In retrospect, I had to think long and hard as I went down my list of the Usual Suspects. My criteria was companies generating $50 million or less. Here were the nominees: Allez-Spine, Atlas Spine, Choice Spine, Custom Spine, Eminent Spine, Hydrocision, LDR Spine, Life Spine, Medicrea, Pioneer, Sea Spine, Spine Wave, U.S. Spine, Ulrich, Vertiflex, Vertecor, and X-Spine. As our readers can tell most of these companies have hardware, and most are playing in a zero-sum market with the exception of Hydrocision (Hey Doug, after so many years can you figure out how to get a billing code on your product). Yet, one company does stand out. As Randy Jackson would say, "Dog, you are the bomb!"
In seven years, Sea Spine has developed a business model that should elevate them INXS of $50 million dollars in revenues. So how did they achieve this? The old fashioned way, HARD WORK and FOCUS! First they built a foundation, then framed the house before adding the roof. For those of you that have never worked in construction, that's how it's done. No outside investment capital, a solid core of managers (yes, I do know some of them, but I do not work for them), and a talented CEO who knows about leadership and developing a guiding coalition. I don't expect many of the above companies to agree with my assessment because of the envy that exists in our industry. But let's acknowledge that this company has sustained continuity during some of the most turbulent times in our industry.
As it stands many of the above companies either have incomplete product portfolios, weak management teams and boards, some so old they may not make it to the next board meeting, or they have surrounded themselves with industry insiders, people who cannot think out of the box.
So when you walk by the booth this November at NASS, take a good look at Sea Spine and you may see a reflection of what you can be when you grow up. PS: Always remember what the Spine Blogger says, "there's nothing about a beauty contest on the scorecard!" The Spine Blogger wants to know what its readers think?