#33 - Product Strategy: What’s required to solve the world’s biggest problems through technology

An interview with Danny Saksenberg, Co-founder / CEO Emerge

Product StrategyThis focus of this weeks podcast is product strategy, and more specifically how to shift from focusing on interesting problems towards valuable problems. My guest is Danny Saksenberg, Co-founder / CEO Emerge. He started his career as an actuary at Deloitte and then started to immerse himself into the world of machine learning and AI. He was part of the team at Jemstep.com to build one of the first and leading robo-advisors for the Financial Services industry.

In 2012 he founded Emerge together with Laurence Rau. Emerge helps companies to make money from operations by making them super-efficient and improving customer experience. To accomplish this Emerge works in partnership with the world’s largest and most trusted consulting companies, software giants and directly with corporates to develop constantly-learning, operational solutions to valuable and consequential problems.

He refers to himself as passionate about thinking differently and unlocking potential. In his words “I am always looking for more problems”. This triggered me, hence I invited Danny to my podcast.

We explore what’s required for AI and Machine Learning to reach their full potential in solutions; Data is just a part of that puzzle. We review the difference in impact between solutions that improve efficiency and solutions that improve the experience. And last but not least we address how the outcomes of AI will reveal new insights, help transform thinking inside organizations, and in turn inspire the creation of new processes and procedures.

Here are some of his quotes:

“people are spending a lot of time focusing on interesting problems and not so much on valuable problems.

we genuinely believe that the solutions to the world’s biggest problems are in data and there aren’t enough people tackling that properly

What gets people excited is that you identify a problem that is hurting their business or an opportunity and you develop a solution that takes advantage of that.

What we’re finding is that we’re able to get machines to do things that far exceed what humans can do.

But where humans become much more useful is where we can get them to be strategic in terms of working out where they would like the machines to be deployed

We’re getting businesses starting to ask more of the right questions.

Identify the bottlenecks in their business and focus on that.

I think ultimately it boils down to what can you do to serve the public better? The more value you add to them or to more people, the better your business will do.”

By listening to this interview, you will learn three things:

  1. That to solve the world’s biggest problems and build the most impactful solutions for the future we need to develop multi-disciplinary people who blend expertise in AI and business.
  2. Why it’s critical to view your customers as partners (not as clients) in order to create a meaningful and lasting impact
  3. How by building solutions that go beyond ‘just insight’, but instead also actively help ‘solve’ the problem by changing behavior, you can grow value exponentially.


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About the author

Sales Pitch

Ton Dobbe is a former B2B software product marketer who's on a mission to save mission-driven SaaS CEOs from the stress of 'not enough' traction. He's the author of The Remarkable Effect, the host of the Tech-Entrepreneur on a Mission podcast, and writes a daily newsletter on the secrets to mastering predictable traction.