The Product Science Podcast

The Product Science Podcast

By Holly Hester-Reilly, Founder and CEO of H2R Product Science
The Product Science Podcast is for startup founders and product leaders building high-growth products, teams, and companies. Listen in on real conversations with the people who have tried it and aren’t afraid to share the lessons they’ve learned (and the mistakes they’ve made) along the way.
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The Barry O'Reilly Hypothesis: You've Got to Be Comfortable With Getting Uncomfortable

The Product Science Podcast

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The Jim Morris Hypothesis: Product Teams Do Best When They Build Just Enough to Learn
Jim Morris coaches product teams and leaders at startups and corporate clients. Previously, he co-founded PowerReviews (sold for $168 million) and was an early employee at Fogdog.com ($66 million IPO). Since graduating in Computer Science from Stanford University, he’s held a variety of roles in tech startups, most recently CTO. In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we talk about how Jim’s approach to product management and development has evolved and what he’s learned from implementing a continuous discovery process at multiple organizations. Read the show notes to learn more.
1:01:40
February 18, 2020
The Allison Cassing Hypothesis: When You Follow Your Interests, Your Work Will Be More Enjoyable
Allison Cassing is the User Researcher for the H2R Product Science Team. She brings with her years of product management experience focused on data and insights. She has a deep interest in user experience and motivation. In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we talk about what Allison’s learned over the course of her career in product management and user research, and how to make sure you’re focused on the right questions. Read the show notes to learn more.
57:56
February 4, 2020
The Audrey Crane Hypothesis: If You Don't Hire Enough Designers, You Don't Get No Design, You Get Bad Design
Since 2010, Audrey Crane has been a Partner at DesignMap, a strategic product design agency that helps ambitious enterprise software companies. She loves figuring out how to make helping people good business at places like Docker, Salesforce, and eBay. In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we talk about Audrey's new book, What CEOs Need to Know About Design Thinking, and the changes organizations need to make in how they think about design. Read the show notes to learn more.
43:26
January 28, 2020
The Mary Wharmby Hypothesis: Transformation in Large Organizations Starts with Creating a Common Language of Innovation
Mary Wharmby is a designer and educator with 20 years of experience guiding teams in the creation of both customer-facing products and services and employee-facing tools and systems. She is the former Head of Design Transformation at the global bank, BBVA, where she architected and led a team dedicated to driving innovation by strategically infusing design across the entire organization. Mary is currently founder of the challenger consultancy, Design Transformation, helping organizations be more innovative. In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we talk about how Mary helped create a process transformation class that could affect big changes in a large, multinational organization. Read the show notes to learn more.
53:35
January 21, 2020
The Matt Wallaert Hypothesis: Great Product Teams Use Behavioral Science to Build Products That Create Change
Matt Wallaert is a behavioral scientist working at the intersection of technology and human behavior. He headed product at two successful startups, then Microsoft and Microsoft Ventures, and is now the Chief Behavioral Officer at Clover and author of Start at the End: How to build products that create change, with a slate of pro-social side projects including GetRaised, SalaryOrEquity, and IAskedHer. In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we talk about how Matt gets his team to focus on the behavior they’re trying to change, and his unique research process. Read the show notes to learn more.
54:13
January 14, 2020
The Heather Browning Hypothesis: Great Product Design Can Make Healthy Behaviors Easier
Heather Browning is VP of Product at Ria Health, which has an innovative program that enables people to reduce their drinking. Heather is a growth product leader with a background in game design, cognitive psychology, and behavioral economics. She uses this expertise to build products aimed at sustained behavior change with a focus on improving engagement and retention. In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we talk about how building products that drive behavior doesn’t work if you don’t frame it the right way. Read the show notes to learn more.
41:08
January 7, 2020
The Dan Melinger Hypothesis: Product-Led Growth Leaders Align Companies and Teams on the Fundamentals
Dan Melinger has led the development of disruptive products in broadcast and social media, gaming, education, and commerce. His consultancy, Realtime Lab, works with companies and projects of all stages. Previously, Dan served as VP Product at FanDuel, where he developed the company’s newest games. He’s also started product companies Socialight and Edco. In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we talk about how he’s navigated the transition between the early-growth stage to building teams out to have what it takes to succeed in the long run. Read the show notes to learn more.
