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Stories About Growing A Tech Company

tl;dr: I'm writing down the lessons I learned (and am learning) about building and scaling technology companies at canady.tech. The first one is already up.

I spent 11 years of my life, between the ages of 22 and 33, working for the same place.

When I started, I was a kid looking for a job writing PHP. Matt Scantland and his partners had started a software consultancy called Innova Partners. Their Craigslist ad said they needed someone who knew what I knew, and that they bought the entire company lunch every day, which is the only thing about the job ad I remember.

Amongst our clients was a Medicare Part D company called MemberHealth. For them, I wrote software that helped their customers find the Prior Authorization and other coverage forms their insurance company required. I also wrote a content management system for those forms, so that they could be built online, searched by which medications they applied to, versioned, presented as a PDF form to download and print, or presented as a web form and then rendered as the completed PDF which could be downloaded, or faxed automatically.

When MemberHealth was acquired and the executive team left, Sam Rajan and Matt Scantland decided to take those concepts and build them out to solve the general Prior Authorization problem as a company called CoverMyMeds – which was not the only name on the list, but was definitely the best one. Innova Partners slowly started to ramp down our consulting business as our new company proved out.

Nearly a decade later, CoverMyMeds had changed how companies handled Prior Authorization, and was acquired by McKesson Corporation for over a billion dollars.

Over those years, I helped hire many of our software developers, network engineers, and engineering managers. I built critical systems, both solo and as a leader of teams. I managed projects. I managed people. I watched as our company grew and our culture changed, and I helped steer the tech culture to avoid becoming the kind of company none of us wanted to work at. I wrote development policies and procedures, which as a healthcare IT company we couldn't avoid having. I mentored junior developers. I spent stressful times handling outages, and scaled systems to handle load that we couldn't imagine at the start. I played a lot of pool.

If you're interested in the lessons learned while building a tech company from beginning to acquisition, I'll be publishing those at canady.tech. The first thing I posted covers how we handled one of our best engineers after they started being harmful to everyone around them. One of the most common things I hear from folks after they leave a job is "it was great but this one person was [horrible in whatever way] and they just wouldn't do anything," so it seemed like a good place to start.

I hope you like it.

If there's any specific things you want to read about, or if you just want to chat over lunch or coffee one day, you can get me at jon@joncanady.com or jam your emotions into 240 characters and throw them at me @joncanady.

Photo credit above is Keith Avery. This photo is hanging in the CoverMyMeds office near the reception desks, last I checked. I'm in front in the black suit and purple shirt. Please tell me my fashion sense have improved since then.

Stories About Growing A Tech Company
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