Working with web professionals

This week on the Boagworld Podcast we discuss working with web professionals – the benefits of working side by side and how to recruit and retain good staff.

Play

Paul Boag:
This week on the Boagworld show, we’re looking at working with web professionals including recruitment and side by side collaboration.

Paul Boag:
Hello and welcome to Boagworld.com, do you know what I’m just fed up with this podcast, I don’t want to do it anymore, I don’t want to be at work, I am fed-up with you, I’m fed-up with work. I am fed-up with web design. I am fed-up with Winchester and I am fed-up with the British weather, I am fed-up with…

Marcus Lillington:
The sun shining through the window.

Paul Boag:
It is sunny actually, that is something, I will give you that. I am fed up with the fact that that picture on the wall is wonky and it’s just driving me round the twist, what else am I fed up with?

Marcus Lillington:
Fixed.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, not bad, the wall is wonky, which doesn’t help but it’s not bad at all.

Marcus Lillington:
You were going to start the show with I hate everything weren’t you?

Paul Boag:
No, I hate the podcast which is pretty much what I said, except I went with fed up rather than hate. Hate is such a strong word.

Marcus Lillington:
Such a strong word.

Paul Boag:
As my mother used to say.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes it is.

Paul Boag:
Well she still says it, she’s not dead. I shouldn’t talk about her like she is dead.

Marcus Lillington:
I say that.

Paul Boag:
I love you, mummy.

Marcus Lillington:
Such a strong word. Do you really mean that?

Paul Boag:
Yeah, do you really hate them, yes. Well I did say, just before the show started that I am turning into Jeremy Clarkson, so perhaps I do hate them, especially those liberals.

Marcus Lillington:
What would Jeremy say?

Paul Boag:
What would Jeremy say? New segment in the show. I think that’s a brilliant idea. It’d be great.

Marcus Lillington:
I’ve got to find clips of Jeremy Clarkson saying, what, would, Jeremy, say, and make an amalgamation of those things, I’m not going to do it, obviously.

Paul Boag:
You could get one of those bracelets you know those…

Marcus Lillington:
Because I spent far too long doing that at brilliant music.

Paul Boag:
It is brilliant music, I quite liked it actually and Twitter has been very complimentary about it, the worst thing that’s been said is, it’s not really appropriate for the show, which it isn’t.

Marcus Lillington:
I completely agree.

Paul Boag:
But it is very good.

Marcus Lillington:
I was just having a bit of a let’s do something different.

Paul Boag:
It was certainly a lot better than Leigh’s pitiful attempt, I mean what the hell was that? That was the most embarrassing thing ever, never mind, bless him, bless him, don’t you love him. No actually, if you think about it, if you had a what would Jeremy do, that thing, you could use the one the ones sort of that Christians use, you know Christians wear bands that says W – what would Jesus do, the J could be for Jeremy.

Marcus Lillington:
Okay, it looks exactly the same, yes.

Paul Boag:
So there would be no extra printing costs and it’d be great and everybody would be thinking that you are some religious nutter when actually you are some right-wing conservative Jeremy Clarkson lover, petrol head.

Marcus Lillington:
That’s such a hard choice, isn’t it?

Paul Boag:
What, between those two extremes. Which would you prefer people to think you were? Ah, I don’t know.

Marcus Lillington:
Well I know which way I’d lean, and I think I know which way you’d lean.

Paul Boag:
Well, actually, I don’t know, I hate things like that.

Marcus Lillington:
It’s all so right on, isn’t it?

Paul Boag:
It’s the whole kind of having fish on the back of your car and all that kind of stuff.

Marcus Lillington:
Have you never heard our song, the showdog song?

Paul Boag:
No.

Marcus Lillington:
Called fish on my car. It’s very rude.

Paul Boag:
Oh, I am sure it is. Well it probably – we probably deserve it.

Marcus Lillington:
We’ve always described it as an anti-clubbist song.

Paul Boag:
Anti-club – oh the idea that you shouldn’t be in a club in a clique yeah. Well absolutely the worst place for that, you shouldn’t be like that in church. But the reason I don’t have a fish on the back of my car setting aside the fact that I don’t like such things is because then you have to drive properly.

Marcus Lillington:
Good point, I’d never thought of it like that.

Paul Boag:
It’s such a bad idea.

Marcus Lillington:
But my friend Phil who wrote the words assumes that people who put fish on the back of their car are very arrogant. I’ve got to find some of the words.

Paul Boag:
Why arrogant?

Marcus Lillington:
Not arrogant, above everyone.

Paul Boag:
Oh, holier than thou.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah.

Paul Boag:
Yeah but what annoys me even more are the people that put a fish on the back of their car which has got Darwin and little legs because that is just going up you. And anyway, I am a Christian and I like Darwin, what’s so – does that mean – yeah, they think it’s having a go at Christians but perhaps actually they’re just saying they’re Christians which believe in evolution too, it’s all very confusing.

Marcus Lillington:
It is.

Paul Boag:
But how has this got anything to do with Jeremy Clarkson? Oh because of the what would Jesus do banner.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah.

Paul Boag:
Yeah that’s it. I knew there was a – a link there somewhere.

Marcus Lillington:
I was so hoping I had the lyrics here. I don’t know I might have.

Paul Boag:
You must have the lyrics for your own song.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, it was written probably in 1998.

Paul Boag:
So what made me, that was the year I got married, in case you wanted to know.

Marcus Lillington:
I’ve got the song here but…

Paul Boag:
Play the song.

Marcus Lillington:
Not now because it’d take too long.

Paul Boag:
Play it at the end.

Marcus Lillington:
But I might add a little bit – oh yeah, play it at the end or something.

Paul Boag:
Play it at the end, that would be cool because everybody wants to hear you dissing Christians.

Marcus Lillington:
It’s very funny, I didn’t write the words, I’ve said, I didn’t write the words, I wrote the music.

Paul Boag:
But you’ve just said it’s funny which means you basically agree with it.

Marcus Lillington:
It is funny.

Paul Boag:
Anyway the reason that I was talking about being like Jeremy Clarkson is that I am getting dissed from one of the posts this week, right?

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
Because I wrote a post on the web recruitment crisis which is one of the things we are going to talk about later in the show and through the post I referred to the developer as he, right?

Marcus Lillington:
But aren’t all developers blokes?

Paul Boag:
See this is where I am getting into trouble and – okay, some people pick me up on it that I should have used the feminine or I should have just avoided it and gone they or whatever it is that you’re supposed to do but I responded saying, I don’t know whether it makes a lot of difference, whether you – how you refer to it and I think I kind of poked a hornet’s nest as is my occasional want.

