Shane Kenny: Co-Founder, FilterSnap

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Bio:

Shane Kenny has been in the filtering business for over 15 years. In 1999, he started InternetSafety.com with his brother. Together they built Safe Eyes, the top-rated Internet filtering software product for parents. After selling InternetSafety.com to McAfee, Shane started looking for his next project. One day it dawned on him that if replacing his air filters was such a hassle for him, it had to be a hassle for plenty of others. From this initial idea, FilterSnap and the concept of filters delivered to your door when you need them was born.

What do you do best?

Partnerships. When I partner with another company I see it as a way for both companies to benefit from the partnership. In other words I am looking for the win/win situation not the “I win” situation. This approach helps me build longer term, more successful partnerships. After seeing this successfully work at my previous business, I am now using this same approach with my latest startup, FilterSnap.

What makes you the best?

Unrelenting standards coupled with the ability to release a product. I desire to build the best, highest quality product I can. This desire means that I hold myself to a set of unrelenting standards that could mean the product I am building will never be released.  Why? Because there is always one more tweak that would make it better. However, I have learned to cut myself off, and say, “That is good enough, release it”. This combination allows me to build high quality products that will actually see the light of day rather than waiting until every aspect of the product is perfect.

What are your aspirations?

On the personal side I have a goal of one day owning a small vacation resort. Once I am done building businesses and ready to retire, I’d love to share my passion for travel with others. By creating a place where people can come, relax, and have a great time seems like a great way to achieve this.

On the business side, I’d like FilterSnap to be bigger than my previous company, and to do it faster.  This is partially my impatience, but also an indicator that I am getting better as a startup entrepreneur.

Biggest Success?

Building and selling my last business (InternetSafety.com) has been my biggest success… so far! With that business I had dreams of quickly building a large, profitable business, and then moving on to the next thing. It did not turn out that way. It took 10 years of hard work. This has helped me with my new startup, FilterSnap. I find I have more patience and understand that it will not happen quickly. But, if I keep working at it each day that it will get to where I want it to be.

Most Challenging Moment?

One of the things you hear about failed businesses is that many times the owner quits right before they were going to make it. I almost had this moment with InternetSafety.com. In fact, my brother (who started the business with me) and I had gone as far as deciding to throw in the towel and go get “real jobs”. We were tired, and not sure we were ever going to succeed.  Before we were able to shut everything down we learned that Consumer Reports had named our product the #1 product in our category. This put us firmly on the map, and created the momentum we needed to create a successful business.

Motto?

My favorite saying is, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. Many times when I am contemplating whether to take the plunge on an idea, or try something new, I say this to myself. I’d rather try and fail, than to later on wish I had tried.

Favorite People/Role Models?

Mark Cuban has been someone I have wanted to meet for several years now. He worked hard to be successful and get where he is today and I respect that. I also like that he is not afraid to speak his mind, even if the SEC is listening!

Favorite Places/Destinations?

This is a hard one.  My wife and I love to travel, and have had the opportunity to visit some awesome places. If I had to pick one I would say sailing in Belize.  The snorkeling was like jumping into an aquarium, and since this is not a popular sailing destination it meant we pretty much had the place to ourselves.

Favorite Products/Objects?

A few years ago I started using Dropbox.  I am now at the point where if I ran over my laptop I could be back up and productive within a few minutes of getting a new one because I store everything in the cloud with Dropbox. My iPhone is another important tool for me.  I can stay connected to my business, friends, and family from just about anywhere. This comes in real handy when you love to travel!

Current Passions?

Since my wife and I like to travel so much it would probably qualify as my passion. It seems like when we are not traveling we are planning where to go next. Many times we have the next 12 months planned out, and we are just counting down the days between each trip. We try to not visit the same location twice. There have been exceptions, but the world is a big place, and we want to make sure we experience as much of it as we can. You can check out some of the places we have been on my personal blog at www.shanekenny.com.