In 2011, tech industry veteran Doug Hirsch launched digital health care marketplace GoodRx with Scott Marlette and Trevor Bezdek. With 20 million people now using it every month to find affordable prescription medications, GoodRx has saved them $30 billion. Hirsch has continued to serve as co-CEO since taking the company public last year. We asked him how he's kept it healthy through all the changes.
Where did the idea for GoodRx come from?
When my son was 4, he couldn't get insurance because of a preexisting condition. I was just so angry. Shortly thereafter, I walked into a pharmacy and was told that a prescription for me would cost $500, but if I went across the street it would be $250. I thought, this is so in need of help.
How did the private equity deals come about?
We received outside interest in the company both times. It wasn't like we were out shopping around. Frankly, I don't think I knew much about what private equity was in 2015.
How has your role changed since the IPO?
My job is the same, but I do have a new constituency: public investors. One challenge is that we are at this weird intersection of health care and technology and it seems like health care investors and tech investors don't talk so much. So that is something I spend time on now.
What advice do you have for founders who want to take their companies public one day?
You have to be prepared for the amount of attention and drag on your time it's going to be. I've had people come up to me and say, "You must have had a bad day. Your stock is down 3 percent." My response is, "Really? Is that the external barometer of my mood?" I'm focused on building an incredible organization that helps people. I have to take the long view.