Interview with Darian Parrish

Darian Parrish

 Jeremy: How low are you there? Yes, I'm here. Cool. Cool. Cool. So, um, why don't you tell everyone the not boring nation a little bit about yourself. Yes. So my name's Darian, I've spent some time building startups, uh, three or four here in Seattle. And, uh, uh, mainly just interested in, uh, connecting technology, uh, to customer use cases.

And I think that's why ultimately I'm focused on no-code now is because it really enables, uh, builders without a technology background or really any background. To focus on the customer need in, uh, go out and solve customer problems and get there faster. And what is rad Seattle? That's the company you're currently working with are working on now, right?

That's correct. So we, we started, I started with a partner, uh, right at the beginning of the pandemic, uh, really realizing that there's so many people trying to pivot their business, start new businesses. And we came from a top-down thesis. Uh, I have a background in finance and investing and we wanted to say, what are the trends that we think are secular growth trends?

Darian Parrish: And we looked at things like FinTech, uh, where I have a background as well e-commerce and, and others. And we said, what about the tools that are enabling the building of these new products? And that's how we settled on no code. And so our thesis is that some of these businesses need some help with go to market or even.

Uh, just being recognized, like having name recognition or brand recognition as we start to talk about the node code tools, um, both on the no-code tool side and on the builders side. So I'm the no code tool, you know, even a company like bubble that's been around since. 2012 and really launched and gained momentum in 2015, the majority of entrepreneurs I've talked with have, have no idea what bubble is.

Um, so that's, that's just an example of the need for a higher level of awareness around the tools that are able to accomplish the job and support the startup ecosystem. Yeah. I think that's really smart because, uh, a lot of people and cause bubble is like the, the biggest one, what you would believe to be on social media.

Right. So like, as these no code tools evolve, they start to really find the niche with non-technical people, but they never, they did not start that way. Right. So like, like all these no code tools started, especially bubble. They started with helping developers developed faster. Right. And then it's like, cool.

Build an app, visual development, you know, like, um, web flow was started for designers, designers, or. So technical individuals, they know like Photoshop and the technical behind it. Um, where do you think the future of these tools go? Right? Like with ease of use in trying to really reach out to the people that aren't just on Twitter.

Right. Cause if you and I can see that. You know, like that, it's like, it's kind of the same people on Twitter, you know what I mean? How do you get, how do they get beyond what, what is in social media now and, and, and branch out? Yeah, that's a great question, Jeremy. And I think one of it, uh, you know, this relates to, uh, the crossing, the chasm of, of thinking about the technology adoption life cycle, where there's the early adopters that sometimes are technologists or find it through, you know, a group that they follow and then they.

You know, whether that's that's the Twitter Twitter's fear or something else in their, uh, physical community. And then once, once those early adopters are used up, then there's this chasm to get to that mass adoption. And I think that's, that's really where we think we are in with a lot of no code. And as you mentioned, there's this spectrum of easy, easy to use and hard to use.

And then on the other axis is, um, level of functionality. So, uh, really there's this, this. Diagonal line that goes through those, um, through the origin. And if you have something that's easier to use, generally, it's going to have lower complexity, uh, less functionality. And if there's something that's harder to use, there's a higher level of functionality or complexity.

And I think that's something that we'll start to see actually help. Uh, adoption to where it becomes clear in a, in a, uh, product really owns it. So, you know, we don't, uh, it wouldn't be conducive, uh, for the industry for bubble to go out and say, we're the easiest to use, you know, come use us because everyone knows that's, that's not really the case.

Um, and then if all these really beginner users come to use it thinking they can get up and running in five minutes and build an app. It's just not feasible even though it's, you know, much faster than coding. So I think, I think, you know, I followed what you're doing at V1, which is to say, we also need a product that maybe, you know, it doesn't have really, really intense, complex functionality, but gets, you know, 80% of the jobs done and you can get there much faster.

So I think really owning an identity is what's going to God dammit. Yes. Like that. So we've gone into, um, Like a, at like Abby, when we've just talked internally about being known as the starting point, right? Like, like get started with a drag and drop builder. And we're actually talking with Bob bull, uh, and being able to export from our builder to theirs.

When you want to go more complex. So like, um, and I just think that we could capture like that white hot center of the people, like, like we were talking about 80% of people, like he was just kind of 80% of the people, uh, were good for about like the 20%. And a lot of times that's Twitter know that like expect when they go in to be like, Bubble.

Right. You know, and it's like, Oh, I can't do this, this and this. And it's like, what about anything we were saying, is this right? So it's like, how do you, how would you suggest we advice? Maybe you can give me a little piece of advice on really positioning ourselves as the starter. Right? Like what in your head would, would help position us that way?

Yeah, well, I think to some extent you've already done a good job on it, but I mean, I think some of it comes from, uh, the, the communities where you position yourselves and then even having some sort of a slider or self, uh, CA classification by users. So someone could come in and you have a slider that lets them select either beginner, you know, on the way left or something, and then slide it to more advanced.

And in that gives like a graph or just a line chart of like how. Uh, good of a fit, you know, they are for, for V1, um, cause you kinda smart. Yeah. I think people are generally visual learners and if they can come in and self classify, it saves you the time of having to, you know, reach out to users that are struggling.

They can. They can do it upfront front, and then the users that do join will be even more satisfied and have lead to some higher retention. But I think, I think that's, you know, that level of transparency and keeping communication simple with visuals is, is definitely helpful. Ooh, I think I'm going to do that.

And then I want to get your opinion on, is that cool? Like later when I do that. Okay. Send over the, send over the V1. No, no pun intended.

