Bringing a Hardware Product to Market

Navigating the Wild Ride from Concept to Mass Production

New to hardware product development?

Ready to take your idea from concept to mass production?

This book will help you:

  • Learn how to bring a connected hardware product to market
  • Manage the transition to manufacturing and operations
  • Save time and money by avoiding common pitfalls

Read the first chapter, or sign up for our mailing list to download a free PDF.

You can also buy the paperback or Kindle editions on Amazon.


What people are saying about this book

"At MIT, we like to think that our engineering students know everything about the technical side of starting a company, and all they need to learn is the business side. The reality is that they don't always have the time and opportunity to experience all the work that goes into developing a quality hardware product. Elaine has taken her broad experience and boiled it down to a roadmap that can help a new hardware entrepreneur know what to expect and to plan for success. It has lots of wisdom from experience, and it brings this to the reader in a very practical and useful manner. An extremely valuable read for the hardware entrepreneur."

Bill Aulet, Managing Director and Senior Lecturer, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship,
Author,"Disciplined Entrepreneurship"

"Elaine Chen brings lessons from years of leadership building hardware to help the rest of us avoid the most common pitfalls hardware startups face. Hardware takes longer, is less flexible to develop and mistakes are difficult to correct. Learning from Elaine's experience, readers will take away practical techniques that she's used to successfully build wireless controllers, quantified self wearables, and industrial robots."

Eric Paley, Founder and Managing Partner, Founder Collective

"Most first-time hardware entrepreneurs view product development as two steps: prototype then manufacture. Elaine does a superb job of breaking down this false pretense and exposing the complex, multifaceted approach to building great hardware products with a small team. There aren't many books out there that provide practical help for hardware startups, this one is surely a must-read for any aspiring hardware founder."

Ben Einstein, Managing Partner, Bolt

"Elaine draws on years of experience to provide a clear and concise handbook for companies developing consumer electronic products. In this playbook, she helps companies avoid common pitfalls and navigate the challenges of bringing new hardware products to life. It's a must read for both first time hardware entrepreneurs as well as seasoned veterans who want to fill in gaps in their experience."

Scott Miller, Founder and CEO, Dragon Innovation, Partner, Bolt

"Most hardware entrepreneurs have experience in software. And software entrepreneurs have been spoiled. With agile, lean, modern platforms - software moves fast. Zuck's motto of move fast break things works with software. Hardware is a completely different beast. Breaking things equals expensive recalls! And customers have high expectations for product quality - even from first generation products. Elaine cogently lays out how to build hardware. This is a guide that anyone transitioning from software to hardware should keep close!"

Ben Rubin, Founder and CEO, Change Collective

"This is my go-to reference for all my MIT hardware startups. It takes you through the entire process, in excellent detail, of how to do hardware the right way. I highly recommend it!"

Christina Chase, Entrepreneur in Residence and Lecturer, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship

"Elaine Chen has managed to address the greatest challenge facing hardware start-ups in a concise manner. Generating great ideas can be accomplished handily during any brainstorming session. The path to product realization however, is akin to climbing Mt. Everest, and doing so before you freeze and run out of provisions. Elaine's step by step guide provides the right amount of theory, practical advice, and doses of reality to accelerate your product to market, and to do so while meeting quality and cost goals. Got an idea for the next big thing. Go ahead and jump off the entrepreneurial cliff, but be sure to read this guide so you can dodge the obstacles and safely land in success."

Adam Shayevitz, President, Strategic Sourcing Dynamics


About the Author

Elaine is a seasoned product strategist and engineering executive with a rich background in engineering and product development in startup settings. She is currently the Founder and Managing Director of ConceptSpring, which provides strategic product development consulting services to executives and leaders of product teams.

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 also a Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, where she teaches entrepreneurship, primary market research, and leadership development.

© 2015 Elaine Chen