Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Lyft and Medical Trials: When You're #2, Find Niches to Serve

Yesterday, I saw an article in Crain's Chicago Business that Continuum Clinical, a company that recruits patients for drug trials, is launching a partnership with Lyft to transport patients to/from trials.

This is an example of innovation called win-win collaboration.

Continuum and the drug companies benefit because they need to make sure that patients make it reliably and safely to participate in the study, and not miss any treatments - which could affect the results.

Using a ride company makes sense since many drug trial volunteers are low-income or too sick to drive.

For Lyft, which is #2 behind Uber, this is their push into the health care niche.  They will set up a special call center with trained people to assist the drug trial participants.

If you are not the leader in your wider field, it makes sense to take over and become #1 in sub-fields since, over time, leaders benefit from a positive feedback loop and distance themselves from the competition.

Thus, as Uber pulls away from Lyft for general rides, Lyft can stay around and be profitable because it can pull away in it's selected niches.