In this episode of Founder Stories with host Chris Dixon, Reddit Founder, Alexis Ohanian takes Dixon back to his college days at the University of Virginia where he and co-founder Steve Huffman bonded over video games and began plotting ways to avoid taking a real job after graduation.
Not wanting to be holed-up in a cubicle for 50 years, they submitted an idea to Y Combinator, the idea got rejected, they got accepted, and together began building around the concept of “people deliberately trying to find and share new and interesting stuff online” says Ohanian.
Joking about “competitive analysis” Ohanian tells Dixon he wasn’t even familiar with Digg until “about a week or two after we had launched” and says interestingly enough, “it was this classic example of alright, you’ve launched, it turns out there is someone else who is in your space, who has already got a significant advantage, and you know, that is not time to quit, that is just time to keep doing what you are doing.”
The boys kept on doing, and did quite well. Less than two years after launching they sold Reddit to Conde Nast and Ohanian says Reddit is currently tallying “1.3-billion page views per month.”
Make sure to watch the full episode for additional insights.
In the below interview, Ohanian offers thoughts on the future of Reddit from his vantage point as a consultant and tells Dixon how Reddit makes money.
Past episodes of Founder Stories with such leaders as Fred Wilson, Perry Chen and Lauren Leto are here.
Alexis Ohanian is a startup founder and investor in Brooklyn, NY. After graduating from UVA in 2005, Alexis co-founded reddit with Steve Huffman, which has become one of the most popular social news websites online. After leaving his full-time post at reddit, Alexis started the social enterprise Breadpig. Described as a “Newman’s Own for nerds,” Breadpig publishes books featuring some of the most popular webcomics in the world (like XKCD and SMBC), and produces other geeky novelties like Awesomesauce and...
Launched in 2005, Reddit is a social news website that displays news based on your personal preferences and what the community likes. Your preferences are determined based on your history of voting stories up or down. The company was started by two University of Virginia grads, Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman in the Y Combinator program. Two others, Christopher Slowe and Aaron Swartz, later joined the team. Conde Nast, owner of Wired and other magazines/websites, acquired Reddit in October of 2006....
Chris Dixon is a Partner at and co-founder of Founder Collective. He is also a contributing writer for TechCrunch. He previously was the CEO and Co-founder of SiteAdvisor, which was acquired by McAfee, and Hunch, which was acquired by eBay. In addition to his work with Founder’s Collective, Chris is a personal investor in early-stage technology companies, including Skype, TrialPay, DocVerse, Invite Media, Gerson Lehrman Group, ScanScout, OMGPOP, BillShrink, Oddcast, Panjiva, Knewton, and a handful of other startups that...