I wonder, how many startups are actually claiming their mission to be life extension. I only know about Retro Biosciences. They say it right on the main page on their site https://retro.bio
All startups. and I mean all, no exceptions, the main goal is to make the founders rich and famous. Maybe individually they have a mission to extend life, preferably their own, but the startup is all about the money. I don’t think that is a bad thing, but it most certainly is not philanthropic. If it was philanthropic, they would would be a non-profit org that just raised money for research.
And, contrary to what the internet would tell you, skeptics live longer.
I think the time has come when the main goal might be shifting from just making money towards something more important - life extension. Not for everybody of course, but maybe for someone. I don’t think Altman gave RetroBio his own 180 mil in order to make profit in the first place. It looks like very long term investment in life extension for me.
I agree, for most of the founders in the longevity space the point really is the “longevity” and if they achieve that they’ll be happy (though of course if they achieve longevity improvements, they’ll likely also get the money).
I’ve worked in the tech startup space, and to be honest the longevity startup space is a much more collegial environment. In tech you’re generally trying to beat/crush the competition, but in the longevity space the sentiment seems to be that any “wins” by any group in the field is a win for everyone. Its very different. You’ll notice that there are a ton of collaborations in the longevity field … everyone serving on each other’s boards, working on non-profit and for-profit longevity efforts, etc. Its much less machiavellian than the tech world.
But, to get investors you have to not only sell the longevity, you have to show a good potential ROI.