Alexis Ohanian

Alexis Ohanian

Co-founder of reddit

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON September 28, 2016

Discussion

Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
Hi everyone, I'm Alexis Ohanian, Co-Founder at Reddit, tech investor, bestselling author of 'Without Their Permission', and activist for the open Internet. After I graduated from UVA and realized my desire to play for the NFL miiiight not work out, I turned to working on making the Internet suck less. I'm super stoked about the things Reddit has accomplished since returning back to the company, including shipping our brand new official mobile apps, launching native image hosting, and building out an incredible team. In my spare time, I cheer relentlessly for the Washington Redskins, invest in some pretty cool startups, and FaceTime with my cat, Karma. Ask me anything!
Philippe Beaudette
Philippe Beaudette@pbeaudette · Community Operations guy
Alexis, it's Philippe - your community manager from Reddit. I've got my whole team with me because it's time for our weekly meeting. But you know that we are never ones to be shy or miss an opportunity to have fun with the boss. Folks may not know of your tradition of giving prizes to staff....who write the best haiku to earn them. So my team has a challenge for you: they would like to hear your very best Haiku about your time here today, by the time we are done. Also, please don't fire us. :-)
Paul Tomkinson
Paul Tomkinson@paultomkinson · Founder, Textras
@pbeaudette love this ^
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@pbeaudette Haikus are lovely 'cuz almost anyone can Free smart frying pan 🍳
Philippe Beaudette
Philippe Beaudette@pbeaudette · Community Operations guy
@alexisohanian .... that day when you troll your boss, who trolls you back, and better.
Philipp Meder
Philipp Meder@phimema · Sales, Marketing @JapaCasa
@alexisohanian @pbeaudette I'm taking a creative writing class atm and this week we were supposed to write haikus. This might be one of the funniest ones I've heard so far!
Andrew Ettinger
Andrew Ettinger@ettinger · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
Hey Alexis, thanks for joining! Been a super active Reddit user for ~8 years. Quick question: why has there never been a redesign? I figure there's a reason so would love to hear your take.
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@andrewett Don't you love my choice of Verdana??? I've been asked this question for over a decade and I'm happy to say we're already making great progress on mobile web (http://m.reddit.com) and native mobile apps, which are world class, fast, and beautiful -- more than half of our traffic is via mobile, so it made sense to start there. The team has done a remarkable job in a short period of time by modernizing Reddit, while still holding true to the principles of function over form.
Abhishek Chakraborty
Abhishek Chakraborty@coffeeandjunk · UX Designer
Hey Alexis, what is your typical day like?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@coffeeandjunk I should get better at documenting this on snapchat (id: alexisohanian). It really depends on the day, but I'm usually doing some combination of meetings, emailing, and meetings. And travel. I'm on a plane a lot, but those hours are the times when I get some of the most work done because there's no distraction.
Sergio Flores
Sergio Flores@byoigres · Software Developer
@alexisohanian @coffeeandjunk Are you currently reading some books?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@byoigres @coffeeandjunk Yes! Love books. Currently reading The Inner Game of Tennis. And most nights I get home, work on emails, and catch up on all that great TV I've been missing. (e.g., Walking Dead, Narcos, etc)
Sergio Flores
Sergio Flores@byoigres · Software Developer
@alexisohanian @coffeeandjunk Nice! I love TV shows and I didn't know about "Without Their Permission", looks really interesting, probably this will be my next acquisition.
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@byoigres @coffeeandjunk For all you wonderful PHers... 😏😏😏😏 https://www.dropbox.com/s/o6hpne...
Ben Tossell
Ben Tossell@bentossell · Makerpad.co
I recently read your initial YC application http://alexisohanian.com/our-y-c... - and you guys said you were rejected by YC with this and told you could join if you came up with a new idea... what is the story of coming up with that new idea (reddit) and pitching it back to YC to get accepted?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@BenTossell Thank you, Jessica, for demanding to the other partners that they let us into YC. She had second thoughts the next morning and YC decided they would accept us, but only if we changed our idea to something in a browser (not for mobile) that "solved our problem every morning." Here's the story in a much longer form.... (ganked from my book) Somewhere in the middle of Connecticut, on an exceptionally long train ride back to Virginia, my cell phone rang. It was Paul Graham. He wanted us back, but only if we changed our idea to something else. So much for proving them wrong. We got off at the very next stop, but not before I got Paul to buy us a pair of tickets to fly back to Charlottesville that night so we could return to Boston for an hour to join him in brainstorming a better idea than mobile food ordering. The big problem with the concept was that not only did we have to persuade customers to use the product, but because this was a time before app stores, the only way to get our software on people’s phones was to make deals with mobile carriers first. That alone would’ve been an impressive feat for a brand-new company of two, but we’d also need to get restaurateurs—notoriously late adopters—on board as well. Yikes. We got back to the Y Combinator office and met with Paul Graham alone, without his partners. He told us to forget mobile for a moment and consider building something for the browser. Long before most people realized the power of online software, he knew the Internet offered tremendous potential for an idea to spread as never before. When a customer only needs a browser and an Internet connection to access your product, unprecedented growth is possible. He asked us about frustrations we had using the Internet, which had just