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Show Notes

Simon Galbraith runs a twenty-year old software company called Redgate. I had the good fortune to work for Redgate, and directly with Simon, for a number of years. I don’t say “good fortune” lightly because Redgate was, and by all accounts still is, a great place to work. A lot of care is taken to provide genuine customer value and a safe and fulfilling environment for employees.

Unsurprisingly though, climate and sustainability haven’t featured highly on the company’s priority list. So I wanted to ask Simon why.

Simon is very direct in his views, which don’t always chime with mine or the mainstream climate views. But to me that’s all the more important in my journey to understand how tech can help with the climate emergency.

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Today’s guest is Mark Littlewood, CEO of the Business of Software conferences held in Boston, MA and Cambridge, UK.

I’ve known Mark for a number of years (and attended a few of his events) but, as is often the case with folks in tech, I don’t recall ever touching upon issues of climate or environment even in casual conversation.

With his birds-eye-view of the software industry Mark however proved to have a few important insights on how tech companies think about sustainability. We also discussed his personal views on the matter and, of course, what a conference organiser would want to see in a speaker to accept this kind of topic to a mainstream software event.

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My guest today is James Christie, user experience designer at MadPow and founder of the (pre-COVID) remote SustainableUX conference.

As a designer James understands the huge impact design principles can have on a project from the get-go: sustainability being one of them. In other words, making yourself “greener” after the fact is much harder than building it in from day one. Aside from his tactics on doing that, we also discuss some useful approaches of how the benefits of sustainability can be “sold” to clients and colleagues internally to make the entire process easier.

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My guest today is Peldi Guilizzoni, founder and CEO of Balsamiq, a remote software company headquartered in Bologna, Italy.

Peldi was one of the first people (like Rand) to accept my invitation to talk about the climate emergency from a tech point of view. If you’ve heard Peldi speak before about entrepreneurship and running a business you’ll know that he has some really useful (and occasionally controversial) viewpoints.

He does not disappoint. Words are not minced and his open and honest opinions were a pleasure to hear and discuss.

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The first time I met Gareth I was young (well younger) and hungry: he was interviewing me for a designer position at Redgate Software. Working at Redgate opened my eyes to how tech companies can create thoughtful and inclusive company cultures.

Gareth was one of the senior leaders I looked up to the most because of his unwavering people-centred approach. Now operating as a respected executive coach, I was sure his insight on this topic would be invaluable. I was not disappointed.

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In contrast to Rand and Bridget, I’ve known David for a very long time. But while we’ve worked together a lot we’ve rarely discussed environmental issues. So when I pinged him about this podcast I wasn’t sure what response I was going to get. As it happens, he said:

Perfect timing. We’ve just decided to make Hotjar carbon neutral.

Boom.

If you’ve heard David speak before you’ll know he has valuable advice to share about marketing and entrepreneurship.

But what does he think about the climate emergency?

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Show Notes

My guest today is Bridget Harris, CEO of You Can Book Me and former political adviser to the UK’s deputy Prime Minister.

In our conversation we discussed:

  • Bridget’s background as a senior political advisor
  • How she transitioned from that role to running a software company
  • The effectiveness and ethics of direct action (and Extinction Rebellion)
  • Climate problems as a tragedy of the commons (with examples)
  • Jeff Bezos vs. Bill Gates

Resources

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My first guest is Rand Fishkin, CEO of SparkToro and co-founder and former CEO of Moz. Huge thanks to Rand for agreeing to be on the show and, more importantly, for his insights.

In our conversation we discussed:

  • Rand’s new venture and what its about
  • His personal views on the climate emergency
  • The effectiveness of personal actions
  • Political and corporate responsibility
  • What actions Moz took to be greener
  • How companies and startups need to set themselves up with the right incentives
  • How Zebras are better than Unicorns

Resources

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In the final teaser before publishing full episodes I’m sharing the full guest list of the first fifteen episodes in Series 1.

The main call to action today is to subscribe to our mailing list.


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Episode Transcript

In today’s short teaser clip I’m sharing the names of the brave souls who joined me in Series 1 of tackling the tricky topic of climate change on the Fatal Error podcast.

You will hear from:

  1. Rand Fishkin of Moz and SparkToro
  2. Bridget Harris of YouCanBookMe
  3. David Darmanin of Hotjar
  4. Gareth Marlow of EQ Systems
  5. Peldi Guilizzoni of Balsamiq
  6. James Christie of Sustainable UX
  7. Mark Littlewood of Business of Software
  8. Simon Galbraith of Redgate
  9. Oli Hall of Forge the Future
  10. Steli Efti of Close.com
  11. Natalie Nagele of WildBit
  12. Cennydd Bowles of NowNext
  13. Tom Greenwood of Wholegrain Digital
  14. Jordyn Bonds of TallyLab
  15. Richard de Nys of AwardForce

That’s it for today. Remember to subscribe at fatalerror.blog (or this channel) to catch the first episode.


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In this second short teaser I discuss briefly how the idea came about, how I reached out to potential guests, and what the (surprise) reaction was.

The main call to action today is to subscribe to our mailing list.


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Episode Transcript

Hello, my name is Richard. Some of you know me as a designer, some maybe as a WordPress enthusiast, and quite a lot of you probably know me as a marketing person now. Today I’m talking about none of those things.

I’m starting to focus on something very different and what I’m gonna be doing in this short clip is just introducing a small side project I’ve been working on. And it’s about climate change and environmental responsibility with a particular focus on tech.

The reason I’m doing this, apart from me having a personal interest in the space, is that I’ve been kind of shocked and a bit worried at how little attention software companies seem to give to this topic. On the one hand, this is I guess not super surprising because for a software company it’s not a it’s not a core thing. But at the same time software companies are also notorious for being laggards, when it comes to societal or ethical issues. And and this tends to be varnished with the veneer of, “oh tech is a
good thing… tech is generally for good”.

So this is where my head was at the beginning of last year and I was wondering: maybe I was being too harsh. Is this really the case that software companies don’t care about climate justice and environmental responsibility or is there something else? Is it may be just too complicated an issue, is it overwhelming? So I started doing some research and in the process I reached out to a bunch of my contacts to try and, I suppose, to take a marketing approach to validate or refute my hypothesis. And well as a result of that is a series of interviews, which is in a sort of a podcast format, for which my guests have been very varied and provided some really good insights.

So it’s just a small intro today to that. Episodes will start going live soon. If you want to get heads up you can subscribe to the mailing list by visiting fatalerror.blog or else just follow our pages on social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

That’s it for today.

Thank you!