Marcus Lillington:
I’d say, you’ve never done that before Phil.

Paul Boag:
No.

Marcus Lillington:
Phil? We had Phil in earlier. You and Phil. You are so similar in many ways and so different in others. He wrote Fish on my Car.

Paul Boag:
Oh right, I would get on really well I am sure.

Marcus Lillington:
You would actually.

Paul Boag:
We probably would. Yeah. So I don’t know. I honestly don’t know about it. It feels to me I should’ve have just rolled over and gone yes of course I’ll correct it and like for example in the book I’ve just written I’ve made sure that I’ve mixed genders in the book. But for some reason it just got on my tits a bit, for want of a better word.

Marcus Lillington:
I know what you mean, I mean I…

Paul Boag:
It feels like scratching around the edge of an issue, right? Instead of fixing this issue we’re going to do this little thing over here, right? While there are lots of proactive things we should be doing.

Marcus Lillington:
Can I ask a question?

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
If you had been referring to, I don’t know, a project manager as he all the way through, would people have had the same issue or was it just the fact that we’re talking about developers?

Paul Boag:
Well, I don’t know because I’m not in weirdo’s heads. I take that back. The people that raised this issue are raising a perfectly legitimate point.

Marcus Lillington:
Well, it depends where you come from, I mean that is why I was asking that question.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
If you’ve got a problem with it, well I could argue it both ways from both angles actually. But you know, referring to he when you mean she, that’s a bit – we are – we refer to man as in human race, man, so what is…

Paul Boag:
It’s political correctness gone mad.

Marcus Lillington:
Or is it?

Paul Boag:
Yes, I know. And I am torn over – I am totally torn over it as well but I think what I got hung up on and I am not saying I am right over this because let’s be clear, I 100% agree that as an industry we could do with more women in the industry, not that – not for making up the numbers but actually…

Marcus Lillington:
As in a conservative, or labour party by-election type thing.

Paul Boag:
Yes, but I think they can bring a lot to it, I’d like to see…

Marcus Lillington:
And there’s a good argument for that as well.

Paul Boag:
Yes, and I’m not…

Marcus Lillington:
Because if you go – sorry I am just picking up on the things you are saying. If you do enforce, if you make it a kind of…

Paul Boag:
Proactive discrimination whatever they call it.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, then that will sort out the numbers and equal things out much more quickly.

Paul Boag:
Yes. But no, my point there wasn’t whether or not you should do that kind of positive discrimination. It was more what that we need women developers and designers within the industry because we miss out on stuff that’s, that slightly different perspective and approach to things and all the rest of it. So I am totally fine with that and there are loads of – I’ve spoken on the issue before, I’ve written on the issue before, I’ve tried to support people like Anna Debenham that’s been doing various things in this area and various other people, I’ve stood up against discrimination that I’ve seen going on and stuff like that. But writing a blog post and including the feminine in it seems like a tiny little thing in comparison to the actual issue. Does that make sense?

Marcus Lillington:
I agree with you entirely. I wouldn’t have seen it but I guess if you are sensitive to it then…

Paul Boag:
Yes. It is perhaps a bigger deal to people I don’t know…

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, exactly.

Paul Boag:
I mean I’m quite happy, next time I write an article I’ll mix it up.

Marcus Lillington:
I don’t like first and second person being referred to anyway.

Paul Boag:
Well, yes, because you write like a grumpy old man.

Marcus Lillington:
So you just shouldn’t put yourself in that position in the first place, Paul.

Paul Boag:
Well, no, with blog posts you have to.

Marcus Lillington:
I’m joking, I’m joking.

Paul Boag:
Of course you do but of course I then made a – because I responded to this of course the first thing they went and did is, oh, Headscapes all got all men in it, well yes, at the moment we do.

Marcus Lillington:
Not quite.

Paul Boag:
Well no, you couldn’t count Liz, who isn’t on the website actually, Cath’s still on the website, so we need to update that. But it’s – at the moment, yes, we are all men but it’s not for the want of flipping trying which it makes me think, we need more women in the industry.

Marcus Lillington:
And we haven’t been – yes, I mean basically Paul and I, we play the Jeremy Clarkson card but frankly we’re pair of blooming socialists really.

Paul Boag:
I know. I shouldn’t be a socialist. I am moving, I think, honestly, I catch myself occasionally moving a bit more to the right because by this age I should be kind of moving there. By the time I’m your age…

Marcus Lillington:
You should be reading the mail and everything shouldn’t you.

Paul Boag:
Yes, I mean by the time I am your age, I should be reading the mail, absolutely. But I don’t think it’s going to happen unfortunately. I mean talking about in Christian circles I am Mr. Super Liberal, I am a big old hippy.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
It depends on who you are talking to, doesn’t it?

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, maybe American Christians circles…

Paul Boag:
Yes, yes, yes.

Marcus Lillington:
But I don’t know, I always see most of the church people…

Paul Boag:
The Church of England, yes.

Marcus Lillington:
The Church of England, church people near me who are lovely, all of them.

Paul Boag:
Why are you grinning when you say that?

Marcus Lillington:
Are mostly the kind of, yes, the very liberal beardy tweedy and – or hippy.

Paul Boag:
Tweedy, hippy, new agey, kind of borderline new agey aren’t they, I know who you mean.

Marcus Lillington:
But all very wealthy as well.

Paul Boag:
Yes, kind of upper middle class. It’s not like that in the kind of Christian circles I am in.

Marcus Lillington:
We love them.

Paul Boag:
No you don’t, you liar. What did they do to you?

Marcus Lillington:
They’ve just built a blooming warehouse on the back of the church that they think looks pretty.

Paul Boag:
Oh, I see.

Marcus Lillington:
That’s one thing they’ve done.

Paul Boag:
Yes, okay, let’s have a little argument about that, right?

Marcus Lillington:
They didn’t need planning permission for it.

Paul Boag:
Oh that’s weird. Now that is peculiar because my wife grew up in a church in Maidstone in Kent that was a 12th century church, right?

Marcus Lillington:
I don’t think ours is quite that old but it’s old.

Paul Boag:
Yes, but anyway, it’s somewhat irrelevant. I have a problem with this because the church of England kind of gets stuffed from both angles on that because they are expected to pay and keep the building up to date but it’s supposed to be a place of worship, so what do they do because the church – her church is way flowing over, there’s just too many people and they can’t – so what do you do? Do you kind of pay for this building which you can’t use because it’s not big enough, really I think Church of England should give all of their property to the national trust and start again, that’s what I think.

