When you get right down to it, I had no business starting a podcast. Especially one about climate change. I’m neither famous, nor particularly great at public speaking, and in the grand scheme of things know precious little about the climate emergency.

But instead of worry about it, as I found myself increasingly doing last year, I decided to learn about the problem. And what better way to learn than talk to people?

As we prepare to launch Series 2, here are the key learnings from the fabulous guests who helped get this thing off the ground.

“Speak Up”

David Darmanin (Hotjar) and Jordyn Bonds (Tallylab) both highlighted the vital importance of speaking up… and carrying on speaking up even if things don’t work out right away. Jordyn’s take on this draws from parallel experiences in bringing up ethical issues in other organisations while David explains the shock factor of a young girl — Greta Thunberg — speaking up. Repeatedly.

Stop Making Excuses

Very few people are experts on climate change, sustainability, and carbon neutrality. But inaction due to lack of knowledge is often just an excuse. Software companies are actually really good at learning new things, it just needs some commitment.

Despite their lack of expert knowledge, Richard de Nys (Award Force), Natalie Nagele (Wildbit), and David Darmanin (Hotjar) have all committed to reducing their company’s footprints by establishing measurement processes and company policies.

Forget Metrics

Peldi of Balsamiq is famous for his reluctance to measure every aspect of this business. While this is counterintuitive to many software geeks there’s an important lesson there: doing the right thing should not be based on ROI.

So sure, while its useful to know your exact carbon footprint, it’s not remotely necessary to start there. You can switch to greener hosting, for example, without worrying about attributing that back to customer satisfaction, churn, loyalty, or what have you. It’s the right thing to do.

“Don’t be selfish”

Accusing a climate activist of being selfish typically seems like something a climate science denier would say. But Steli Efti, CEO of Close, is making that point that to effect deep change within an organisation you need to approach that change from a selfless point of view. Its important to understand what other things are of major concern to your CEO’s, or your staff’s, lives and work to fit carbon neutrality into that. Simply shouting louder doesn’t always achieve the best results.

Similarly, Simon Galbraith of Redgate talks about the importance of biodiversity and habitat loss and how that, for him, is an even bigger issue. A single-minded focus on carbon at the further expense of other planetary inhabitants is just as selfish and misguided in his opinion.

“Tech has lost its moral compass…”

… if it ever had one. Harsh, but likely true, sentiments echoed by Mark Littlewood (Business of Software), Bridget Harris (You Can Book Me), Cennydd Bowles (NowNext), Gareth Marlow (EQ Systems), and Rand Fishkin (SparkToro).

With these guests we dove deep into the misguidedness of modern software companies’ focus on growth at all costs. How far from being a force for good, many tech and consumer electronics companies are more akin to “vandals” than innovators.

The Internet’s Dirty Secret

Hiding behind pixel-perfect interfaces and clean glass devices we forget, or don’t even know, that today’s web carbon footprint eclipses that of global aviation.

This topic, and how to mitigate it with design and technology, is covered with guests Oli Hall (Forge The Future), Tom Greenwood (Wholegrain Digital), and James Christie (SustainableUX).

Look for the Feedback Loop

And last, but one of my personal favourites, my conversation with Gareth Marlow (EQ Systems) highlights just how difficult it is for almost anybody to truly understand climate change effects.

Because the feedback loops are so hard to even identify, let alone see. But by no means impossible, and we discuss a number of historical and current examples of how the effects of climate change can already be seen on our doorsteps.

Join us for Series 2

Very soon we’ll be publishing new episodes as part of our next series. This time focusing more heavily on entrepreneurs who are working directly in the climate change space… and the investors who are funding them.

Listen on Spotify   Listen on Apple Podcasts

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.


Video Version


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.


Listen on Spotify   Listen on Apple Podcasts

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.


Video Version


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!


Listen on Spotify   Listen on Apple Podcasts

Today’s post is the first short teaser clip introducing my new podcast: Fatal Error. The topic is climate change with a particular focus on tech’s role and responsibility in the area.

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


Video Version


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 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!