“My Product Strategy? Zero Compromises”


with Daniel Lubetzky, Inc. Magazine

By Jeff Haden | Reviewed by Michael Vacon, PT

In the December 2013/January 2014 issue of Inc. Magazine, Jeff Haden contributed an article for their Innovate/Owner’s Manual section. The article grabbed my attention with its simple, yet very powerful, message for all of us who are looking to innovate and differentiate our practices from competitors and survive in the “new” health care environment.

Haden wrote about Daniel Lubetzky, the founder of Kind Healthy Snacks. I first became aware of his products when I received samples of them in a road race participant bag. Having had plenty of experience eating energy bars, I figured I was about to ingest yet another barely tasty, but nutrient-rich, offering—boy was I wrong.

In the article, Haden describes Lubetzky’s painstaking process of trying to make a product that both tastes good and is good for you. Instead of compromising on quality, Haden describes a process in which Lubetzky set a number of “and” goals, instead of “or” goals. Holding to the standard of “and” goals was not an easy decision all the time, because sometimes the “or” goals are much easier to accomplish­—generally at the sacrifice of the quality of your product or service. Kind Healthy Snacks stuck to its guns, and in the end, made an excellent product of which the founder can be proud.

Lubetzky outlines his rules to create a “no-compromise” product:

  1. Bake your goals into your business model. Even if some of your aims seem out of reach; a goal you do not set is a goal you cannot achieve.
  2. Identify every assumption. Innovation starts with recognizing the usual thinking and methodologies so that you can find ways to challenge them.
  3. Ask the right questions. “Why?” and not “Why Not?” is the antidote to incorrect assumptions, especially if an assumption that was once valid is no longer valid today.
  4. Focus on the future. Shortcuts are tempting when you manage for short-term results. Instead, let long-term goals guide you.
  5. View compromise as the last resort. “Or” decisions are the easy way out. Challenge your employees to find a way—they will be better for it.

Michael Vacon, PT, is the managing partner of Blue Hills Sports & Spine Rehabilitation, LLC. He is an Impact editorial board member and can be reached at mvacon@bluehillspt.com.

The article can be found at this location: http://www.inc.com/magazine/201312/jeff-haden/kind-healthy-snacks-uses-a-different-approach.html.

Practice Bottom line

When we started in private practice, the vast majority of us set out to build a superior product and provide a high level of patient care—something to truly differentiate ourselves from the competition. Not a day goes by now that some change in health care does not cause us to think about “or” goals, instead of sticking to the “and” goals that made our practices successful. I established my practice(s) to utilize evidence-based medicine and establish a group of highly trained clinicians who all use the same techniques and approach to care. Sometimes we receive referrals from physicians who expect us to compromise our evidence-based model for treatments that we know are just not right. We always choose the methods we believe in, even if it costs us a patient referral. Sometimes choosing the “and” goal is not the easy way, but we know it is the right way.

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