Connections make the world go round - networking and relationships, if you like: establishing and maintaining them. This is just as true of companies and their employees and customers as it is of any collection of people. A company that manages relationships well is a company that will prosper. This is actually surprisingly hard, however, even with resolve and the best of intentions from all parties, as anyone who has been on the inside of that part of business life will attest to.
On this topic, I see that cryonics provider Alcor, under the guidance of CEO Max More, is making an effort to make its operations far more transparent and in the process improve relationships with both its members and the broader community of people interested in cryonics - a source of future supporters and growth for the business. So, for example, you see regular sets of posts reporting on operations, intentions, research, and other progress such as these at the Alcor blog:
The never-ending quest for cost reductions continues. A review of Alcor's utility bills and an examination of the roof space made it clear that thousands of dollars per year have been avoidably incurred in the form of unnecessarily high air conditioning bills. We have asked for bids from three companies and will choose one in the coming week to improve insulation and install radiant barriers. Judging by the remarkable escalation in billing during the hotter months (in some units of the building more than others), the annual savings should make this investment pay off in a pleasingly short time.
On the communications front, Barry Aarons is helping us deploy the Alcor Speakers' Bureau to give talks to organizations in the area. A few weeks ago, we started this effort modestly with me giving a talk to the Midtown Lion's Club. The goal is to build a reputation and have a voice in the influential local business groups.
An Alcor member in the New York area was placed on a ventilator following a recent serious medical event. Catherine Baldwin of Suspended Animation (SA) traveled to the area to establish a relationship with the medical facility and mortuary in the event stabilization was needed. Although the member's health has temporarily improved it was decided that a full standby was not warranted, she continues to struggle with her illness and may eventually need our services.
Based on our findings last month that the mylar cooldown blanket significantly reduced the LN2 usage of our automated perfusion and cooldown table with an empty patient pod, Steve Graber decided to conduct a more rigorous cooldown test utilizing four 20L water bladders in the pod cavity and a target cooling temperature of -80C.
If you look at the recent administrative report, you'll find a link to the membership and cryopreservation counts in graphical form for the last forty years - which is food for thought:
As of October 31, 2011, Alcor has 951 members and 108 patients.
In the grand scheme of things, cryonics has yet to climb into the big leagues. The potential is there, and much like the potential for rejuvenation biotechnology, there are great challenges inherent in trying to convince people to see it and believe it. "Why isn't cryonics a multi-billion dollar international industry?" is one of those questions like "Why don't more people wholeheartedly support research into reversing human aging?" - we can talk around the issue a great deal, but there are few firm answers at the end of the day. If we knew definitively where the point of failure was in persuasion and desire, why exactly the urge to spend money on the expectation of more life, so very much in evidence elsewhere, peters out for cryonics and longevity science, then we'd be working on fixing that problem as opposed to working on the various problems and challenges we only believe to be significant.