Monday, November 21, 2011

Spine Art?

With the recent barrage of comments regarding Spine Art, TSB decided to send some of our investigative reporters into the Street to identify who is this clandestine operation.  But before we could do any due diligence on this company, it was important to get security clearances for our roving eyes and ears from the CIA.  We started by looking at their website, figuring that a company touting its technology as innovative would be more than happy to let the world see what this innovation is all about.  What we have learned is the Spine Art is developing highly classified stealth like technology that fly's under the radar or under the C-arm. Holding a top-secret security clearance, even TSB was not able to accomplish the task at hand. What we have learned is that Spine Art has classified information that pertains to technology that will affect the national security of both Switzerland, the United States, and potentially the rest of the world.  Having presence in thirty-four countries, it is obvious that this maybe more of a movement than a company, or could it be both?  Actually, our reporters saw them setting up distribution networks in Zucotti Park and Berkeley.  One must question motive when there are no products on display, could this be nothing more than a ruse? So we followed the bouncing ball to the K-wireless website and found a product that was an MIS system that can be utilized wireless we think, or with a wire. At one point we were wondering were we involved in a game of Where's Waldo, when in reality we were involved in a game of Where is Yoda?

So TSB must ask our readers is this a legitimate company?  Do they actually have revenue?  Or is this an organization that is run by a masked man, bunkered down in an Atomic Bomb shelter in the foothills of West Virginia?  Could it be that the Lone Ranger rides again, Hi-O Silver!

85 comments:

  1. They are a real company. They have around $25-30 million in revenues and they are profitable. Most of their international revenues comes from direct salesforces in France, Switzerland, etc.

    The real question is what will they do with the business & what is the potential exit strategy? They don't have any PMAs in the works, in fact they haven't even started an IDE. So, even if they were to establish some penetration into the US market and get consolidated sales to $50 million - what then? The big boys won't value the bulk of their revenue because it still plays in the commodity markets. Their unique products are interesting but they won't see the light of day in the US...

    In fact come to think of it, there are a lot of companies that fall into this bucket... But, they all bit the bullet and did IDEs (Spinal Motion, LDR, Paradigm, etc.). And some haven't started yet (Spinal Kinetics, etc.). And there are many failures that tried to do this, but ran out of money or ran into the FDA wall (Impliant, Archus, Disc Dynamics, Facet Solutions, Disc Motion, Applied Spine, etc.).

    At the end of the day, a company like this must have Level 1 data in a unique product category and displace market share or displace growth at their peers. Only then is an IPO or M&A event possible, in my humble opinion.

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  2. Spine Art is already sold by the network Sanofi-Aventis in Germany.
    The next step will be Sanofi-Aventis taking Spine Art over.

    End of story.

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  3. middle east investors....switzerland.....too much for me. spinefart smells as he is named...

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  4. Even their turn-over is a closely guarded secret, they only provide percentages.

    In other news:
    Former Synthes executive Michael Huggins was sentenced Monday to 9 months in prison with three months probation and a $100,000 fine for his role in the medical device company's illegal promotion and clinical test of bone cements used by doctors in back surgeries, three of which ended with patients dying on the operating table.
    Huggins was the first of four company executives to be sentenced by Judge Lagrome D. Davis in federal district court in Philadelphia. Thomas B. Higgins was scheduled to be sentenced at 11 a.m., with Richard Bohner at 2 p.m. and John Walsh at 5 p.m.

    Chairman of the board and former CEO Hansjorg Wyss was not charged. Prosecutors declined to say why.

    In a proxy statement filed by J&J, the Synthes' contribution included only a couple paragraphs on the bone cement case. Referring to the $24.3 million paid to settle the criminal charges, the company said in the filing, "The payments did not have a material effect on the financial performance or financial position of the group."

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  5. They will do 27,000 procedures in 2011, they are the real deal.

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  6. I'm sure the families of the cement victims find comfort in the fact that the financial position of said companies was not affected. Closure.

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  7. anything happen to the reps?

