Framework March Diaries

Video Games

This month at Framework we’ve been playing video games on a Friday night. We’re sticking with inclusive, co-op friend consoles: the Wii U and the classic Nintendo 64.

Some of our best co-op game recommendations so far:

1.     Bumper Ball on Mario Party 2 (N64): who would have thought that such a simple concept would be so popular and generate so much aggressive competition?

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2.     Sneak Snore on Mario Party 2 (N64): It should be simple. Sneak up on a sleeping Chain Chomp and hide in a barrel if he wakes up. But it’s not. Shoddy controllers and general mayhem make this game surprisingly difficult.

3.     Mario Chase (Wii U): The chased gets a bird’s eye view of the stadium while the chasers have to work together to find him. There’s a distinct ‘Lord of the Flies’ mentality about the whole thing…

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4.  Sweet Day (Wii U): The animal’s team runs around the candy map, eating candies they harvest (from candy trees, of course). They’re pursued by the guards, two of whom are controlled by a single chaser. It may sound sweet but being backed into a corner with a sluggish head full of candies is one of the most terrifying feelings in the world.

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5.     Luigi’s Haunted Mansion (Wii U): One person is the ghost in a spooky mansion, and the team of ghost hunters track him with their flash lights. The ghost can also just MURDER the trackers, but only if he sneaks up on them. Very dark. Very spooky. Very good.

 

Law Squared Talks

Framework hosted LawSquared’s, Demetri's talk on the '5 legal tips for entrepreneurs’. It was a great presentation for all of our members who are either starting their own business, or working as a freelancer.

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It’s easy to get carried away with the core of your business, and forget about all of the legal groundwork you are supposed to be laying for your future. By going through all the legal opportunities and pitfalls of growing businesses, Demetri was able to get the entire audience busily scratching away notes to implement as soon as possible. Overall the entire presentation opened up the minds of everyone present to how they could improve, and also go their gears moving.

And even better, they laid out an amazing spread of food and wine for us to smash down while we learnt about everything from NDAs, to international trademark law.

Everyone had a great, and informative, time and we all look forward to the next one!

Board Games vs. Nightclubs

board game vs nightclub

Any kid under the age of 7 Wonders why adults think board games are a Trivial Pursuit and not worth the Trouble. The truth is that Through The Ages we've been conditioned by society to think nightclubs have a Monopoly on fun, and playing board games is Taboo for adults.

Instead, we should listen to blaring music that Scrabbles our brains, whilst trying to Guess Who will make the next unsolicited advance on our friends. Uno what I’m talking about. You better hope it’s Pay Day because entry to that sweaty Dungeon costs more than a refurbished Battleship. Not to mention embarking on the Twilight Struggle of buying an overpriced beer, whilst using all the Diplomacy you can muster to avoid ending up on the Operation table because you tried to Say Anything at all to the bouncer.

Well to that I say, Balderdash!

Why can’t we read the Cluedos and do something on a Friday night that actually requires us to use our Craniums and be Articulate! Playing a board game gives you a chance to order some Dominoes pizza and actually Connect Four a while in a fun and inclusive environment.

I’m Sorry for this Pandemic of puns, but I just had to Go for it. Because in the Game of Life we get to choose our own path across this Smallworld, and I, for one, won’t go through these Charades anymore. It’s time to take a Risk and defy those who Scattegorise how we can have fun. Let’s all get together on a Friday night with a fun board game, and turn the Cards Against Humanity for a change!


All those with me say: Backgammon!

Working for the Bad Man

Coworking spaces are full of freelancers, small businesses and startups. For all of these people there inevitably comes a time where you have to make an ethical business decision on who to work with. Do you take on the church as a client? Do you take on as Murdoch as an investor? Where do you draw the line?

Many Frameworkers are working for themselves, or at least joining up with others to start something new. This gives you the freedom to work the way you want to, but the responsibility of keeping the business alive is also firmly clamped around you neck. Saying no to any revenue or investment money is a big and scary decision.

My humble opinion is that you should base these decisions on the identity of your brand. I realise that sounds a little buzzwordy coming from a director of a creative agency, but whether you are a freelancer or small business owner, your brand should be the driving force of your business. You want to build something you are proud of. For some people this just means financial success, for others it is about making something valuable for society, or perhaps it is just building something cool that you are proud to talk about at parties.

Does that brand, that business that you are proud of, chase money at any cost or are you selective about your clients? I actually think people can go too far in either direction here. Obviously you don't want to be the PR company of the KKK, but should you really turn away business because the potential client doesn't exclusively use recycled toilet paper?

As a general rule, I try to make sure that every project I work on I would be happy to show as an example to my next client. This means maintaining the standards of your work, but it also means maintaining your integrity. If you're not happy to put your name beside your work, for whatever reason, then perhaps the work shouldn't have been done in the first place.

While the decision is yours to make, there is no shame in asking a second opinion. Whether it be from a trusted friend or just a good guy you know in your coworking space, a different perspective can make you feel more comfortable with your decision and reassure you that you aren't freaking out over nothing.

Staying true to your brand and morals may lose a job or some quick money in the short term, but building a business you are proud of is the only way to ensure long term success and that illusive work satisfaction.

Trumped at Work

Where were you when Donald Trump was elected president? I was at Framework Melbourne. The whole place had a sombre, eerie atmosphere from mid-afternoon when it looked like America might really do the unthinkable. Every conversation was interrupted by glances at a US map that grew increasingly blood red as the votes trickled in. Every attempt at creative production was stifled as minds wandered and wondered what the world was coming to.

Unlike the natural disasters and terrorist attacks that have caught the world completely by surprise, Trump has been slowly but surely amassing power for months. He had been the butt of the joke and the roll of the eye for the media, the public, and, of course, for many Frameworkers.

