A Sad Story About Online Identity

Here’s a little story about online identity issues where any similarities between actual people and the characters in this story are strictly coincidental:

Once upon a time a digital developer whose network of contacts was wide and deep met some new people.

Shortly thereafter they were asking the developer to make introductions for the purpose of getting a new idea funded. The idea, although highly speculative, was interesting. It was also very germinal, meaning it hadn’t gone far in demonstrating potential, nor was it very polished.

Beyond having a great idea, and beyond getting funding to pursue it, having the right team is also very critical.

So of course the digital developer did what he had always done: he Googled the names of the team. Much to his shock the key members of this aspiring team had some search results that were anything but confidence building. Instead of praises from others, or some professional presentation maintained by the team themselves, the search results about the team lead began with legal documents detailing substantial penalties placed by authorities on the lead person. And the unflattering document revealed how the penalty was for mishandling of funds no less.

It puzzled the developer, how this team could ever ignore that. How could they all not seek to remedy that? How could they expect others who may be interested in funding or partnering from to neglect basic due-diligence that a middle-school student performs reflexively?  

That’s not a happy story, or a good story. But there is a moral to it, lessons to be learned about online identity issues.

  • How do you think it worked out?
  • Did the aspiring team get the developer to make the introductions they wanted?
  • Did they get funding through the contacts of the developer, or was it just a big embarrassment for the people involved?
  • How could that have been avoided?

Would using some kind of tool to help solve their online identity problems work?

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