Program Overview

The Reforge Deep Dive on Growth Models is a selective 8-week part-time program to help you build a compounding, defensible, and sustainable growth strategy for your company, product, or feature. The program is for both B2C and B2B practitioners and can be done from any location.

Led by growth practitioners Brian Balfour (formerly VP Growth @ HubSpot) and co-hosted by Casey Winters (former Growth @ Pinterest and @ Grubhub, current Growth EIR at Greylock), Kevin Kwok (Former Investor @ Greylock), and Andrew Chen (General Partner @ Andreessen Horowitz, formerly Growth @ Uber)

In this Deep Dive, you will learn to analyze the models and loops of dozens of real-world companies, then translate these learnings into your own qualitative and quantitative models to identify challenges and prioritize strategy in your product and company. In addition to the in-depth learning material and examples, you will get access to exclusive interviews with top leaders at Google, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Slack, SurveyMonkey and other companies, sharing how they used growth models to drive sustained growth at their company and in their careers.

This program is designed to provide you with a foundation of advanced growth models and to help you build meaningful relationships with other top growth practitioners from companies including Facebook, HubSpot, Airbnb, Segment, Google, LinkedIn, Dropbox, Evernote, and others.


Program Creators + Hosts

Brian Balfour Reforge

Brian Balfour  |  program lead

Brian Balfour is the Founder and CEO of Reforge. Prior to Reforge, he was the VP Growth @ HubSpot, an EIR @ Trinity Ventures and founder of Boundless Learning (acq by Valore) and Viximo (acq by Tapjoy). He advises companies including Drift, Blue Bottle Coffee, Gametime, and Help Scout on growth and customer acquisition. 

 
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casey winters  |  Co-host + Contributor

Casey Winters is a was formerly a Growth Lead at Pinterest and the first marketer at Grubhub. He is currently a growth advisor to companies including Tinder, Eventbrite, Reddit, Canva, Pocket, and others on scaling and growth, specializing in retention and engagement.

 
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Kevin Kwok  |  Co-host + contributor

Kevin Kwok was formerly an investor at Greylock Partners. At Greylock he focused on marketplaces, autonomous vehicles, and crypto.

Andrew Chen  |  Co-host + contributor

Andrew Chen is a General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Previously, he led Uber's rider growth team and has been an advisor and investor in tech startups including AngelList, Dropbox, BarkBox, Kiva, and Product Hunt. He writes extensively with over 650+ essays, and has been quoted in The New York Times, Fortune, Wired, and WSJ.


Featured Guests

All Reforge programs incorporate interviews from top growth leaders.  We are still confirming the guests for the Deep Dive on Growth Models.  Regular contributors include the following...

JOANNA LORD

CMO @ ClassPass

MATT PLOTKE

Strategy @ Stripe

GINA GOTTHILF

Former VP Growth & Marketing @ Duolingo

STEVE DUPREE

Former VP Mrk @ SoFi/LogMeIn

SIMON TISMINEZKY

VP Growth @ Ipsy

BRITTANY BINGHAM

VP Marketing @ Raise.me

JOSH LU

Sr Dir Product Growth @ Zynga

ELENA VERNA

SVP Growth @ Malwarebytes, Former SurveyMonkey

ADAM FISHMAN

VP Growth & Marketing @ Patreon

DARIUS CONTRACTOR

Eng Manager, Growth @ Dropbox

ADA CHEN REKHI

Former VP Mrktg @ SurveyMonkey

FAREED MOSAVAT

Growth @ Slack

And Many More...


Get Notified of Future Programs

 

We will be launching additional runs of the Deep Dive on Growth Models and our other programs. Our programs are limited and fill up extremely fast. Subscribe below to get notified of future programs.


Outcomes

1. Comprehensive Foundation

In the Deep Dive on Growth Models, you will deconstruct the major and minor types of growth loops qualitatively and quantitatively. Next, you'll learn how to map your growth loops in order to diagnose challenges and prioritize opportunities, before combining loops to build a sustainable and defensible growth model. Finally, you'll build qualitative and quantitive growth models and learn to implement them across your company.

2. Strategic and Actionable Frameworks

If you want a laundry list of tactics like "add an incentivized referral program,” this program isn't for you.

Instead, this program enables you with a set of actionable frameworks that you can apply to your own business and product. Our goal is to teach you how leading practitioners in the fastest growing companies approach growth for their products.

