20VC: Startups Fail Because They Do Not Take Enough Risk, Why A/B Testing is Inefficient and Slows You Down, Why It is Impossible To Hire Good PMs so Stop Trying & 3 Key Signals The Best Engineers Present with Grant LaFontaine, Founder & CEO @ Whatnot

Posted on 23rd March 2022 by Harry

Grant LaFontaine is the Founder & CEO @ Whatnot, the fastest-growing marketplace in the US, empowering people to make a living off their passion. To date, Grant has raised over $225M for Whatnot from the likes of CapitalG, a16z, YC, Scribble Ventures and Wonder Ventures to name a few. Prior to Whatnot, Grant was a PM @ Facebook working on the Oculus App Store and before that was the founder of Kit.com, ultimately acquired by Patreon.

In Today’s Episode with Grant LaFontaine You Will Learn:

1.) The Founding of Whatnot:

  • How did Grant make his way into the world of tech and startups?
  • What were some of his biggest lessons from Facebook? How did that impact how he has built Whatnot?

2.) Impossible To Hire Product Managers:

  • Why does Grant believe it is impossible to hire product managers today?
  • How does this impact the decision-making powers of engineers?
  • How does Grant test for this product knowledge in all engineers he adds to the team?
  • What are clear signals of 10x engineers in hiring processes?

3.) A/B Testing and Risk Mindset:

  • Why does Grant not believe in the effectiveness of A/B testing? Why does it not work?
  • Why does Grant believe one of the biggest reasons for startups failing is they do not take enough risk?
  • How does Grant try to ensure that his team takes as much risk as possible with everything that they do?
  • How does mindset to risk change with scale of company and with leadership?

4.) AMA:

  • Why does Grant disagree with founders angel investing?
  • What are the biggest challenges Whatnot has faced in scaling?
  • CEO coach? Who? When? What is the biggest lesson?
  • What is the single driving metric of Whatnot? How does Grant advise founders to determine their North Star metric?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Grant LaFontaine

Grant’s Favourite Book: Foundation: 1/3 (Foundation Trilogy)

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