- Tech companies that have been proactive in responding to consumer and business demands have come out on top this year.
- They did so through executives with the foresight to understand consumer and business spending habits.
- 100 People Transforming Business is an annual list that highlights people across all industries who are transforming the way the world does business. Try this full list for 2022.
In a year of change, technology companies are ahead with the foresight to proactively respond to consumer and business demands. The emerging tech leaders featured on the annual Insiders list, 100 People Transforming Business, have stepped up to do just that.
The global economy spent the first few months of the year recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic – just before markets began preparing for a recession.
That has led to layoffs across the tech sector, although both consumers and advertisers are showing signs of spending cuts. At the same time, it’s proven to be a year of opportunities for those who can help their clients ride the wave and be productive without distractions.
It’s a difficult situation to deal with. But these market leaders made it with the help of customer data, user feedback, and maybe just a bit of luck.
Workers want tools that make their jobs easier
In 2020 and 2021, remote work tools dominated the workplace. This shifted more towards a hybrid model as workers returned to the office, at least part-time. That brings us to 2022, when businesses have relied heavily on productivity and work management tools to keep everything organized from anywhere.
Productivity tool Notion went viral this year as it offers both businesses and individuals a way to organize their lives. By using scheduling and collaboration tools internally, Notion has learned how to scale to support a massive influx of users, said its chief operating officer Akshay Kothari.
At the same time, the online whiteboard platform Miro has gained in importance. Virtual whiteboard platforms are seen as an essential workplace tool that some predict will remain a popular tool in business technology.
“It was a balance between following a proven playbook for managing hypergrowth and trying to figure things out over time,” Andrey Khusid, Miro’s CEO and founder, told Insider.
Beyond the world of software, companies are trying to stay ahead of the game, installing smart sensors and other internet-connected devices to track metrics like office presence. Chris LaPré, the head of technology at the Connectivity Standards Alliance, is leading the initiative to create industry-wide standards for the so-called Internet of Things, promoting a protocol called Matter that promises to unite Apple, Amazon, Google and other manufacturers of IoT devices among themselves a set of guidelines.
Tech transparency is becoming a talking point across platforms
At home this year showed that tech consumers wanted more transparency. And the transformers on the insider list are leading the way in improving this.
That shows BeReal CEO Alexis Barreyat’s approach to social media. The platform focuses on getting users to share what they’re watching with friends. It’s a direct contrast to the edited glimpses into people’s lives on other platforms, which have faced increasing criticism lately.
Elsewhere, YouTube business leader Mary Ellen Coe is tasked with staying on top of what’s on the minds of end users and creators. The site is testing products to compete with short-form video platform TikTok.
However, as these platforms become more influential, so does the risk of misinformation. That’s why companies like Google and Adobe have stepped up efforts to fight it, especially ahead of Tuesday’s US midterm elections.
“If something can be faked, anything can be questioned,” said Andy Parsons, senior director of the Content Authenticity Initiative at Adobe. “We must not discover what is fake, but we must prove what is true.”
And under its Vice President of Trust and Safety, Laurie Richardson, Google has stepped up efforts to make election information more accessible.
This transparency also extends to the people behind the technology. In response to economic uncertainty and other business challenges, union organizers like CODE-CWA’s Jessica Gonzalez are working to unionize more tech companies.
“I was at a point where I was like, ‘Oh my god, I’ve been in this industry for almost 10 years and it’s the same,'” Gonzalez told Insider. “I was really tired. And so I thought, ‘Okay, I’m going to be someone who helps the movement.’”
Founders and investors who solve real problems rule the startup world
In the startup world, wearable technology is having a moment. However, venture capitalists focus on investing in companies with founders they believe in.
“Having been an immigrant twice now,” Adeyemi Ajao, co-founder and managing partner at Base10 Partners, told Insider, “it’s always given me a lot of empathy for people who feel like the ‘others.’ It’s been helpful for me as an investor and as an entrepreneur.”
When it comes to products that blow up, Insider has selected Transformers, who this year have created products that come close to the problems they’ve experienced firsthand.
Take Aly Orady, for example, the CEO and founder of Tonal, who is building a smart home gym. It’s a new approach to at-home workouts that Orady says stems from the founder’s own struggles to get to the gym.
And GraphWear Technologies co-founder and CEO, Rajatesh Gudibande, also made the list for his commitment to accessible healthcare devices.
“I saw that the logistics of healthcare were cumbersome, so I set out to make a change,” Gudibande told Authority Magazine last year.