Marcus Lillington:
Crikey, that’s a different angle. It might just – I don’t like the design of the building, it’s not in keeping, that’s my problem.

Paul Boag:
Well, how do you design a building that’s in keeping with a 12th century church.

Marcus Lillington:
Make it half the size would have been a good one.

Paul Boag:
Yes but then it’s useless if your congregation is 600 people strong.

Marcus Lillington:
Next time you go past our way I’ll point it out.

Paul Boag:
Is it a monstrosity? Okay.

Marcus Lillington:
It’s like what – and it’s on, for me, one of the most beautiful sort of open common slash village greens there is, well it’s not actually on it but it’s right next to it and it’s like…

Paul Boag:
It is difficult, I can see both sides of it.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, anyway. I don’t lose sleep over it.

Paul Boag:
The church in our – it’s really funny. In Blanford we’ve got a parish church like you do in most of them, it’s in a bloody appalling state it is, falling apart this building. It’s quite old. It’s Georgian – I think it’s Georgian and it’s terrible, it looks ugly and everybody’s like it’s such an eyesore, why don’t they sort it out? They haven’t got any money and everybody moans about it but what are they supposed to do and they’re stuck, there’s a congregation of people with a shitty building that they can’t do anything with when they could go just, down the road and get a warehouse on the industrial estate that would do them ten times better, would have central heating for a start and comfy chairs. Churches are shit, old churches are really shit. I think they should all be bulldozed, that’s Jeremy Clarkson for you. No, they shouldn’t.

Marcus Lillington:
I am with you, Paul, I agree entirely.

Paul Boag:
How did we get onto that?

Marcus Lillington:
Not for the same reasons but there you go, yes.

Paul Boag:
Yes, there we go. So web design. So this – I have to confess.

Marcus Lillington:
Let’s not do it. Let’s talk about other stuff.

Paul Boag:
Should we? The whole show because this is crowbarred in.

Marcus Lillington:
My mind has gone blank as I said that.

Paul Boag:
Because this is a crowbarred in show. This isn’t a real show. It’s imaginary. I completely screwed up my scheduling, it is so complicated, this blogging, because I have…

Marcus Lillington:
It is so complicated, one goes after another, goes after another, goes after another.

Paul Boag:
Yes but you say that, you say that but it doesn’t always work that way because also in addition you’ve got the two posts that go out every week, the discussion points, that we then discuss on the following weeks podcast but because of the Christmas break somehow I’ve screwed it up, so that the discussion points for this week’s show haven’t been released as we record this which makes it hard to include people’s questions.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
But…

Marcus Lillington:
Because there aren’t any.

Paul Boag:
I haven’t posted any yet to ask them for their questions and comments.

Marcus Lillington:
So, we could’ve just made them up.

Paul Boag:
That’s what we normally do. In fact, was it last week or next week or some point we’ve actually got a question from someone called Brad. You know I say Brad is always my default American name, someone called Brad has really written something.

Marcus Lillington:
Talking of Brad, that reminds me of Bradley Cooper who is in American Hustle I went to see last week.

Paul Boag:
What’s that like?

Marcus Lillington:
One of the most enjoyable films I’ve seen in a long, long time.

Paul Boag:
Really, it did look quite good, I have to say.

Marcus Lillington:
I was expecting a lot slicker and Hollywood than I got. But all the better for it being a proper drama, it was brilliant.

Paul Boag:
I must admit that the reviews about it have been really good. I think I might add that to my list of things to see.

Marcus Lillington:
The two women and particularly the lead guy’s wife.

Paul Boag:
Right.

Marcus Lillington:
She, just one of those performances…

Paul Boag:
So, it’s almost one of the – it’s a horrible comparison, it’s almost one of these love actually type of films with lots of different people having separate stories. No, oh, where did I get that idea from then?

Marcus Lillington:
No not like that at all. Basically, it’s based on an actual scam that this guy in the FBI tried to do in the 1970s.

Paul Boag:
Okay.

Marcus Lillington:
And it’s all based – the hair, I just have to say, the hair is stunning on the guys in particular.

Paul Boag:
The costumes are great.

Marcus Lillington:
The costumes, the setting, the acting, the story it’s not – but it’s not Hustle you know like, the UK TV series Hustle it was always like very slick and magically they made it all happen. It’s not like that at all it’s much more real life, bit gritty in places, but very funny in other places. Yes, great film.

Paul Boag:
Oh cool, I’m looking forward to that, that’s good. That was a tenuous link but never mind. So yes, I thought what we’ll do is we’re going to add in an extra subject area which actually should’ve been in there anyway which is this idea of working with web professionals. One of the things that I cover when I talk about in this book Digital Adaptation is I talk about the relationship between the client and the web designer and the client and the boss and an employee and in the web teams. And so those are the kinds of things that I want to explore this week. We’re going to look at two sections, later on we’re going to look at what I think an upcoming recruitment crisis we’re going to be seeing over the next year or so for really good, in fact I think to some degree I think it’s already here, for really good web people and then the other situation – the other thing that I want to talk about first is this idea of working alongside our clients, so as an external contractor, how do you work alongside your clients and as a client how do you want or how should you want your external contractors to work with you. So let’s kick off and look at that one first.

Why you should be working alongside your clients

Many web designers are briefed by their clients and then retreat to their studio to work on the project. But, perhaps there is a better way.

Share your thoughts!

Marcus Lillington:
Didn’t we talk about this last week, Paul?

Paul Boag:
No, we didn’t. What I am talking about here is not kind of methods of working between a client and an outside contractor but actually I want to encourage either clients who are listening to this or web designers that are listening to this to actually physically locate with one another and work side by side together in order to encourage collaboration and that kind of stuff. That’s what I want to kind of look at because I mean…

Marcus Lillington:
We didn’t cover that last week.

Paul Boag:
No we didn’t, and it’s something that I – even though I feel – how long have I been doing web design, a bloody long time, 20 years, no slightly less. Anyway round about that. It’s not until recently that I’ve kind of started thinking in that way. I think most – like most web designers I kind of take a brief from a client and then I come back to the studio or the office or my home or wherever I am working and just kind of crack on with the project, and yes, sure you have kind of kick off meetings, phone calls, emails, conference calls and all that kind of stuff. But it’s not a kind of that’s largely it, it’s not and we’re trying to – we talk a big talk about collaborative working and we have for a long time and we do work very collaboratively with clients but the more I am thinking at the moment I think the more I am realizing the benefit of spending prolonged time at the client’s place of work working alongside them on the project.

