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  • #31
    Originally posted by djknox View Post

    Personally, I think you are mixing different things here - I never said that humans cannot exhibit integrity, or a calling beyond their personal interests. I did say that when it comes to business, people cash out - it doesn't make them bad people... but I will agree with you that it doesn't make them Gandhi either! If you don't think humans are extremely self serving in their actions, agendas etc... you MUST be living on a different planet than Earth! And if you are an alien, could you not help us out a little with this autosomal dna technology lol! It would be nice to extract some ancestry from it!
    Well, you did write that "Everyone sells out given the opportunity." (my bolding again) That certainly seems to indicate that you think that ultimately no one is immune to what you call greed.

    I can assure you that I am human, born here on our planet. At least my birth certificate says so. But I don't think that, while cynicism is one way that humans think, it's the best way to look at humanity. It lowers expectations and generally gives you what it tells you to expect - not much that does good.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by gtc View Post
      Exactly, and as I said earlier every businesses is for sale at the right price. However, I don't characterize that as "greed" to use your term, which the dictionary defines as:

      noun: excessive desire to acquire or possess more (especially more material wealth) than one needs or deserves

      noun: reprehensible acquisitiveness; insatiable desire for wealth (personified as one of the deadly sins)

      The founder-owners of FTDNA, both of whom have MBA's, are experienced businessmen. Bennett Greenspan operated a successful industrial photographic supplies business before his wife convinced him to get into genetic genealogy to advance his already keen genealogical interests.

      Fair enough if you wish to coin the term "greed" as too strong... but I find it curious how actions that are otherwise considered suspect are always considered acceptable in the realm of capitalism. I did also use the expression "looking out for no 1"... which is maybe a little different from greed. But I think we digress as it was never my intent to question the character of the owners of this company... just state reality that money talks...except for Gandhi lol.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by MMaddi View Post
        Well, you did write that "Everyone sells out given the opportunity." (my bolding again) That certainly seems to indicate that you think that ultimately no one is immune to what you call greed.

        I can assure you that I am human, born here on our planet. At least my birth certificate says so. But I don't think that, while cynicism is one way that humans think, it's the best way to look at humanity. It lowers expectations and generally gives you what it tells you to expect - not much that does good.
        OK splitting hairs... not 100% "EVERYONE" but "stastically relevant EVERYONE". As this site does deal with anthropolgy at times, you would be well served to recognize that all life, and especially humans as a species, have always acted in a self-serving way even in the light of overwhelming moral questionability. If it were not so, the Chinese wouldn't be forcing Tigers and Sharks into extinction, the Japanese and Norwegians wouldn't be hunting whales to the brink, Americans wouldn't have slaughtered their fellow man in pursuit of acquiring lands further and further west, and Syrians wouldn't be slaughtering each other today over the pursuit of power.

        Sure, call this not greed... and by all means... "always look on the bright side of life, whistle whistle whistle whistle whistle...."

        Anyway, it would not surprise me to see these companies merge due to reasons already cited.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by djknox View Post
          ... Anyway, it would not surprise me to see these companies merge due to reasons already cited.
          Guess I missed something. Other than your desires what are the reasons that FTDNA and Ancestry SHOULD combine that would be of benefit to both the combined companies and to the person with the purse facilitating such a merger?
          Last edited by tomcat; 29 October 2012, 12:25 AM.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by tomcat View Post
            Guess I missed something. Other than your desires what are the reasons that FTDNA and Ancestry SHOULD combine that would be of benefit to both the combined companies and to the person with the purse facilitating such a merger?
            SURVIVAL. Once the cat's out of the bag on the serious limitations current genetics has to helping mainstream genealogy, only through the pooling of research efforts and the sharing of market access via a common database will sufficient advances sustain growth. The current "dna" products are woefully weak to sustain the business otherwise. Ancestry.com will survive because genealogy is becoming of great interest to many as a hobby... and they have the entire globe to expand into. But familytreedna is limited to GENETIC GENEALOGY... and once the tires are kicked, there ain't much genealogy... leaving non medical genetics as the only appeal (and good luck with THAT commercial model).

            Ah well, then again, people who bought iPhone 4 do go out and buy iPhone 5... so provided genetic genealogy appeals to the same incomprehensible part of the human brain that motivates the i4 to i5 expenditure... familytreedna will do ok. Otherwise - MERGE.

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            • #36
              Although it is difficult to quantify relative advantages, I think both Ancestry and FTDNA are in a position to grow their business.

              Ancestry through the conversion of their records research user base to an autosomaly-tested user base and through new subscribers drawn-in by their expanded test capability.

              FTDNA through their conversion of Genographic 2.0 testees to the more genealogically-relevant Family Finder, Y, Mt tests, matching and project capabilities as well as new users and the conversion of 23&Me results to FF profiles.

              In my opinion, in order for 23&Me to advance in the genealogy market, they need to erect a 'Chinese wall' between Health and Genealogy with different sets of privacy rules on either side.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by tomcat View Post
                In my opinion, in order for 23&Me to advance in the genealogy market, they need to erect a 'Chinese wall' between Health and Genealogy with different sets of privacy rules on either side.
                Yes -- plus they must also lift the cap on Relative Finder matches, and better address matching for Ashkenazi and partially Ashkenazi people. In the end, phasing of data would also be a huge help to genealogists as well as to medical research.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by djknox View Post
                  SURVIVAL. Once the cat's out of the bag on the serious limitations current genetics has to helping mainstream genealogy, only through the pooling of research efforts and the sharing of market access via a common database will sufficient advances sustain growth. The current "dna" products are woefully weak to sustain the business otherwise.
                  Your argument, other than your argument from your own interests, seems to be that better tests and/or better test analytics will grow the genealogical testing market. I don't see the evidence for that, what I see is a very small enthusiast market, slowly growing and served by boutique providers.

