I’d like to take a little informal survey. You can even leave comments anonymously if you’re freaked out by giving this information publicly. I’m fine with that. I have two questions, both of which I’ll also answer myself. Oh, and no stupid loopholes. That avoids the point of the questions.
1) If someone walked up to you and said, “I’ll give you any amount of money you want if you let me destroy all your data permanently and immediately,” what’s the lowest amount of money you would demand? $100? $1000? $1,000,000? Seriously, think about this. All your data. Digital photos. Music. Everything you’ve got on your computers. Including all your backups of that data. It’s all gone. What’s it worth to you?
2) If you suddenly lost all your data in a horrible hard drive crash (the same data from question #1), but you knew there was one person in the world who could get it back for you (hard drive surgeon of some kind… works miracles, etc) how much would you be willing to pay to get it back?
Don’t let my answers affect yours. Think yours through first. I’ll put mine in the comments.