Surprising opportunity — Biostasis sentiment
TL;DR: Almost 40% of the “internet population” is interested in signing up for Biostasis, a much bigger opportunity that currently captured. Market education is not needed, capturing the interest is the key.
There are very few things you can think of, that just a bit over 3,000 people worldwide have bought. A Biostasis (aka cryopreservation) contract is one of those things. In fact, there are more super yachts out there — around 10,000 according to Wikipedia.
As you might have guessed, this surprises me quite a bit. Every day about 150,000 people die and only every 17 days one of those people has a cryopreservation contract, or in other words: 1 in every 2.5 million deaths.
These numbers sound at least one or two orders of magnitude too low.
What I’ve set out to do at EBF and Tomorrow Biostasis partly relies on this intuition being correct. About a year ago, I talked to just shy of 50 friends and colleagues and found that about 30% found the value proposition of cryopreservation interesting and could imaging signing up. While this data is anecdotical and biased (only Berlin, tech and entrepreneurial backgrounds, mostly <40 years, etc.), it gave an initial indication that the addressable market might be much bigger that what is currently being captured.
To understand if my intuition is correct, I recently initiated a large sentiment study — to my knowledge the largest ever — to collect statistical data. We will publish more comprehensive results soon.
Here is the first sneak peak:
We designed an extensive questionnaire with 35 questions and collected more than 3,400 responses in total over multiple runs in the US (data set has a bias due to being collected online, i.e. it’s not a representative sample of the US population, but represents the “internet population”).
Apart from questions about demographics, general sentiment towards living longer, legal and moral consideration and much more, we asked about sentiment towards cryopreservation and “intent to buy”.
All in all, 48% (agree and strongly agree) of respondents said that they “…believe that cryopreservation is an exciting idea and intend on looking into it further…”. Even stronger is that 39% (agree and strongly agree) said that they “would be interested in talking to a cryopreservation company to discuss signing up”.
As these results surprised us a lot, we ran the questionnaire several times with rephrased questions and explanations, but the results stayed consistent (+/- a few %, in total more than 3,400 responses). The largest single data set has 1,478 responses and will be used for publication(s).
This suggest there is indeed a significant(!) untapped market for cryopreservation, which enables us to build the scalable, professional organization we plan to.
The results are roughly in line with a 2014 paper published by Kaiser et al. that founded that 22% of respondents “could imagine having their bodies cryonized after their death”. Interestingly, their study was performed in Germany with a representative sample, and while 22% is less than half of the 48% we found, it still shows significant interested. To confirm this, we re-ran our study in Germany as well, and found that 22% (agree and strongly agree) said that they “…believe that cryopreservation is an exciting idea and intend on looking into it further…”(sample size is 244).
In the end, to build a scalable biostasis organisation, market education and generating interest does not seem to be the problem, but rather figuring out how to capture and covert interest. This is good news, since educating the market is usually the much bigger problem and at the same time we build a much(!) better sign up experience than currently exists.
Tomorrow Biostasis has just started to accept the first members in Berlin in a soft launch (see https://www.havetomorrow.com/ if you’re interested), so we will have hard data soon.
You can download the full report here: https://ebf.foundation/publications/Sentiments_Towards_Biostasis.pdf
The full published paper can be found here: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0244980
As always: please reach out if the topic interest you, happy to talk more.
E-Mail works best (see Linkedin).