                  There was nothing in the world like the 23&Me test when it launched at a retail price of $1000. and four years in, after numerous price discounts, repeated sales and distribution of thousands of free kits, 23&Me numbers just 150,000 users MOST OF WHOM ARE NOT INTERESTED IN GENEALOGY.
                  Last edited by tomcat; 30 October 2012, 02:10 PM.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by tomcat View Post
                    In my opinion, in order for 23&Me to advance in the genealogy market, they need to erect a 'Chinese wall' between Health and Genealogy with different sets of privacy rules on either side.
                    I agree 100%.

                    However, the problem I see for them is that 23andMe's business raison d'etre is to mine personal genomes for medical purposes, so their key selling messages are based around that and that's what's built their business and I think continues to build it.

                    (And I think that FTDNA has been very wise to make the clear distinction that it's not in the health business.)

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by gtc View Post
                      However, the problem I see for them is that 23andMe's business raison d'etre is to mine personal genomes for medical purposes, so their key selling messages are based around that and that's what's built their business and I think continues to build it.
                      Last time I checked the TOS testees agree by default to allow such genomic mining without subsequent notification or any promise of benefit, so that part of the business plan is baked-in for all users.

                      What I am suggesting is that the Ancestry/Genealogy side be as open as FamilyFinder or AncestryDNA while the Health stay locked-down. Any testee could elect to play in both the Health and Ancestry/Genealogy sandboxes, or just one. If they elect both they select different usernames for each sandbox.

                      23&Me could even knock-out from Ancestry/Genealogy genomes those SNP's associated with health traits, reserving the total genomic profile for Health alone, and reducing the Ancestry/Genealogy genomes to the coverage offered by Family Finder.

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                      • #41
                        I think there is no hope for 23&me to play in both health and genealogy markets. They will converge to health testing only... and I think in that market they can do very very well. Geneaology is already dominated by Ancestry... and their success should continue. That leaves FTDNA to specialize in genetic anthropology and/or genealogy. The first I don't think is big enough to sustain a healthy business... so that means they must be viable in the latter: genetic genealogy. They had a big head start on Ancestry.com... but IMHO they are losing it very fast for the simple reason that Ancestry IS IN THE GENEALOGY BUSINESS... and for the reasons i've discussed (see Success Stories under Family Finder board), genetic genealogy alone is very very weak. Genetic Genealogy NEEDs traditional genealogy to be of benefit... thus Ancestry will pull away fast UNLESS FTDNA develops more advanced technologies... but that can be very slow and expensive - thus back to my assertion that FTDNA would be well-served to tap-into the Ancestry customer base.

                        I think its a shame that Ancestry is trying to develop its own autosomal mousetrap when the two companies could have worked out an agreement to be collaberative, building on FTDNA's tools. If collaberation is not on the menu, then acquisition or decline ultimately will be... and for reasons just stated above, FTDNA are more vulnerable than is Ancestry. Forget about 23&Me... they're soon out of the genealogy game.

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                        • #42
                          I've just sold three of my five Geno 2.0 kits to people who never would have tested with Ancestry because they have absolutely no interest in finding new cousins. However, all of them are in academe, they're interested in deep ancestry, and they're familiar with National Geographic; that's what convinced them to test. I hope they'll transfer their results here, and then do the STR testing as well.

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                          • #43
                            With all of the dissing of 23andMe in some quarters, a counter view is in order:

                            23andMe Total Matches: 641
                            23andMe Communicating: 161

                            FT-DNA Family Finder Total Matches: 77
                            FT-DNA Family Finder Communicating: 0

                            FT-DNA Full Mitochondrial Sequence Matches: 1 (HVR1)
                            FT-DNA Full Mitochondrial Sequence Communicating: 0
                            23andMe Maternal Haplogroup Matches: 2
                            23andMe Maternal Haplogroup Communicating: 2

                            FT-DNA Y-DNA 111-Marker Matches: 1
                            FT-DNA Y-DNA 67-Marker Matches: 6
                            FT-DNA Y-DNA 37-Marker Matches: 3
                            FT-DNA Y-DNA 25-Marker Matches: 15
                            FT-DNA Y-DNA 12-Marker Matches: 317
                            FT-DNA Y-DNA Communicating: 1 (67-Markers)

                            23andMe Paternal Haplogroup Matches: 7
                            23andMe Paternal Haplogroup Communicating: 7

                            The bottomline is that roughly twice as many 23andMe matches communicate with me than FT-DNA customers have relevant matches with me. This is not a knock on FT-DNA. To the contrary, I just sent off my Geno 2.0 sample this morning. This is to say that biomedical research focus notwithstanding, 23andMe does a fantastic job in DNA genealogy.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by MFWare View Post
                              With all of the dissing of 23andMe in some quarters, a counter view is in order:

                              23andMe Total Matches: 641
                              23andMe Communicating: 161
                              About 25%, one of the better success rates for 23&Me, many others' are lower.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by djknox View Post
                                ... FTDNA would be well-served to tap-into the Ancestry customer base.
                                Just read the Ancestry TOS that mentions the importation of genome scan data, no promises, just a mention. Expect their preference is to sell their own test but if sales slow, importation is a way to pump-up the db and the subscription rolls.

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