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Launching The Reforge Executive In Residence (EIR) Program

One of the things I love about working on Reforge is that I get to dig into the minds of so many leaders at the fastest growing tech companies. As a result, I get to see the patterns for how the most impactful and successful individuals navigate their careers.

One aspect that differentiates the outliers is that they choose their companies and roles extremely well. Consider that as an operator, all of your eggs are in a single basket at any given time and that each role creates the foundation and leverage for your next one. Additionally, you only have so many roles and opportunities to level-up throughout a career. So finding the right company and selecting the right role for you is the highest leverage things you can do for your career.

But this can be exceptionally challenging. The odds of choosing well are stacked against you. When you interview with a new company, you are at a large information disadvantage about the company and team. Most interview processes are designed for the company to evaluate you, but not the reverse. It takes a lot of time, digging, and thinking to even the playing field. But this is difficult due to a few constraints:

  1. Money Constraints: Most people aren't in situations to leave their current roles for a chunk of time without something else lined up. This leads to...
  2. Time Constraints:Searching for your next role is extremely time-consuming, especially when you already have a demanding day job.
  3. Network Constraints: It’s often awkward or impossible to ask the people best suited to help you find your next opportunity because you are directly working with them.

What does it all add up to? A high probability of making a decision you regret.

About the Author

Brian Balfour

Brian Balfour

Brian is the Founder and CEO of Reforge. Previously, he was the VP of Growth @ HubSpot. Prior to HubSpot, he was an EIR @ Trinity Ventures and founder of Boundless Learning and Viximo. He advises companies including Blue Bottle Coffee, Gametime, Lumoid, GrabCAD, and Help Scout on growth and customer acquisition.

Launching The Reforge EIR (Executive In Residence) Program

This is why Reforge is launching our version of an EIR program, an Executive In Residence, designed for active leaders in their field. The EIR program is a 6- or 12-month role for experienced product leaders who are at a transition point in their career. During your time as a EIR, you will lead 2–3 Reforge programs and will have the opportunity to help us define and spread the future of Product as a discipline. You will be a full-time employee of Reforge receiving a solid salary, health insurance, and other benefits.

More importantly, a Reforge EIR will get a number of things:

  1. Time To Explore: Have the mental space and hours necessary to explore and fully research the companies, people, and opportunities for your next role.
  2. Platform To Build Your Professional Brand: Leverage our platform and audience to build your personal brand.
  3. A Network To Leverage: Gain a network of top tier leaders and practitioners to leverage and amplify your next endeavor.
  4. Deepen Your Knowledge: Become an expert on multiple high-demand frontiers and important topics in Product Growth.
  5. An Inside View: Get an inside view of many different companies, products, and services.

The program is inspired by my time as an EIR (Entrepreneur In Residence) at Trinity Ventures which gave me a lot of the same benefits and saved me from making some really bad startup choices. The challenge is that most VC EIR programs are designed for those that want to be founders rather than operators. The Reforge EIR program is a place where you can actively practice your craft; grow in your knowledge, skills, and experience and earn our sponsorship in moving your career forward.

How Do I Become a Reforge EIR?

We are taking submissions now. We'll be selecting two people by January 2020, and another two people in July 2020. If you are interested in more details on the program or would like to apply, check it out here. You can also email questions to EIR -at- Reforge -dot- com.

Brian Balfour