Last call to join the 2016 Growth Series

(Andrew Chen) #1

Hi everyone,
Just wanted to let you know that the application deadline for the Reforge Summer Growth Series is end of day tomorrow (Tuesday). If you haven’t applied yet and you are interested:

Apply and get on the wait list:

The Reforge Growth Series is an 8 week selective program for experienced professionals. It runs from July 7th - September 1st and includes lessons and examples from top practitioners who have helped grow Uber, HubSpot, LinkedIn, Atlassian, Eventbrite, Pinterest, and many more. Brian Balfour (ex-VP Growth Hubspot) is leading the program and I’m co-hosting the program and events with him.

All of the details are below. I hope you join us.


P.S. The most common question we have gotten - “Can I attend remotely?” The short answer is yes. More details in the FAQ below.

What Previous Participants Have Had To Say

“This program provides something needed much in the industry — a thoughtful methodology for product planning that values sustainable growth strategy and a great product over short-lived “growth hacker” tricks.”

– Stephen Wang, Dir User Growth & Engagement at Tencent/WeChat

“Seriously – it is fair to say the work that fell out of this program delivered incremental MAU’s easily in the millions of users for Firefox. It changed our team. They got excited, they better understood their mission, and they finally had a framework they could use to explain their work to the rest of the organization. Highly recommend.”

– Eric Petitt, Dir Product Marketing at Mozilla

“Joining the program was one of the best decisions I made last year. Rather than focus on specific tactics that may or may not work in a year, the program teaches you the underlying principles of growth. The case studies were excellent and the value in connecting with like-minded growth professionals was well worth the investment.”

– Rob Sobers - Dir Inbound Marketing @ Varonis

“You don’t know it, but you’ve created huge amounts of value for me in my career over the past year. Our MOU retention rate has gone from 8% to 40% since January based on your thinking and ideas. Thank you.”

– Will Egan - CMO Ausmed Education

What Will You Get Out Of The Program

The program is designed to provide three things:

  1. Learn Actionable, Strategic, and Practical Frameworks
    If you want a laundry list of tactics like “make your buttons orange” this program isn’t for you. We will enable you with a set of actionable frameworks that you can apply to your own business and product to build a winning strategy. By the end of the program you will have a comprehensive foundation that you can apply to almost any B2C or B2B software company in your current and future roles.

  2. Examples From Top Leaders
    The deepest insights are in the heads of the top practitioners. The people working on meaningful, recent, and relevant companies. This is why you’ll hear from the top growth leaders and executives from companies like Uber, LinkedIn, Dropbox, Atlassian, Pinterest, Airbnb, HubSpot, and so many more.

  3. Build Meaningful Relationship With Other Top Practitioners
    Having a strong network of relationships with other top practitioners that you can learn from is vital for you and your company. We curate a high quality group of practitioners, match you with relevant people, introduce you, and provide opportunities throughout the program to meet in person. These relationships will live with you long after the program is finished.

Reforge Community

You will be joining the Reforge community, alumni of previous programs including top practitioners from Google, LinkedIn, Atlassian, Dropbox, Evernote, Soundcloud, Apple, Pinterest, Airbnb, Uber, and so many other incredible companies.

The Experience

Each week of the program there are four components:

Video Lectures & Examples
The lecture videos and examples focus on each week’s topic. All lectures are taught by myself or Andrew Chen. The video’s are hosted on Reforge and accessible any time during the week. The videos are no fluff, straight to the point, covering strategic and actionable frameworks.

Video + Audio Interviews w/ Growth Leaders
Each lecture is accompanied by an audio and/or video interview with top growth leaders including Ed Baker VP Growth @ Uber, Vlad Loktev @ Airbnb, Hiten Shah, Elena Verna VP Growth @ SurveyMonkey, Shaun Clowes Dir Growth @ Atlassian, Brian Rothenberg VP Growth + Marketing @ Eventbrite, and more
Full List:

Online Discussion
There will be one hour of online discussion/Q&A via webinar software to discuss that week’s topic. In addition there will be a private forum for the Reforge community to ask questions of other top practitioners.

In Person Events
We will have an opening and closing event for the entire cohort. Each week will also have two smaller events to build meaningful relationships with other top practitioners. The events will range from purely social/fun to guest speakers/cases.

Who Is It For?

Reforge programs are selective to ensure fit and quality. You should apply to the Growth Series if you are:

  1. Experienced Individual Contributor
    3+ years of experience as a product manager, marketer, designer, engineer or other growth professional looking to accelerate your knowledge about growth.

  2. Dir/VP/C Level
    A director, VP, or CXO of an early to mid stage startup facing growth as a major initiative in your company.

