Cryptocurrency investors tend to be dog lovers, while gold bugs prefer cats, study shows

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  • Crypto holders are more likely to be dog lovers – and gold investors tend to be cat people, a study found.
  • Only about one-fourth of all crypto investors are women, highlighting a massive gender disparity.
  • More gold investors are likely to be married with children, while crypto holders tend to be single.
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Cryptocurrency holders are more likely to be dog-friendly, while those who lean on gold tend to be fans of cats, according to research by crypto exchange Xcoins.

As many as 45% of gold investors were found more likely to own a cat, and about 44% of crypto investors had a tendency to have dogs, data showed.

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Another notable highlight of the research is that only 28% of people that hold crypto are women, confirming the wide belief that the industry is male-dominated – with 72% of them being men. Meanwhile, gold investors are almost evenly split between men and women.

Data published by eEtoro last month showed only 15% of bitcoin traders are women. Although that’s a slight increase from the beginning of 2020, it still highlights the massive gender imbalance in the cryptocurrency world.

Xcoins’ CEO said it was important to bridge the gap between gender groups to facilitate mainstream adoption. “If bitcoin is to succeed in the mainstream, then it needs support from all demographics,” CEO Rob Frye said. “No-one is stopping women from entering, or investing the crypto space, but little is being done to encourage them either.”

Xcoins’ study also found that younger people aged between 16 and 34 are more likely to invest in cryptocurrencies, while those inclined towards gold are older than 34. This highlighted differences in investors’ marital status, showing gold investors are more likely to be married with children, while crypto investors tend to be single with no children.

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Early Tesla investor is worried about competition encroaching on Elon Musk from all sides

Elon Musk
  • Steve Westly said Tesla is facing an increasingly crowded electric-car market.
  • The former board member said Tesla could lose buyers to companies like General Motors or Volkswagen.
  • Tesla is looking to make a cheaper vehicle and expand its market in other countries like China.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Former Tesla board member Steve Westly said the company is facing off against a lot of competition from other automakers that have dived into the electric-car market.

“Tesla is not going to be king of the hill in electric forever,” Westly told CNBC on Tuesday.  

Westly was an early Tesla investor and has often been bullish on the company’s prospects, but said the electric carmaker will need to “double down” in order to fend off competition. 

In particular, the former board member referenced recent electric-vehicle efforts from major automotive companies, including General Motors and Volkswagen.

“They’re getting competition from all sectors,” Westly said, citing electric cars from luxury brands like Audi and Porsche, as well as less expensive vehicles from companies like Nio and Li Auto in China.

Several EV startups have also started to crowd the market. Lucid Motors, Fisker, and Rivian have already attracted billions of dollars in Wall Street investments.

In February, a J.D. Power study found that many new electric car buyers are considering companies outside of Tesla.

“One could argue this indicates that, while Tesla’s appeal is clearly formidable, it’s not absolute and could be displaced by a worthy alternative,” said Stewart Stropp, senior director of automotive retail, in J.D. Power’s press release.

Despite Westly’s doubts, Tesla’s shares have risen more than 650% in the past year. The company’s revenue increased in 2020 from $24.6 billion to $31.5 billion, but it missed Wall Street’s fourth-quarter projections by 20%.

Tesla’s earnings have Musk vying for the position of the richest man in the world.

Some investors see Tesla’s over $700 billion market value as overinflated. “Big Short” investor Michael Burry revealed he was short Tesla in December and called its stock price “ridiculous.”

Tesla has long been working to compete with more affordable electric cars, as well as the Chinese market. Tesla plans to design a $25,000 car and has expanded its manufacturing plants into China’s lucrative EV market, building a Shanghai Gigafactory.

The company has seen success in China. In 2020, Tesla doubled its revenue in the Chinese market.

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A cofounder who sold his company for nearly $20 million on how to make investors feel like their input matters so they take a chance on you

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Ask for feedback and demonstrate how this feedback has been incorporated into the development process.

Years ago, I came across a designer named Michelle who was incredibly in demand within her company. People would fight to have her on their team. I later discovered that while people liked Michelle’s creativity, they loved her process even more.

After sharing a set of design options, Michelle always gathered input from the room. Then, in a follow-up meeting, she would go down the checklist of feedback, item by item, and show how she had incorporated their thoughts into the newest design. Or, if she had decided not to use the feedback, she would share her reasons why. People didn’t always agree with Michelle, but they always felt heard. Their input mattered, and they felt like insiders in her process.

Recently, June Cohen said something that really made Michelle’s story click. Cohen, the former head of media for TED and current CEO of WaitWhat, explained that in order to chart a truly epic career, “You need to make everyone you enlist a hero, not just in your story, but in their own.” In the “Wizard of Oz,” Dorothy enlists the help of the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and the Lion – by making them the hero of their own stories. Cohen says, “If the Scarecrow didn’t have a chance of getting a brain, if the Tin Man couldn’t get a heart – they wouldn’t have braved those attacks from flying monkeys!”

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Backable.

To feel like heroes, we need to know that what we said and what we did made an impact. Penelope Burk is a renowned fundraising researcher who showed the difference it makes when we truly feel that way. More than twenty years ago, Burk noticed that nonprofit leaders were spending the majority of their time and resources recruiting new donors instead of keeping the ones they already had. As a result, nearly 70% of an average charity’s backers would never give again, and nonprofit leaders would constantly be rebuilding their donor bases from scratch.

