The world is changing. One of the newest trends pervading our daily lives is the voice technology. While popular digital assistants have brought them into the mainstream, the real potential of the tech is yet to be harnessed. It is time to realize that the web is falling behind when it comes to the usage of voice. One company though has discerned this gap and is working on bridging it. speak2web, a Minneapolis based establishment is helping companies integrate voice technology so that they can unleash the real potential of the web.
We spoke to speak2web’s CEO/Founder, Walter Angerer to understand how he leads this company which is breaking barriers and leading the voice technology revolution.
What is the role of a CEO in building mission and vision statements?
The CEOs quintessentially set the tone of the company. A CEO sets the budgets, approves sales plans and very often influences the product direction too. Communication is one of the biggest things that a CEO contributes to. A company generally follows its leader. This means that it is the duty of the CEO to communicate goals and visions to the rest of the organization. An organization without a clear goal, vision and understanding will not be successful. So, it is the CEO’s job to explain the passion behind the business decision and getting the conviction across to the employees and the clients.
Unforeseen opportunities often come from taking risks. But also taking risks shows confidence and helps you grow as a business leader. Could you tell us about your experiences?
Yes, that is correct. The most rewarding experiences are the ones where we push the envelope. We do this through the use of AI and voice technology at speak2web. This is far from the mainstream idea which restricts the usage of voice interactions to a smart speaker.
We took a big risk and went beyond how technology is currently deployed. While it is an unexplored territory, we have already made huge progress. And we are confident that our technology will continue to evolve and help us push this solution forward. Our work is giving us a chance to launch something new which could eclipse the innovation of smart speakers such as Alexa and Google Home in the coming years.
One of the greatest traits of a CEO is the ability to read people and adapt management styles accordingly. What do you believe in, happy and satisfied employees or a strict management?
I am always on the lookout to ensure that I put my employees in a position where they have a chance to succeed and go above and beyond what they think they can do. Giving the employees an environment where they can take some risk, explore new things tends to keep them on a path where they succeed and are productive.
In other words, rather than ruling with an iron fist, I attempt to spot problem areas and address them. Enabling employees to perform better in areas they are struggling with and finding the sweet spot for their skills and passion is crucial. Keeping people in that sweet spot is good for employee morale and company performance.
As a CEO, what advice would you like to give your peers considering your past experience?
It is really hard to give advice like that- considering situations are different for different people. What may work at one company, may not in another. Keeping this in mind, I would advise my peers to never try to force one approach or solution onto all the problems. This holds true for not just the CEOs, but also for board members and investors.
When you’ve experienced success in the past you may be tempted to go with the same old playbook but it will not work always as the world and the high-tech market is very dynamic. So, we must stay nimble in our approach and be open with our thinking.
Where do you visualize your company in a couple of years?
Our vision for speak2web is to make AI accessible for companies of all sizes. The digital transformation is happening at all levels, AI must be part of that movement. We at speak2web are committed to developing solutions and finding ways to give everyone access to that technology. We are starting today with voice integration, but our roadmap includes many more parts of AI from knowledge trees, deep learning, visual recognition to IoT. We have plans to simplify access to all of those technologies and help companies of all sizes be part of this revolution.
Meet the Chief!
Walter Angerer, CEO & Founder
Mr. Angerer has been pioneering the use of AI since the 1990s. He created a ground-breaking AI solution in the ‘90s, to control the electrical grid. This was later used as the foundation for what is known today as the “SmartGrid” Technology.
Before speak2web, he led several companies at the capacity of CEO. He has also worked as a partner at California-based Venture Capital firm. He holds a masters degree in Physics from the Johannes Kepler University in Austria.