48:23
December 17, 2019
The Joe Lalley Hypothesis: Successful Product Leaders Transfer the Excitement Around a Problem from the Team to the Stakeholders
Joe Lalley is the Experience Design Leader in Digital Transformation at PriceWaterhouse Coopers, where he helps people and teams solve problems through the process of design. To make this happen, he designs and facilitates workshops, meetings, and design sprints to help teams take a user-centric approach to their business challenges. In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we talk about how Joe changes how teams work across PWC, and his surprising tricks for getting the most out of your meetings. Read the show notes to learn more.
46:27
December 10, 2019
The David Bland Hypothesis: Assumption Mapping Before Testing Business Ideas Facilitates Better Product Decisions
David Bland is the founder of Precoil and the co-author of the new book, Testing Business Ideas. In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we talk about how important it is to get cross-functional teams to agree on the assumptions that must be true for your business to succeed and discuss different approaches to testing the assumptions. Read the show notes to learn more.
51:13
December 3, 2019
The Dan Mason Hypothesis: Great Product Leaders Focus on Moving the Ball Forward
Dan Mason is a veteran Head of Product, coach and consultant based in NY who works with teams of all stages to develop great product managers and drive great outcomes, drawing on years of experience at organizations big and small, including ESPN, People Magazine, and Shutterstock. In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we talk about how to take a pragmatic approach to product development in order to make sure you’re bridging the gap between an ideal product process and the realities of the organization you’re working in. Read the show notes to learn more.
45:51
November 19, 2019
The Ben Foster Hypothesis: High-Growth Product Leaders Set a Clear Vision and Push Authority Down to the Teams
Ben Foster is the Chief of Product at GoCanvas and the founder of Prodify, a product management consultancy. In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we talk about Ben’s journey in product management from the early days of the dotcom bubble to where he thinks the industry is headed today, and what he looks for when he’s interviewing for a new position. Read the show notes to learn more.
48:21
November 12, 2019
The Susan Goebel Hypothesis: Bringing Structure to Startup Chaos Helps Teams Develop Breakthrough Growth
Susan Goebel (GO-bull) is a 20 year veteran at bringing products to market around the world. This leader in the field of bioscience research and product development uncovers global market opportunities and partnerships to help inventors and entrepreneurs bring ideas to fruition, with experience in biotech, pharma, and software development. In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we talk about the differences between product management in pharma versus tech and what she’s learned along the way. Read the show notes to learn more.
52:07
November 5, 2019
The John Cutler Hypothesis: Great Product Leaders Foster an Environment Where the Best Decisions Can Happen
John Cutler is the Product Evangelist at Amplitude, a product analytics platform that helps product managers. His career spans music, entrepreneurship, Product Management, and UX Research at such companies as ZenDesk, AdKeeper, and more. In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we talk about what patterns John sees working with product teams on their process. Read the show notes to learn more.
56:35
October 29, 2019
The Babur Habib Hypothesis: Rapid Iterations Drive the Slow Growth That Overcomes Inertia
Babur Habib is the Co-Founder and CEO of the Portfolio School, with years of experience including cofounding edtech company Kno which sold to Intel, being the VP of Video at Shutterstock, the Head of Engineering and Development at Intel Education, and a technical consultant and manager at Exponent. In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we talk about how the Portfolio School is trying to transform education from the ground up and how to train a generation of students that understands the power and ethics of tech. Read the show notes to learn more.
49:01
October 22, 2019
The Kate Rutter Hypothesis: Things Can Seem Simple and Still Be Very Hard
Kate Rutter is an adjunct professor of design at the California College of the Arts and a principal at Intelleto, with decades of experience in product design and management, infusing time at Adaptive Path and Luxr. In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we talk about how to hire for right traits, work-life balance, and how to adapt a hacker/DIY ethos in your work. Read the show notes to learn more.
1:10:47
October 15, 2019
The Jeff Gothelf Hypothesis: Driving Business Agility Requires Humility, Curiosity, and Psychological Safety
Jeff Gothelf is the co-author of Lean UX and Sense and Respond, as well as the co-founder of Sense and Respond Press, in collaboration with Season 1 guest Josh Seiden. In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we talk about how making the transition to Agile needs to be organizational, the common mistakes that happen when different parts of the business are out of synch, and how to fix them. Read the show notes to learn more.
