clear:left; a superstar company

Yesterday I found out about the company clear:left, which consists of web developing pro’s Andy Budd, Jeremy Keith and Richard Rutter. These three are extremely experienced and have had a great impact on web developing. If I were working for a company in the UK, this is the company I’d contact for web development work.

I wonder what they charge, though… However, quality costs, and in the long run you will definitely save a lot of money if the job was done properly the first time around.

This made me wonder if there should be a Swedish equivalent of such a company, one with the best people we have to offer in this field. I know what people I’d like in that compnay (but that I won’t tell)…

So what do you think? Should there be a Swedish company with the big names we have?


  • JaX says:

    Hey man, I like your blog. Keep up the great work =)

    Clear:Left's logo is sooo smooth. Andy Budd is a living legend.

  • Robert Nyman says:



    And yes, Andy Budd knows what he's doing, so to say. πŸ™‚

  • Thanks for the kind words, Robert. We're really excited to have combined our skills and resources to set up Clearleft. And while we're not just another design shop, we might not be as expensive as you may think πŸ™‚

  • Robert Nyman says:


    Good to see you here!

    And if you're not that expensive, maybe I should persuade you to come to Stockholm and work on some projects with me… πŸ™‚

    Good luck!

  • Damn, more competition… says x-factor entrant staring at Robbie Williams πŸ˜‰

    Looking forward to seeing some collaborative work from these guys…

  • Kalle Wibeck says:

    Of course there could be a Swedish company with the big namnes in webdeveloping.

    The question is if clients will gather around though… Cause, as you have stated here before, it truly is a struggle to get people to understand the true values of a well built website… πŸ˜‰

  • Robert Nyman says:


    You're probably right. Although with more and more focus on accessibility, and other web browsers that are stricter in their interpretation than Internet Explorer gaining more market share, this will lead to a demand for stricter and correct code.

    So maybe that's an opening? πŸ™‚

  • I'm probably shooting myself in the foot here, but I've heard that a lot of these web superstar companies have trouble making money because everyone assumes they're too expensive when they're actually not any more expensive than a normal company.

  • Robert Nyman says:


    I think that's a pretty common assumption. But as Richard stated above, supposedly they're not over-expensive.

  • Mats says:

    I was actually thinking of starting my own buisness and focus on webstandards, accessibility an usability. My problem is that i'm no good as a graphic designer.

    More focus on code and helping people clean up their existing sites.


  • Robert Nyman says:


    I guess also that since the IT climate has been cold for many years have held people back. But now things are starting to look bright again!

    Helping people to clean up their web sites is something I shy away from as much as possible! πŸ™‚

  • Marco says:

    I don't know about the UK or other european countries but in the Netherlands 99% of all potential clients don't seem to give a rats ass about webstandards. Worse even, they don't care about good design and they don't care about any browser besides MSIE. You won't believe what kind of garbage many Dutch companies produce. Code that will make you wet your pants and designs that you wouldn't even have liked back in 1993. There are exceptions but most of the great Dutch sites are by bloggers that love webstandards, not web development companies.

    I want to start freelance soon as well but I'm afraid I might have a real hard time selling web standards compliant and well-designed sites. Why? Because it's not at all a 'selling point'. People just don't care. But….. I'll sure as hell try though!

  • Robert Nyman says:


    That doesn't sound too encouraging.

    Usually the arguments for selling web standards are that the web site will be more accessible, it will be addressing bandwidth issues by decreasing the amount of data that have to be sent by relying on a stylesheet-based design, getting higher search engine ranking by correct semantic code and so on.

    All in all, this will save/make your customers money and a good reason for hiring someone that writes correct code.

  • Mats says:

    Well Robert, it's that attitude that's gonna make me rich! If everone shies away from doing it I can move in and grab the cash! And try to make the web a better place in the process.

    It helps that I have been doing the same thing for some five years now, digging through ASP, JSP, XSL, PHP and JAVA is a messy job but if you pay me enough i'll put my goggles on and grab the keyboard. πŸ˜€

  • Robert Nyman says:


    Well, what can I say? Good luck! πŸ™‚

  • Marco says:

    Robert, the arguments are all true and even marketing / management people should be able to understand the advantages of web standards. But still I feel like some sort of Don Quichotte in the professional environment I'm in. Even many experienced developers around me don't seem to care about the standards movement at all while they're otherwise really skilled and experienced in what they do. Most designers I've met in the Netherlands can't even do HTML, they just present you with a Photoshop document (if you're really lucky they sliced and layered it correctly) and leave the rest to you. While designing they never thought about web standards for a single second because they don't even know normal HTML.

    So here I am, surrounded by designers who work like they're designing a book-cover and developers who make statements like 'yeah… tables. it works fine so what are you whining about?'.

    In terms of standards we really are lagging behind horribly…

  • Robert Nyman says:


    I feel your pain. And that's a very common situation that we so-called standardistas are trying to change, to raise the awareness of all the issues out there and how they should be handled.

    But very often I do share your frustration, and I wrote Why do we have to fight? to express my occasional feeling of helplessnes.

  • Marco says:

    It's a tough challenge to 'sell' web standards but I do believe there's one important argument that can actually convince people: search engine optimization. If you work with web standards you'll see your get indexed much better than with old-school crappy code. It may look the same to people but the difference is striking. I'm often amazed by how well content from blogs is indexed compared to a lot of commercial sites. Even though arguments such as lean code, better accessibility and better maintainability should be more important, the SEO argument will have more appeal to the corporate world… πŸ˜‰

  • Robert Nyman says:


    Definitely, money talks. And Search Engine Optimization is a very important argument.

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