Get to know your neighbors. You might work for them someday.
That’s a free life lesson from Shahryar Qadri, Chief Technology Officer for Rx Savings Solutions. The man speaks from experience.
Fate works in funny ways, in this case a 2013 Kansas City snowstorm. Shahryar met his neighbor, our founder and CEO Michael Rea, for the first time that night as they shoveled their respective driveways. The conversation evolved into an invitation.
“The Betty story made me want to be part of this noble cause,” he said. “The passion Mike had for helping Betty was evident from day one.”
Shahryar didn’t go all in right away. He started out consulting with our original three software engineers. He was still busy at Cerner, finishing a new insurance business unit he built from the ground up.
“I loved the entrepreneurial aspect of my time at Cerner; it was very fulfilling professionally,” he said. “Rx Savings gave me another opportunity to build something. Those don’t present themselves very often.”
Thus began “Project Phoenix,” the total rewrite of the member portal.
The simpler interface belies the sophisticated engineering behind the current portal.
“Reid Hoffman (founder of LinkedIn) said, ‘If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.’ That’s one of my favorite sayings,” Shahryar said.
“The early days were all about hustle—get something out there and see what sticks. That hustle from Mike, Drew (Komenda, President), Brandy (Rea, Chief Legal Officer) and others set the foundation for what the company is today.”
More About Shahryar:
When you look at the solution now and compare it to what you started with, what stands out most?
What stands out most to me is that the sophistication and maturity of our solution today is a direct reflection of the highly talented individuals we have at Rx Savings. I couldn’t be prouder of what everyone here has built and couldn’t be more bullish on what’s to come.
Where do you think it can go?
I sincerely believe that our technology has the potential to become the foundation of how the majority of Americans determine what their medication options are and what they will cost— with and without insurance.
What drew you to software vs. some other type of engineering, or medicine or law?
I started off as a pre-med at Creighton. Advanced Organic Chemistry convinced me to go into computer science (haha). I was quite active in high school debate and forensics, so law school was also enticing. Ultimately, I chose computer science because it was a passion of mine, and I figured there would always be demand for software engineers.
Which aspect of your role do you enjoy most?
Seeing associates develop into leaders and then becoming empowered to run their teams the way they choose.
What do you do for fun?
I love to travel with my wife and two boys. I also like to read and watch motorsports.
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you have given yourself when you graduated high school?
Don’t be so risk averse. Take more professional risks. You won’t know your full potential until you are out of your comfort zone.