After more than two years in the kitchen, Sigrid.AI is now out of beta and available to the world. On a functional level, Sigrid.AI is a subscription-based, remote managed executive assistant service that provides administrative support for busy people so they can focus on the big picture. But our vision goes somewhat deeper. We believe everybody should have more time to do what’s most meaningful to them. We see this as democratizing access to administrative support. We’ve spent the past couple of years in beta fine-tuning our product with select clients and we’re now ready to open up our platform for a wider audience.
What we learned in beta
The main focus was finding the right people for our Executive Assistant roles. On one hand, we needed empathetic people able to handle complexity and multitasking and equipped to deal with our demanding global clientele. But we also needed them to be what we call our "AI pilots" - with the desire and ability to work with advanced technology. Finding a core group of people with that combination of skills was the main focus during our beta. I’m happy to say we’ve succeeded.
The right values
Building the right values into the organization from the start was a big deal for us as well. I have tried hiring fast to pursue aggressive growth targets and ending up with a team with values not coherent internally. We wanted to avoid that at all costs, especially as we’re a distributed team with staff from multiple cultures. For the first year, we made quite a few wrong hires and rectifying that took a lot of time which is part of the reason we were in beta for two years.
But getting our team values right has been vital to getting to where we are today, and I am confident the time invested will pay off many times over as we start growing.
Fine-tuning the tech
One important piece of the puzzle that fell into place during the last few months was a big update to our in-house collaboration platform – MySigrid.
MySigrid 2.0 is a huge step forward because it gives the Executive Assistant a head start in resolving a task before they’ve even opened the email, chat or voice message from their client (we support many different channels). MySigrid uses machine learning to identify the kinds of tasks our clients need help with, and the client's preferences are presented contextually to staff right when and where they need it. What’s more, the platform helps the team solve problems and complete tasks collectively, saving them more time individually.
Why try Sigrid.AI?
The short answer is that machines don’t do empathy.
The longer answer is that, unlike fully virtual assistant services, Sigrid.AI uses technology to support our human assistants – not to replace them. If you lead a complex, high-velocity life, you still need a human being to front this type of service. For people like our clients who are especially conscious of the value of their time, chat-bots just don’t cut it.
Machines don’t take all your other activities and priorities and dreams and preferences into consideration when booking a flight. They don't yet do the complex stuff that demands a deeper understanding of the complexity of a human being's life. But machines can help our people use their time more efficiently, which gives them more time to solve your tasks more effectively.
It’s about the best of both worlds.
Human+AI, collaborative intelligence, augmented intelligence - however you choose to describe it, my team and I are brimming with excitement at the chance to be part of this exciting journey for technology and humankind.
In this blog, we'll be sharing our experience with you, as well as roadmap updates, service announcements, customer stories, and more.
We hope you'll follow along on our journey.