7 Comments

Thank you for building Small Bets. I have been the grateful recipient of so much of your wisdom and expertise as I've worked to build a business and share my little talents with the world. Medicine indeed. Thank you for being on this voyage with me. And with so many others.

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Jun 2Liked by Louie Bacaj

Great way to put it, Louie. It’s for that reason that I like to consume as much educational material as possible from all sources. Once I saturate my mind with many different lessons, even if I’m learning passively, I seem to generate better ideas no matter the situation. Plus, “vitamin-products” to me are better purchase decisions. When I’m seeking a painkiller, I’m more inclined to make an impulse purchase or spend more than I should’ve.

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I couldn’t agree more with your framing of the “vitamins versus painkillers” paradigm.

There’s a deep cynicism and pessimism about the comparison. As you so rightly observe, vitamins are a foundation for a healthy, balanced life in harmony with nature. Painkillers are an emergency intervention and are totally unrelated to what caused the pain. Maybe painkillers get us through an operation or an accidental injury, or maybe they numb us to the pain caused by our bad behaviors. The fact they’re often addictive is probably a plus for the people who approvingly set up the vitamins versus painkillers comparison.

I’m so glad you debunked this cynical, exploitative and callous paradigm.

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author

Thanks for reading it Chris, and for adding even more to it.

I think you’re absolutely right about the cynicism.

And probably about the ppl who want to push painkillers, too.

Funny enough, going back to real medicine, I got a chance to work in managing Walmarts pharmacy tech for a few years. And I became convinced that the healthcare system in general & its incentives aren’t set up to try and make people healthier. From the drug manufacturers, to the PBMs, and so on down the list. Sad state of affairs.

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That’s very interesting Louie. I worked for 10+ years in the pharmaceutical industry and I couldn’t agree with you more about the PBMs in particular, but also the big pharmacy companies, and the discount card companies. My impression was Walmart was actually a force for good in an incredibly greedy, exploitative and predatory environment. Medicare’s “floor” price is the root of all evil, and generally the worst operators are the closest to the government. So many Americans would live better lives and spend far less money if the systemic evil in this part of the economy was eradicated.

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I like the paradigm shift, and it's memorable (via the story of sailors)!

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Completely agree. A lot of business advice is shared not because its true because it itself is viral and memorable. Same with "jobs to be done" , or "solve a problem".

If you want proof that vitamins can work, or that you don't need to solve a problem or do a job, look at the existence of the entire video game industry!

A lot of advice is basically proverbs. You can glean the wisdom and understand why people are telling you this without accepting it as gospel truth.

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