Marcus Lillington:
Interesting.

Paul Boag:
Because I know – this started – there’s a couple of reasons why this started. One is it started because I began to notice some of the web designers that I follow on Twitter kept talking a lot about going away and spending time with clients. So Andy Clark seems to be spending like a fortnight working at a client’s office and stuff like that. That surprised me about Andy because he is an anti-social git like me and so he obviously saw some value in actually going and sitting and working alongside clients.

And Mark Bolton, when he was working with CERN, seemed to be out in Geneva every like five minutes doing stuff with them. So I kind of – I found that quite interesting and at first I was quite kind of dismissive of the approach, feeling like it’s a bit overkill and is it really necessary but as I’ve been thinking about it, I actually decided the reasons I am not a great fan of it, or haven’t been a great fan of it are more personal than they are actually professional that I don’t want to spend long time away from family et cetera.

And we’ve had clients all over the world and you could see yourself spending a lot of time travelling and that didn’t appeal to me in my family circumstances although of course that’s now all changed with the fact that we are home schooling James so they can come with me and everything is different. So perhaps that’s why I am relooking at it a little bit more because I am now more open to the idea than I’ve previously been because if I look back, we have done this on occasions, right? When we went over with the large law firm in Washington, we spent a whole week with them, working with them.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
And that was really productive. I don’t know about you but I find those times really productive, you make a lot of fast decisions when you’re actually with the client.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, we did a similar kind of set of workshops with EDF as well in Washington, it’s the geography that enforces it.

Paul Boag:
Yes, but I actually think it’s really beneficial and of course more recently I have done it with the University of Strathcylde when I was up there for a week. And I am coming to the idea that I actually quite like it. And I think it’s – you seem hesitant. There was a ‘Mmm’. Not a ‘Mmm!’, it was ‘Mmm’.

Marcus Lillington:
I think that collaboration and workshops in particular are really useful. I wonder about the value of sitting in a situation that’s alien to you – to one.

Paul Boag:
To one.

Marcus Lillington:
And that can work for some people and not for others I guess is what I am thinking. Why I’m ‘Hmm’-ing.

Paul Boag:
Yeah I know, I can see where you’re coming from.

Marcus Lillington:
We – as a team we always collaborate a lot, at the start of projects and we’re always presenting stuff and making videos of what we’ve done so that we can explain to our clients what we’re working on. But I don’t know if it’s unfair to expect people to go away for long periods of time if it’s just their job.

Paul Boag:
Absolutely and I don’t disagree with that and I think there is a personal element to this absolutely and especially as we always go on about Headscape’s a lifestyle business I certainly wouldn’t want to force anyone to do that.

Marcus Lillington:
That reminds me, I think Lee actually tweeted that when he was in Scotland. This is supposed to be a lifestyle business, yes.

Paul Boag:
This is supposed to be a lifestyle business. That was a quite intense week. Yes it wasn’t very lifestyle friendly that week. No, so I wouldn’t want to force people to do it. I guess what I am saying is I want people to consider it as an option because I think it has got a lot from a purely professional standpoint, it’s got a lot of advantages. I mean the thing that really struck me with working with Strathclyde is how much faster decisions could be made.

Marcus Lillington:
And us designers we always moan about how long it takes things to be decided upon.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
So, yes.

Paul Boag:
I mean all that kind of waiting for email replies and getting voice mail messages when you call and especially if you want to…

Marcus Lillington:
Well what we’ve found is, on many, many projects is you’ll get a kind of tentative agreement from the team and then we’ve got to go – but it’s got to go via the committee tomorrow or the next day and then that committee decides it’s going to have a load of opinions on stuff.

Paul Boag:
And you are not there to contribute to that.

Marcus Lillington:
Exactly, so where – if you were actually in the building, you could walk along the hall and sit down and talk to those people.

Paul Boag:
Absolutely, so I like that and that was exactly the kind of stuff that we were doing in Strathclyde, so we would get Ashley down who was the kind of design guy that was controlling the brand and he would look through stuff, just what do you think of this kind of stuff and it made the whole thing much faster decision making and also it helped avoid misunderstandings as well. Especially when you’ve got multiple stake holders involved because you can speak to those stakeholders directly rather the kind of Chinese whispers of you brief the client your single point of contact and then they take it out and they – you spend half an hour briefing them and asking all the right pertinent questions and then they go off and hand over the design and say what do you think.

And we kind of – we have ways of getting around that because we do the videos where we basically put the design into a video where we can explain it, so people can’t see the design without seeing our explanation and all the rest of it but it’s still not as good as sitting down with them in a room and also not getting the feedback second hand as well because that’s another aspect where a stakeholder – say if you were the stakeholder and I was the client, I come to you and say what do you think of the design, you say, well, yes, it’s alright, I am not really that keen on the blue, right? No blue. Well that isn’t what you said, you didn’t say no blue, you said, well I am not really very keen on it but things get interpreted, oh no, we must get rid of the blue now and there is no dialog there so I think that’s where your misunderstandings come and problems come.

And – but even setting aside that kind of – that advantage being able to kind of constantly show the client ideas and discuss directions, provide a much kind of clearer dialog that I think just removes misunderstandings, miscommunications. And it also encourages closer collaboration because the client and you are sitting together, you’re operating as a single team. So, while you do the design and build the client should be kind of working on content at least on smaller projects because there isn’t a content specialist and that enables a greater sense of because there is that close collaboration and you’re showing the client, I’ve moved the logo a bit to the left or whatever you’re doing, it gives them a sense of ownership over the final deliverables and kind of removes that client provider barrier, oh sorry, client supplier barrier, one of things I loved about Strathclyde is that this huge sense of freedom that came from that all being part of the same team, not being an us and them scenario.

And of course when you’re collaborating closely there is a lot more flexibility in the project, sort of the client writing a brief and the web designer delivers on that brief you can kind of discuss things and work in partnership and adapt the scope as required as you go because you are working hand in hand, the client sees what you’re doing and recognizes that if something needs to change in the scope then something else has to be dropped because he or she – notice I’ve put he or she in this article, it’s pretty interesting.

He or she will have a better understanding of the work that’s being done because that’s a big problem is like, you know, when there is a distance between you, you come to me with an idea and say, I want to add this to the site and I go, yes, but that’s kind of outside the scope. While if he can see – if you can see how busy I am working on the project to get everything done you then understand that okay, if we introduce this new thing, then something else to be dropped out of it rather than it just looking like I am being objectionable and being difficult. So I think that flexibility works well and of course it builds trust as well because you’re seeing each other work and the client can see how hard you are working on the project and that helps build and deepen the relationship that goes on and it becomes more than just fulfilling the contract. You will deliver these templates, I think there’s more flexibility – that’s where more flexibility comes in.