Specifically, here are a few skills you'll walk away with:

  • You will be able to define, evaluate, and construct the major loops types that create growth
  • You will be able to combine those loops to drive sustained and defensible growth
  • You will translate those loops into qualitative and quantiative gorwth models that your company can execute against
  • You will use your growth model to identify challenges, rally the team, and prioritize strategies

3. Build Productive Relationships With Other Top Practitioners

There is nothing more valuable than having a strong network of other growth practitioners that you can learn from. We review every application and curate a high-quality group of practitioners and facilitate opportunities for you to build productive relationships throughout the program.

Our goal is to help you build a network that will live with you far beyond the program itself. The Reforge Alumni community is active and connected, and includes growth practitioners from all of the top technology companies including Facebook, LinkedIn, Dropbox, Airbnb, SurveyMonkey, Spotify, Atlassian, Google, and more.

4. Examples, Knowledge, and Inspiration From Top Growth Leaders

A lot of the best knowledge is still trapped in the heads of the world's top growth leaders.

Reforge's exclusive access to this knowledge brings it to life through examples, stories, and lessons that haven't previously been shared publicly. Our growth leaders are at the forefront of Google, Instagram, Slack, SurveyMonkey, HubSpot, Atlassian, and other companies leading innovation in growth.


Our programs aren't for everyone. We select applicants based on professional experience, initiative, and program fit. You should apply if you have...

  • 3+ Years of Experience - 3+ years of professional experience as a product manager, marketer, designer, engineer or other professional looking to accelerate your knowledge about growth modeling. 
  • Strong Initiative - The program includes both passive and active participation. Those that not only consume the content but engage with it and the community will get the most value.
  • Growth Related Role - The topics we cover aren’t for every role. Typical roles of successful applicants are a Product Manager, Sr. Marketer, Data Analyst, Engineer, or Executive working on growth initiatives or making the transition to growth.   

This program is not for you if you are...

  • Entry Level - Less than three years of professional experience. The program material assumes a certain level of base knowledge.  
  • Career Switching - If you are looking to get your first job in growth. The program material is designed to help accelerate an existing professional's path rather than establish one anew. 
  • Pre Product-Market Fit - If you are working on a product that is just getting started. The program material is designed for those working on products that have signals of product-market fit.
  • Enterprise/Hardware - If you are in a company that primarily sells enterprise deals or primarily a hardware product. The program material is not designed to address these topics.

Who


We focus on delivering the highest amount of impact as efficiently as possible. We know your time is valuable, so we've streamlined a program that cuts straight to the point with no "filler content."

When you join the Reforge program you get access to:

1. In Depth Coursework
Each week there is 1 to 2 hours of video and written material. All material is taught by Brian Balfour and will teach you actionable frameworks to apply to your own business and career.

The coursework is comprised of original material exclusive to the Reforge Program. The videos will be hosted on the Reforge website and available for you to watch at any time during the week and as reference material after the program.

2. Dozens of Relevant Examples in the Program
To complement coursework, we weave in examples and case studies applying the frameworks from the material to recent companies.You will perform detailed analysis of existing loops from companies like Stripe, Airtable, Patreon, Tinder, Fortnite, Robinhood, Slack, Glossier, Instagram, Dropbox, HubSpot, Segment, Drift... to name a few. Then, you'll learn how these companies generated massive growth by implementing these loops into their growth models.

3. Application Sections at Each Step
At Reforge, we believe in application over theory. That means integrating your learning into your work at every opportunity. Each lecture is accompanied by application sections designed to operationalize the material on your product or company, so you can create impact immediately. You'll also receive feedback from Reforge leaders and experienced practitioners in the community for additional ideas and learning.

4. Weekly Events with Top Experts and Peer Practitioners (Both Online + Offline)
A key part of the Reforge experience is connecting with other top growth practitioners via weekly events, both online or in person (SF only). The program can be done from any location.

We start the events with an interview with a top growth leader. All of our featured guests are leading active practitioners in the field of growth. Examples of past featured guests include Ken Rudin (Head of Growth @ Google), Naomi Pilosof Ionita, former VP Growth and Monetization @ Invoice2Go and formerly Evernote, Matt Plotke, Strategy @ Stripe and formerly LinkedIn, John Egan, Growth Engineering @ Pinterest, Ada Chen Rekhi, former SVP Marketing @ SurveyMonkey and formerly LinkedIn, Elena Verna, VP Growth @ Malwarebytes and former VP Growth at SurveyMonkey, Fareed Mosavat, Growth @ Slack, and many others.

Then, we break off into small discussion groups to discuss how you'll apply that week's learnings to your company, and hear perspectives from practitioners in similar roles and companies. All events require your active participation.

