Some of you might be familiar with Brian Balfour from his talks and writings on growth and retention. Brian is sort of an anti-godfather of growth. Where others advocate quick tricks, he talks about process. In a sea of “buy more users,” he tends to emphasize retention and fighting against its mortal enemy, churn. His essay today is a little different from the other “7 X to get Y” posts that are often a big hit, but it's a useful framework for what actually makes for sustained / surprising growth.