Pianpian’s own experience struggling with leadership and relationships in her professional life inspired her to create a solution that would help others facing similar challenges.
Amotions, founded by Pianpian Xu Guthrie, is a platform that aims to improve managers and hybrid teams’ productivity and connection by upskilling their soft skills such as emotional intelligence with AI-powered coaching.
Recognizing that not everyone can afford an executive coach or passively consume content to learn skills like emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, and leadership skills, she set out to create an accessible and affordable platform that could provide people across various social-economic circumstances with the tools and support network they need to reach their potential.
At Amotions, they believe that each person has unlimited potential and can grow with the right support and encouragement, and with the right tools and support, anyone can achieve greatness.
COMING UP WITH THE IDEA OF AN AI VIRTUAL COACH
Growing up in a rural village house in Taishan, China, Pianpian’s parents worked tirelessly to provide her with education and opportunities. When she discovered the internet in high school, it opened up a world of possibilities for her, allowing her to connect with mentors and educators from around the world.
Pianpian received her master’s degrees in sociology from Yale University with a thesis on social mobility and psychological well-being. She was a teaching and research fellow in social science at Yale and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. She then led product management and growth at multiple tech companies in hybrid and remote settings before founding Amotions, Inc.
Inspired by her own struggles with managing teams and relationships in the tech industry, Pianpian came up with the idea of building an AI virtual coach that could help people regulate their emotions in high-pressure situations, build better connection with their colleagues and people around them, and reach their full potential.
“I had the idea of building an AI virtual coach which can listen to me and give me tips when I am raising my voice and say “Seems like you are getting upset, take a deep breath, calm down first, so you are not getting into an argument with your coworkers and destroy your relationships.” Then as I discussed the idea with the team members and potential users and customers, I realized that we can also utilize the power of a human support system,” Pianpian shares.
Amotions uses technology to connect users with knowledgeable peers, coaches, advisors, and mentors, providing a powerful network of support for those looking to advance their careers and personal development. Amotions is poised to transform the way people learn and grow, empowering individuals to reach their full potential with the help of technology and human kindness.
WHERE AMOTIONS COMES IN
Millions of people struggle with emotion management and relationship issues in their personal and professional lives, but there are no accessible and affordable solutions. Executive coaches are expensive, and passive learning methods like books and videos are often ineffective in learning important skills like emotional intelligence and leadership.
As teamwork and collaboration become increasingly important in the modern workplace, there is a growing need for individuals to improve their interpersonal skills and develop emotional intelligence. This is where Amotions comes in.
Amotions aims to provide a platform and support network for everyone to continue to grow themselves both professionally and personally. Their solutions are designed to be accessible and affordable for people of all social-economic circumstances around the world.
“As a mother, I want my children to have the self-motivation and support network to grow themselves, and have great relationships in their professional and personal lives. I hope to create the kind of environment needed for them and many others. The world will be a better place when a lot of people are happy with their lives and care about each other,” Pianpian said.
IMPROVING THE PERFORMANCE OF MANAGERS AND HYBRID TEAMS
Amotions leverages AI-powered coaching to enhance the connection and performance of managers and hybrid teams.
Through daily practices, real-time insights, communities, and AI-powered coaching conversations, Amotions helps upskill people-facing roles, leading to improved employee efficiency and engagement.
With sentiment analysis and recommendations, powered by AI, and integration with calendars, Slack, and Zoom for context, Amotions provides a platform approach that allows companies, experts, and coaches to upload content. Users can also converse with an AI coach and participate in peer communities for support and practice.
One of the biggest challenges that Pianpian faced in building Amotions was determining the best products and experience to address these challenges and acquire customers and users.
“We have been reaching out to people in our network, as well as reaching out to potential users and customers, and having lots of conversations with them. Support from people like the Asian Hustle Network founder Bryan Pham and members like Jenny He, Kerry Wei, Jane Lee and others helps too, as well from other founders, mentors, friends, alumni from Yale, Sun Yat-sen University, and other universities I attended, former colleagues, and kind people I encountered,” Pianpian shared.
THE FOUNDING TEAM
The founding team of Amotions is comprised of Pianpian Xu Guthrie, Jerry Hong, and a few other engineers and designers.
Pianpian has over ten years of experience as a product lead at various companies, including GoDaddy, Ticketmaster, Priceline, and several startups. She also earned a Master’s degree in Sociology from Yale University, providing her with a deep understanding of social science.
Jerry, on the other hand, has over 20 years of experience as a senior software engineer and manager, working for companies such as Ticketmaster and several startups.
With their extensive backgrounds in software product development and social science, the founding team brings a unique perspective to creating effective solutions for emotion management and relationship issues in professional and personal lives.
NOT YOUR ORDINARY WORKPLACE TRAINING SOLUTIONS
Amotions differentiates itself from other workplace training solutions in the market by offering an AI-powered coaching platform that provides quick solutions for users’ problems, available 24/7.
Unlike traditional corporate trainings, which are not effective for long-term learning, Amotions’ platform allows users to learn by doing, reflecting, interacting with others, and getting real-time feedback. Additionally, the platform is affordable and accessible for people from various socio-economic backgrounds, offering daily practices, peer communities, sentiment analysis, and recommendations powered by AI.
Amotions’ approach focuses on developing soft skills, such as emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, and leadership skills, that are essential for success in the modern workplace, providing a comprehensive solution that goes beyond one-off training sessions.
THE FUTURE FOR AMOTIONS
Pianpian envisions the company as a tool to empower millions of individuals worldwide to reach their full potential and transform organizations through high-performing teams and next-generation leaders.
“We start with helping managers and teams develop soft skills and solve problems they face, and I can see that we expand to help employees upskills and reskills also technical skills and functional skills, and to be the biggest player in the professional development and personal development space,” she said.
As the company grows, it plans to continue leveraging technology to personalize the experience and provide real-time insights and recommendations to users.
We are looking to connect with founders and company leaders and angel/pre-seed/seed investors interested in innovation and building high-performing teams to get feedback on what we are building and learn more about their needs. Please let me know if you are interested in connecting with me for a 15-minute conversation, or if you know if anyone I should connect with.
What can you offer to this community?
Happy to help with manager training and leadership development, soft skills development, product management, emotional wellness, Chinese and Japanese cultures and markets, or any way I can. We also offer free trials and discounted access to our product.
CONNECT WITH PIANPIAN
Linkedin: Pianpian Xu Guthrie