And I think that – I think it’s impossible to create that kind of level of trust through email, phone calls and the occasional meetings than sitting and working side by side. And also it’s a mutual – the final thing I wanted to mention is that it’s a mutual education thing that both parties learn from one another, the client learns more about the web design process because they are sitting with you, you can never do that to the same degree remotely but equally you understand more about the constraints that the client is working on because you are seeing and interacting with the other stakeholders, so kind of everybody benefits from that. So – but it’s not without its problems as you said right in the beginning, I think personally it can cause problems and impact the way you work together and also I hadn’t considered what you said about not being in your kind of your own set up and…

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, exactly, you can argue potentially that if you’re in a really noisy room and you’re used to working at home and it being quiet, that you’d actually struggle to work and you wouldn’t be as productive.

Paul Boag:
And there was a degree even like when we went up to Strathclyde, I really missed my big monitor and things like that and getting on the Wi-Fi in the corporate office took half a day, and all that kind of stuff. And then of course there is the additional cost associated with doing that, travel, subsistence and accommodation. Although ideally you’d want to price these into projects, the problem is then that that may well, especially when we work with a lot of companies that are a long way away from us, then it’s like suddenly, well, you are basically saying, you’d be much better off hiring a local supplier who didn’t have travel, subsistence and accommodation costs. So there are pros and cons and I am not saying there is not, but I am just saying that I think it’s something worth throwing out because I think it has got considerable benefits to it. But it’s got to be a personal decision about whether you want to do it. I am keen to try a bit more this year because my circumstances have changed. I quite like the idea of working…

Marcus Lillington:
Actually you won’t do it, don’t you?

Paul Boag:
Yes, and that’s half the reason why I wrote the article, because suddenly I was getting quite excited about stuff that previously would have just been a pain in the neck. So it’s an interesting area, and I’d like to do some more of it. That’s all I’ve really got to say on that one. There wasn’t a lot else…

Marcus Lillington:
A sales pitch then basically.

Paul Boag:
It wasn’t a sales pitch. No, it was more a – me expressing where I think there are areas where we have avoided in the past and I don’t know – and I am fine avoiding them because if we don’t want to do them, because that’s the whole point of having the business model that we have but I think from a professional point of view they are probably more beneficial.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, maybe, should we move on.

Paul Boag:
Move on. You’ve got nothing else to say on this.

Marcus Lillington:
Nothing at all.

Paul Boag:
You don’t care. Well, you don’t have to do it, you see, because you just waltz around selling a shit.

Marcus Lillington:
I don’t. It’s not true, I do other things as well. I do twice as many things as you do Paul, as you well know.

Paul Boag:
How do you work that out? On what basis?

Marcus Lillington:
Actually no, that’s unfair, it’s probably more like two thirds more.

Paul Boag:
Two thirds more. Well apparently what I’ll is do is watch Jeremy Kyle all day, that’s what we decided in Slack.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, that’s right.

Paul Boag:
Isn’t that interesting, sorry, now just going off tangent completely, how well Slack has worked? So Slack is an app that we use. It’s just a chat app, right? And we used to use something called Hipchat which was – it wasn’t as good for some reason, I don’t know why. Link in the show notes to Slack by the way.

Marcus Lillington:
See where we are in, I don’t know, four months’ time.

Paul Boag:
You reckon we’ll get bored of it?

Marcus Lillington:
It’ll be like nothing in there.

Paul Boag:
I don’t know whether you are right. I am really enjoying it. Perhaps it’s because we’ve got slightly more home workers than we had previously. Because it really – I spend a lot of time in there now, I just don’t do any work. Just shout at people in Slack. I am so glad – did you see my tweet yesterday? I’m so glad that some of those Slack conversations are not public

Marcus Lillington:
I didn’t, well I did see some of your tweets yesterday, I can’t remember which ones. Sorry, Paul, what were you referring to? I like the fact that Chris Henderson posted one of your Maldives posters, pictures rather, to annoy you. It was brilliant. Touché.

Paul Boag:
Yes, I was moaning about how miserable I am, posted pictures of the Maldives to make me feel even more miserable.

Marcus Lillington:
One of your pictures though, even better.

Paul Boag:
Yes, I know, that was the real kicker. Bastard. Yes, he shouldn’t be allowed in the chat room with his Northern ways. We ought to have him on the show at some point. But I do fear that no one will actually understand him.

Marcus Lillington:
We could do subtitles of some sort couldn’t we?

Paul Boag:
We can have somebody sitting next to him and repeating it all in the Queen’s English.

Marcus Lillington:
Talking properly, yes, exactly.

Paul Boag:
That’s not a bad idea, I like that. Okay, let’s move on to the second subject for the day.

The recruitment crisis

When your competitive advantage increasingly depends on your digital offering, recruiting and retaining quality digital staff is essential.

Share your thoughts!

So this is the one where I got in trouble for the lack of she’s, but actually I think – I would say setting that aside we’ve done that conversation to death but…

Marcus Lillington:
But I am not going to let it lie

Paul Boag:
But I am not going to let it lie. The post itself is a pretty good one if I do say so myself. Well I can tell it was a pretty good one because it got shared a lot.

Marcus Lillington:
But that’s because everyone couldn’t believe how male chauvinist it was.

Paul Boag:
How outrageous it was. No, I knew it was going to get shared a lot and I’ll tell you why. Because it was talking about how hard done by web designers are. So you can pretty much guarantee it’s going to get shared a lot if you do that. It’s hard being a web designer.

Marcus Lillington:
Why?

Paul Boag:
Well it wasn’t really directly about that. So what the article is about is that I believe that we’re heading towards…

Marcus Lillington:
I believe.

Paul Boag:
I believe that we’re heading towards a recruitment crisis in digital. So we’re already seeing – well it’s becoming, I think it’s becoming harder and harder to recruit good people.

Marcus Lillington:
It’s always been hard to recruit good developers.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
It’s never not being hard.

Paul Boag:
No, that is true with developers, I agree. But I think…

Marcus Lillington:
So you mean like front-end developers as well.

Paul Boag:
Yes, I think it’s becoming – just generally I think it’s becoming tricky and we’re already seeing it, a real serious problem in digital hot spots like the Valley for example.

Marcus Lillington:
The Valley.

Paul Boag:
I wish I hadn’t said it like that.

