Yesterday I started my review of Best Doctors and you can read my first post here. Today I want to reflect on how many businesses that are willing to do the tedious grunt work often find a competitive advantage.
Much of Best Doctors’ work is laborious. After an employee from one of Best Doctors’ clients, such as Home Depot, Boeing or ConAgra, calls them, a specially trained analyst from Best Doctors collects the patient’s medical records. It’s the kind of work few have the patience for or skill to embark on. As Evan Falchuk, president and chief strategy officer says, “That can be a nightmare, a lot of work, but we do it well.”
By putting together medical data that other doctors do not, Best Doctors can give its network of expert doctors a more complete picture and thus a better chance of making the right diagnosis.
Evan says that when other doctors make a mistake in their diagnosis–Best Doctors finds something wrong in about 20% of the cases they investigate–the “key issue is cognitive; you give them [doctors] partial information and rush them, they get it wrong.” By doing the tough data-gathering work few others flock to, Best Doctors gives its physicians more information and more time.
Google grew into the number one search business by doing search when others (Yahoo! and Alta Vista) didn’t want to do it anymore. Microsoft became the world’s dominant operating system by offering an OS when few others wanted to take on the hassle. If you can do something no one else wants to do, you avoid competition.
Try to think of one thing that people in your industry would gladly outsource and consider becoming the best at that one thing.