Are You Solving a Problem Worth Solving?

Business of Making

Wednesday, May 13, 1:15 pm to 1:35 pm in Theater

Great technical teams can build a product to solve almost any problem. But is the problem worth solving in the first place? There is nothing more depressing than building a beautiful product, only to find that the problem that inspired this solution isn’t as impactful as we believed. In this talk, we will look at how we can use strategic thinking and customer development to iterate our way to a great problem statement, so we make sure that we are solving a problem worth solving.


Elaine Chen

Founder and Managing Director, ConceptSpring
Elaine is a seasoned product strategist and engineering executive with a unique background spanning product development and product management.  She is the author of the book, “Bringing a Hardware Product to Market: Navigating the Wild Ride from Concept to Mass Production”.  She is the Founder and Managing Director of ConceptSpring, which provides strategic product development consulting services to executives and leaders of product teams.  She is also a Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, where she teaches entrepreneurship, primary market research, and leadership development in startup settings. Elaine has served at the VP level in engineering and product management at several startups, including Rethink Robotics, Zeo, Zeemote and SensAble Technologies.  She is a co-inventor on 19 issued patents to date.  She holds a BS and an MS in mechanical engineering from MIT.