Marcus Lillington:
And Brighton.

Paul Boag:
Brighton and the Valley. And even though someone in the comments disagreed with me, that he doesn’t think that there is a shortage in recruitment crisis. He talks about the fact that – you know, why aren’t designers and developers pulling in big salaries. I think there isn’t a crisis in the kind of low end little websites, so I am talking about highly skilled we professionals. I’d tell what this was born out of. I tell you, it comes out of the book a bit. One of things that I talk about in the book is that increasingly – as digital becomes increasingly important, more and more companies are going to need a strong digital team, right?

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
But not just a strong digital team, but strong leaders, right, that can talk to senior stakeholders and hold their own in a corporate environment and I think there’s a real shortage of people that can do that.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, I agree.

Paul Boag:
And that is kind of what I was getting at really. And that got me thinking about just the whole area of recruitment. I think for me it comes down to the fact that the business world is kind of changing and that digital is becoming increasingly a key component in – to a business’ success, whether you are selling kitchens or raising money for cancer research, you have to have a good digital strategy these day and although most businesses seem to be outsourcing them to external agencies at the moment I don’t really think that’s a long-term solution. Your digital strategy needs to be owned by someone in the company.

Marcus Lillington:
So are you saying that we should be planning our retirement fairly quickly?

Paul Boag:
No I think…

Marcus Lillington:
I like the idea.

Paul Boag:
It is something that has seriously gone through my head.

Marcus Lillington:
I don’t want to be going from 55 to 60 with no work. I’d rather have planned and retired.

Paul Boag:
No, I think there’s always going to be a place for external specialists but I do feel like for an organization, when digital becomes crucial to the success of that organization, that having a –constantly outsourcing what is a crucial business component, A, is bad practice and secondly it’s going to be cost prohibitive over the longer term. So I think more and more organizations are going to have digital teams and yes they may get specialists to help them kick them off in their digital strategy or to get that outside perspective every once in a while, but it’s going to have to be managed internally increasingly. And I think there are already a lot of organizations that have realized this and they’ve hired a small team of web professionals but I think recruiting and retaining these staff are going to be increasingly hard as demand grows, right? And I think a lot of organizations are already seeing a high turnover of staff, let alone recruiting them.

Marcus Lillington:
They are. And also there’s the whole thing of agency over client, for want of a better word, work is, if you work for the same organization, you’re working on the same site all the time. It could in theory be quite dull.

Paul Boag:
Yes, and I think as more companies realize they need an in-house team then it’s going to get more and more difficult to find experienced people. Now of course over the long term the free market will compensate for this as more people come into the industry, you get good jobs in web design, and they’ll retrain with these new skill sets, however there’s going to be a considerable period of time when there’s not enough good people to go around because they don’t have the experience that old codgers like you and me have. And so I think those that have got – those companies that have got good staff over that period of time are going to have a significant competitive advantage.

So you come then to what can you do about the problem. Well whether you’ve already got a digital team or not is somewhat of an irrelevance. If you have one now then you’re going to be faced with the challenge of retaining those staff against when there is high demand and a lot of people trying to headhunt and steal staff. And of course, if you haven’t got a team then you’ve got the problem of recruitment. So you might be tempted to think that the key is simply to offer a lot of money but I don’t think it really is. For a start, I don’t think that’s a sustainable route for any business and anyway – because it’s going to lead to spiraling salaries, but I actually think the fact that good digital people, money is just a tiny part of the thing for you. I mean you just talked a minute ago about boredom being a thing, of working on the same site. I think very different things motivate good digital people to just kind of a high salary. I don’t think cash is their primary motivator.

So then how do you go about retaining and recruiting good web staff? I’ve kind of been thinking about several areas in what we’ve invested our time in and that kind of thing. First one is probably the most superficial of them all, but I think it’s an important one which is a good working environment. And I think it’s really important to be clear about who you are up against. You’re not just up against the competitors in your sector, right, so you’re not – If you are, I don’t know – if you sell, I don’t know, widgets, you’re not just up against other widget sellers for recruiting those staff, you’re up against other agencies like us that would be recruiting the same kind of people. You’re up against Twitter, Facebook…

Marcus Lillington:
And we are really cutthroat.

Paul Boag:
We are, really. Google, and you know, Twitter, Facebook and Google, I mean they provide incredible working environments for people and they invest heavily in that kind of stuff. And web professionals are used to working in an environment that allows them to work and play hard I think because I think a lot of web professionals typically work long hours and so expect their place to be a kind of nice place to work because they spend a lot of time in it. They spend the majority of their working hours in it and I think also equipment is really important and this is a real bugbear for me.

It really pees me off, because I go into a lot of obviously internal web teams, and you know – recently I was working with a company, well it was Strathclyde again. And I produced a little video and it took me half an hour, right? Recorded a little voiceover, took a few pictures round the office, whacked them over, shoved some background music and I did the whole thing on my iPhone, right? And they recently asked me, I’m going up and doing some training, they really want to know how I did that, right? Oh, well it’s easy if you’ve got a Mac and you’ve got an iPhone and stuff like that. They’re stuck with crappy old Dells because everyone in the company has those. It’s a standard issue. And I just thing that’s absolutely ridiculous, that as web professionals, people are expected to work with the same computer hardware as somebody in accounting. It just doesn’t make sense as far as I am concerned and I think that web professionals should have the best equipment to enable to do their job effectively.

I’ve got this kind of image of a plumber turning up at your house to fix your plumbing and he turns up with B&Q value tools. The same kind of stuff that I’ve got. I’d kind of go, oh, I don’t know, that doesn’t feel right, does it? It’s not right. He will have the best tools to do the job.

Marcus Lillington:
Although that is probably a more realistic analogy, the way you would get it through would be to compare, I don’t know, somebody who works on CAD, who has to have a particular type of computer with a particular type of software and a dirty great big printing machine as they used to do, which not everyone in the company would have one of those, would they?

Paul Boag:
No.

Marcus Lillington:
So and I think – and print designers have got away with this for years. I’m a print designer, I have to have a Mac.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
So the same applies. People just need to get a bit more backbone and say, these are the tools I require.

Paul Boag:
Yes, I totally agree with that, they do. But also if you’re trying to attract and retain good people, this shouldn’t even be an issue. If I went for a job interview, it wouldn’t occur to me.

Marcus Lillington:
You wouldn’t even ask, would you?

Paul Boag:
No, I would just presume that I’d get what I need to do my job properly.

Marcus Lillington:
I’d love to see you trying to work for another company. That would be hilarious.

Paul Boag:
I am unemployable.

