Who’s in Charge?: Unraveling Hear USA, part 12

Alas and alack, HearUSA’s honeymoon was short and the HEARX-Helix marriage was not a happy one.  From the get go, corporate cultures clashed as top players came out fighting for control. In one corner, Steve Forget represented Helix. In the other corner, Dr Brown and Steve Hansbrough were the HEARx  team. HEARx culture prevailed. West…

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Duke was a Dude: Unraveling HearUSA part 10

HearUSA’s wedding was marred briefly by a relative on the Canadian side named Duke Rodriguez who stood up and objected when the marriage officiant asked if there were objections to the marriage{{1}}[[1]]Just in case this ever comes up, here’s a site that tells you the etiquette for objecting to weddings [[1]]. Consequently, he was paid lots of…

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It’s a Vision Thing: Unraveling HearUSA, part 8

In fast-changing technology product markets, there is a real advantage to controlling both the hardware and the software…  {{1}}[[1]]Thomas R. Eisenmann, Professor, Harvard Business School.  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/sunday-review/google-goes-hardware-shopping.html?ref=todayspaper [[1]] Like Google and other successful corporations, my private practice aspires to “automated efficiency” and functions as a “learning machine.”  Unlike successful corporations, my practice doesn’t score high on the…

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Wedding Planning for HEARx and Helix: Unraveling HearUSA, part 7

In May of 2001, HEARx and Helix Hearing Care signed a letter of intent to join together.{{1}}[[1]] http://www.audiologyonline.com/news/news_detail.asp?news_id=295[[1]]  Wedding bells started ringing in June when the bride and groom announced a financing commitment from Siemens Hearing Instruments of upwards of $70 million “if Hearx and Helix meet certain business goals” which were breathlessly outlined in typical HEARx press release fashion:…

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Enter Helix, Stage Left: Unraveling HearUSA, part 6

HEARx entered the 21st century after a wild teenage life of excess, with lots of revenues, growing debt, a burgeoning central office, and negative profits.  HEARx was growing up and needed to get serious and find a life partner. Meanwhile, Helix Hearing, Inc. was incorporated in Cumberland, Canada in 1996 under the direction of Steve Forget (President),…

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