What do you know about Whatnot CEO Grant LaFontaine? It seems that a lot of people aren't even entirely familiar with the company that he directs. In order to clear up any potential confusion, you should know that Whatnot is a company that deals with fan memorabilia of various types. If it has anything to do with someone who has achieved a certain level of fame and you are searching for something that you can't find anywhere else, it's entirely possible that you could find it through Whatnot. However, there is something more important here. What do you know about the person behind the company? In short, what drives Grant LaFontaine to head up such a company in the first place? If you're interested in knowing more about how he got involved in this type of business, as well as his own passions and hobbies, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 10 things about him that might help you better understand what drives him.
1. He knows what types of things fans are interested in
There's no question about it, he knows what types of things fans are interested in and that is the memorabilia that he goes after. It's one of the things that has made Whatnot so successful, but there's something much more important going on here. LaFontaine has the ability to connect with people in such a way that he knows what they want. As such, he doesn't waste time seeking out items that will take forever to sell or that will end up costing him more to purchase than he will ever receive in return. This requires a very special mix of talent and passion, something that LaFontaine has in abundance.
2. His efforts stem from his own interest in memorabilia
Perhaps the reason he is so good at his job is because he has an innate interest in fan-based memorabilia himself. The whole idea got started as a direct result of his own interest in trading cards and Funko Pop merchandise. Those interests eventually allowed him to take things to the next level on a professional scale. It wasn't long before he was making money off of the very things that he was most interested in exploring himself. As such, that deep-rooted interest that he has for this type of memorabilia shows in his professional endeavors, something that has served to make him more successful over the years.
3. He is somewhat of a visionary
A lot of people consider him a visionary because he is capable of seeing what customers want and then thinking of new ways to deliver those products. Take Whatnot for example. It's all web-based. People don't have to drive all over the country searching for a single product. They simply log on and find out if it's there or not. Furthermore, much of the merchandise available on the site is auction-based, meaning that the price of it is truly driven by public demand. It's so unique that it's in a very rare class of businesses where there are only one or two other competitors. A lot of people tend to think of it in much the same way that people thought of eBay during its first year or two of successful business. It's such an easy concept and an obvious one, too. However, it's one that no one else seemed to be thinking of. LaFontaine came in and filled a need that a lot of people didn't even realize existed.
4. He doesn’t care what other people think
One of the reasons that he's able to do all of the things he does is because he doesn't tend to get wrapped up in worrying about what other people think. In fact, he has repeatedly stated that he doesn't really care what other people think. You might even say that he's much more in tune with himself in the sense that he holds true to himself, even when other people don't understand what he's trying to accomplish.
5. He’s always had a habit of doing things his own way
He has commented in the past that one of the benefits of not caring what other people think is that it allows you to do things your own way. He says that he has always sort of marched to the beat of his own drummer, often completely oblivious to whether or not other people agreed with him. There is no doubt that he has a tendency to see things in a different light than a lot of other people and he uses those skills to his advantage, both personally and professionally.
6. He’s easily inspired by the things he loves
Most people are rather easily inspired by the things that they love but some individuals have a tendency to show it more than others. LaFontaine is one of those people that easily gets excited when it comes to something he's truly passionate about. He even considers himself giddy at times, depending on his level of excitement. For him, it's all in a day's work. The beauty of it is that his work and his passions line up perfectly. As a result, he says he never really feels like he's working, even when he's putting in excessively long hours.
7. He also loves seeing other people get inspired
According to LaFontaine himself, the only thing that he loves more than getting inspired is seeing other people experience the same thing. That's one of the reasons that he created Whatnot to have a livestream platform where people can go onto the site and essentially become a live host in order to sell their own fan-based memorabilia. He wanted to create something where people could show how excited that particular piece of merchandise made them. He also believes that doing so makes it more likely that items will sell because potential customers can see that passion in the live stream itself.
8. He believes there is an entrepreneur inside every individual
Obviously, he believes that every person has the capability to become an entrepreneur in their own right, if only they are willing to do so. He says that it usually comes down to finding the niche that each person is truly passionate about and then giving them the freedom to spread their wings.
9. He uses social media to enhance his business
LaFontaine is quite active on social media sites like Twitter, typically talking about something related to his business. In fact, he sees it as a way to further connect with people that might otherwise be unreachable. As such, he uses it on a regular basis.
10. He likes to educate others
He likes to help other people get as much money as possible for their memorabilia. As such, he commonly uses social media to educate others about market value, avenues that they can use to find out more information about the products they have available, so on and so forth. This makes each individual better prepared to sell their merchandise and it helps the entire community as a whole.
Written by Allen Lee
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