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  8. Them fookin Frenchies are hard to deal with.

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  9. Spine Art's VP of Sales is Trent Northcutt, a retread from Alphatec & Lanx. Their products include Dynamic PEEK interbody, an artificial cervical disc that will never be approved in US, and me too products.

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  10. They hired a pretty shady rep who likes to add items to charge sheets. Their instruments are the opposite of ergonomically designed.

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  11. Swiss, my friend, Swiss.... Remember the dialogue from The Third Man.

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  12. Harry LIme (Orson Welles):

    "You know what the fellow said – in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

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  13. I heard Trent was let go. I also heard 11:37 wears a penis pump around all day......weird. They can do a T2-Pelvis with 2 trays....including reducers and all de-rotation instruments. They have a lot more products than the website shows, they like being in stealth as the owner was a special forces sniper. Reduced trays, sterile implants, and Swiss made, sounds like a winning recipe for hospitals when Obamacare kicks in. They just bought a Boeing 737 as there corporate jet and designed a new engine that runs on human pheromones. They are run like Apple and share the same design philosophy.

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  14. Update: Two ex-Synthes executives, Michael Huggins and Thomas Higgins, get 9 months in prison

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  15. So 11:48 works for spine art.

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  16. they like being in stealth?!?!?! Great way to sell a product.

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  17. 11:48, are you an idiot?

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  18. 10:03-"They will do 27000 procedures in 2011.". Always love this kind of non-informative statement. What kind of procedures? Where? If they were in France they might not have made 1 euro in profit. But that could be a significant number-so perhaps 10:03 could elucidate

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  19. I meant 270,000 procedures.....sorry.

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  20. I've been in a few spine art cases. Poorly designed instruments to say the least. The rep knew very little about the product and contaminated the sterile back table by resting his elbow on it. True story.

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  21. 11:48- It's "their" not "there".

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  22. Their implants are scanned in the OR directly into the EMR system and patient chart. Reps never lugs 20 trays around and every implant is brand new and sterilized once.

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  23. I read that the ex director of manufacturing at Rolex heads up SpineArt's manufacturing.

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  24. The handle for their tlif cutter is in the shape of a butterfly, making it difficult to use. It's one of the most hilarious things you'll ever see. They only have one or two trays because they don't bring enough instruments to do the surgery. It's as simple as that.

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  25. 12:14 - Where did you read that?

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  26. TLIF cutter......really. What does their pedicle screw putter inner look like? You must be a great resource in the OR. Does the tech laugh when you tell him/ her what instrument to grab?

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  27. Romeo? Juliet? Yoda!?!?!? Seriously.

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  28. I heard their standalone ALIF is going to be named after 12:24's wife. It's going to called the "Jabba the Hut."

    Seriously, this is the best company in Spine to work for. The culture is amazing and makes the job fun again. Everyone talks about what they don't know. I would encourage anyone with talent looking to make a move to consider them. Your job will become enjoyable again.

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  29. 12:18 - I don't work in the OR, pal.

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  30. I live in the midwest and have 11 years experience selling spine implants for one of the big companies. Getting tired of hauling tons of trays for low commission rates. Who's the best person to contact in the Chicago area to discuss possible employment opportunitues with Spine Art?

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  31. 12:32 - Im not your pal, guy.

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  32. Hear that spine art? 12:49 wants to carry your line! Now he didn't have the initiative or intelligence to simply call your HQ and ask who the AVP was. And sure he is probably on a non-compete. But hey, he has a pulse right?

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  33. "Chairman of the board and former CEO Hansjorg Wyss was not charged. Prosecutors declined to say why."

    Why take on a billionaire?

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  34. 12:49 I emailed my resume to the address on the site and they got back to me. I too have been in spine for 12 years and made the switch from one of the big companies. This is the best move I have ever made. The company values its employees and treats them like humans and not a quota.

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  35. OK, 270,000 procedures-that's a big number. Let's say they avg. $2000 per procedure-that's $540 million! Get away from the keyboard and go back to Sesame Street.

