← All episodes

Building a Six-Star Experience with John Andrew Entwistle, Founder and CEO of Wander

About the episode
“You need that naivety when you're starting a company to get started because the odds are so low.”
John Andrew Entwistle

Daryna interviews John Andrew Entwistle, Founder and CEO of Wander. John Andrew shares his journey from launching his first business at 13 to founding Wander after a successful venture with Coder. Influenced by his hardworking single father, he emphasizes the importance of a strong work ethic and resilience.

John Andrew discusses the challenges of building Wander, maintaining a clear vision, and making tough decisions. He highlights Wander's innovative use of AI and automation to enhance customer experiences and streamline operations. He also shares insights into their market validation strategy through paid founding memberships. His passion for delivering exceptional travel experiences and his forward-thinking vision underscore his commitment to innovation and growth.

In this episode, you’ll learn about:
  • John Andrew’s journey from Coder to Wander and what he's doing differently as a second-time founder
  • How Wander combines luxury and comfort to deliver a six-star experience, thus creating the Wander experience
  • The importance of pre-mortems and market validation in scaling a travel startup
  • How integrating AI and maintaining high standards ensures customer satisfaction
  • The role of content creation and multi-channel marketing in driving Wander’s growth
  • How to maintain velocity as your company grows

Timestamps
  1. (0:00) Daryna Kulya introduces the podcast and John Andrew Entwistle
  2. (1:07) John Andrew's background and early companies
  3. (5:37) Early stages of Coder
  4. (7:14) Transition from project to company
  5. (9:44) Breakthrough moments and critical challenges
  6. (12:49) Overcoming financial challenges and securing funding
  7. (17:37) Transition from Coder to Wander and immediate steps
  8. (18:15) Inception of Wander
  9. (24:36) The original idea and evolution of Wander
  10. (28:27) Hedging progress and running multiple paths
  11. (30:04) Building a great team and early validation
  12. (34:17) Marketing strategies and channels
  13. (36:47) The importance of content creation and influencer marketing
  14. (40:29) Effective marketing strategies and customer acquisition
  15. (42:44) Role of AI in enhancing customer experience
  16. (47:05) Innovations and customer delight at Wander
  17. (50:03) Balancing perfection and scalability
  18. (52:32) Simplifying operations while maintaining high standards
  19. (54:23) Execution and velocity as a founder's superpower
  20. (58:38) Avoiding busy work and focusing on productivity
  21. (59:16) Cultural alignment and hiring practices
  22. (1:03:21) Differences between first-time and second-time founders
  23. (1:06:26) Changes in hiring philosophy and focusing on ethics
  24. (1:08:31) Effective interviewing and direct questions
  25. (1:09:48) Honest communication during the hiring process

This is a series featuring real stories behind building a company. Expect candid conversations with fellow entrepreneurs who’ve experienced everything from wild highs to “can-we-survive-this” lows. In each episode, Daryna and her guests share their journeys, lessons learned, and the insights that made all the difference. Whether you're an aspiring entrepreneur or a seasoned founder, there's something here for everyone.

To learn more about Wander, check:

▷ Wander website: wander.com

▷ Follow Wander on X: @Wander

▷ Connect with John Andrew Entwistle on X: @jaentwistle

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to "Founder to Founder" and leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, or Spotify. For more updates, follow us on X @OpenPhone and visit our website https://www.openphone.com

In this episode

Guest
John Andrew Entwistle

John Andrew is founder and CEO of Wander since starting the company in 2021. Previously JA was the CEO and co-founder of Coder.com. He was also Forbes 30 under 30 and a Thiel Fellow.

Connect with John Andrew
A woman with blonde hair and blue eyes.
Meet our host
Daryna Kulya

Daryna Kulya is the Co-Founder and COO at OpenPhone, dedicated to helping businesses build stronger customer relationships. Previously a Product Manager at Vidyard and founder of Product Hunt Toronto, one of the city's largest product events, she began her career in consulting at Deloitte.

