What’s the inspiration behind Rx Delivered Now?
Rx Delivered Now was founded during the peak of the pandemic. Michael's wife, Dr. Phuong Do—also a pharmacist at Kaiser Permanente— noted how hard it is for her patients to get their medications due to Shelter-in-place, as opposed to seamlessly delivered groceries and Amazon packages.
This is not your first time founding a company—what do you think is the most important skill founders need to succeed?
Having grit and perseverance. As a trained healthcare provider with no network or connections in tech, it was extremely difficult to navigate the tech startup world. It can take years to even get to the starting line ,so be patient and learn with every failure. The most important thing is to just start.
How did you meet your co-founder? How do you work together?
Michael's wife was my pharmacy school classmate, so we have known each other for over a decade. My first startup weekend back in 2013, I couch surfed at Michael's apartment in San Diego. We worked on a small medication compliance project back then, but due to a lack of experience, we went our separate ways to pursue our careers. We kept in touch, and ten years later, we found the right opportunity to start this new venture. Michael is very much a people person, and has a wealth of experience in tech staffing. I am a healthcare product/process orientated type of person, so we complement each other very well.
Prior to founding Rx Delivered Now, you’ve worked with several large companies that have extensive pharmacy networks. Have those experiences shaped your current priorities or strategy?
Absolutely, having a decade of experience in healthcare showed me that existing healthcare tech solutions are fragmented and often operates in siloes, causing increased workload for pharmacy staff. Although patients are at the center of the healthcare ecosystem, they are often the afterthought in many tech solutions. Thus, we are laser focused on helping our pharmacy partners be more efficient so they can better serve their patients.
How do you handle risk and competition?
The best way to handle risk is with data. In the early stage, we invested a lot in people and processes, rather than technology. This helped us understand our customer needs. We keep a close eye on our competitors to see what they are working on but it's never a huge concern. We focus on executing and delivering value to our immediate customers instead.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced while launching your company?
Acquiring your first paying customer is always the biggest hurdle to cross.
Have you learned anything new or surprising about yourself through this process?
I have learned that this journey will never get comfortable. Doing uncomfortable things is a sign of progress, despite the ever mounting stress. As such, I have also learned to lean on my team for support.
Have you taken on any additional education to build your business? What was that experience like, and hat did you gain or learn?
I am participating in Republic Rise, which teaches founders how to effectively fundraise. I learned that my job as a CEO is to 1. Produce vision/product and 2. Fundraise.
Why did you decide to raise from the crowd via Republic?
It is important to build credibility and brand awareness. There's a crucial need in the healthcare space to build trust and relationships and raising on Republic helps bring this to life.
What’s your team culture like?
Our team is extremely open minded and diverse! We work completely remote; but even though we're international, we're very close, and there's a lot of trust. We all understand each others' roles so everyone on the team contributes to solving problems.
There's no failure, only learning.
What is your superpower?
My curiosity to try new things/solutions and breaking rules makes me invincible. Never be satisfied with the status quo.
What’s your kryptonite?
Structure and organizations. I believe they slow down innovations.
Do you have any unusual routines or habits?
I listen to dharma talks when I'm stressed about work. It helps to level set my mental state and focus on the now. Also petting my dog helps me think.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
If I'm not with friends and family, I like to learn about new technologies and cultures. Twitter has been a really valuable platform for connecting and also learning about Pharmacy and startup news.
If you could give yourself one piece of advice 5 years ago, what would it be?
Just start. Don't wait until you know everything because you never will.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
It is okay to do nothing so you can reflect on all the things you have achieve. Enjoy the small wins.
Do you have a(ny) mentor(s)? If so, what have they taught you?
I had a mentor who once told me, success is what you define it as. No matter what road you take, enjoy the journey and be open to learning and improving each waking moment.