What The Program Will Cover

  1. Growth Models
    Your growth model is one of the key tools form your product’s growth strategy. It describes how you grow end-to-end in both a qualitative and quantitative manner. The model is essential to identifying and prioritizing growth opportunities. You will learn how to construct a growth model for your product and how to use it form the foundation of your strategy.

  2. Growth Process and Roadmaps
    There’s always a million things to do – how do you prioritize what product changes and acquisition initiatives will contribute to growth? Learn the step by step process on how to think about and prioritize growth initiatives, built on the growth model from week one. Plus, why a growth roadmap often has to be separated from a product roadmap, and why the traits that make you successful at one often don’t translate to the other.

  3. Retention and Engagement
    Before acquisition comes retention – you have to retain and engage people, otherwise your acquisition efforts will crash. We’ll discuss why retention is so important, how to analyze retention, and how to improve retention.

  4. Acquisition Channel Strategy
    Every growth model is built on an existing, larger platform. We’ll talk about the limited ways to scale and how to identify and prioritize new channels/platforms. To put it into practice, we’ll look at some case studies for how platforms such as display ads, Facebook apps, and push notifications have fared over the years.

  5. Network Effects and Virality
    The biggest consumer and SaaS companies of the last decade have been built without spending a dime on acquisition- instead it’s driven based on viral marketing. However, a systematic approach to virality is rare in the industry. See how viral loops are built on top of new platforms, and how key metrics like viral factor are calculated.

  6. Paid Marketing
    Organic growth will likely not sustain your product forever. As a result, it’s important to think about how you can complement this growth with paid marketing efforts that add fuel to the fire. You’ll lean about how to identify when paid marketing is a scalable strategy, the key components on how to optimize, and how to win over the long term.

  7. Content Marketing
    Content marketing has exploded as a channel in the past 5 years. It can be a powerful channel, but it is hard to get right. This lecture will talk about how you can build a content marketing machine, the biggest mistakes most companies make with content strategies, the four ways to compete in today’s crowded content environment, and what the future holds for content as a scalable acquisition channel.

  8. Assembling A Growth Team
    Organizing and building a team to focus solely on growth is a new challenge. It takes a concerted effort to interview, hire and train a team that will understand and expertly operate against a growth objective. This lecture will explore emerging best practices for leading and building these teams.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is this program different from previous programs?

We have completely revamped the content to add more depth, examples and case studies. In addition we have brought in more growth leaders to participate in the interviews and in person events. We have also revamped the format of the events to help facilitate more relationships.

Can I attend the program remotely?

Yes. About 1/3 of previous program participants have done it remotely. You do not need to attend the events to get value out of the program, but they are highly encouraged. If we have a meaningful group size in other cities we will help coordinate meetups in those cities.

How many spots are available?

We are limiting the number of program spots to 150. We typically can only invite 20% of those who apply. While this could change, our first priority is ensuring the best possible experience by curating an amazing group of people and ensuring fit for the program material.

How do we choose who to invite?

We want to make sure if you take the time to participate that it is more than worth it. Our goal with the application process is two things. One, fit with the program material. Two, curating fit with the other program attendees. As a result, we manually review and curate the program attendees from the applicants based on professional experience, product type, stage of company and other factors.

How advanced is the material?

This program is not a fit for beginners. As with both of Brian’s and Andrew’s essays, the program is focused on practitioners who are already know the basics, and figuring out how to take the next step. The content will be intermediate/advanced. We assume that you know about AB testing, ad buying, etc., and the real challenge is thinking about the entire picture of growth and forming a coherent and compelling strategy. No promises of silver bullets– just lots of lead bullets.

Is this right for very early product teams seeking initial traction?

No. The best use of your time is to find product/market fit and build your initial business before you spend too much time on growth. If you are are at/past product/market fit then you will get a lot of value out of this program.

How actionable will the content be?

The content will provide actionable and analytical frameworks for understanding growth and forming a comprehensive strategy. But there will be minimal “how to” content on topics such as setting up landing pages, buying ads, etc. Those can be found on many other great sites free of charge.

What timezone will the live discussion sections be held?

We will have both morning and evening times for sections, Pacific time. If you can join for that, great, but if not all the section discussions will be recorded and it’ll be possible to attend this lecture series 100% remotely and asynchronously if you desire.

How much of the material is about SaaS/B2B versus B2C?

There is a balance of both SaaS and consumer. Many of the frameworks apply to both given that “consumerization of enterprise” is now real. On the other hand, there won’t be direct material on selling/acquiring enterprise customers although it may come up in Q&A.

Will I get access to the material after the program is over?

Yes, for a period of up to one year from the start of the program.

Who will lead the live discussion sessions?

All of the live discussion sessions will be led by either Brian or Andrew and sometimes both.

Apply Here: