and chatting.

The variety and choice of food was incredible. I’d argue that suburbs out of the city like St. Kilda, Parahn and South Yarra have more choice and more independent places than the city – but I’m happy to be proven wrong. You want Korean? Awesome. But you want Korean in a sandwich? No problem, next door does that.

Outside of the food, the service and smiles that came with each meal were second to none. People seriously care about the food they serve (they should, other than water and sleep, food is a big deal) and were happy to talk us through the options.

WRONG: Hot and humid, or just boiling hot

They say that there’s 4 seasons in a day in Melbourne. As a Brit, there aren’t. There’s hot and humid with occasional winds. But then sometimes it’s just boiling hot with no winds. That’s not 4 seasons Melbourne, that’s 1 season and a sequel.

RIGHT: Entrepreneurial spirit (and art)

I had lunch with Nathan and Dave from Foundr. Had a beer (well, I drank because he is training) with Charlie from PPC Empire. Had schnitzel with Troy and Gin from WPElevation and wandered past the Envato studios.

Melbourne Envato studios

The co-working space we were in, Revolver Creative, was a hub of smart, hardworking and creative people. Hell RC itself was well run and pro-active with Jesse always making sure we had what we needed.

Tech and entrepreneurial spirits go hand in hand anyway, but Melbourne seems to breed these guys and girls. Creativity is abundant and encouraged, with the suburbs celebrating new and thoughtful ideas and outlets. Meanwhile the city brings it to the big stage with a comedy festival, music venues and art exhibitions both inside and out.

WRONG: Walking speed and proximity

As a Brit I pride myself on 2 things. 1, having a strong opinion on common and normal everyday weather (see above) and 2. I feel awkward, yet somehow both entitled and educated on social situations that I feel uncomfortable in.

For example, walking down the street. Why, on God’s green Earth, do you need to walk so close and at the same speed as me? Don’t you know that you’re supposed to either speed up if you want to overtake or cross the road to avoid the clear social impact that could destroy the world? We live in a society with rules people, we’re not cavemen. Either speed up or cross over.

RIGHT: Architecture/materials

Something I wasn’t expecting was the vast difference in architecture and materials that Melbourne uses with its buildings. The city has glass filled, modern and sleek apartments and offices. High rise buildings carved into the sky that control the skyline.

Only minutes away are lower, older buildings with exposed architecture and industrial grunge looks. The office I worked in was actually the space between two buildings with a roof on top. True, the ‘graffiti on the walls and open pipe work’ look might be a little on the nose but honestly, it looks fucking cool and I loved it.

Restaurants, hotels, offices and apartments all took the space they had and created something with it. Tiny little coffee shops used enough space to have a machine and a couple of stools or galleries hang their art from the ceiling. All cities have interesting and unique architecture, Melbourne just managed to cram two diametric styles meters away from each other.

WRONG: Property prices

$1million for a 2-bedroom apartment the size of the first 3 rows of a plane? No thanks.

RIGHT: Nightlife/atmosphere

St. Kilda at 9pm was busier, livelier and friendlier than most cities I’ve been during the day. Something I miss about living in a city is the ability to get a meal past 8pm. Combined with the assortment of cuisines and the space that Melbourne allows to restaurants (street eating with tables on the pavement), Melbourne has as much to offer at night, particularly in the suburbs, as it does during the day.

The vine yard in St Kilda

Sometimes called the ‘grave yard’.

WRONG: Abbreviations

OK this is Aussie wide, but what the fuck is a reno?

RIGHT: Sport

GO CROWS! We saw a footie match (AFL) at the Etihad stadium 8 hours after landing in Melbourne. Apparently it’s a smaller stadium. A small, 35000 seat stadium.

Anyway, I know it’s Aussie wide, but the sport in Melbourne was incredible. There were like, 50 ovals on a map we saw.


I loved every second in Melbourne. The meetup at Revolver Creative was incredible to converse with some many talented and inspiring colleagues. I’m desperate to come back as soon as I can to Mighty Melbourne (not once did I hear anyone call it that – which they obviously should*).

Have you been to Melbourne? What did you think? Where should I go next on my digital marketing/funnel creation tour? Let me know in the comments below.

*If anyone ever publishes Mighty Melbourne, know that you saw it here first.

Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.