Poll – If You were an Investor, What would Influence Your Decision Most as whether to Fund a Certain Project or not?


14 Comments

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14 responses to “Poll – If You were an Investor, What would Influence Your Decision Most as whether to Fund a Certain Project or not?

  1. Don’t know why I am still the only one who chose “The ability of the project to have a positive impact on humanity”… Are we supposed to be apathetic as investors?

    • Well, that’s the point, to imagine for a minute that you’re in your office, and somebody comes in and tells you that you should spend your own money on something. So, you, being a humanist and future-oriented in general, chose the global impact, but people really are different. What if the project is great, humanistic, but the people are really unreliable and seem to be some nutters. Would you spend the money then?

      • Obviously no, and I see your point that we are still considered nutters by many.

        Strategies to raise funds first must work on image and credibility. Those are issues we are facing. I think once the global awareness desired is reached the more investors you get so the most important thing would be awareness. This is what I’m working on and you are working on too. Once someone is confident that aging is a disease he’s very likely to talk about it, so I think it will be a fast process as the Singularity gets more mainstream (one big movie and one big documentary coming out that I will have a pleasure to make sure everyone I know watch it) so the anti-aging awareness will climb.

        Personally I am impatient too but extremely confident.

        • Of course, we need to form the social mandate for life-extension.
          Obviously, the fact that there are upcoming movies is great, but it’s not enough. What else do you have in mind how public awareness can be increased? I know this is a tough question, but still.

  2. “The ability of the project to have a positive impact on humanity”- this is the most rational & bolstering point one could think of, for appropriation of the fundings .

    Nevertheless, it is futile to bring this to notice that- the presence of only this point will not ever guarantee to convince investors. It’s the conglomeration of many aspects (most of which have already been mentioned amongst the other points of the poll), which leads to approval and faith.

    This fact, is not only applicable to life extension area of research, but is more general in its nature; embracing other field of research as well.

  3. Brad Arnold

    I apologize for stating the obvious, but most people judge on the basis of risk vs. return of investment.

    • If one is confident about the science of the project then he should consider it as a pretty good return of investment if he is not limited to a certain amount of time to make money but anyway I think money will probably disappear in less than 50 years.

      How old is the investor is the risk vs return of investment’s main variable. Other than that awareness should be pointed that life-extension is happening right now with advances in biotechnology. Even a 70 years old can be persuaded if you give him the knowledge that it could save him right now. It’s not just about being immortal/indefinite lifespan but also awareness and providing the investor with the knowledge to accept such investment based on the fact that this is a very good thing for him and the returns will be worth more than a life.

      Need more credibility than the returns outweigh the risk.

  4. Carlos

    I run IT projects in Mexico and would like to share my perception on the decision making process business people use here: they just use their feelings. Everybody says they consider the cost-benefit ratio, the plausibility of the project, etc. Reality is they are too lazy to sit down for some time and actually try to make sense of all the available data and then be able to make an informed decision like give the project “a go”, reject it on some ground or to ask for the generation of more data. Could this be the case? Maybe the info on the state of the art is still too soft to grasp?

    If that’s the case, working on the feelings may be the way to go. So, the question may be “how to move their feelings on this really important subject?” Behavioral economics seems to me like a good starting point while trying to answer questions like “why do we prefer to buy magic pills which most probably won’t work instead of following the advice of a medical doctor in order to loose weight?”

    By the way, my answer to the poll was of course, “The ability of the project to have a positive impact on humanity”, but sadly, I can’t be yet an investor.

    Why don’t we have a stock market for science? =P

    • I see your point. I believe this is a universal habit – to make decisions based on emotions. If this is the case, wouldn’t “The presenter’s personality” be the most likely answer? What are the other “compounds” of emotional decision making background?

      • Carlos

        In my case, the personality can be an important factor, but only when dealing with the owner of the company and there is no board of directors (highly centralized decision and punishment source).

        I know when a project has good chances when guilt (penalties have happened in the past) and high dreaming (the project leader wants to be a hero) are involved. Also the “look, your competitor has it” works wonders (too bad we tend to have less than 3 companies of the same niche here…). I’ll think more on this, because frankly, I haven’t tried to make a model out of this, just begun to think of the problem this way with your poll =S

        • Thanks, Carlos. So, what would be your answer if there’s a board of directors?

          • Carlos

            Gosh! I had the ultimate answer and the page refreshed!! hehe. Well, I was remembering one project in which there was a board decision. The sponsor became the salesman, that is, there was an insider. A recently hired and very appealing one. The justification was “to offer something our competitor can’t right now”. Quite frankly, that ‘something’ was something no one wanted or needed, but the idea worked and they gave the ok. How was that sponsor convinced? Well, he clearly needed something to justify his recent hiring as one real innovator. Even when the external driver (the federal government) decided it was not the time for the technology, they decided to stay with it. It was really a matter of faith.

            With this view, I agree with you completely! The presenter’s personality may highly probably be the most important factor, since he can ’embody’ the other factors I commented. I’d say he can also give validity to any other given rationalization (like ROI or impact).

  5. Phaethon Rhadamanth

    An investor is concerned primarily with return on investment, ROI. Nothing else matters to an investor looking to spend serious money. If an investor can be convinced that there is major potential for money to be made he can more easily be persuaded to invest. It really is that simple. All other considerations are secondary. For example a fat-insulin receptor gene blocker would produce a serious revenue stream. If it can be shown that a specific project would produce a significant claim to this stream you would have to beat off investors with a stick. This is a very feasible project with near term certainty of success and feeds the longevity question.

    The poll question and answers show a certain narrow minded obliviousness to what motivates an investor as distinct from a more philanthropic person with excess money to be disposed of for ” the good of humanity”. An investor cares nothing for such nonsense. If you are looking for money you need to examine the motivations and needs of those with money to part with. Be able to affirmatively address the “what’s in it for me?” aspect.

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