Marcus Lillington:
You are completely unemployable.

Paul Boag:
So I think investing in your work environment is an important aspect of attracting and retaining good staff. The second area I wanted to look at was flexibility. I’ve become convinced that high quality digital staff think and work in a very different way to most traditional businesses, right? Because I think most traditional businesses are really built on the principles of the industrial revolution where you have a workplace mentality structured around the nine to five factory floor, okay. And I think digital workers expect considerably more flexibility than that. They expect to be able to work flexible hours. I sent an email round in this regard yesterday, didn’t I? Saying does anybody mind if from now on I start at ten and work through later because I can’t get up in the mornings because I am a lazy git, and you were like, yeah, actually, you didn’t reply.

Marcus Lillington:
No, disgusted.

Paul Boag:
But it’s that kind of – I think that flexibility should be – I’ve now been thrown by you saying you were disgusted by my demands.

Marcus Lillington:
Unprofessional.

Paul Boag:
But we get into a – we treat people like they are factory workers and actually these are highly skilled individuals and if they want to work in a slightly different way, then they should be able to. There shouldn’t be a problem with that. Of course they’ve got to still turn up to meetings. Of course they’ve got to be around to deal with certain issues or whatever but we need to trust people to manage themselves more and this comes on to my next point which is control.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, trust people to do the job properly, yes, and we are flexible. It starts at 10, Chris Anderson starts at half seven in the morning, fit around people’s lifestyles.

Paul Boag:
Although Chris Anderson is a freak in my opinion, anyone who starts that early.

Marcus Lillington:
But the actual reality is that human beings work when it’s light and there is – even though you can’t be complete, so most people work during the day when it’s light and that’s when business happens. So you have to be a little bit realistic about this.

Paul Boag:
Oh, yes, yes.

Marcus Lillington:
And it’s just a bit – you, basically be a bit – a bit of leeway.

Paul Boag:
I am not saying –I am completely happy with, if there is a good reason then, you know, fair enough. But if you think about it, we’re having to work outside of nine to five anyway because our American clients, we have to do evening calls with them sometimes. So we expect staff to be flexible with us, or if there is a conference where they have to go away for a couple of days. Well, my evening’s not my own now because I’m away at a conference, you know, and I’ve had to cancel my line dancing or my ballet or whatever it is I do.

Marcus Lillington:
It’s ballet that I do, Paul.

Paul Boag:
Oh right, I’m a line dancing person. Yes, so it should go both ways. You should – yes, but you are right. But it’s about control as well, you see – so many organizations I come across, Steel Tree, digital professionals like they’re factory workers, right. That they are kind of – they are unskilled workers, you have to tell then exactly what to do and how to do their job and it’s dum, dum, dum, you crank this widget twice that way and you turn this handle that way and out comes whatever. It just isn’t like that, they are highly skilled individuals who are experts at what they do, more expert than the people they’re reporting into in their field, right? So as a result you can’t micromanage them. You have to let them shape their own workdays. And if you want to attract and keep digital people, you have to give them control over their own jobs. No I’m not suggesting you go as far as the software company Valve. Do you know what Valve do?

Marcus Lillington:
No.

Paul Boag:
Oh, this is just awesome. They’re not the only ones, GitHub do it as well, right? Valve and GitHub, basically in Valve, when you arrive, you are employed by Valve, right? You are not employed to do a specific job, really, you’re just employed as a programmer because they do Half Life and games like that. So you turn up at the company on day one, no one tells you what to do, right? Their office is open plan, you have a desk with wheels on, right? And what you do is, you go around and you talk to people, right? And they all tell you about the various projects they are working on and then the one you like, you join, right? It sounds chaos, and then over time you could decide on day one if you wanted to start your own project, but you need to be able to attract people and get them to agree to work with you to make it happen.

So basically it’s survival of the fittest project. If it’s an attractive and good enough project, then you go and work for it. Now you think to yourself how does things like the shitty jobs get done, jobs that have to get done. Well what happens is people will agree to do the shitty job to get themselves kudos, so that other people are more likely to join their project when they do a project. And also some projects get funding if they get enough and so they’ll sometimes pay bonuses and extras to people to do the shitty jobs.

Marcus Lillington:
Right.

Paul Boag:
So it’s really – it’s quite clever, but I’m not suggesting you go that far. All I am suggesting is that you give digital staff a sense of ownership of what they’re working on, that they have some control of what they’re working on. And I’d love to do – I’d love to push us a bit further at Headscape over that, in terms of – I don’t know how it’d work quite but I feel like there’s more we can do in that area. But I haven’t worked it out yet. You’re looking at me – you’ve crossed your arms, which is a sign of Paul is talking bullshit and he’s off on some idealistic fantasy.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, carry on, keep going. I’m enjoying it.

Paul Boag:
For example with Dan, right, Dan is just taking over the build of Headscape and Boagworld and I’m really keen to be hands-off on that and let him do what he wants to do.

Marcus Lillington:
And I’ve said exactly the same to him.

Paul Boag:
Yes, until it’s not what we want and then we’ll…

Marcus Lillington:
And then we’ll say no, Dan, do this, crank that handle and turn that screw.

Paul Boag:
Yes, can you move it. What it comes down to is that the digital worker should be the key decision maker as to how his work is done and I think, and this is maybe a bit more radical, on the timescales that he does it over. So he should agree that something is going take X amount of time.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, again, real world doesn’t work like that. Because…

Paul Boag:
But we do it all the time. When you write a proposal, who is the first person you ask about timescales.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, well that’s not the point I was making, so the goal posts move and project managers come into their own when goalposts are being moved by clients. And often things have to be squeezed then and we have to say to guys, look, sorry, but we need to squeeze this into a shorter time than we originally said would be the case. And then at that point, they are not choosing how long it takes for them to do the piece of work. So…

Paul Boag:
I wonder how often that actually happens without the – if Ed or Dan turned around and said, that’s really going to screw things up, would we still squeeze them?

Marcus Lillington:
No, we’d come to a compromise.

Paul Boag:
Yes, so we are giving people control. We are working with them. So that was another one anyway that I wanted to raise, but the next one I wanted to – or last one I wanted to talk about is learning. And I reckon this is probably…

Marcus Lillington:
I thought you were going to say love then.

Paul Boag:
Love. You need to love your digital staff.

Marcus Lillington:
We do.

Paul Boag:
Yes, we do. Lots if hugs and kisses.

Marcus Lillington:
All the time.

