Meeting Scheduling, Product Updates

Today We’re Making x.ai Free

Meeting Scheduling, Product Updates

Today I’m happy to announce that we’re releasing a free version of our scheduling software. Now everyone can enjoy the benefits of instant, effortless meeting scheduling. You can take a moment and listen to me talk about it, too:

We’ve long believed that no one should ever have to schedule their own meetings. Turning that vision into reality, though, has been a multi-year effort that has required two key elements: full automation at high accuracy and an ability to help schedule meetings wherever you work.

After five years in that bloody basement, we finally hit that magical inflection point as a machine learning company where we can move from us labeling the data (which is super expensive) to usage of the product producing the labels we need for the product to “self-improve.” And this very moment is what allows us to provide a free edition. If you want to geek out, you can read about some of our data science breakthroughs of late.

Now, the machine is able to take over the scheduling task from start—you ask Amy to find a time to meet up with a bunch of colleagues and your marketing agency next week—to finish—a meeting appears on your calendar in seconds. I’m super proud of the team for getting to this point. It was NOT easy!

Those data science breakthroughs are awesome, but the most exciting part is that we now have all the components needed for our free scheduling network.

So what’s a scheduling network? Glad you asked. It’s a type of social network that benefits everyone involved. Think of it this way, social networks exist along a continuum. At one end are the ones we participate in for entertainment (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok) and on the other end are a set of high value, utilitarian social networks that help us accomplish a task more efficiently—like Venmo, DocuSign, and DropBox. Scheduling networks fall on the utilitarian end of this spectrum.

There are three key features of utilitarian social networks. The first is that the more people join, the more friction is removed from formerly onerous tasks. If I join DocuSign but my investors don’t, I still have to print, sign, scan, and email term sheets. If we all have accounts, signing and sending a term sheet is effectively simultaneous.

The second key feature is that passive users benefit as much as active ones. My daughters might Venmo cash to their friends twice a week, while I only use it twice a year, when I have to pay my cat sitter on the 16th floor. And yet, I’ll never delete Venmo because I know that for those few times a year, it’s the fastest, easiest way to transfer cash with friends.

Finally, utilitarian social networks let you maintain total control of your data; their default mode is private, and your data is hidden by design unless you explicitly desire to share specific pieces of it.

Here’s how these facets play out in our free scheduling network (for more, you can read my mini tome on scheduling networks). If you’re a member of the network and you schedule a meeting with someone else in the network, our system will do so instantaneously. No one has to send or click a link. No one has to talk to the bot. No email ping pong required.

Instant, automatic scheduling is especially useful when you’re scheduling a meeting with a bunch of people from different organizations. Our AI engine knows everyone’s availability and everyone’s scheduling parameters (how I don’t take meetings on Fridays at 5:30pm, during demo day, how you block out focus time on Tuesdays and Thursdays, how Susan meets before 4pm except on Mondays), so it can identify a free time that works for all participants in seconds. I don’t have to describe the typical nightmare of scheduling a meeting of more than two people from different organizations; you all have lived it.

And like all utilitarian social networks, our default mode is private. We never share your calendar data, ever!

By making x.ai free we’ve opened up its full power to everyone. You can set up a team meeting by Slacking Amy or Andrew. You can send a candidate a link to a set of available slots for a screening call. You can add Amy or Andrew to an email thread with a potential client to set up a time for a demo. And if needed, our system will follow up to get key meeting details and make sure your meeting gets on the calendar.

Soon though, we’ll stop mentioning our AI’s famed persistence and storied politeness. Once your contacts join our free scheduling network, x.ai will do its work invisibly, in the background. Your meetings will arrive in seconds, and you’ll wonder how we ever managed to do this task ourselves. Ambitious? Absolutely! Possible? I really think so, but only if you join me. It’s easy, simply connect your calendar.

Cheers
d. 🙂


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