Spotlight Series: Ian McHenry of Wetter Feet

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Rocket Hub thrives on entrepreneurs. And we want to help you connect with each other. In the Spotlight Series we highlight Rocket Hub members and their businesses. Read, learn and get in touch with Ian McHenry of Wetter Feet.

In February of 2012 Ian McHenry launched Wetter Feet. A social network that makes it simple for people to build a bucket list and start crossing items off of it. After you build your list, you can find friends to do stuff with and then buy those experiences from local merchants. The service solves two big hurdles people face when making their dreams a reality: finding the right people to do what they want and figuring out how to do it.

The network also features a section that offers unique adventure packages. Ian negotiates special pricing on these with his partners. When he thinks of the bigger picture he hopes to provide a global distribution system for the world’s experiences and activities to enable online travel agents and content providers to connect their users with bookable experiences. “It takes imagination and drive to supply the world with inventions and services like this that simplify life and make it better”, Ian says.

Ian became acquainted with his business sense at a very early age. He recalls being a school boy and always brainstorming ways of going into business and gaining the best return on investment, “I was one of those kids hustling to earn extra cash selling lemonade, investing in baseball cards; whatever I felt I could make a margin on.”

His business sense only got sharper and by the time he was a student at Princeton he seemed destined to do big things. In fact he ran the newspaper delivery service on campus that grossed a quarter million dollars a year and employed 30 students. While running the delivery service Ian figured out a way to automate it. By senior year he had developed a web portal that handled all orders, employee check­ins, customer complaints, payouts to the publications. He and his team de­centralized the running of the business through hiring and incentivizing assistant managers. It was an experience he identifies as very valuable because he ran a successful startup while at the same time maximizing efficiency through automation.

“One of my biggest obstacles has been finding the right tech people to partner with in the Bay Area… So I learned to code myself.”

His career continued after college in investment banking and management consulting for some big Fortune 500 companies, but after five years he stopped to dedicate his efforts to something a bit more edgy. He went to work in Kenya for a social enterprise startup called One Acre Fund. It was this turn in the road of his journey that inspired him to start Wetter Feet.

Ian shared says that his biggest challenge has been finding the right technical co­founder. “There is a big problem that a lot of non technical founders have in the Bay Area. And that’s finding the right tech people to go into business with.” When he couldn’t find the right person he took matters into his own hands and learned how to code himself. “Inexpensive courses like those on Udemy are so helpful. After just a couple of weeks, I was able to build the basic product on our site. This was powerful because I was no longer beholden to programmers for this crucial first step.”

Ian is happy that he has been able to get a product out there that customers can play with and give feedback on. So go ahead and share your opinion. Read more about Ian’s pursuits and the latest with Wetter Feet by connecting to his Rocket Hub profile.

About The Author

FJ Tempelman is content creator at Rocket Hub. In the Spotlight Series, FJ highlights Rocket Hub members ánd their business.

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