Paul Boag:
I know, it’s quite disturbing. Yes, I think this is probably the biggest thing for most digital professionals. It would certainly be a big thing if I was ever to take a job, that fear of I am going to end up in a dead end job where I am not going to keep up with the latest innovations and I am going to be – not be able to get a job after this, I am going to become unemployable. And I think too many companies don’t invest. It’s funny, weren’t we, we were just talking about conferences and training budgets before we came in here, weren’t we?

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah.

Paul Boag:
Too many companies don’t invest in their staff. The web moves at such a phenomenal rate that keeping up is a major undertaking for anybody and I just feel that too few companies fail to recognize this and the irony is they hire digital workers for their knowledge, right, because they’re experts in an area, but fail to invest in that knowledge to make sure it stays current. And I think if you want to attract and retain digital staff you need to give them the space to learn and that means giving them some downtime in which they can learn in much the same way as Google gives its staff time to work on personal projects or used to, anyway, they don’t do it as much anymore. Or whether it’s giving them as we do a budget to attend conferences, buy books or go on training but you need to do something. And it doesn’t need to be as expensive as it sounds.

To be honest, time I think I more important than money. If you’re constantly looking to maximize your productivity, which again goes back to this kind of factory mentality of, the only way you can make more profit is by being more and more efficient. If you are looking to maximize productivity all the time then your digital staff is going to have no time to experiment with new techniques and that’s going to lead to no new innovations, no chance to test new approaches et cetera.

All of this I think is about changing the way that we think. It’s about moving out of that kind of industrial economy into a digital economy and way of thinking. But unfortunately the economy is changing very fast while our thinking is adapting quite slowly, and we’re still using kind of old rules of managing staff that I don’t think apply a lot of the time. We still think we’re employing low skilled individuals to do kind of repetitive tasks and we need to look at our employees as self-motivated, experienced and highly skilled, in my opinion. But hey, what do I know.

Marcus Lillington:
No, I agree Paul.

Paul Boag:
Good. Well most people in the comments – some really good comments about this, and I think most people seem to agree that a lot of thinking in this area is…

Marcus Lillington:
That you’re a male chauvinist.

Paul Boag:
A lot of them agree that as well. Actually to be honest it’s only one little thread, but you know, I worry. I worry about what people think of me. It’s important.

Marcus Lillington:
I do too.

Paul Boag:
Right, should we do a joke?

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, I’m having to kind of scrape the barrel a bit. More jokes, please.

Paul Boag:
Are you getting desperate?

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
Well that’s no good.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes. This is not very good. This is from Ian. Always from Ian, I’ve found some at the bottom of the…

Paul Boag:
No, you have to call him Sir Ian now, because we knighted him last week.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, knight of the slightly oval table that we are sat around. A photon checks into a hotel and the porter asks him if he has any luggage. The photon replies, no, I am travelling light.

Paul Boag:
My son would love that. A physics joke. I’ll tell him that tonight.

Marcus Lillington:
There you go. I’ve got another physics joke. Two physics jokes. Never trust an atom, they make up everything.

Paul Boag:
Yes, I’m definitely telling those to my son tonight.

Marcus Lillington:
There you go, two science jokes made.

Paul Boag:
He’ll make – he’ll be very happy.

Marcus Lillington:
Which I thought were a bit rubbish, but there you go.

Paul Boag:
Yes, they are a little bit. They are nerdy jokes. Not for the likes of you.

Marcus Lillington:
Because I am so cool.

Paul Boag:
You’re too cool for cats. Well, yes, let’s be honest mind, if you take certainly the directors of Headscape, you would be the coolest out of the three of us, wouldn’t you. If we are honest about it. Even as a company as a whole, I think you’re bordering on being the coolest.

Marcus Lillington:
That’s very kind of you.

Paul Boag:
I know you are considerably older but if you look at your competition, it isn’t a lot, is it, really? It doesn’t take a lot to be cooler than me and Chris.

Marcus Lillington:
I don’t know, I think you’re quite cool, you travel around the world. You holiday in the Maldives, Paul.

Paul Boag:
Does that make me cool?

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
Okay, well it depends whether geeky is considered cool these days.

Marcus Lillington:
I am thinking about buying a sports car, which makes me laugh so much. I am at that point of middle aged.

Paul Boag:
That is so funny. Good for you though, why not?

Marcus Lillington:
That’s what everyone said, do it, do it, and I was like, really?

Paul Boag:
Yeah. Well, you know, how old are you now?

Marcus Lillington:
Very nearly 47.

Paul Boag:
Definitely time for a mid-life crisis.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, I am nearly 50.

Paul Boag:
I’ve already had mine.

Marcus Lillington:
I am as old as Chris.

Paul Boag:
I know. He hasn’t bought a sports car.

Marcus Lillington:
No, I wonder what he’s – he’s squirreled away more money. He has a different safe to put it in.

Paul Boag:
I’ve got this feeling, I’ve started watching Dexter again recently. Dexter is a TV series about a mass murderer, and he’s a serial killer but he projects this very normal character, and you actually quite like the guy. But he is a serial killer on this side, but he only kills bad people.

Marcus Lillington:
On the side.

Paul Boag:
On the side, as a hobby. And I just look at Chris sometimes and I think…

Marcus Lillington:
What, and think he is a mass murderer?

Paul Boag:
No, I think there might be something. Some little hidden secret, do you know what I mean?

Marcus Lillington:
He can hear every word we’re saying.

Paul Boag:
I know. I just think there’s something. He has got a secret. That’s what I think.

Marcus Lillington:
Okay. He probably has.

Paul Boag:
What do you reckon?

Marcus Lillington:
I don’t know.

Paul Boag:
Another family somewhere. That’s what it is.

Marcus Lillington:
Well my wife, because – I can’t remember what year it was, say 2009, we probably went to Aberdeen 8 times. So it became the in-joke that I was off to see my Aberdeen family.

Paul Boag:
Off to see your other family, yes. Well I applied for a mistress online but I failed horribly.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes. I saw that, it made me giggle.

Paul Boag:
My wife told me off.

Marcus Lillington:
I want to know what she did to make you say that. No I don’t.

Paul Boag:
It was really dull. She failed to give me sympathy when I wanted it. So I said that’s it, I am going to get myself a 20-something mistress and I am going to advertise on Twitter to do it and then of course my son overheard and said you’ll never do that dad, so then I had to. Knowing that I would then get massively told off by people online. So there we go. Alright, well that’s this week’s show, Jeremy Clarkson would be proud and we shall return next week with more inappropriate behavior. Thank you very much for listening and good bye.

Marcus Lillington:
Bye.

Headscape

Boagworld