recently seen the launch of a college-only site called TheFacebook.com. Steve was an avid reader of Slashdot, a news website with editorial oversight and a robust community of commenters as well as a moderation system. I had too many tabs open every day—they showed me a range of news websites, but I had no way to filter signal from noise. At the time, a website called del.icio.us (pronounced “delicious”; ignore the dots) let people bookmark websites online, so if you hopped between computers, your reference material followed you. An interesting by-product of this was del.icio.us/popular, which aggregated the most popular bookmarked URLs at any given time. There was something here that del.icio.us wasn’t quite getting, but we saw the potential for something bigger, which would sort not the most popular links for bookmarking but the most popular links for sharing. We hadn’t figured out functionality, but we knew the old model for news aggregation, when it was printed on a dead tree, wasn’t suited for the Internet age. In fact, the vision was best crystallized by Paul Graham in that very meeting: “That’s it! You should build the front page of the web.”
Ben Tossell
Ben Tossell@bentossell · Makerpad.co
@alexisohanian getting the book...
Vitor
Vitor@vit05 · tapan.ga
@alexisohanian late for the party, but would have loved to hear your thoughts about AR. And what do you think about Audio Apps, we have space for something new?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@bentossell Thanks, Ben! There's an e-book version floating around in these comments...
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@vit05 There's a lot of hype in AR right now and I'm pretty skeptical of most of it. I believe in it long-term, but short-term the only 2 companies doing hardware around this space that I could get behind are Thalmic https://www.thalmic.com/whatsnext and Meta https://www.metavision.com/ What are audio apps, exactly? Spotify?
Pierre-Marie Galite
Pierre-Marie Galite@tsunaze · mobile developer & advice giver
Hey, do you intend to do 'Small Empires' again? It was really cool!
Ryan Hoover
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
@tsunaze fan of this show as well. 🔼
BrianBest
BrianBest@brianbest · Software Developer
@tsunaze Such a good show
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@tsunaze I LOVED creating Small Empires. Had an amazing team - Stephen, Jordan, Billy, Christian, and more all made that happen for a couple great seasons. Some of my favorite episodes would have to be Atlanta with PartPic or NY with OKCUPID. That said, while I'd love to continue it, I just don't have the time right now. We looked into 'open sourcing' it for a minute...
Thomas Stöcklein
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
What are you favorite subreddits?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@tomstocklein Right now... r/Redskins, r/NFL, r/sneakers, r/AskHistorians, r/BlackPeopleTwitter, r/futurology... and @CDixon just turned me on to https://www.reddit.com/r/Nootrop...
Abhishek Chakraborty
Abhishek Chakraborty@coffeeandjunk · UX Designer
How did you get the initial users of Reddit? Did they like it from the very beginning, or did you guys have to tweak the product?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@coffeeandjunk In 2005, there was no social media to speak of, so no effective way to get an audience from 0 other than pitching better known bloggers to write about you. I emailed a few hundred people who had been members of a message board (PHPBB!) that I ran in college, which converted into a couple of Reddit users and pinged all our friends from college (two converted - thanks, Connor + Morgan!). Because we weren't going to attract anyone to stick around with an empty Reddit frontpage (nothing sadder than an empty Reddit community) Steve and I submitted links for the first month or so under different usernames. This helped new users understand that Reddit wasn't some kind of stripped down blog Steve and I ran, but a new kind of community platform. Our first surge of traffic that didn’t come from browbeaten friends was thanks to an essay Paul Graham wrote and gave us a great bump. People actually were using the site and a couple months in, Steve and I no longer needed to fake submissions, which was a pretty awesome feeling. It seemed like it just might work after all.
Abhishek Chakraborty
Abhishek Chakraborty@coffeeandjunk · UX Designer
Can you give a few tips on building a community?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@coffeeandjunk I wrote an ebook about this a while ago and I'm not sure how useful it is today, but here's a copy: https://www.dropbox.com/s/jl704t... Let me know if it's worth the quick read. As for some quick tips.... I think the biggest one is knowing what you're about and being true to it. Steve and I were the first community managers at Reddit because we only had one community then (front page) and we handled spam, etc. We set the tone for the community with the things we posted and upvoted and were active 'party hosts' there. In many ways that was a reflection of us, if we'd have behaved differently, the community would have looked different (just like offline community organizing). Now when it comes to building a community OF communities, that's a different conversation. We realized quickly that we needed to be a platform for communities if one day we wanted to have a billion users, we'd need to support tens (hundreds?) of thousands of disparate diverse communities on one platform, which meant letting people spin up their own communities (subreddits) and lead them like we did back in the day. We still have work to do, but the team has made meaningful improvements to mod tools, decimated spam (literally down 90%), and developed strong processes & built out our community support staff.
Abhishek Chakraborty
Abhishek Chakraborty@coffeeandjunk · UX Designer
@alexisohanian Hey thanks a lot for the book :)
Uhma
Uhma@deleted-594972 · Brr
Hi Alexis, Thank you for giving an opportunity to ask you anything. Russian government is putting a tight lid on their internet. Besides employing human bots ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We... ), they are also starting to filter traffic through their KGB equipment. Question: If r/russia gets blocked by them at some point, which proxies would you recommend to use in order to visit Reddit? Will using proxy be the only option left?