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  36. 1:04 don't worry, SpineArt has a way of weeding out the weak. They require all their potential sales people to fight and win a bare knuckle match in Thailand.....much like the movie Bloodsport. If the applicant passes that test and does not suffer brain damage they will enter the second interview. The second interview involves learning a few company secrets and then being tortured for what seems like a month, I am told it's only a few days, until they are sure you cannot be broken. After that all you need to do is wait for the fracture in your jaw to heal and you fingernails to grow back. Then things get really tough.

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  37. Spineart is going to leave the North American market. Put it in the bank.

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  38. I'have heard few VP and sales manager position open at spineart usa. I know couple of surgeons in California using their products and they are totally hooked. MIS system K wireless seems to be very interested. Is anybody aware of the system or where I can find some detailled information?

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  39. from investment banking insider, Spineart probably the only spinal company profitable at the moment!keep your eyes open!

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  40. 1;25pm Ahhh, Sesame Street? 27000 procedures. Mr Pot, let me introduce Mr. Kettle

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  41. They pay alot of guys to use their TLIF implants in my area....

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  42. 1:25, you're not 12:03? Sorry about that, I thought you corrected your number. OK, let's go back to 27000-so you're saying that they are +50 million in sales?

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  43. Spine Art at +50 million in sales? Then how can they be profitable if they pay +60 million to get the docs to use their one instrument tray that contains approx a third of the instruments needed for the surgery?

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  44. In my area spineart does not have a good reputation. Product or personnel. 12:15 is right about their butterfly handles. I've seen docs complain about those on more than one occasion. You really have to see one of those handles to believe it.

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  45. SpineArt is a refreshing mix to old boring spine companies. Although some of what they do on the marketing side falls under the category of ridiculous, they are fun group of people to work with. Zero pressure and a true understanding that spine is a tough market to jump head first into and it takes time to convert business that people label as "me too". They have an interesting twist to the MIS screw system and sterile implants should raise some eyebrows with hospitals. I think they have some legs but it will be years before we can even make an intelligent assessment of the upside.

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  46. 6:25 said: "they are fun group of people to work with. Zero pressure"

    With Trent gone, it probably won't be that way any more.

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  47. With Trent gone.... They can start building some credibility. Alphatec, Allez, Lanx.... Too bad Spine Art got put into that same lump of trash on his resume. I hope the misfit didn't sink thier ship with his childish ways.

    A toast on the way out the door, "Up to it, Down to it, Those who don't way to do it, Must be FIRED once more!"

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  48. My hero...
    http://www.cambridgewhoswho.com/Members/NY/Trent-Northcutt-1389977.html

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  49. Anyone who questions if SpineArt is innovative needs their head examined. Many of their implants use metals, coatings and materials never used before in orthopedics. They have 2 devices launching in Europe that are completely new technology.

    There will be in IDE, it's a matter of collecting more data around the world and choosing which technology to move forward with. Companies will always make mistakes. They should be judged on how quickly they correct course.

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  50. SpineFart just fired their senior leadership in the US. Are they closing shop here and going back to the land of Surrender Monkeys?

    Do you know why they have trees on the side of the road in France? To shade the Germans as they invade their country! Goodnight ladies and gentlemen!

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  51. Maybe they're surrendering again, this time in the US! Do you know what the French salute is? Two arms straight up in th air! Looks like this: lol

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  52. US spine company like Nuvasive, Alphatech, Trans1, and the others never made any profit and the big boys pump money from stock markets and don't give a shit about long term strategy but this things are changing fast and the end is close! Only profitable players will survive!

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  53. Maybe they're surrendering again, this time in the US! Do you know what the French salute is? Two arms straight up in th air! Looks like this: lol

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  54. Sure, none of the US player is ready for Obamacare and its 50% cuts in prices!

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  55. Most Spineart fund come from an agreement between Swiss autorities and US governement! I have heard this was a deal between Swiss and America in the the settlement of undisclosed US citizen accounts in Switzerland.