47:54
October 8, 2019
The Connie Kwan Hypothesis: Great Product Managers Influence with Storytelling
Connie Kwan is a storyteller and product executive and the founder of Product Maestro. With 15-years in Product Management, she's led teams and shipped products at Atlassian, Microsoft, SunPower, Cypress and startups such as Carrot, and Sourcemap. Her company Product Maestro leverages theatre techniques to help growth-stage companies craft and deliver powerful stories about their products. In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we talk about how to identify your speaker type and better communicate with your team to get more results. Read the show notes to learn more.
40:34
October 1, 2019
The Thor Ernstsson Hypothesis: Great Companies Make Decisions by Evidence Instead of Job Titles
Thor Ernstsson is a serial entrepreneur who is currently the founder and CEO of Alpha. In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we talk about his varied experience running product teams at all levels of the industry, what to look for in new hires, and how to maintain an experimental mindset. Read the show notes to learn more.
53:22
September 24, 2019
The Janna Bastow Hypothesis: True Product Companies Step Back, Focus, Measure, and Iterate
Janna Bastow is the co-founder and CEO of ProdPad. In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we talk about how she learned how to really be agile and lean, why she started ProdPad, and how Prodpad makes product decisions. Read the show notes to learn more.
54:26
September 17, 2019
The 2nd Nir Eyal Hypothesis: When We Understand our Triggers and Plan Our Time, We Can Become Indistractible
Nir Eyal’s new book, Indistractible, launches this week. In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we talk about how to put behavior science to work for you so that you can build practices and habits that help you avoid distraction and get things done. Nir is also the author of the bestselling book, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products and writes, consults, and teaches about the intersection of psychology, technology, and business. Read the show notes to learn more.
1:02:09
September 10, 2019
The Tim O'Reilly Hypothesis: Build a Market by Building an Ecosystem
Tim O’Reilly is the founder of O’Reilly Media. In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we talk about his recent article in Quartz, “The fundamental problem with Silicon Valley’s favorite growth strategy,” how he grew O’Reilly media from a $500 publishing budget, and how you can build a market by building an ecosystem around it. Read the show notes to learn more.
56:38
September 3, 2019
Season 1 Highlights: The Product Science Principles in Practice
As we wrap up Season One of the Product Science Podcast, we want to highlight some of the amazing insights our guests have shared over the past 21 episodes using the Product Science Principles as a framework to put them into context for you. In this episode, we’ll explain the concepts of evidence-based product strategy, continuous discovery and delivery, and the need for empowered teams as the core of a product strategy that works. Read the show notes to learn more.
24:25
July 2, 2019
The Nir Eyal Hypothesis: Products That Create Desirable Habits Win the Long Game
Nir Eyal is the author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products. In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we talk about how to make sticky products that keep users coming back for more, the difference between ethical and unethical manipulation, and the impact of passing the regret test on the business’s bottom line. Read the show notes to learn more.
57:13
June 25, 2019
The Hope Gurion Hypothesis: Fearless Product Leaders Build Alignment Around Clear Goals and Evidence-Based Decisions
Hope Gurion is a former product leader at CareerBuilder and Beach Body and now the founder of Fearless Product, where she coaches product leaders and teams. She’s also the moderator for the Product Leader Council at Collaborative Gain. In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we talk about Hope’s experiences transforming organizations to focus on value, and how she helps product leaders learn the skills they need to take their work to the next level. Read the show notes for this episode to learn more.
47:13
June 18, 2019
The Josh Seiden Hypothesis: Driving Outcomes Over Output Requires Understanding Customer Behavior
Josh Seiden is the author of three books, most recently Outcomes Over Output: Why Customer Behavior Is the Key Metric for Business Success, with twenty-five years experience in the industry. Today on the Product Science Podcast, we find out how to simplify the development process by focusing on getting the outcomes we want. Read the show notes for this episode to learn more.
47:28
June 11, 2019
The Chris Butler Hypothesis: Adversarial Product Management Gets to the Core of What Really Matters Using Contrarian Thinking
Chris Butler is the Chief Product Architect at IPsoft, with years of experience working in AI-related products at Philosophie, Complete Seating, and Horizon Ventures. We talk about adversarial product management, how randomization can help improve your decision making, and the challenges large organizations face when they try to disrupt themselves. Read the show notes to learn more.