It struck me how different my experience might have been if I was alone. Typing away in a home office, keeping society at arm's length as I worked on a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel that was becoming all too real.

There is validation and solidarity that comes from experiencing a world-changing event with a group of people you see throughout the week. The build up. The letdown. The world toppling off the cliff that sits at the far right of the political landscape. And here I am in a coworking space filled with progressive start-ups, not-for-profits, and a whole lot of creatives in a city like Melbourne (quite the bastion for lefties).

But for me, rather than concentrating on the distress and concern, being at Framework meant I was surrounded by good people. Good people, working across different industries, with different backgrounds and different views. Good people that are living proof there's good in the world and the future is bright.

Framework Melbourne, and the whole coworking movement, is an example of how people can come together in a positive environment and build great things. On the day of the US election, I needed to believe in something like that. I know that sounds a little pompous and grandiose, but hey, that the kind of thing wins elections these days.

Meeting Co-Workers in a Co-Working Space

Co-working spaces are designed to help you collaborate, share and create in a community of creative peers. Having been a member of the Framework family for the last 10 months I have been fortunate enough to share the space with a whole host of interesting and creative people who are always happy to help, listen and collaborate on projects. 

If you're thinking of joining a co-working space don't miss out on the opportunity to collaborate with the brilliant minds and talent that fill the room. If you find it hard to say hello and introduce yourself to others here is a short instructional video I created to demonstrate just how easy it is to go up and say 'hey' to a fellow co-worker.

If you want to give co-working a go, give Framework a call and they'll get you in for a day for free. Too easy!

Tax Tips for Creatives and Freelancers

Trying to get your freelance career off the ground can be a daunting task. Most of the time you feel like Mr Magoo, a naïve nuisance, blindly walking along girders as they fly through the air and driving your car off various cliffs. And then once you’ve put the grind in, won the client, done the job and been paid, there’s tax to sort out and you realise the work has only just begun.

There’s not a lot of clear information out there about the practical application of tax law for a freelancer, so it’s no wonder than when Amanda Newton, Negotiis tax whiz and Framework local, arrived she was bombarded by a rabble of confused Frameworkers with questions like: “Babies don’t pay tax so if I wear a baby’s bonnet every day, do I have to pay tax?” and “Can I deduct the cost of this cheese and ham croissant from my taxable income because I’m hungry?”. The answer to both questions, of course, is a resounding no (everyone knows babies actually pay the most tax of any age bracket and rightly so!).

In between answering these questions and more, Amanda gifted us with a comprehensive presentation on all things tax.

June is a great time of year to get your finances in line and invest in your business because you’ll reap it all back in tax season, just a few months down the track. Deductions such as the cost of your tax accountant, laptop insurance, income protection insurance,  superannuation payments, office equipment and stationary can all help push your taxable income under the line come tax time (so splurge on that fancy ergonomic office chair, you’re worth it).

When it comes time to book your tax appointment, bear in mind some of the chicanery (as reported by Framework’s own Jo Stewart) that goes on in some accountancy firms and book with someone you can trust (*cough* Amanda Newton *cough*).

But in the end, Amanda says that a life free from tax-stress comes down to two habits: keeping good records and getting the right advice. So basically, leave the biggest paper trail you can and invest in some good advice from a tax accountant you trust rather than applying generic advice from the internet to your situation. Tax is a complicated beast and while you really wouldn’t want to break the law because of ignorance you also don’t want to miss out on tax deductions and incentives you’re entitled to as a freelancer or small business.

Written by Imogen Baker, video by Nick Parker and Eli Dance Ali

How To: Host an International Music Event in Your Living Room

What’s a co-working space party without a Persian setar player or a DJ playing live from a balcony in sunny Romania? Probably the kind of party you would find at some other co-working space…

But not here at Framework! Thanks to Stoneclap, a live music streaming platform founded by Framework residents Kate and Iulian, we partied on down to fresh funky vibes and tasty beats from around the world.

Photo by photographer (and Frameworker) Nicola Bernardi.

Photo by photographer (and Frameworker) Nicola Bernardi.

In a similar vein to 'sharing economy' businesses like Uber and Airbnb, Stoneclap connects party hosts with musicians from all corners of the globe to add a dimension to your party that no Spotify playlist could ever bring.

To open the night we were treated to the traditional sounds of the Persian setar as performed by Amir Kaveh from Iran, as well as a question and answer session over Stoneclap’s live video conversation feature. The party continued with The Rabbit King performing live from a balcony overlooking beautiful Bucharest. With the sun illuminating the scene the appeal of the streaming platform really began to shine (pun intended) - Stoneclap provides DJs and musicians the opportunity to brighten up your event while performing outside of the traditional Friday and Saturday night time-slots thanks to differing timezones. That means house parties become exponentially cooler while musicians have more opportunities to perform rockin' shows!

The event was a hit and generated a lot of excitement for the newly launched platform, even while only in its beta state! I very much look forward to the time when attending an international music event in a friend’s living room becomes a common occurrence. House parties will be much better for it.


For more on Stoneclap check out the official Stoneclap Facebook page

Coworking Space Open Day 2016

Creative, coworking and Melbourne go hand-in-hand, and that's why we're opening our doors and our arms for the Coworking Space Open Day as part of Melbourne Knowledge Week 2016. 

On 3 May we will open our doors for a range of tours, talks and networking so you can see for yourself why Melbourne's most creative join us at Framework Melbourne. If you’re a start-up, a creative, a consultant or just curious about coworking then book a hot desk and join our coworking community for a day!

Click here to book a hot desk for the day or get in touch on 9041 2118 if you have any questions!

This event is part of Melbourne Knowledge Week, 2 - 8 May 2016, proudly presented by the City of Melbourne. For more info visit www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/knowledgeweek