How to Steer Clear of the Repo Man
If you personally know me, you know of my love for late-night Law and Order reruns. But, due to the pandemic, I reached a point where I had actually seen all of the old episodes. Which is how I got sucked into Airplane Repo afterwards.
It has everything you could want:
The perfect midnight mind-numbing entertainment snack.
I have seen cars get repo'd. And we've heard about being upside down on a mortgage. But defaulting on a million-dollar helicopter loan? Who even knew that was a thing?
Which got me thinking (ah, there's the segue). If you don't own your stuff outright, it can be taken away from you when you least expect it. No matter if it's your $2.5 million lear jet leveraged to the hilt, your Instagram feed that acts as your personal diary, or your kludged together Facebook group that's serving as your online course (those last two makes me very nervous)--it can all go away in an instant. And if you don't own it--if you didn't set it up under your own name and email account (such as your Google Analytics account)--or if you didn't purchase it (maybe you had an ex or your designer purchase your domain for you?), you could be up a creek without a paddle.
Case in point: The last couple of months I've been consulting on a project for a mid-tier packaged goods company. This isn't a small potatoes gig. I’m talking about an $80 million/yr company where you would think everything was in tight working order. All we needed was access to their domain and past analytics. No one there knew who had access to all the important bits, so what should have been a five-minute task took over two months to finally resolve (a disgruntled past agency turns out to be the bottleneck).
This isn't the first time I've seen this happen. I've seen established companies lose their website and domain when their previous web designer flees (or worse, the web designer is no longer on this earth). I've seen people lose their Facebook group when a rogue admin took over. And I've seen people lose years of work when their social media accounts were deleted or blocked.
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