56:10
June 4, 2019
The Catherine Ulrich Hypothesis: High-Growth Product Leaders Stay Curious and Dive Into Their Fears
Catherine Ulrich is a product leader turned investor whose career has included being Chief Product Officer at Weight Watchers and Shutterstock and Managing Director at FirstMark Capital. In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we talk about strategies to drive organizational change, why understanding financial planning can help product leaders, and how the best product teams understand the ‘why’ behind their work. Read the show notes to learn more.
1:05:54
May 28, 2019
The Saeed Khan Hypothesis: Understanding the State of Your Product, Your Processes, and Your People Sets the Foundation for High-Growth Products
Saeed Khan is the co-founder of Transformation Labs and has over twenty-five years of experience in the tech industry. Today on the Product Science Podcast, we look at how moving past the “build mindset” to focus on discovery for products, processes, and people creates a foundation for product success. Read the show notes for this episode to learn more.
53:57
May 21, 2019
The Lea Hickman Hypothesis: Product Management Is a Team Sport
Lea Hickman is a Partner at Silicon Valley Group, where she travels around the world working with product teams to help them create better products faster. Her storied career in product management included Netscape, Macromedia, Adobe, and InVision. We discuss the keys to building a great product management team. Read the show notes for this episode to learn more. Resources The Silicon Valley Product Group @leahickman on Twitter Follow Lea on LinkedIn
47:12
May 14, 2019
The Allan Neil Hypothesis: Product Managers Need to Invest More in Understanding Problems at a Very Deep Level
Allan Neil has been in the enterprise B2B software product management industry for 22 years, he’s currently the Technical Product Manager at AudienceView and hosts the Problemist Podcast. This week on the Product Science Podcast, we look at how product management shifts based on an organization’s goals and position within the market, and how to help business leaders understand how to think about the product development process. Read the show notes for this episode to learn more.
44:22
May 7, 2019
The Shane Snow Hypothesis: A Leader’s Role Is to Be the Facilitator of Great Debates
Shane Snow is the co-founder of Contently and the author of three books including his latest, Dream Teams: Working Together Without Falling Apart. In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we discuss how the best teams aren’t just dominated by one person’s ideas or process—they’re smarter than the sum of their parts. Read the show notes for this episode to learn more.
49:22
April 30, 2019
The Melissa Perri Hypothesis: Escaping the Build Trap Requires Transforming Product Management Processes From Top to Bottom
Melissa Perri is the author of Escaping the Build Trap and founder of Produx Labs, a product management consulting company that helps organizations transform their processes from top to bottom. This week on the Product Science Podcast, we talk about how product and tech can work together to maximize synergy, how to avoid the traps that lie in wait for growth-stage and enterprise companies, and how Melissa’s unique background helped her succeed in product. Read the show notes for this episode to learn more.
46:20
April 23, 2019
The Daniel Elizalde Hypothesis: IoT Product Leaders Create Products That People Trust
Daniel Elizalde is a product consultant specializing in the Internet of Things (IoT). He has over twenty years of experience working in aerospace, energy, and other industries where consistency and security are mission critical. This week on the Product Science Podcast, we talk about what it takes to build risk management and security into your product development practice. Learn how to set expectations with leadership, and what can happen when something gets overlooked. Read the show notes for this episode to learn more.
51:20
April 16, 2019
The Laura Klein Hypothesis: The Illusion of Certainty Is a Problem
Laura Klein is the VP of Product at Business Talent Group, and the author of two books, UX for Lean Startups and Build Better Products. This week on the Product Science Podcast, we talk about her approach to working with an organization to develop a research-oriented mindset and how to avoid building to unnecessary or extraneous requirements. Read the show notes for this episode to learn more.
54:40
April 9, 2019
The Christopher Lochhead Hypothesis: Legendary People, Products, and Companies Follow The Exponential Value of What Makes Them Different
Christopher Lochhead is the author of Play Bigger and Niche Down, a 3x Silicon Valley CMO, and the host of the Follow Your Different Podcast. This week on the Product Science Podcast, we sit down to talk about his years of experience in Silicon Valley, what it means to design a market category, and how you can make it as a solopreneur. Read the show notes for this episode to learn more.
