Building A growth machine

By Brian Balfour and special thanks to Lauren Bass for helping me produce this content. 

We now live in a world where distribution and growth has become the biggest risk to growing a large technology company. Product development have seen systems form such as Lean, but growth has still remained largely a mystery.  Through my experience of building/advising companies that have gone from nothing to millions in active users and annual revenue I've developed a step by step process to help you uncover growth for your company.  I originally debuted the basics of this process a couple years ago at 500 Startup's WMD conference.   Since then I've received hundreds of emails from small startups to public companies that have implemented their own versions.  This series will be released piece by piece, going to a level of depth that I never have before.  This system is always evolving, therefore, I will be constantly updating each step as I learn and improve it through my own implementations.  Enjoy!

  

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ABOUT BRIAN BALFOUR

Hey I'm Brian.  Just a little about me.  I recently founded Reforge where we help experienced professionals fulfill their potential.  I was previously the VP of Growth @ HubSpot where I built the growth team from the ground up to work on new product initiatives such as HubSpot Sales and HubSpot CRM.  Prior to HubSpot I was an EIR @ Trinity Ventures, Founder @ Boundless Learning (acq by Valore), and Founder @ Viximo (acq by Tapjoy).  I'm an investor and advisor to companies such as Blue Bottle Coffee, Gametime, Help Scout, Lumoid, and many more. 

I've spent my career at the intersection of product, engineering, and marketing scaling user bases from nothing to millions of daily active users.  I've systemized a lot of what I learned into this ever evolving guide.  Enjoy.  


How To Build A Growth Machine Video

 

Authentic Growth


WHY "GROWTH"  

The term "Growth" and implementation of "Growth Teams" has exploded in the past few years.  What has changed?  How is growth different from product and marketing? 

ALL GROWTH IS NOT CREATED EQUAL

All growth is not created equal.  With the plethora of bad "hacks" "tips" and "tricks" advice out there we need to take moment to talk about what type of growth this system is designed to create.  Hint...it's the type of growth that lasts. 

PRINCIPLES >> PROCESS >> TEAM >> TACTICS

One of the biggest mistakes I see in the implementation of growth teams is starting with tactics.  A growth team is not defined by tactics.  It is first defined by its principles, then its process, then its team, then finally the tactics.  Lets talk about why...


5 Principles Of High Performance Growth Teams


MAXIMIZE LEARNING

In growing any business we experience constant internal and external change that pushes us to respond and adapt.  Maybe a threatening competitor enters the market, one of our customer acquisition channels changes abruptly, or a new platform like mobile enters the market, changing how our users behave. There is one common thread through all of these changes. We can’t control any of them.  What we can control is how much we learn and how we apply those learnings.

SEEK IMPACT

Part of every team’s identity is how they measure success, and each team measures their success in different ways. Product teams might be measured by NPS, feature output, or possibly by metrics. An engineering team’s success may be measured by uptime and reliability among other things, and a design team’s success could be measured on usability. 

But measuring the success of the growth team is a tougher question. Every team from product, to marketing, to operations indirectly influences growth. This leads to some questions and challenges: “Why have a growth team? Doesn’t everyone own growth?” 

BALANCE ART + SCIENCE

Coming soon.

EMBRACE CHANGE

Coming soon.


Growth Process Overview


Coming soon.

PROCESS BEFORE TACTICS

Coming soon. 

STEP BY STEP 30K FOOT VIEW


Building The Growth Machine - Zoom Out


Coming soon.

IDENTIFYING OPPORTUNITY

Coming soon.

DEFINING AND SETTING GOALS

Coming soon.

UNDERSTDANING THE PROBLEM

Coming soon.

ZOOM OUT SUMMARY


Building The Growth Machine - Zoom In


Coming soon.

BRAINSTORM

Coming soon.

PRIORITIZE

Coming soon. 

MINIMUM VIABLE TEST (MVT)

Coming soon. 

RUNNING A MVT

Coming soon.

ANALYZE

Coming soon.

SYSTEMIZE

Coming soon. 

APPLYING LEARNINGS


Operating The Growth Machine


Coming soon.

EVERY QUARTER

Coming soon.

EVERY MONTH

Coming soon.

EVERY WEEK


Integrating Growth Into Your Company


Coming soon. 

MANAGER'S GUIDE TO IMPLEMENTING

Coming soon.

INDIVIDUAL GUIDE TO IMPLEMENTING

Coming soon.

FRICTION WITH PRODUCT TEAMS

Coming soon.

FRICTION WITH MARKETING TEAMS

Coming soon.

EARLY TO MID TO LATE STAGE


Optimizing Your Growth Machine


Coming soon.

MEASURING THE MACHINE

Coming soon.

TOOLS AND INFRASTRUCTURE

Coming soon.

PEOPLE AND TEAM

Coming soon.

TUNING THE PROCESS


Building Your Growth Team


Coming soon.

FROM TRACTION TO SCALE

Coming soon. 

SKILLSETS AND ROLES

Coming soon.

HIRING FOR GROWTH TEAMS

Coming soon. 

GROWTH TEAM OWNERSHIP

Coming soon.

TEAM AND ORG STRUCTURE