Welcome to the Product & Engineering blog from the team building Echo. We’ll use this blog to share stories about our journey to simplify pharmacy. We'll be writing about everything from Kubernetes to component libraries, lean research to ethical product management, accessibility to balancing the clinical with the simple.
Our aim is to share some of the things we’ve learned and the challenges we’ve faced, hopefully giving a bit of insight into what it’s like to work at Echo. So to start with, who works at Echo and what do we do?
The Echo Product & Engineering team is a mix of engineers, product managers, designers and user researchers. At the time of writing we are 18 people working across two teams in 3 different countries. We have an office in London and remote members of the team in Salzburg and Madrid. On any given day some of the team may be on site at our pharmacy, some working from home, and some in the office, so while not a fully remote team we have had to work hard to get better at working in a distributed way. We are also proudly a small team, and believe that staying small helps us stay focused and deliver the best results. That said, we do have some open vacancies across the teams, so if all this sounds like your bag then check out our careers page.
As well as using this blog to talk about what we’re working on we’ll use it to talk about how we work.
Echo’s mission is clear - we want to simplify pharmacy. What this means is giving people a convenient way to order and manage their medication and have it delivered. We also provide reminders for when to take medication and when it’s time to re-order. It may seem like a wonderfully simple product but as with so many things the devil is in the detail and a lot of the work we do is under-the-hood and invisible to patients. As well as our patient-facing iOS, Android, and web products we also build a whole suite of internal tools for our fulfilment and clinical teams. We’ve gone deep into the world of barcode scanners and NFC. We’ve become closely acquainted with printer drivers and serial ports. Rather than trying to “disrupt” we look to integrate with NHS systems wherever possible - we believe the future is in better interoperability and cooperation between healthcare companies and the NHS.
We work on a wide range of problems and projects, and as a result, a commonly uttered phrase is “that would make a great blog post”. The problem is we didn’t have a blog, so all that excitement about sharing something would fizzle away.
As with most things that are not essential, you have to choose to make time for them. So, over the last six months we’ve been working on making the time for more of these non-essential but important activities. As in many start-ups, we were guilty of neglecting the organisation of regular company social events (and other related things) so we formed a dedicated Culture Club that is responsible for making these things happen and the results have been great.
With starting a tech blog it was always “later” or “when we have more time”. Of course, there is never more time, but you can choose how to spend the time you have and we’re choosing to spend it writing about our experiences and sharing them with the world.
We hope you enjoy reading them.