Learn the step by step process I've used to kill bad ideas and ignite great ones at early-stage startups and companies like Shutterstock, Toys R Us, Weight Watchers, and the Lean Startup Company.

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Holly came in to Shutterstock when we desperately needed business direction for Skillfeed (a Shutterstock company). She conducted one of the best data driven business analyses I have seen. Holly collected a tremendous amount of data by surveying the competitive landscape, comparing various industry pricing models, and categorizing thousands of user feedbacks to come up with concrete suggestions that were backed by data. -Han Qiu, Director of Engineering at Namely

Holly Hester-Reilly Headshot

By Holly Hester-Reilly, Founder of H2R Product Science

Tell me if this sounds familiar:

You work hard to build your product, but somehow it feels like the success you dream of is always just out of reach. You’re doing everything the experts say you should, but it’s still not enough.  

You talk to users, but their feedback doesn’t always make sense. And when you build what they ask for, they don’t use it.  

If only users knew what they really wanted, you’d have gotten it to them already.  

You share exciting ideas with your team, trying to steer the ship and anticipating that your team will be excited to build out what you’ve asked for. Instead, they question your every move.  

If only others were as passionate about this product as you are, you’d be shipping everything you envision, on time and under budget.  

You read articles and listen to podcasts to try to learn what you’re missing, and all you end up with is a feeling that you’re drowning in advice and other people’s success stories. Everyone else seems to be getting it right.  

When will you start seeing results from all this hard work?  

You’re starting to wonder if all of these stories you hear are lies. It’s not working for you like it worked for them. But you keep going, because you’re not a quitter. The day-to-day life is hard, but you’re not afraid of hard work.  

It will all pay off when you finally launch that big feature that will drive the hockey stick growth, right?  

Boy, this is making me stressed just thinking about it — because I’ve been there.

Ten years ago, I lived this life as part of the team at an early-stage startup. We were creative and passionate. We were working hard, sustained by our vision and the success stories around us. We were willing to sacrifice for our dream, living on a small budget and forgoing the salaries we could have earned elsewhere, believing that we needed to take the chance that it would pay off. And it could have — the vision was great. So great, in fact, that you probably would recognize a product that’s around today that does more or less what we envisioned a decade ago.  

Even all these years later, that story is painful to talk about, but suffice it to say, we never reached product-market fit. After several years of hard work, I moved on to a product management career, developing products for other people’s startups. Over the years as a product manager at scaling startups, I’ve learned so much that I wish I knew a decade ago.  

Launching products doesn’t have to be such a grind.

Imagine that you launch your product in under 3 months, generating rave reviews from your target users. They love that it solves a real problem for them and excitedly ask you for more. And the things they ask for are exactly what you expected them to want next — things that you’re already working on. These users are happy to give you feedback on your prototypes and you confidently develop a plan to get you from this phase to your vision. A year later, your key metrics are 10x higher than where you started, and you are excitedly growing your product and team as everyone keeps moving passionately towards your vision.  

Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?  

Well I want to tell you that it’s not out of reach. I’ve lived that dream several times, with a mobile health messaging platform, with a completely new user interface for a MediaMath’s ad-tech platform, and with Shutterstock Editor, a design tool for nondesigners to create professional designs.  

So what’s the secret?

Is it just luck? For some companies, companies that do it once but struggle to do it again, maybe it is. But for those of us, founders and product leaders who have launched successful new products again and again, it’s not luck, it’s science — product science.  

But what is product science?

Product science is a repeatable, science-based approach to building high growth products in an uncertain world. It combines user science — the application of psychological and behavior science principles to understand and predict user behavior — with lean and agile development practices, modern management principles, and intentional culture setting to build innovative products and top product teams.  

The world’s top tech companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Netflix have used the principles that underlay product science to disrupt behemoth markets and change the world, forever. These tech giants are filled with experts in disciplines like user research, behavior science, data science, product management, user experience design, and growth marketing. They use these skills to develop evidence-based product strategies that lead to the high growth products that we use everyday.  

They also train lots of people in how to create products that change human behavior, massively. But usually you either have to get picked to join their team or try to navigate the sea of information to learn these skills as you build something yourself.  

But not anymore. Now you have me by your side, ready to teach you everything you need to know. After a decade working in tech, I’ve learned what it takes to build products people love, and I’m on a mission to teach it to creators like you.

You in?

What will you get?

I'll introduce you to the Product Science Method, the process I use to develop evidence-based product strategies on all of my projects, whether they are startups or enterprises or something in between. At the end, you'll have a better understanding of how all the sciences of modern product development work together to create high-growth products, stellar product teams, and top performing customer-obsessed organizations.

In this 7 lesson e-mail course, you'll learn:

  • The 3 stages to developing your growth plan
  • What it means to really understand your users
  • The 3 parts of knowing your market 
  • How to share your research results to set your team up for success 
  • How to design the best solutions 
  • What to test, and when 
  • How to educate your stakeholders

Holly Hester-Reilly Headshot


Holly Hester-Reilly

Product Management Trainer & Consultant

As Group Product Owner at Shutterstock, Holly successfully made the evidence-based case to shutdown Skillfeed, an internally launched startup in the online education space. Next she led the launch of Shutterstock Editor from prototype to successful public beta in 3 months, generating praise from the target users who loved that it saved them time. From there she developed an evidence-based product strategy and a resource plan to scale the team 3X. By the end of Shutterstock Editor’s first year, the team had earned a reputation for continually delivering valuable improvements and product usage had grown 10X from its first month.  

Over the course of Holly's decade in NYC tech, she has worked on over a dozen new product launches. In 2017, Holly founded H2R Product Science, a training and consulting company so that she could help more startup founders, product managers, designers, and engineers find growth opportunities and develop evidence-based strategies for successful product launches.

(c) 2021 H2R Product Science, New York, NY