Sep 3 • 1HR 12M

Inside Etsy’s product, growth, and marketplace evolution | Tim Holley (VP of Product)

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Lenny Rachitsky
Interviews with world-class product leaders and growth experts to uncover concrete, actionable, and tactical advice to help you build, launch, and grow your own product.
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Tim Holley is VP of Product at Etsy where he leads the Etsy buyer experience. With a tenure spanning more than a decade, Tim has seen the company through many transitions (both in culture, in leadership, and in growth), and his team’s product changes have had a significant impact on buyer retention, conversion, and global expansion. In this episode, we discuss:

• Lessons from navigating corporate culture shifts

• How Etsy capitalized on the explosive growth of e-commerce during the pandemic

• Marketplace learnings: when to focus on supply vs. demand, optimizing conversion, and more

• How Etsy solves the “graduation problem”

• Tips for hiring product managers

Listen now on Apple, Spotify, Google, Overcast, and YouTube.

Find the full transcript at:

Where to find Tim Holley:

• LinkedIn:

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter:

• Twitter/X:

• LinkedIn:

In this episode, we cover:

(00:00) Tim’s background

(04:23) Tim’s time away at SoulCycle and what led him back to Etsy

(06:34) Lessons from the 2017 culture shift at Etsy

(12:15) Etsy’s guiding principles 

(13:32) How Etsy adapted to increased demand during the early days of mask mandates

(16:38) What Tim learned about managing stress with his team during the pandemic

(18:46) Lessons from building a thriving marketplace

(21:47) Prioritization at Etsy

(24:37) Supply constraint vs. demand constraint 

(28:43) Conversion wins

(33:27) Experimentation at Etsy

(37:58) Acquisition and top-of-funnel tactics

(39:44) The seller referral program

(40:33) Etsy’s habit loop framework

(44:11) How they set themselves apart from other marketplaces

(51:23) Retaining sellers 

(53:23) The defunct Etsy studio

(55:18) Running the product team

(57:20) Who the decision maker is 

(1:01:20) What Tim looks for when hiring PMs 

(1:03:03) A reflection exercise Tim does with his teams

(1:05:08) Lightning round


• Etsy:

• SoulCycle:

• Inside the Revolution at Etsy:

• Ronny Kohavi on Lenny’s Podcast:

• How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 3:

Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World:

Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman:

The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York:

Yellowstone on Paramount+:

• Nara Baby app:

• Huckleberry app:

Production and marketing by For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email

Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed.