Talk about a steady decline, how about an overall decay. It's the last vestiges of Pompeii. The spine industry is its own Mount Vesuvius blowing out ash and fire. Who knows maybe one day when they unearth this industry with an archeological dig, we will all learn what happens when one self-immolates.
If we step back and evaluate some of the emerging technologies that have graced the spine industry, we can observe in shear astonishment how some of these products ever reached the marketplace, let alone generated revenue for the inventor and investors. TSB believes that many of you would agree that organic innovation, something that truly was a game changer, no longer exists at the big companies. A game changing technology, something that enhances the clinical outcomes and overall patient's quality of life. If life is movement, and movement is life, then there isn't much movement or life coming out of the spine industry. As more start-ups continue to dump me-too products into the marketplace, the only outcome is lower pricing, lower commissions, lower profit margins, and less focus. The emerging technologies are not coming out of the Medtronics, the Zimmers, the Biomets, the DePuy's, Orthofix, Synthes, or for that matter NuVasive. Is it the people running these companies? Is it our educational system when one looks at the quality of candidates coming out of engineering schools? The smart guys are going to the Street. Could it be cheaper to acquire a product than develop it? Why do people continue to give some of these clowns capital only to find out that they have been played for fools? The spine gravy train has left the station and isn't coming back. Elvis has left the building. Could it be that even the small companies have become myopic? Is the current business model in spine built on selling or brokering?
Look at some of the small companies, once looked upon as incubators for innovation, stagnation has taken over innovation. What is it about inventors, entrepreneurs or investors that inhibits them from bringing a game changer in today's marketplace? Could hope spring eternal? Where are the market-makers, or game-breakers? Every time you assess one of these start-ups you have to question whether the have the stamina to go the distance. The first couple of years, everything is usually status quo until personality flaws start to surface intra-operatively, or one of the big boys figures out a better mouse trap for your own product. Terrible two's suck. How many of you have worked for a company that had a great implant but mediocre instruments? Or, the instruments were beautiful but the implant sucked? Or that the inventor believed that there wasn't anything wrong with the system, and that the surgeon(s) didn't know how to use the instruments or implants or weren't properly trained? FOOL GOLD my fellow bloggers. Based on some of your comments many of these people along with the people that manage these ventures are living in a fantasy world deluded by too many hallucinogens. TSB bets that there are many of you out there that have plenty of stories to share with one another.
Recently some of our sources were in the OR and reported that if one saw the quality of what is being offered as new and innovative technology is...... well......crap at best. Mediocre instruments. Mediocre implants. If you were a surgeon would you want to subject yourself to intra-operative torture? So why have we stooped to this level? Poor management? Financial ineptness? No experience? Bullheadedness? Who wants to wallow in mediocrity, when suicide is painless. So TSB wants to know has anything here seen my old friend Jurgen Harms, can you tell me where he's gone, he designed some interesting things and now I look around and its all gone?
Money has always been important, but maybe there's a lesson to be learned that if you focus on the basics, we can return to some semblance of yesteryear, but then again, as long as human nature plays a role in outcomes, maybe not. TSB can hear that the wind cries help me and wants to know what will it take?