We take advantage of rich microdata on Colombian manufacturing establishments to decompose growth over an establishment's life cycle into that attributable to fundamental sources of growth--physical productivity, demand shocks (firm appeal), and input prices--and distortions that weaken the link between those fundamentals and actual growth. We rely on a nested CES structure for preferences over products by multiproduct businesses, and data on quantities and prices for individual products for each manufacturing establishment, to decompose profitability shocks into physical productivity and demand shocks. Pooling all ages, measured fundamentals explain around 67% of the variability of output relative to birth level, with the remaining 33% explained by distortions and other unobserved factors. Demand shocks and TFPQ are equally important in the explained part, while input prices play a more minor role. Distortions explain more than 50% of growth up to age seven, but their contribution falls to less than 25% by around age 20. For the fraction explained by fundamentals, early life growth is explained by TFPQ with demand and input prices playing a minor role. But demand is the crucial factor in long-run growth, with a contribution that surpasses that of TFPQ and unobserved factors by around age 15. In the 2000s compared to the 1980s, two decades separated by a wave of deep structural reforms, the contribution of TFPQ to the variance in life cycle growth grows by around 10 p.p , with demand and input prices falling in importance. Interestingly, that of distortions remains basically constant.