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  56. that's why they keep everything so secret! fuckin Swiss

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  57. No SENIOR leadership was fired only mid level. The only big thing fired recently was a giant load in 10:50's anus. Numbers and profitability don't lie.

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  58. The Laughing PolicemanNovember 22, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    "The only big thing fired recently was a giant load in 10:50's anus. "

    without question, the greatest line ever posted to this site.

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  59. NUVA is below $13. Wow!

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  60. Who was fired? Cochran and waters level? Or above?

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  61. US never surrenders, they leave the space, put a flag to their windows and make money with movies of their big failure! Soon you'll see tons of movies about the dead of rotten finance and the useless hedgefunds they have created! Burried buy their own shit! a bit sad actually!

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  62. All I know is that 2 Distributor Douchbags in Oregon carry it for their money-hungry surgoens who are pay for play, so what does that tell you...

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  63. just Cochran and Northcutt apparently. They have 5 positions open at the moment and are preparing the launch of 3 new products early 2012.

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  64. Funny 5:15 u mentioned about money. I used to work for Nuva and 90% of my surgeons were under fake consulting contracts! Never heard about such proportion with any spine company!

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  65. All I know is 5:15 pays dudes to give them blumpkins while he tries to recite the Gettysburg address. I guess that would make him pay for play.

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  66. I have heard several docs try the wireless stuff but it can be hard to keep the tube in place. Then the surgeon can't find the hole. Not for everybody.

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  67. The only reference I have heard about the company is from a fairly new practicing Ortho Spine Surgeon who was offered design team participation on the entire portfolio. In a stroke of complete astonishment, they happened to offer the deal to one of the few Spine Surgeons around that sticks to his ethics about corporate involvement. How many times will these companies (speaking of pretty much every company working right now) re-design the same tired pedicle screw and put the high target volume guys on some type of design team... how much more "design" do you need for a product that has been copied 200+ times? The only thing that keeps me in this business is the off chance that I will run into and be able to work with those few Surgeons (as referenced above) who actually give a damn.

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  68. 8:12 that is a complete crock of shit. Maybe the local rep made the offer, but all the products were developed in Switzerlands before they entered the U.S. so no royalty points are available and there are no design teams. Trust me I know. Not to mention he claims the offer was made on the entire portfolio....really? Does that make any sense? Come on 8:12 I expect more from you, if things don't make sense they are probably not true. I have to run as SpineArt is testing a new teleportation device that runs on negative earning reports from other spine companies.

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  69. Best line so far 11:55

    "Come on 8:12 I expect more from you..." Ha!

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  70. I agree with 8:12 because i know of a couple of docs that are friends and spine art has offered the same thing and I Know one getting paid on TLIF implants>>>>>>

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  71. 3:37 You have surgeons that tell about the deals they have? I am calling BS on that. Not to mention no royalties are paid on the TLIF cage stupid. What geography are you located?

    I heard from a doctor friend that the first time you heard Trans1 referred to as the butt screw you offered to take the place of the cadaver in the lab.

    SpineArt has a simple recipe for gaining business......only hire A players. B+ non thinkers will not survive long.

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  72. This blog has become an industry mouthpiece for companies' shameless self promoting. So much of what is being said on here smacks of planted comments. Spine Art is just like any other company. They want business and dont care how they have to get it. Its about survival. Everyone feels that way. From mdt to spine art people are starving. Good salesmen are hard to come by. Good salesmen with no noncompete are impossible to find. Nothing bends an ear like a dollar. I dont begrudge them survivng by this model but i beg you. Keep the "our company is awesome" talk @ the surgeon lunches.

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  73. I am a spine surgeon offered "points" with SpineArt. You naysayers are wrong. 8:12 and his buddies are correct. Because of so many surgeons looking for a way to make a buck, my fear is this is the only way for a company to gain market share. So talk all you want about innovations, etc. It's about who pays how much...

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  74. This is not shameless self promotion rather a group uniformed people making negative comments out of fear. My responses were posted not out of spite rather to prove a point that it is easy to comment on something I know nothing about....and hopefully be humorous.

