Scroll to top

Meet this Week’s Humans of Product: Antoni Peychev

By Rebecca Dorsay
Antoni Blog Feature

Meet this week’s Humans of Product, Antoni. Chief Product Officer at Tamedocs and a Bulgarian native living in London, who loves honing and exhibiting his creative side.

“I’ve been doing karaoke for as long as I can remember and I really love singing. My wife sings also. At our wedding, we didn’t have the first dance but we had the first song – a duet! I also write poetry.

I’ve published my third book now. I’ve done one in Bulgarian, one in English and one in both languages – half in Bulgarian, half in English with some poems having both languages interwoven in them. I found that to be an interesting and novel approach to poetry. And, by the way, all profits go to the Centrepoint charity which helps young people move on from homelessness independently.”

When he wasn’t working on his multilingual books, Antoni was building his Product career in London.

“When I came to the UK 15 years ago, it was the first country that I have ever visited, apart from Bulgaria. It was a big change, but I came to Canterbury to attend the University of Kent and I found myself in this amazing place with these amazing people – and loved it.

My career was clearly mapped out in my head – ‘I am to become a lawyer. It seemed like it was all I wanted to do at the time. As I finished my legal degree, I worked in private banking for a year and then as a personal injury lawyer for a Southampton law firm.

I was also doing my Master’s degree part-time on the weekends. It was busy but great because I got to travel to London every weekend. I would wake up every Saturday morning at 5 am, grab a train, get off at Waterloo, and I would walk across London – to this day, I love walking what others consider to be crazy distances.”

Antoni outside

Back to my Master’s now! I did that for two years and then I decided that it was a super good idea to move to London. A rather risky move at the time, as I was giving up a permanent contract in a law firm for a temporary contract in, what seemed to be at the time, a huge and bustling megapolis.

I started working as a paralegal for one of the biggest insurance law firms here. I worked there for a year. And, as I was working there, I started realising that I really liked problem-solving and wanted to work on building tech solutions. As much as I liked law, I had this nagging feeling that the time was ripe for me to explore further and move into tech.

So at that point, Thomson Reuters had decided to enter the legal knowledge management space in the UK. I found this job as a paralegal for Practical Law at Thomson Reuters. Essentially, it was like a Google for lawyers.

If you were to send your case study to our team (fully anonymised, of course!), I would do the research by using the Practical Law materials and give you the step by step process of how to approach the case. I did about 1000 queries a year, which was great.

I felt like a walking encyclopedia for dispute resolution (i.e. litigation, which was my speciality). It was an amazing team and I had a lot of fun but decided once again to move on – this time to another Thomson Reuters product called Global Guides, as I wanted to get more exposure to working with a global team. I was an editor there and it was very much a Project Management type of role.

At the time, I had a mentor who was a senior HR Director at Thomson Reuters (always have a mentor!).

I was wondering where I should be taking my career so I sat down with him and I took him through my skills and interests.

It took him 5 minutes to tell me I should definitely aim for Product Management. I think that was in 2016. And ever since then, I focused on doing product-related work before officially changing gears later on.

All those years of Product Management work have culminated in my current role as Chief Product Officer at Tamedocs.”

And though Antoni was working in product-related roles over the five years leading up to his current role, he felt every company managed “too many products”.

“At my previous company, I was working with a team of 100+ people across 3 continents and 6 countries developing and managing 25 digital products – from document and knowledge management solutions to AI prospecting algorithms and full-blown ERPs. While it was incredibly challenging and rewarding, I missed having one product to focus on and fully develop.

And that’s what brought me here, to a company called SaturnF1 which is basically a startup factory with a really diverse bunch of products. For example, Nutriburst Vitamins produces and distributes vegan sugar-free vitamin gummies. Another is ZeusLabs, a next-generation digital freight platform for truly collaborative work between hauliers and their customers (almost like a tech-enabled marketplace for shippers and hauliers). However, although I help with the product strategy on those two, my main focus is on a product called Tamedocs.”

Antoni smirking

Tamedocs is essentially a platform which streamlines and digitises the medical document transfer from GP to the insurer to speed up the complex health insurance policy underwriting. It’s a pretty nifty tool that helps the patient provide their consent online and withdraw it at any point.

We also have custom build forms for every insurer so that they can custom build in the questions that they want to ask both the patient and the doctor. It solves a massive problem by eliminating the need to manually gather and review hundreds of pages of medical records. Which, as you can imagine, is an absolute nightmare to do!”

And the best part about being in an official Product role at a startup is that:

”You get to do a lot of hands-on stuff. I got to finalise the Product Requirements Document. It’s a 45-page document with everything inside from the user scenarios to the visuals.

And I’m really involved in the branding process as well because I like doing a bit of creative stuff.  We are a small team for now, but we’re surely going to start growing over the next few months, so I’m doing as much hands-on stuff as I can, while I can.

And I feel like I’m in the right place. I’ve been doing product work since my Thomson Reuters days in 2014. So, for the past seven years, I’ve been doing Product Management in one shape or another. But having a single product to focus on and to own the product strategy, P&L, marketing strategy, essentially being the CEO of the product. It just feels right.”

And, when he is not helping to build exciting new products, Antoni also loves meeting new product folk:

”I really enjoy networking. You know, I normally live and breathe networking. But because of the pandemic, obviously, it has been close to nonexistent. I am looking forward to being able to network and travel again soon and really get back into the product community. Working from home is great, but you’ve got to do everything in moderation in this life, right?”

Antoni left us with two nuggets of wisdom before he headed into his new downtown London office for another busy workday,

As someone who’s worked with hundreds of people at one time, you should always cherish your Developers, because we live in a day and age where Developers can work on anything and everything from designing a skyscraper to sending a person to the Moon. These people have a lot of choices as to what they can work on. The fact that they work on something with you means you should be really proud and happy about that. And you can’t and shouldn’t take them for granted because you can lose them pretty easily. Always remember that, when it comes down to tech architecture and design, you are not the expert; they are. You are the glue that holds everyone together. As Henry Ford said, when they asked him if he was a genius, “I’m not one, but I can get a genius in with the push of a button.”

And the one other piece of advice that I would like to leave everyone with is don’t hoard credit. Give credit to people where credit is due, all the time. Because when people feel valued, they feel like they’re a part of the team, part of something big – which is what every work environment should be and feel like.”

Antoni in suit
Humans of Product Antoni
Humans of Product Antoni in suit

Want more humans of Product? Read last week’s feature on Michael Ong or follow us on Instagram!