I knew this would be great. Okay. So, um, I could probably talk all day and get your opinion on that. Cause you're brilliant. But, uh, what about a trend you don't like and no-code right now? So like I, as we were building V1 over the last like 18, like 18, 24 months, um, I've I wasn't really inside the Twitter, no code verse, you know?

So like I would always build with like old school, no code tools like WordPress and [00:08:00] just. Type form and nail champions, the early form of Zapier. And for me, I was never really exposed to it until like last summer. And then I was like, Oh cool. There were all these people that are talking about no code. I can join the community.

And then it became the same people just taught, just helping the same people. Right. So like, that's something that I'm noticing. Right. So where I'm like, Oh, I want to get more people in this community. And it feels like those people almost create a barrier. Right. Like a barrier, like an intimidating barrier.

It's just my feeling and my thought. Um, I think I totally, I totally agree with that. And I noticed the same thing in it's because, uh, I think people, uh, to some extent, resist change and there's other groups, I'm a part of, uh, one being a human progress group. And I think when newcomers come. Every once in a while, one of the, one of the, uh, long-term, uh, sort of loyalists will come in and say, you know, who are these people that come in, not knowing what they're talking about, don't have their PhD and, you know, et cetera.

And I think it's, you know, that that's not a way to help the field grow and help, help to have meaningful, full progress. So I think, you know, I witnessed a little bit of the same thing happening in no-code where. You know, the whole point, the whole point is to be inclusive and to bring new people in this space.

And instead it's, well, you know, how, how can the people who are already building build, uh, one, one application per month or something like that. And it's not, you know, I'm not really knocking on the challenge. I, you know, I've actually spoken to a few of the people doing the challenge to, you know, put out a new project a month or something.

I think that's okay. But what about those startups that have a vision for the next 10 years? And they're, they're not just, you know, these, these small-time creators that they want to build, you know, the future with no code. And I think those type of big projects aren't really being encouraged quite as much.

Uh, so like a traditional startup is, is not even looking to no code. And instead it's just, like you said, the people who have already built projects are continuing to build on it. And they're doing these kind of smaller bite-size, you know, rapid projects with, there's nothing wrong with that. But I think without an example, or someone leading in the space to say, look, we built our, you know, really big startup on, on no-code and, and, you know, we've went on to raise VC or we've went on to self-fund and we're cashflow positive, but we've been doing this for five years and we ha you know, have grown our user base, you know, from X to Y.

I think that's, what's, what's really missing in this space. And so I, I agree with what you're saying, dude. I, I, I love that POV because it really is just something that I care. Like I started this because I'm a non-technical person myself, right. Like for me, it's about helping other people that are like me.

And when I see like, Other people starting no code shit. That's like, they're technical. I'm like, man, you don't even like, you don't even know the problem of like sitting there begging co like technical co-founders right. To like help you out and like sit in there and beg and not being able to see your dream come true.

So it's like, um, I'll have to, when, when I get this V1, I've done thinking about it being a pop-up, but like, when I get this done, we'll have to have you. Come back on and we'll discuss it. Um, so lastly, uh, what is the best pro tip, uh, for any no-code CEOs out there that are maybe looking to start their real business?

Right. Like getting an iterating on the real business, getting their first dollar out there, like their first paying customer with no-code. Yeah. So probably the first, first issue is right. Really a mental barrier of saying of someone who has a big vision and very ambitious, uh, thinking that no code won't get them the next step of the way they think maybe it's for an MVP only.

And they spend an exorbitant amount of time thinking about. Should I start here with no code or do I have to, you know, hire a team and build out this, uh, big, big ordeal to get, get to my vision. And I think that that's sort of this, uh, you know, Question that persists throughout the life of a startup.

What's the right technology. Uh, you know, looking, looking a little too far down the line sometimes, but I'd say is, you know, most of the time getting there faster, and even if you thought it was going to be more than an MPP and it ends up only being an MVP and you have to, you know, build something else out.

Is almost always a better option. You know, just the, the data you're collecting from users on, you know, whether it's demand testing and demand testing, hopefully you're doing even before you build a product. Um, and that's a whole, whole nother episode around that. But I think, um, even, you know, once you get that early version and iterating and getting feedback from customers, Is so valuable that even if you end up having to retool things down the road, I'm spending, spending a lot of time thinking about that upfront and trying to over plan is, is just an easy way to kill, kill the dream.

So it might as well, you know, start in no code, um, get something functional, get something, working, collect some feedback and don't overthink it. I agree. Yeah, dude, I absolutely love that. So, uh, where can everyone find you? Yeah, so lately I've, uh, been, been more active on Twitter, as you mentioned. I think it's, it's been a little more engaging, uh, you know, being, being from, uh, finance and technology.

Uh, for a long time I spent, uh, you know, built up my presence on LinkedIn and was connecting with sort of the larger fortune 500 company folks there. And, and recently though, I've, I've realized that Twitter is, is where things happen. Uh, you know, where the, where the engagement is. And so I think that's the best way to follow me.

I have DMS open, uh, always looking to hear more about what people are building in. No-code see how it can help. Um, also rad is where you can read more about our thesis and sign up for a mailing list there. Uh, but, um, you can always reach out to me directly via email as well. So. Looking forward to talking to no more no-code folks and hopefully coming back on to chat with you, Jeremy, I love it, brother.

You're the first one. I, when I get this V1 of the new image that I'm thinking about, like if it's right for you, uh, cause I absolutely love this idea that came out of that. Uh, so you're brilliant. Uh, you're the greatest man. Uh we'll we'll have you come back on and we'll, we'll shoot the shit again, but thank you so much, Derek.

Yeah, it was a pleasure. Thank you, Jeremy. Cool. Take care. All right, bye.

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