Connect with Daryna
About the episode
“You need that naivety when you're starting a company to get started because the odds are so low.”
John Andrew Entwistle

Daryna interviews John Andrew Entwistle, Founder and CEO of Wander. John Andrew shares his journey from launching his first business at 13 to founding Wander after a successful venture with Coder. Influenced by his hardworking single father, he emphasizes the importance of a strong work ethic and resilience.

John Andrew discusses the challenges of building Wander, maintaining a clear vision, and making tough decisions. He highlights Wander's innovative use of AI and automation to enhance customer experiences and streamline operations. He also shares insights into their market validation strategy through paid founding memberships. His passion for delivering exceptional travel experiences and his forward-thinking vision underscore his commitment to innovation and growth.

In this episode, you’ll learn about:
  • John Andrew’s journey from Coder to Wander and what he's doing differently as a second-time founder
  • How Wander combines luxury and comfort to deliver a six-star experience, thus creating the Wander experience
  • The importance of pre-mortems and market validation in scaling a travel startup
  • How integrating AI and maintaining high standards ensures customer satisfaction
  • The role of content creation and multi-channel marketing in driving Wander’s growth
  • How to maintain velocity as your company grows

Timestamps
  1. (0:00) Daryna Kulya introduces the podcast and John Andrew Entwistle
  2. (1:07) John Andrew's background and early companies
  3. (5:37) Early stages of Coder
  4. (7:14) Transition from project to company
  5. (9:44) Breakthrough moments and critical challenges
  6. (12:49) Overcoming financial challenges and securing funding
  7. (17:37) Transition from Coder to Wander and immediate steps
  8. (18:15) Inception of Wander
  9. (24:36) The original idea and evolution of Wander
  10. (28:27) Hedging progress and running multiple paths
  11. (30:04) Building a great team and early validation
  12. (34:17) Marketing strategies and channels
  13. (36:47) The importance of content creation and influencer marketing
  14. (40:29) Effective marketing strategies and customer acquisition
  15. (42:44) Role of AI in enhancing customer experience
  16. (47:05) Innovations and customer delight at Wander
  17. (50:03) Balancing perfection and scalability
  18. (52:32) Simplifying operations while maintaining high standards
  19. (54:23) Execution and velocity as a founder's superpower
  20. (58:38) Avoiding busy work and focusing on productivity
  21. (59:16) Cultural alignment and hiring practices
  22. (1:03:21) Differences between first-time and second-time founders
  23. (1:06:26) Changes in hiring philosophy and focusing on ethics
  24. (1:08:31) Effective interviewing and direct questions
  25. (1:09:48) Honest communication during the hiring process

This is a series featuring real stories behind building a company. Expect candid conversations with fellow entrepreneurs who’ve experienced everything from wild highs to “can-we-survive-this” lows. In each episode, Daryna and her guests share their journeys, lessons learned, and the insights that made all the difference. Whether you're an aspiring entrepreneur or a seasoned founder, there's something here for everyone.

To learn more about Wander, check:

▷ Wander website: wander.com

▷ Follow Wander on X: @Wander

▷ Connect with John Andrew Entwistle on X: @jaentwistle

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to "Founder to Founder" and leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, or Spotify. For more updates, follow us on X @OpenPhone and visit our website https://www.openphone.com

In this episode

Guest
John Andrew Entwistle

John Andrew is founder and CEO of Wander since starting the company in 2021. Previously JA was the CEO and co-founder of Coder.com. He was also Forbes 30 under 30 and a Thiel Fellow.

Connect with John Andrew
A woman with blonde hair and blue eyes.
Meet our host
Daryna Kulya

Daryna Kulya is the Co-Founder and COO at OpenPhone, dedicated to helping businesses build stronger customer relationships. Previously a Product Manager at Vidyard and founder of Product Hunt Toronto, one of the city's largest product events, she began her career in consulting at Deloitte.

Connect with Daryna

Ready to improve your team's communication?

Join thousands of businesses already using OpenPhone to communicate better with their customers.