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These 8 CEOs are changing the way we work



It's the beginning of the week, and you've got a big meeting to prepare for.

Fortunately, you've got technology on your side. Artificial intelligence not only scheduled your meeting — after consulting your calendar and finding the best time — it's helped give you dossiers on the people you're meeting with. Meanwhile, you can send a robot off to retrieve the box of materials you'll need for the meeting from the storage room. 

Sound futuristic? Probably. But all of this technology exists today. 

Work as we know it is changing. Artificial intelligence and robotics are advancing rapidly and become commonplace. And young companies are using these and other emerging technologies to address some of the common complaints within the contemporary workplace. 

Here are the executives at eight of the companies who are changing the way we work today — and breaking ground for the way we'll work tomorrow. 

SEE ALSO: This 1979 letter to The New York Times shows just how much Xerox hates people using its name as a verb

Amy Chang, CEO of Accompany, is using data to replace personal assistants

Chang is the founder and CEO of Accompany, which has developed an app that makes it easy to prep for meetings. For all events scheduled on a calendar, Accompany's app compiles digital dossiers of attendees and their companies. The app is targeted at executives, who often rely on human assistants to gain insights into the people they are meeting with. But it could find much broader appeal, because of its potential to help users anticipate personality differences, identify common interests, or find ideal meeting locations. 

"Anytime we detect someone new in your calendar, you'll get an Executive Briefing delivered right to your inbox while you sleep," the company states on its website. "Everything you need to get up to speed, including professional history, relevant news, and key info on their company, is at your fingertips."

Accompany's service pulls information from company profiles, social media, and news stories. But in the future, it's not hard to imagine it tapping into other data, such as the kinds Facebook uses to profile individuals and categorize their tastes and interests to help advertisers target particular groups.

Chang launched Accompany in 2013, straight out of a role at Google's analytics group. The company has since raised $40.5 million in funding. The Stanford-educated Chang hails from Austin, Texas, but now runs her company out of Palo Alto, California. 

Aaron Levie, CEO of Box, is building software for far-flung workspaces

While Box may not be the first file-sharing service to catch the public's attention, it may well prove to be the default one in years to come. Box's service combines content management and collaboration tools with notably well-developed workflow management.

The company's user-friendly cloud services makes data and content accessible across devices and geography, allowing employees at companies with large and scattered workforces to work together more easily. Its service is one of several that are making it simpler for businesses to have more nimble and mobile workforces and to support employees who work from home without sacrificing productivity.  

Levie famously had his growing-up moment when Box was a young startup with little in the way of revenue. After Citrix offered to buy the company for about $600 million, he stared down investors, who were pressuring him to sell, and convinced his board to reject the offer.

He looks prescient in retrospect. Box's market cap now tops $2 billion. The cloud file storage and collaboration service reported better-than-expected quarterly results at the end of May, is narrowing its losses, and upped its guidance for the rest of its 2018 fiscal year.

Stewart Butterfield, CEO of Slack, has completely reinvented the way offices work together

According to some observers, if Butterfield wanted to sell his company today, he could fetch $9 billion for it.

But Butterfield doesn't seem to want to sell. Instead, he just rounded up another $250 million in funding for Slack. That gave the startup an official valuation of $5 billion, a bump up from $3.8 billion it was valued at in 2016.

Slack's appreciation in value is a testament to its service's crazy growth. The company's app now has four million daily active users and surpassed $200 million in annual recurring revenue earlier this year. 

The success of the business is no surprise, given how Slack's service has revolutionized office communication. Its app helps corporate employees communicate seamlessly with each other, reducing the need for emails — particularly those terrible group chain messages that seem to go on without resolution. 

Like many of the other influential technologies today, Slack's service makes it easier for large organizations to work efficiently and in real-time, even when employees might be thousands of miles away from one another.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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