Program Overview

The Reforge Retention Engagement Series is a selective 8-week part time program launching this winter. In the program you will learn actionable frameworks for understanding and improving retention and engagement to help you accelerate the growth of your product, and further your career. 

Led by growth practitioners Brian Balfour (formerly VP Growth @ HubSpot) and co-host Andrew Chen (Growth @ Uber), the Retention Series is produced in collaboration with retention and engagement experts Shaun Clowes (VP Growth @ Metromile and former Head of Growth @ Atlassian) and Casey Winters (former Growth @Pinterest and Grubhub). Throughout the program you'll be inspired by real stories from top product leaders at companies like Google, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Slack, Survey Monkey and others on how they used advanced retention and engagement strategies to drive growth.

Not only will you learn the foundational principles of retention and engagement, you'll also build meaningful relationships with other program participants - all growth practitioners from companies like Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Dropbox, Airbnb, Evernote, Soundcloud - that you'll take forward with you as part of the Reforge alumni community.

Program Lead

Brian Balfour Reforge

Brian Balfour

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


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Casey Winters is a Growth Advisor in Residence at Greylock Partners. Previously, he was a Growth Lead at Pinterest and the first marketer at GrubHub. He advises companies including Tinder, Eventbrite, Reddit, Canva, Pocket, and others on scaling and growth, specializing in retention and engagement.

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Shaun Clowes

Shaun Clowes is the Vice President of Product Management at Metromile and was previously the Head of Growth at Atlassian. At Atlassian, he built the growth team from scratch to almost 50 team members strong. His approach to growth focuses on activation and retention with an emphasis on the thinking, processes and discipline necessary to grow through product features and engagement. 

Andrew Chen

Andrew Chen works on Growth @ Uber. He is an advisor and investor in tech startups including AngelList, Dropbox, Barkbox, Kiva, Product Hunt, and G. He writes extensively with over 650+ essays, and has been quoted in The New York Times, Fortune, Wired, and WSJ. Previously he worked in venture capital at Mohr Davidow Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based firm with $2B under management.


Reforge does not focus on tips, tricks, and hacks. Instead, we focus on the things that build a strong foundation for accelerated professional growth:

1.  Comprehensive Foundation

By the end of the program, you will walk away with a comprehensive foundation that you can apply to almost any B2C or B2B software company. 

2.  Strategic and Actionable Frameworks

If you want a laundry list of tactics like "make your buttons orange" this program isn't for you.

Instead, we will enable you with a set of actionable frameworks that you can apply to your own business and product. Our goal is to teach you how to think about the core elements of retention and engagement so that you can develop a winning strategy specific to your current and future companies and roles.

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, Wealthfront, and other companies leading innovation in growth.  

5.  Bring Growth Mindset and Practices Back to Your Product and Company

Meaningful growth doesn't happen in a vacuum, or from one individual growth practitioner, no matter how expert they are. 

We dedicate lecture material, supplemental interviews, and expert Q&As, to tackling the cultural challenges of growth within a greater organization to help you maximize the value that the rest of your company gets out of your Reforge experience. 

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 retention and engagement. 
  • 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.