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Ideation to Product-Market Fit, choosing revenue models, and general advice for founders :: with Dave Parker

In this episode of Ventures, my guest Dave Parker (https://www.dkparker.com/) and I discuss his new book, Trajectory: Startup - Ideation to Product-Market Fit. We talk about Dave’s background, his journey into startups, how he approaches common questions from founders, why he is fascinated with teaching founders about revenue models, information asymmetry in the venture capital industry, and where Dave is heading next.

You can watch this episode below or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts (search for “Ventures”).


In this episode we cover the following:

1:56 - Dave’s background & entrepreneurial story thus far

3:13 - When did Dave’s entrepreneurial bug start in his life?

4:43 - Dave’s journey with Startup Weekend

6:53 - For Dave personally, why startups? Why did he get into them?

11:20 - Diving into the book, background around revenue models, etc.. why write this book?

17:22 - “What is a good idea?”

21:12 - Optimizing for local maxima or not. How do you think about the dance of product vision and pivoting based on data?

26:12 - Pick the side of the island that you are going to surf in (analogy of picking a market). When on a wave, how do founders use data to know whether to turn right or left?

29:39 - Example of a founder with a small team, has a product, has a go-to-market strategy, etc.. how should they approach the venture capital industry? (Stage-appropriate capital)

35:05 - No-code movement. How does Dave think about the no-code/low-code movement and the startup validation game?

47:46 - Writing a product spec

38:20 - Three types of debt in a startup. Operations debt, technical debt, growth debt. How does Dave advise founders around paying off this type of “debt”?

41:42 - What was it about the business/revenue models that attracted Dave to dive in deep into researching them and writing about them?

45:10 - Pricing strategies

49:25 - Exit price based on top-line revenue numbers and revenue models

52:53 - Asymmetry in data and information when talking with investors.

56:50 - Bigger VCs have the budgets to crank out the marketing to get meetings with founders, but founders who don’t understand the language will likely have an unsuccessful meeting.

57:48 - Where is the best place to buy and learn more about Dave’s book? https://www.dkparker.com/ // https://www.amazon.com/dp/195329507X  

58:21 - What are the next things on Dave’s horizon? (Supporting founders who don’t look like him…. Dave’s filter question when taking meetings: “Tell me who you are mentoring right now that doesn’t look like you?” // So, as a final exhortation, mentor someone who doesn’t look like you)