5. Community Support
We designed the Reforge content to walk you through each framework step-by-step. However, we know each business is different, so naturally you'll have specific questions. That's why we created a community to help you get unstuck. If you have questions about modeling customer acquisition costs, how to segment your existing customers, tying NPS to core business metrics, or anything else, you have access to people from a variety of companies, all at different stages, at any time.

The Experience

“Each week we gathered together and discussed retention case studies in small breakout groups of like-minded product and growth leaders. I was constantly impressed by the quality of discussions in our breakout groups — fellow Reforge attendees brought their unique experiences and background to ask questions that really caused you to think about the case studies, and in turn, your own products.”
— Kevin S., Zuora

Get Notified of Future Programs

 

We will be launching additional runs of the Deep Dive on Growth Models and our other programs. Our programs are limited and fill up extremely fast. Subscribe below to get notified of future programs.


Commitment

One of the most common questions we hear about the Reforge programs has to do with the time and effort required to get the most out of the program.

All the Reforge programs are designed to fit with your current work and personal schedule. That means you don't need to take time off to participate. However, we also believe that you get out what you put in. The value that you and your company get from the program is directly correlated with the amount of time and participation you're able to dedicate to the experience.

We've designed each program to be a time-effective experience that condenses decades of collective expertise in growth into 8 weeks. To get the most out of the program, you should expect to spend a minimum of 5 hours per week on program material:

  • 1 - 2hrs on lecture content.
  • 1 hr applying frameworks and community participation.
  • 1 - 2hrs participating in an online or in person event.

Our most successful participants set aside additional time each week to connect with other people, review what they learned with co-workers and managers, apply the material to their product, and go over bonus material, spending up to 8 hours per week total.


Program Outline

We've designed the Deep Dive on Growth Models so you can set your own schedule to work through the material week after week. Here's what a typical week will look like:

  • Lectures open. Every week you will get access to a new module, which features original, in-depth Reforge content, dozens of relevant examples, and opportunities to apply lessons to your own company
  • Questions about the lecture? Get answers at any time. You have 24-7 access to the Reforge community, where other practitioners and growth leaders can share perspectives and help you get unstuck
  • Weekly events for all participants. Whether you attend online or offline (if you're in the SF Bay Area), you will hear a live interview with a top growth leader. Then you'll join a small group to discuss how you and your fellow participants will apply this week's lecture to your companies.

Following the event, a new module opens and you'll start the process again. See below for a full syllabus of the program.

Sept 24 - Sept 30

Creating a compounding growth machine

We'll kick the program off by discussing:

  • The most important growth question every practitioner should be able to answer... and why most get it wrong
  • Why loops (not funnels) are the answer to creating sustainable, compounding, and defensible growth.
  • Why and how a Growth Model is the essential tool to communicate, prioritize, set goals, and make strategic investment decisions
  • ...and more

Plus, an opening event for all attendees, where you'll connect with other growth practitioners and get a taste of the upcoming 8 weeks.


Oct 1 - Oct 7

properties of growth loops

In order to create, analyze, and optimize loops we need to understand what creates a growth loop. In this module we'll discuss:

  • The three qualitative properties in every growth loop.
  • The step-by-step process on how to identify these qualitative properties for your product.
  • The three quantitative metrics to evaluate for every loop
  • How to analyze every type of growth loop
  • ...and more

Oct 8 - Oct 14

the different types of growth loops

The most meaningful companies create compounding, defensible growth by understanding and utilizing their growth loops. We want to know what loops exist and how they work. In this module, we'll discuss:

  • The 3 major categories of loops, and 19 sub-types of loops
  • Detailed breakdown of 14 types of growth loops
  • How to evaluate when and what type of growth loop for your product
  • ...and more

Oct 15 - Oct 21

how to improve your growth loops

Once we understand how different loop types function, we want to improve the loops we'll use. To do this, we need to understand the primary resource of your loop, identify maximum conversion rates at each step, and identify loop bottlenecks. We'll discuss:

  • How to map your growth loops
  • How to diagnose problems at various steps in the loop
  • How to identify and prioritize opportunities in your growth loops
  • The step-by-step process to optimize the different levers of your growth loops
  • ...and more

Oct 22 - Oct 28

how to combine growth loops

The largest and fastest growing products combine growth loops over time. Properly sequencing loops will build a more sustainable, powerful, and defensible growth model over time. We'll discuss:

  • How to combine loops to decrease costs and increase returns of your growth model
  • How to combine loops to avoid saturation and increase your maximum growth ceiling
  • How to combine loops to hit defensible points in the product
  • ...and more

