A note from the author
Hey there! Welcome to my essays on building and growing 200M+ user products. I’m Sandy Diao, and over the past decade, I’ve had the privilege of being part of 100+ tech companies as a builder, operator, and advisor.
Through my experience, I’ve observed that some companies seem to just get growth – it comes naturally and seems like it’s on a rocket ship up-and-to-the-right trajectory. On the outside, it looks like the team knows exactly what they’re doing. When you look inside, operations are actually experimental or random, yet there are patterns across organizations of how the input systems drive the outputs. That’s why I’m writing these essays – I want to turn the patterns I’ve observed into systems that founders and teams can use to organize overloads of information into real-life execution.
Here, you won’t find hacks claiming to get you to millions of users or dollars. Instead, I focus on foundations and systems, which in my experience will help guide to the path of sustainable growth that companies are often looking for. But don’t get me wrong – there are no easy answers to hard growth problems. At the end of the day, the only answer to growth problems will be to grow. Meaning that, you’ll have to try to grow to get the answer, whether that’s growing the product, the business, or yourself.
Sandy Diao is a seasoned technology operator and growth advisor with expertise in emerging technologies. With a career that spans from early-stage startups to well-established tech giants, including Pinterest and Meta, Sandy has a wealth of experience building and scaling products. At Indiegogo, she led the emerging technology practice that launched the earliest AR/VR products spanning headsets, glasses, HUDs, and other metaverse peripherals.
As a growth advisor, Sandy works with startups and enterprises in fields like AI, web3, and consumer, helping product founders to navigate the rapidly changing landscape to identify and build growth models. Sandy currently advises emerging technology founders and serves as a part-time venture partner investing in seed stage companies.