Stop the torture

Momma Kliff used to say that some people are just hard leaners. That no matter how hard you try and tell them the facts they continue to ignore the facts. They continue to proceed down a path to nowhere. Or as many have noted there is no cure for stupid.

We mention this today as, yet another company has come out with a way cool whiz-bang conventional blood glucose monitor. This one comes from POPS! Diabetes Care a useless toy that attaches to the back of a mobile phone and interacts with the user through a coaching app.

Now let’s not confuse this with the MyDario systems which also attaches to a mobile phone and also offers coaching. Nor should we confuse this with the way cool OneDrop system which doesn’t attach to anything but also offers coaching. And let’s not forget about the way cool whiz bang toy Livongo has which offers coaching too. Or what about every other damn conventional blood glucose monitor which sends readings to the cloud.

Even though conventional BGM is dying a slow death. Even though CGM is becoming the standard for glucose measurement. Even though none of these way cool whiz bang toys stands a chance at achieving scale, scale which is critical if these toy companies ever hope to make money. This endless torture continues.

Oh, and we almost forgot about the Pogo from Intuity Medical, another way cool whiz-bang useless toy. By the way did we mention that Amazon is now in the BGM business too. Hey at least with the Amazon system the patient gets to have snarky Alexa not just order more Tide but also more test strips. Alexa also knows the weather in San Diego too, but we digress.

What’s sad here, actually more like poetic justice, is none of the investors in these companies will have anything more than a tax write off. Now maybe had these way cool whiz bang toys come along 10 years ago when the industry was fat and happy, they could have sold their way cool whiz bang toy to one of the big boys and made a nice profit.

Yet today BGM is dying a slow albeit profitable death. Today CGM is becoming the standard for glucose measurement plus it’s getting cheaper too. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to throw more money into a product that stands no chance whatsoever of making money. FOLKS THERE IS NO UNMEET MEDICAL NEED FOR A CONVENTIONAL GLUCOSE MONITOR NO MATTER HOW WAY COOL WHIZ BANG IT IS.

Now if these investors are really interested in throwing their money away why not invest in all the way cool whiz bang companies trying to develop a non-invasive CGM. They won’t make any money here either, but they do stand a much better chance of finding a greater fool who will come along and buy this worthless technology. Or why not invest in the many insulin pump wannabes another market which needs another way cool whiz bang system about as much as Chicago needs snow in the winter, which is a great reason to spend winters somewhere warm like San Diego, but again we digress.

Hey, we’ve got an idea and this one could actually make money why not invest in one of the many “smart” pen companies. We all know Tyler is coming and these systems are an essential component. Even better at least one company that has a real “smart” pen is located in sunny and warm San Diego. There’s another good one in Boston but it snows there too. But wait why not buy both and move the offices to San Diego.

Here’s something that likely hasn’t dawned on these investors in conventional BGM, even if they can make their way cool whiz bang toy really, really cheap they still won’t make any money. Making the damn thing cheap is just step one, getting the way cool whiz bang toy into the hands of patients isn’t easy or cheap. Oh, and we almost forgot that LifeScan and Ascenisa (we miss calling them Bayer) are still in this market.

We hate to bring up some cold hard facts, especially when it’s so warm in San Diego, but whether it’s a conventional CGM, an insulin pump, a “smart” pen or even a CGM THESE ARE COMMODITIES. They are pieces of hardware that for the most part all do the same damn thing the same damn way making them basically interchangeable. Put them together and sell them as a diabetes management system and you might have something. But sold as stand-alone pieces of hardware they are COMMODITIES.

Now we may not have a fancy degree from a prestigious Ivy League school like Yale but the business professors at the University of Illinois did mention that in a COMMODITY market price is all that matters. They also mentioned that come winter time its warmer in San Diego than it is in Chicago. But again, we digress.

So, in the spirit of the holidays can we agree to stop the torture. Can we agree to stop funding these way cool whiz bang toys which have an ice cubes chance in hell of being commercially successful. Can we agree that it might just be better to invest in something that actually has a chance of making money. Can we agree that’s its smarter to spend the winter in sunny and warm San Diego than it is in cold snowy Chicago.