Oct 29 - Nov 4

building Your Quantitative model

The growth model is your foundational tool to operate all growth efforts around. In this module, we'll discuss:

  • Step by step on how to translate your qualitative model into an end to end quantititative model
  • The key mistakes to avoid when building your quantitative model
  • What separates a useful quantitative model from the rest
  • ...and more

Nov 5 - Nov 11

building advanced quantitative growth models

The quantiative model brings your growth model to life and makes it actionable across your team. We'll discuss:

  • How to add additional granularity to your quantitative model
  • Dealing with user/customer segmentation, and key behavior differences
  • How to model more complicated business types such as marketplaces and liquidity
  • ...and more

Nov 12 - Nov 18

implementing growth models + Getting company buy-in

With both your qualitative and quantitative growth models in place, the final hurdle is implementation and using the model to align the team and company in a focused direction. We'll discuss:

  • Step-by-step process on using your growth model for setting goals, prioritizing experiments, and evaluating strategic bets
  • How to communicate and get buy-in around your growth model
  • How to use your modeling skills not just in your current role, but future roles and companies
  • ...and more

Here's what participants had to say about our past programs:

Reviews

 
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JESSICA webb 

PRODUCT MARKETING MANAGER, GROWTH

TRELLO

"The Growth Series got me thinking on a macro level about how a company functions and the different levers my team can impact to make a true difference.

I was able to network with people from many companies I admire, and I learned from their challenges (many of which were similar to my own).

Overall, it was hard but rewarding. It felt like being in a mini MBA program -- the material came at us quickly but the discussions were lively and motivating. I'm going through the material over and over now that the course has ended!"


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GEORGE ZENG 

PRODUCT MANAGER

FACEBOOK

"The content was excellent. Even though I work on a growth team at Facebook, I still learned new concepts that I implemented right away. 

I focus my work specifically on developer growth, and based on the course content, I improved how we build growth loops into our developer acquisition channels. Overall, the course made me adopt a more robust way of instrumenting, logging, and tracking our funnel. 

Beyond the content, I met so many growth people through the events - the program is a powerful growth network that I'm excited to be a part of."


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CASEY CAREY

Director, platforms & publisheR marketing

GOOGLE

"I was very impressed with the depth and structure of the content and discussions. I left each session of the Growth Series with newfound knowledge, ideas, and real strategies I could begin working on the next morning.

The case studies, real-life examples and discussions with seasoned growth leaders rapidly took each week's content from theory to application. While the concepts are powerful in the abstract, actually applying them or hearing how others applied them takes the learning to a whole new level.

I was a bit worried it would be too much about virality and "hacking" growth, which most of us can't apply in our businesses (especially here at Google). To my surprise, the topics provided coverage of all aspects of growth -- from business strategy and pricing, to user psychology, paid acquisition, activation, retention and more. None of this was 'hacky.'"


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SARAH PAYNE

PRODUCT MANAGER

SURVEYMONKEY

"I strongly, as strongly as possible, encourage product managers in Growth roles to apply for Reforge. This program is the holy grail for Growth professionals who may be one of the few members of their organization tackling growth models and AB testing. With Reforge you find your peer set who share best practices and insights onto the responsibilities and goals of their Growth teams. In addition, the robust online content puts structure around the many concepts floating around tech companies and blogs on what Growth actually entails! I can’t thank the team enough for building such a comprehensive program – Reforge shaped the foundation of how I will approach the Growth team at SurveyMonkey."


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HUGH MINSON

SR. PRODUCT MARKETING MANAGER

SALESFORCE

"Thanks to the Reforge Summer Growth Series, I have gained a foundational understanding of one of the newest and yet most valuable areas of understanding to companies: growth. Brian and Andrew have done an incredible job of pooling and delivering knowledge acquired by industry leaders through extremely accessible content. The in-person get-togethers and online community also provide a terrific forum for idea exchange amongst all participants. I highly recommend this course to any individual who is looking to gain widespread adoption of their product or service."


Get Notified of Future Programs

 

We will be launching additional runs of the Deep Dive on Growth Models and our other programs. Our programs are limited and fill up extremely fast. Subscribe below to get notified of future programs.


Cost

Price is $3495 for an individual seat. The Group Rate for teams of 3+ is $2995 per seat. If you need an invoice or any other materials to expense to your company we will provide that at the time of payment. Aside from the Group Rate, there are no additional discounts or scholarships available at this time.


