The rules are pretty consistent:
- The easier it is to create and save a video or other file, the more likely it is to be lost or corrupted
- The more important the data is, the more likely it is you’ll notice when it gets lost
- The harder it is to replace, the more frustrating it will be
We’re all creators now. Podcasting, videoing, photographing, spreadsheeting… and we’re building a foundation of valuable data as we go.
The software companies that produce the tools we use push their engineers in many ways, but not to create resilient storage systems that are sure to honor the effort and care you put into creating your data. They want you to believe that they will effortlessly and seamlessly maintain all the data you trust to them, but they actually spend most of their time focused on other things that they deem more commercially important.
That’s because convenient, viral or flashy are generally more profitable than resilient and reliable.
When a conferencing app lost a video I worked really hard to record, I realized that trusting them was my first mistake. If there’s a one in a thousand chance that a file is going to be corrupted or simply lost, storing it in two places or recording it simultaneously in two systems lowers your chances of failure to one in a million. I will never trust them again, and you shouldn’t either.
Forewarned should be sufficient. Assume that the software company doesn’t care nearly as much about your work, your memories or your reputation as you do.