Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Greatest Show on Earth!

In 1871 Dan Castellano and William Coup persuaded PT Barnum to lend his name and financial backing to the circus that they had already created. The circus was called "P.T. Barnum's Great Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan, and Hippodrome." The moniker "Greatest Show on Earth" was later added.

Today, spine has it's own P.T. Barnum and "Greatest Show on Earth." Our P.T. Barnum is Tony Viscogliosi and the greatest show in spine is Paradigm Spine and Centinel Spine. TSB understands that you can't argue with success, especially when it comes down to raising capital. Yet, any "sane person" must ask; "How dysfunctional are these people?" The attrition rate at these companies is staggering when one looks at the collateral damage that is left in the wake of progress. Listening to the V Brothers speak is almost like listening to Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs tell the Sunday Times of London they are a virtuous organization, providing social utility and doing God's work. Can someone please give us a break! Enough with the stories about your childhood experiences molding who you are, and what your mission is in life. It's the insanity in your behavior that makes us wonder.

TSB always asks the same question, what is the definition of insanity. As Einstein said, "it's doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Well, TSB was informed by a little bird that the V Brothers are at it again. The word on the street is that Michael Will is the new President at Centinel Spine. Haven't we seen this one man comedy act before? It was called "The Emperor Has No Clothes!" If there is any truth to this rumor, run for your lives because it is like the "giant vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel that smells like money!"

TSB is starting to wonder what's in the Kool-Aid on Park Avenue?


  1. I agree that hiring Michael Will was not a great move. However, there are 2 sides to every story and it remains to be seen what Will can do for Sentinel, and it seems like CEOs have to do 15 great things to erase 1 or 2 bad. However,after the Corrance fiasco, I would have liked to see a better hire from a PR perspective, but that can only be taken into consideration so much.

    All that said, this commentary seems somewhat menstrual. The attrition rate at VB cannot be said to be any worse or better than most of the companies in spine. In an industry that has had an incredible amount of growth and movement the past years, combined with the national average job tenure now less than 4 years, most spine companies have had significant attrition.

    SmithNephew, Alphatec, Medtronic, Globus, Synthes, and many more have probably had greater attrition rates. And this is the big leagues, there is always collateral damage, but its not staggering. Life goes on and everyone keeps selling.

    And attacking the story Tony tells seems silly. You have attacked doctors for "commercializing medicine" and being in it only for the money, and yet when VB has an additional story behind why they are in the business...its a joke??? I am not saying these guys are spotless (no one is), but classifying them as dysfunctional isn't accurate.

    Park Avenue has a lot on their plate and has done a great job "selling the story" and raising money. The last piece is the operational side of things, and they have faired well. Paradigm Spine has a had good tenure, MCRA has a great team, and SBI and Centinel are no worse than anyone else.

    This sounds more like you have a personal issue with Tony, Mark or John.

  2. Spine Search: Never have worked for the V Brothers, never would! Coincidentally, if you are placing candidates for VB, I respectfully wouldn't expect you to say anything less. It's not just the attrition rate, it's the way V Brothers treat people. Just because you know how to raise capital or sell a technology, doesn't mean you have operational or people skills. The story gets old when you pour Cristal and smoke Cohiba's leveraging other peoples capital. Selling "the story" is what it's all about. Nothing menstrual purely a clinical analysis.