Frequently Asked Questions

I'm not located in the San Francisco Bay Area, can I attend the program?
Yes. All Reforge programs are designed to be location-independent, with over 50% of program participants joining from outside the SF Bay Area. In addition to our all-online original content and live online events, we also offer in-person events in San Francisco that all participants are welcome to join, whether you're local or traveling in. All participants enjoy access to 100% of our original content, our live online discussions, the private Reforge forums, and community.

How is the Growth Models Deep Dive different from the Growth and the Retention + Engagement Deep Dive?
The Deep Dive on Growth Models is focused solely on working through real-world examples of growth models and learning the frameworks for how to develop your own. We examine the models that encompass the end-to-end growth cycle and further analyze the building blocks of loops.

The Reforge Growth Series provides a comprehensive overview of all the major topics in growth, from your core growth model to your acquisition and monetization strategies. There's one week dedicated to the topic of retention and engagement, and one week dedicated to growth models.

The Deep Dive on Retention + Engagement Series is an in-depth exploration of everything within the specific category of retention and engagement. Models come into play as we discuss the elements of retention (activation, engagement, churn, and resurrection).

All programs are designed for mid-career Product Managers, UX, Marketers, and Engineers who are 3+ years into their field. There is only a 10% overlap in material between each program.

If you have an advanced understanding of growth fundamentals or already finished the Growth Series and want to better understand the systems that drive growth for your company and others, then the Deep Dive on Growth Models would be a great fit for you.

Can I join more than one program at a time?
All the programs are held concurrently, so it’s not possible to join more than one at the same time. We will be holding additional cohorts of each program throughout the year, and you can get notified about future programs here.

How many applicants get invited?
In previous programs, we've accepted 12% of applicants, though this varies program to program. Rather than focus on an acceptance rate, we focus on ensuring the best possible experience by curating an engaged and high-quality group of people whose backgrounds and goals are a strong fit for the program material, in a class size that's intimate enough to facilitate some of the most memorable relationships of your career.

How do we choose whom to invite?
We want to make sure if you take the time to participate that it is more than worth it. Unfortunately we can't cover every topic for every person in one program. As a result, our application process screens for three things. One, fit with the program material. Two, curating fit with the other program attendees. Three, your work experience (3+ years is required).

How advanced is the material?
This program is not a fit for beginners. As with Brian's and Andrew's public essays, the program is focused on practitioners who already know the basics and are figuring out how to take the next step. The content will be intermediate to advanced. We assume that you know about A/B testing, ad buying, etc., and the real challenge is thinking about the entire picture of growth and forming a coherent and compelling strategy. We do not cover tips, tricks, hacks, or tactics. Instead, we provide strategies and frameworks that enable you to solve growth challenges specific to your situation.


How much time should I expect to spend on the program?
Please see more details in the Time Commitment section above. All Reforge programs represent decades of collective expertise in growth. To get the most out of this condensed "8 years in 8 weeks" experience, you should expect to spend at minimum 5 hours per week on program material and event attendance. That said, our most successful participants set aside dedicated time each week to stay current with lecture material, connect with other participants and growth leaders at online and offline events, and complete interactive activities -- spending up to 8 hours or more per week.

While the Reforge programs are designed to fit with your current work and personal schedule, we also believe that you get out what you put in. The value you and your company get from the program is directly correlated with the amount of recurring time and participation you're able to dedicate to the experience.

How much does the program cost? Do you have discounts or scholarships?
Individual program seats cost $3495. The Group Rate for teams of 3+ is $2995 per seat. There are no additional discounts or scholarships available at this time.

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 at or 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.

In what timezone will the live online events be held?

We offer our live online events in the mornings, Pacific Time. If you can't join during that time, all sessions are recorded, and our community and online discussion forums provide global time zone coverage. It is possible to attend the Growth Series 100% remotely and asynchronously.

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

There is a balance of both B2B and B2C coverage in all of our weekly materials. Many of the frameworks apply to both given that “consumerization of enterprise” is now real. Please note, however, that there won't be direct material on enterprise sales or acquiring enterprise customers, although it may come up in Q&A.

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

Yes, participants will retain access for a period of one year from the start of the program.  After one year there will be ways to keep access and receive updates to the material.

Who will lead the events?

All of the events (both online and offline) will be led by Reforge alumni.

Are the in person events recorded or live streamed?

No. The format we use does not lend itself well to recording. The events are designed to attend one per week (online or in person). Both online and in person events follow the same format with the same exercises so you won't miss out on any content or learnings.


Get Notified of Future Programs

 

We will be launching additional runs of the Deep Dive on Growth Models and our other programs. Our programs are limited and fill up extremely fast. Subscribe below to get notified of future programs.


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