Two weeks ago the Wall Street Journal briefly covered the fact that reputation management and privacy oriented start-ups are beginning to see investment turn-around. I’ve posted the video below for educational purposes.
From my perspective the interesting issue is that there are companies out there “ruining” reputation in the name reputation management, yet individuals using the service and investors of these firms have no idea what the long term personal, business, legal, moral, or ethical ramifications will be. Our digital identity is being cultivated, harvested, and stolen without even thinking about it.
Yet the regulation in this space is completely non-existent.
The net result is that you have snake-oil salesmen saying they can fix your credit score or even cure cancer (both of these actions are deemed illegal), yet the digital version of this credit score fix (an online reputation problem) is completely left unchecked.
The worse part of this problem is that victims of reputation problems usually have privacy issues or skeletons they don’t want to talk about. They don’t want to admit that they blew thousands of dollars on snake oil cures and had zero results… and they don’t want anyone they know to discover they have some painful reputational issue.
If you have a reputation problem: make sure you educate yourself by reading AS MUCH INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE. You can find multiple articles here on my blog about reputation management that detail a lot of expert advice that many companies charge thousands for, or if you don’t have patience for reading.
If you are an investor looking at one of these start-ups I have two words for you: DUE DILIGENCE. Hire an expert to review the company before you cut a check. You can read my opinion on ethics of reputation management or how online background checks impact modern business models.