Great Pacific Garbage Patch – is this your digital asset system?

Toby Martin
October 10, 2019
1 min read

These days, everybody’s talking about global warming, ecological damage like fires in the Amazon, and other environmental catastrophes that we’ve wrought on ourselves by being short-sighted and unconcerned about what happens tomorrow because of what we did yesterday.

While not quite rising to the threat of destroying life on the earth, a similar destructive pattern can take place regarding your digital assets. The effects are less menacing than rising sea levels that threaten lives… and continents. But they can be nonetheless significant.

If disposal of assets is the challenge you have, then you’re wasting tomorrow’s time by not being responsible today. Let’s say you’ve been in business for a number of years, and in doing so you’ve acquired a significant number of brand and digital files you have floating around. With how cheap storage is these days, why purge old files when it can be cheaper to just ignore them?

Here’s the problem. One of your vendors is acquired by someone who is more interested in true-ups and punitive damages. Suddenly, they want to audit chain-of-custody or some other legal requirements you signed on for. Your job just got harder. A lot harder. Because you have to go through a giant garbage patch of old, uncategorized, and unsorted things in places you didn’t even realize you had. Good luck finding assets and answers now, based on poor practices then.

Here’s how this all comes together

  • Stop procrastinating — We’ve already seen the disastrous effects of waiting.
  • Clean up your garbage patch — Put in place a method to your madness and apply your plans to what’s in place today.
  • (Responsibly) eliminate waste — Not everything needs to be kept forever. It’s OK to rid yourself of detritus.
  • Recognize this will not stop — As long as we’re consuming, waste is inevitable. But strategies to minimize waste by managing consumption will help.