“It didn’t make any sense,” Burk told me. So she decided to study what would happen if a charity spent real time and effort cultivating existing donor relationships. In her experiment, Burk isolated a set of people who had given to a national health charity.

If you were a part of this test group, you received a personal phone call from a member of the board of directors. During this call, you were not asked for more money. This was a critical point – the call wasn’t being used to sell you again, but rather to express sincere gratitude. You received a heartfelt thank you for your support, and you learned how your contribution was making a difference. After those phone calls were placed, Burk waited to see which donors stuck around.

What she found was astounding. Two years later, 70% of the people who had received the phone call from a board member were still giving to the organization, compared to just 18% of those who hadn’t. To top it off, donors who remained were now giving 42% more than they had at the start.

When Burk shared those results with me, I asked her how one simple phone call could make such a huge difference. She answered my question, in part, by reading a thank-you letter she happened to have sitting on her desk. It was written from one community organizer to another, and the first paragraph began: “We know it’s often your role to do the work of making donors and volunteers feel like heroes . . . and they no doubt are.”

Helping people understand their impact isn’t a business concept, it’s a human concept. We all want to feel as though what we said and what we did mattered. If you’re a backer, that can be as simple as knowing your input was heard   and utilized – whether that’s for a mission, a strategy, or a product.

I got my first glimpse of this in politics. In high school, I knocked on doors for a local politician named John Dingell, and I still remember the annoyed looks on people’s faces when I’d ring their doorbell on a Sunday afternoon. By the tail end of the campaign, people’s irritation grew because their homes had been visited multiple times by campaign workers who had handed them the same piece of literature. “If you give me one more of these pamphlets, I’m voting for the other guy,” said one suburban dad.

A decade later, when I was canvassing for another candidate, smartphones had changed everything. Before knocking on a door, I could pull up an app and know the issues that mattered most to that voter because we had taken notes the last time we visited the home. I would say something like “From the last time we chatted, I know you care deeply about K-through-12 education. Can I give you an update on some of the progress we’re making on that front?” As a result, there were fewer door slams and more quality conversations. Voters felt like they were being listened to – that what they said mattered.

We don’t typically win people over in one conversation, but through a series of interactions that builds trust and confidence. Even if the last conversation went poorly, you can use the next one to show them how they influenced your work. This type of follow-up is so powerful that it can often change a backer’s response from no to yes.

Brian Wood is an innovation strategist at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which is part of the US Department of Defense. He explained to me, in layman’s terms, an internal project he created called Conduit, which used artificial intelligence to help the agency make better decisions more efficiently. But when he pitched decision makers at the Pentagon, they rejected the idea, expressing a laundry list of concerns.

Instead of getting defensive, Wood listened carefully to the feedback. He took detailed notes and created a checklist of things he’d need to address before he returned. Then, weeks later, he scheduled a follow-up meeting.

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Suneel Gupta.

Just as Michelle the designer had done at a high-tech company, Wood walked Pentagon officials through a modified version of his prototype, showing them exactly how their feedback had been incorporated. When Wood finished his demo, he saw a room full of surprised faces. When he asked if everything was okay, one of the officers cleared his throat and said, “Everything’s fine. It’s just . . . no one ever comes back.”

Unlike Wood, I never thought to go back to the investors who said no to Rise. That is, until I met an old friend from law school for coffee. Andy patiently listened to me complain about how everyone was passing on my idea. When I was finished, he leaned back in his chair a bit and looked off into the distance for a moment. Then he asked a one-word question: “Why?”

“Why what?” I asked.

“Why did they pass?” he said.

“Because they didn’t like the idea,” I said, feeling a slight irritation.

“Yes, but why? Why didn’t they like the idea?” he pressed.

At that moment, it occurred to me that I hadn’t really asked investors who passed why they had passed. Typically, I had received a short email saying something like “Sorry. It’s just not the right fit for us.” But I hadn’t followed up and probed further into why.

Later that day, I took Andy’s advice and reached out to all the investors who had passed on Rise and asked them what it would have taken for them to say yes. A few of them responded with their version of “Nothing. Just not the right fit for us.” But others responded with substantive notes, offering feedback such as “We would have liked to have seen more numbers around retention” or “We’d like to see the engineering team built out a little more so we know you can build a strong consumer product.”

Without asking the question, I never would have received the feedback. And now that I had a clear direction, I knew how to adjust our road map to focus on customer retention and engage a recruiter to help us find engineering talent. About a month later, I emailed those same investors and asked if they’d be willing to take a quick follow-up meeting. I began each of those meetings by restating the concerns they shared and, as soon as that happened, I could feel the room relax. They knew in that moment that I wasn’t going to waste their time regurgitating the exact same pitch. 

Then, like Brian Wood inside the Pentagon and Michelle inside her design room, I showed how I had modified our approach using their input and the results we had so far. The new pitch didn’t always work, but two venture capitalists who had previously told me no became early investors in Rise.

Excerpted from BACKABLE by Suneel Gupta. Copyright © 2021 by Suneel Gupta. Reprinted with permission of Little, Brown and Company. All rights reserved.

Suneel Gupta is the cofounder of Rise and teaches Innovation on faculty at Harvard University. Using the 7 steps inside this book, Suneel went from being the face of failure for the New York Times to being the “New Face of Innovation” for the New York Stock Exchange. His ideas have been backed by firms like Greylock and Google Ventures, and he has invested in startups including Airbnb, Calm, and SpaceX.

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