X-Message-Number: 13879
Date: Fri, 09 Jun 2000 22:34:10 -0500
From: david pizer <>
Subject: Re: CryoNet #13857 - #13866

Pizer replies to Riskin

(see my other posting for reply to some of Mike so that I don't have to
duplicate it here.)

>From: Michael Riskin ( Alcor director, but not speaking as an official
>represntative in this posting).
>Re: Dave Pizer's comments about Alcor

>I disagree with the notion that a lower price, on its own, will
>accomplish everything that Dave thinks it will.


>The real issue here is the tiny demand for services no matter what the

Reminds me of an old philosphy tale ------

High Price Advocate:  The real issue is the tiny demand for services no
matter what the price, so let's not lower the high prices.

Socrates: Gee, why not raise the price to $1,000,000 then you will have a
lot more money when you do one.

HPA:  If we make the price too high we will lose business.

Socrates:  If you agree that raising the price will cause business to be
lost, why can't you see that lowering the price will cause more business to
be had?  

HPA:  Gee Socrates, since you put it that way, I see now that I was wrong.

          :=)                :=)                :=)           ;=)  


Years ago, when I was a sales manager for a big company, I listened as two
of my salesmen were talking about a customer one of them just lost.  The
salesman said something like "He wasn't really interested in our products,
he was just wasting time."
But I knew that potential customers don't come out on hot days and go to
several stores and ask questions and review materials on the products if
they are not interested in buying.  Every one who comes in and asks
questions does not end up buying. Some buy elsewhere, and some never buy at
all. There are reason why people who came in and inquired don't buy.  Alcor
is getting  many people inquiring.  There must be reaons whty all these
people are not buying.
Mike, a more logical explanation seems that the demand does exist for
cryonics because Alcor reports getting thousands of calls from prospects
every year.  These are people that want cryonics.  They wouldn't call if
they didn't want cryonics.   But they don't join up.  Isn't it at least
possible that most are not buying because the price is just too high.   The
very fact that so many people call is evidince that there is a big
potential market.  Wouldn't it be worth a trial to offer a more reasonable
price for one year and compare the net imcome from the added volume at
lower prices against the net income of the higher prices to see which is best?


>Cryonics simply put, has very little perceived value in the public eye,
>less than a large screen color TV I believe, and certainly less than a
>luxury automobile.

Again, I cannot agree with this.  Most people do not want to die.  I think
that when they find out the price (and can't afford it) there is the sour
grapes response.

The first TV were very expensive and few of them were sold.  As the price
of TVs came down the volume of sales went up.  An economy of scales was
found and as volume increased the manufacturers made much more money of the
large volume of reasonably priced TVs.

As with cars, please don't make me have to tell you the stroy of Henry
Ford!  :=)

> The other thing is that funding through life
>insurance is already at an easily affordable cost to most people and
>less than most of the " amusements" that the typical consumer purchases.

Most of the future business in cryonics is in last minute cases where the
person will have to write a check and can not qualify for life insurance.  

>When we can prove beyond the apparant ( to cryonicists) sensibility of
>doing this, that it works, then the demand will far outstrip the supply
>at almost any price.

But when we can prove that it will work - (the way to prove that it will
work is to be able to reanimate people) - the technology to freeze and
unfreeze people will be beyond reversing aging, so the situation will be
completely different.  When we have biological immortality it will not be
as important for cryonics to grow.

  To improve everyones chances, we need to find reasons to promote growth
now in the stage where final proof that it will work is not yet available.

>We need excess funding to cover the contingency costs of new
>technologies, legal challenges, reanimation, and catastrophic events.

I agree that we need money for these things.  And loss of members and
suspensions because of high prices is causing a loss of money to do these

> If
>the only concern was covering freeze and store costs at current expenses
>levels plus a small operating profit, then we would be saying that it it
>is acceptable under extreme adverse circumstances to give up patients,
>like a mainstream business accepts the notion of bankruptcy as an
>option. That is not acceptable to Alcor.

A better explanation is that high prices are costing Alcor revenue that may
lead to financial problems.  That is what should not be acceptable to Alcor.

>Alcor is not falling behind in any of the areas in which progress is
>legitimately measured. In fact, exactly the opposite is true. Alcors
>technical capability, already arguably the best at this time, continues
>its' rapid growth.  

In 1993 when the present policy was accepted by most of the board, 8 of the
board members felt that Alcor was on track to have 4000 members by 2003 and
400 patients by that date.  It is my argument that Alcor *is* falling far
behind that prediction.  What is the reason growth has slowed down, if it
is not the high prices?  Everything else has improved.  Now we have
scientists saying cryonics might work. Back then, the scientists were
against it.  Those who thought it would work were in the closets.
Back then the publicty was mostly negative.  Not it is mostly positive.  So
many thing have changed for the better *except* the prices have not come
down.  By the process of elimination, one should be able to see that the
prices are what is causing the slow growth.

Pizer said (2 >>):
>> 3.      The added volume of doing a lot more suspensions at a reasonable
>> would end up making Alcor more money than just doing one or two a year at
>> the higher prices.  Too high of prices are costing Alcor money.

Mike replied (1 >):
>Perhaps in the short run. The short run is not what Alcor is about.

If this would help in the short run, why do you figure it would then quit
helping in the long run?

>> 4.      Doing more suspensions would mean that Alcor would get better at
>> them.

>That is true.

>> 5.      Doing more suspensions would mean that Alcor would get more
>> Relatives of patients tend to join up.  They make some of the best members,
>> most loyal and tend to donate additional funds and labor.

>Also true.


Several years ago there was a poll in New York where people were asked what
they would buy if they won the lottery.  (I suspect a list of expensive
things was provided for them to choose several items from).  One out of
nine chose cryonic suspension along with a bunch of other expensive things.

If this were extrapolated to the total U.S. poplulation that means there
are at least 25 million people who would buy cryonics if they felt they
could afford it.  

I have since forgot the source of this survey. If any one on this list
remembers that and who did the survey please let me know.  It would be much
more convincing if we had the original data.


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