    Everyone is focused on pricing, competition and ultimately their individual salaries. You are all missing the point and must realize this is not only a healthcare problem, traditional business practices must fundamentally change. Having individual bosses being solely responsible for company goals worked great to increase profits and productivity in the 20th century but killed innovation and alienated the workforce. 4 out of 5 workers are not engaged in their job and simply follow company protocol so they receive a paycheck. Companies need to focus less on profits and top down management and more on creating a team that is aligned with 1 common goal.....delighting the customer. By tapping the entire team true innovation can occur. How many of you are involved in strategy and product development at a corporate level? if your company is cutting people and outsourcing manufacturing they are run by bean counters and will continue to loose marketshare until they correct their course

    I want a job that is meaningful and allows me to contribute and make a difference, not just be given a number I must hit to not get fired. I am lucky to work with a company and individuals I believe in so much I am wiling to defend it/them like they are family. Any company that can instill that kind of passion in it's employees is destined to innovate and ultimately be left with the best possible team. If you don't believe me ask yourself how apple devices, that were considered commodity items, managed to change so may aspects of our lives.

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  75. 4:38 ....A players bs it how much spine art will pay.....thats what they do in VA,MD and DC market.....

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  76. 4:38 How would you know that? Did you loose the business or are you that tuned in to every surgeon on the east coast? A. You lie B. does the company you work for pay surgeons to develop products?

    I have a question and please be honest.
    Are you great at what you do....are you better then your competition? Do you command respect and have a history of being a winner in business? Are you up at 2am emailing ideas back and fourth with your team? Are you one of the few with any vision?

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  77. 4:38 to answer questions yes I was the best spine rep in the area. I was always better then competition...I retired out of spine ..started a new chapter in cardio....So I talk to some of my old loyal spine guys .....

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  78. 8:55 If you are in cardio how do you know so much about company deals with surgeons in multiple states? Smells a little fishy.

    I am glad you were the best rep but obviously you lost the passion and moved to cardio. I was asking if you are a thinker and made a difference in the industry other than creating revenue. Maybe your company never gave you the opportunity which is why you left. Or maybe you weren't as good as you thought you were.

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  79. No one who is any good at spine leaves. If you were any good and wanted to get into cardio you would pick up the products on the side and continue with both your existing spine and new cardio line. If the cardio line was proprietary, then you would become a direct rep and have a coverage guy do the spine one on the back end for you. If your any good at spine, you would make around 1 mil annually. Your comment leads me to believe you are either an idiot or a liar. I'm guessing you are a liar.

    P.S. id give you the playbook but you only get to be the top 1% by exploiting others.

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  80. I must say, you’ve got one of the best blogs I’ve seen in a long time. We at Kerlan-Jobe specialize in helping people on the go stay healthy and active. In fact, we've been so successful that we've developed affiliations with numerous professional athletes and have served as team physicians for most of Southern California's professional sports teams. For more info visit us www.kerlanjobe.com

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  81. 11/23 @ 10:33-Kerlan Jobe? Seriously? Jae Chon the guy who used Dynesis on everyone for no reason and now uses ONLY PHYGEN b/c he lost all his Alez and CCDH (RIP) money? Stick to Sports Medicine and refer your Spine patients to D.I.S.C or Team Watkins and leave the forum due to dumb self promotion...Get some class...

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  82. Spine art was set to fail with the Vp Of Sales. He failed at LS, Blackstone!

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  83. Following this post I visited the Spineart booth at the DWG in Germany earlier this week (they are distributed by Sanofi-Aventis there). I can confirm they have a very comprehensive range of products in Europe including a cervical and lumbar disc prothesis. They were launching a MIS system without K-wire, a dynamic interspinous system and a long construct extension to their fusion products. They had also brought a Mini Cooper on the booth to show how the sets for their dozen or so products could fit in the trunk of the car!

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  84. Spine Art! Really awesome writing. Great stuffs shared. Nice sharing and keep posting.

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