Many people ask me about the genesis of iTaggit and why I would create a site for ‘things’. The question usually is positioned based on the perspective of the person that is asking the question and it veers from one extreme to the other. For example, a serious collector of antiques asks why we’d create this site when Antique collectors are historically not web friendly. Others, who have a lot of clutter, ask why it’s relevant to them. Both sides miss a critical point which is the germ of the iTaggit idea – that’s that each of their holdings represents a significant asset which is either likely undervalued or not valued at all.
The reality is that people’s net worth is made up of three major baskets (sorry for everyone who is sick of hearing this from me):
1) cash and marketable securities – easy to value, easy to track, everyone is interested in them, etc.
2) large value items such as homes, cars, boats – a little harder to value, need intermediaries to sell, etc.
3) everything else you own – very difficult to value, hard to track, really hard to connect to others with interest.
Creating a set of tools and an eco-system of services is what I view as our mission. Helping users convert their items to true assets is our overriding goal and mission. It’s not only about organizing or selling items (which are both important aspects of converting items to assets) but also about protecting the value of your assets. Here is a blurb from a recent US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT on managing ‘clutter’:
“Everyone should inventory his or her possessions in case disaster strikes. Right. “it’s the unusually prepared person who has done an inventory,” concedes Michael Barry of the Insurance Information Institute. But Hurricane Katrina and the California wildfires are spurring people to action. Getting ahead of disaster is as easy as walking around the house with a camera. Then send the pics to a safe place outside the home. That bare minimum can help reconstruct belongings after a fire, flood or burglary.”
My mission is to help users optimize their net worth by helping them recognize their true net worth, whether they want to convert items to cash (sell) or just organize and value what they have. As the economy and the equity markets come under more and more pressure people are going to need to be able to harness the value of everything that they own. I think it’s an important cause and continue to try to drive iTaggit towards providing a valuable service for our users.