Traveling Into The Future | John Andrew Entwistle on the Paradox Podcast with Kyle Tibbitts

LIMITED-TIME OFFER: Go to wander.com/kyle, download the app and create an account by November 15th to enter to win a free Wander Trip. You can also become a Wander Founding Member for $100 to unlock benefits like: a $100 credit toward your first stay, early access to Wander Homes before everyone else, a Wander Founding Member hoodie and potential opportunity to invest in the company’s next round of funding.

Key Takeaways

  • “Work and life are finally coming into harmony, rather than balance” – John Andrew Entwistle
    • Wander is a network of company-owned smart homes designed to technologically optimize your vacation or a unique work-from-home experience
      • It isn’t a marketplace like AirBnB. Wander owns every part of the experience so they can actively respond to consumer demands and add updates through smart technology
      • At scale, Wander’s goal is to create an affordable experience at the intersection of life, work, and travel; potentially posing as a feasible alternative to rent
  • Progress compounds. Failing fast can sometimes provide more insights in the long run than succeeding slowly
    • “Time is not your friend” – John Andrew Entwistle
    • Speed is the number one advantage that a start-up offers
  • John Andrew spent months trying to understand how his business model for Wander would fail, not how it would succeed
    • This way he was able to address key risks/pitfalls early on – humans have a unique ability to see into the future given the right perspective
  • “We control how we interpret the world and how it affects us, even though it doesn’t always feel like that” – John Andrew Entwistle
    • John Andrew had a childhood mantra of ‘the worst thing that can happen is that you’ll die
    • Maintaining perspective is essential for making progress

Intro

  • John Andrew Entwistle (@jaentwistle) is the founder of Wander, a network of rentable smart homes designed to optimize your vacation or a nomadic work-from-home experience. John Andrew is also the co-founder of Coder, a member of Forbes 30 under 30, and a Thiel Fellow. Kyle and John Andrew give start-up advice and discuss how Wander will harmonize life, work, and travel.
  • Host: Kyle Tibbitts (@KyleTibbitts),  CMO of Wander, Investor at Paradox Capital, and Host of the Paradox Podcast

John Andrew Entwistle’s Early Life

  • Started his first company in middle school – built custom games that were hosted on dozens of servers
    • Made 6-figures as a teenager. He didn’t focus on his homework too much…
    • Enrolled in high school online so he could have a more flexible schedule to run his businesses
  • At 18, he had already traveled the world working on various business ventures so he decided to forgo college
    • He was smart, but not wise yet
    • “Compute without context is useless” – John Andrew Entwistle

Start-Up Advice

  • First-time founders often lack perspective. It’s hard to visualize the horizon on the other end of all your hard work and challenges. John Andrew shares his advice:
    • Time is not your friend. John Andrew believes it’s a fallacy that you can’t be thoughtful and move quickly simultaneously
      • Progress compounds. Failing fast can sometimes provide more insights in the long run than succeeding slowly
      • Speed is a start-up’s best advantage. You don’t have access to capital and talent
    • Team compatibility is of the utmost priority
      • Culture is not liking someone, culture is compatibility
      • Missionaries and mercenaries:
        • Missionaries are very important in the beginning, everyone is bought into a common mission
        • Hard to find 100% missionaries but it’s important to remember that mercenaries often have a transactional relationship with the business, they are not there for the long term vision
      • Don’t over-hire as it creates complexity that is often unnecessary
      • A founder that matches the product-market fit can be very influential in creating an effective culture
    • “We control how we interpret the world and how it affects us, even though it doesn’t always feel like that” – John Andrew Entwistle
      • John Andrew had a childhood mantra of ‘the worst thing that can happen is that you’ll die’
      • This forces him to constantly maintain and evaluate perspective
    • John Andrew spent months trying to understand how his business model for Wander would fail, not how it would succeed
      • Was able to address key risks/pitfalls early on – humans have a unique ability to see into the future given the right perspective

Wander

  • Wander is a company-owned network of smart homes optimized to your custom experience for either a vacation or a unique work-from-home escape
    • “Work and life are finally coming into harmony, rather than balance” – John Andrew Entwistle
    • Host, Kyle Tibbitts, joined Wander as the Chief Marketing Officer
  • Product designed to own ‘the bits and atoms’, similar to how Apple owns its hardware and software
    • Wander owns and controls all of their properties and the technology within them
      • Create vertical demand – smart technology within the homes can be adjusted and updated to fit consumer demands
      • It isn’t a marketplace. With scale, they want to democratize the opportunity to work and travel cohesively and effectively.
      • There is a Tesla in the garage waiting for you too!
  • Wander’s goal is to create an affordable experience at the intersection of life, work, and travel; potentially posing as a feasible alternative to rent
    • People are at their happiest when they can optimize what they want to do, where they do it, and who they do it with

Q&A

  • What makes Kyle ‘tick’, what is his internal motivator?
    • Creativity – finding deep meaning in creating things of value, especially from limited resources
      • “Start-ups are a form of modern art” – Kyle Tibbetts
    • Belief – operating under a set of values and making sure his actions are aligned
      • Don’t hold your beliefs too tightly though; there is great humility in re-evaluating your values
    • Family – #1 motivator for Kyle, his greatest source of happiness
  • What’s something John Andrew believes that many people disagree with?
    • John Andrew believes there’s nothing in this world that you can’t change
    • The world is incredibly malleable, there is always some set of actions to take against the things you are unhappy with
    • You can’t always control the things that happen to you, but you can control your reaction
  • What problem is John Andrew concerned about that other people are not?
    • There is an incredibly high risk to jobs as a result of advances in automation
    • Our economy is not prepared for the implications
  • What is the best piece of advice John Andrew has ever received?
  • “Never give up and never give in”– John Andrew Entwistle quoting his father
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Notes By Drew Waterstreet

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