1:32:24
April 2, 2019
The Katelyn Bourgoin Hypothesis: You Can Talk to 300 Customers and Still Build the Wrong Thing
Katelyn Bourgoin is a 3x founder turned product discovery coach, specializing in helping startups use the jobs-to-be-done framework. In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we talk about the mistakes many organizations make when they think they’re doing the right research and what you can do to make sure you don’t fall for the same traps. Read the show notes for this episode to learn more.
50:46
March 26, 2019
The Rich Mironov Hypothesis: Great Product Leadership is Both Subtle and Slow to Pay Off
Rich Mironov is a veteran product management and product executive coach with years of experience helping product teams and tech company leadership ask the right questions. Today on the Product Science Podcast, we look at the patterns he’s seen in organizations that do product right, where most businesses get tripped up, and what you can do to hire the right people. Read the show notes for this episode to learn more.
44:13
March 19, 2019
The Tommi Forsstrom Hypothesis: Great Product Management at Scale Involves No Big Teams, Just a Lot of Small Teams in One
Tommi Forström is the CPO-in-residence of Produx Labs. This week on the Product Science Podcast, we talk about how product leadership can make a difference in organizations big and small. What can business leaders do to make a large organization feel small? We look at lessons that Tommi has learned along the way, and what they can mean for you. Read the show notes for this episode to learn more.
43:13
March 12, 2019
The Teresa Torres Hypothesis: The Best Product Teams Continually Improve Both Their Product and Their Process
Teresa Torres is a product discovery coach and the author of the Product Talk Blog. She spends most of her time coaching cross-functional product teams on how to adopt continuous discovery practices. On this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we get into how you can refine your product discovery practices. Read the show notes for this episode to learn more.
56:01
March 5, 2019
The Patrick Campbell Hypothesis: Effective Data-Informed Decisions Focus on the Question
Patrick Campbell founded Price Intelligently, which evolved into ProfitWell, which uses data to help subscription companies make smart monetization and retention decisions. What started out as a software company lead to a broader business, but there were certainly some false starts along the way. This week on the Product Science Podcast, we talk to Patrick to learn about his path as a startup founder, how he keeps his organization focused on the big picture, and how he works with his product leader to make smart decisions. Read the show notes for this episode to learn more.
40:13
February 26, 2019
The Barry O'Reilly Hypothesis: You've Got to Be Comfortable With Getting Uncomfortable
Barry O’Reilly is the Founder of ExecCamp and author of Lean Enterprise. This week on the Product Science Podcast, we talk about the lessons he’s learned from software development, and how he works with business leaders to create an environment that’s safe to fail. Learn about the principles behind his new book, Unlearn, and what startup founders need to think about as they make key business decisions.
36:16
February 19, 2019
The Michel Feaster Hypothesis: 10x Product Managers Drive Growth
Michel Feaster is the founder and CEO of the startup Usermind. She has 20 years of product management experience under her belt in software. This week on the Product Science Podcast, we find out how she went from working at a gas station to working for a billion-dollar software company, and get a chance to hear about the lessons she’s learned along the way.
58:16
February 12, 2019
The Marty Cagan Hypothesis: Surviving Success in High-Growth Startups Requires Great Product Leaders
Marty Cagan is founder of the Silicon Valley Product Group. We get the chance to sit down and talk about the lessons he’s learned over his long career in product management. Marty works with a variety of companies, so he has an insider’s view into best practices. We talk through mentorship, the importance of product management, how companies can escape their roadmap addiction, and much more.
48:34
February 12, 2019
The Holly Hester-Reilly Hypothesis: Great Products Come When You're Not Afraid of Failure
Welcome to the inaugural episode of the Product Science Podcast. We’re focused on helping startup founders and product leaders build high-growth products, teams, and companies. We have real conversations with the people who have tried it and aren’t afraid to share the lessons they’ve learned (and the mistakes they’ve made) along the way. The Product Science Podcast is hosted by Holly Hester-Reilly, Founder and CEO of H2R Product Science. In this episode, we’ll talk about Holly’s background, what evidence-based product science is all about, and what you as a listener (and hopefully a subscriber) can expect to get out this podcast going forward.
14:19
February 4, 2019