Saturday, March 2, 2013

Hey, Microsoft, I Wanna Be Your Consultant

Time reported on findings by the assistant inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, given to a Senate committee: between 2002 and 2006 $800 million was paid to 6,500 'consultants' by implantable medical device manufacturers that control 75% of the marketplace. $52 billion of such medical devices are sold.

There are 600,000 knee replacements each year and 285,000 hip replacements each year. The manufacturers then paid roughly $160 per procedure for consulting. In January 2009, there were 20,345 orthopedic surgeons in the US. These men and women were paid  on average $8,000/yr to be a consultant. Not everyone has a contract, perhaps. Remember there are 6,500 agreements (maybe some with physician groups). Each contract is worth over $24,000/yr. What'd they do for that money? Modify the designs? Or simply market and promote them? Maybe they filled out a customer survey or gave other feedback. (No wonder they have nice homes, cars, boats, etc.) Maybe they filled out 43 survey cards each year, one for each surgery.

Time goes onto suggest that many receive stock options or have invested in their suppliers, and other conflicts of (public) interest.

I thought, "This is a good deal. If those who dominate the marketplace ensure their dominance by paying their customers, I need to be open to this." So here's my plea:

Google--I'd be willing to fill out 52 survey cards for $12,000/yr. (I know your revenues are only slightly less than IMD's) and you have more users, but hey, I'm here for you, big guy.

Microsoft--I'd be willing to fill out 52 survey cards for $15,000/yr. (I not only use Windows 7 or 8 but I'm also a user of MS Office and Money Plus and ...(you get the idea). Besides you probably don't make as much profit as Medtronic, St. Jude's Medical, Stryker and other medical device firms.

Starbucks, Apple, Ford, Campbell's: you guys are next. Wanna stay market dominant? Pay up. I'm not using your guys' products for free, you know. Side note to e-Rewards and other services: You are too small-time for me now. Instead of earning 50 cents or a few bucks for surveys, I'm heading for the pot of gold at the end of the consulting rainbow.

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