Armin Konjalic
Armin Konjalic@vanbossto · Humaniq
@victorpolyushko Once Reddit was blocked because u/rsocfan posted tips on how to grow drugs and reported the "illegal content" to Russian authorities. Just to see what will happen. 2 years later they have read his email and blocked entire Reddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/tifu/co...
Chirag Charlie Bansal
Chirag Charlie Bansal@chirag_bansal · CEO Sweat Proof Dress Shirts
How did the idea of Reddit come about?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@chirag_bansal Answered this up here. https://www.producthunt.com/live... TL;DR We got rejected for another idea (skipping lines by ordering via your mobile phone) and they invited us back to Y Combinator as long as we changed our idea to anything that we could build in a browser (not mobile) and we built Reddit based on a conversation with Paul that encouraged us to solve our problem every morning of finding out what was new and interesting in the world.
imad chakri
imad chakri@imadchakri · Founder and CEO @PocketDoc
how you have exceeded the chicken-egg problem when you started Reddit ?
Aidan Breen
Aidan Breen@aidanbreen · PhD Candidate (A.I.), NUIG
@imadchakri This has been discussed before, if I remember correctly, they basically had a UI toggle that allowed them to post links and automatically create a new user for the link. Made the system look busy - kind of like a Home Alone solution to the Empty Restaurant syndrome.
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
imad chakri
imad chakri@imadchakri · Founder and CEO @PocketDoc
@alexisohanian Thank you
imad chakri
imad chakri@imadchakri · Founder and CEO @PocketDoc
@aidanbreen Thank you
Chirag Chopra
Chirag Chopra@notthatchirag · Founder, Lucid Labs
When did you start thinking about monetizing Reddit?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@notthatchirag Not soon enough! We did once we got acquired, but now that we're independent again, we want to be as self-sufficient as possible so that Reddit can keep growing and doing all the amazing things the platform can do for as many people as possible. That means revenue. And we have a path to do a kind of native advertising that users and brands both actually love. I talked about this on IG recently: https://www.instagram.com/p/BK0r... Turns out conversations on Reddit, even when they're advertisements, are really good -- and when an advertiser can have them with communities they want to reach, they're also really effective.
Charles Kunene
Charles Kunene@charles_kunene · Co-founder & Product Designer @Obaa
Hey Alexis, thanks for answering our q's! 1. During reddit's conception, what was the type of community you thought it would be and who was your ideal user? 2. What things did reddit iterate on when it began that made it sticky to its users and attractive to new ones? 3. Did yourself and Steve Huffman have convos about how you could balance free speech but also moderate abusive and offensive content which could lead to higher churn rates and discourage potential users from signing up? 4. What are you doing now that gives you the most joy?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@charles_kunene Sure thing, Charles! 1. When we started there was just one community (and only one frontpage) and Steve and I were the two community leaders, so we just wanted to cultivate a place where there'd be relevant and entertaining content and interesting discussions. But we knew within a month that the only way it'd really be successful is if we built a platform for many diverse communities, which is why we allowed anyone to build their own. 2. We really focused on voting + sorting tools to make sure that content was always good and fresh. We did the same thing with comments, which were pretty innovative at the time and to this day are one of the things that makes the site really special. The commentary is often as good or better than the original content. 3. Not really. We were the first mods, so we just banned users who broke our community rules. Once we launched the platform, we had some loose guidelines, but abuse wasn't really a problem because we weren't very big. When we came back a year ago (and now we're at 250 MAU) we absolutely needed to take another look at our content policy and the community teams + tools we had to enforce it. It's a process, but we've made good progress (Only .02% of all content on the site is reported by users). 4. Spending time with loved ones. Sleeping in. Going on adventures.
Brandon Hassler
Brandon Hassler@brandonhassler · Founder, Market Campus
If Reddit never existed and you had to launch it in 2016, would you go about the growth/marketing any different?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@brandonhassler Mobile first. And we'd have the advantage of using all the existing social media networks to encourage people to share our best content for us, so that'd be a higher priority. Right now, social sharing on Reddit is pretty underutilized even though the content is some of the best on the net (and often ends up being turned into a blog post by a media site - many of which are using our content embeds - that 'goes viral' on places like FB, etc).
Thomas Stöcklein
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
Alexis, I really enjoyed reading your book "Without Their Permission". Are you currently working on another book?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@tomstocklein I am not. I sometimes get inspired and record a voice note that I file away for another book one day...
Jourdan Bul-lalayao
Jourdan Bul-lalayao@jourdanb21 · Co-Founder & CTO, Jobox
Hey Alexis! Thanks for chatting with us here on Product Hunt! How did you go about building a successful (by your definition, whatever it may be) core team and culture at reddit starting from its first employee? What was the toughest challenge that you faced, and how did you overcome it?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@jourdanb21 Glad to be here, Jourdan! We didn't do a lot to build culture in Reddit 1.0 (we sold 16months after starting) but we're doing a lot now since Steve (CEO) and I came back last year. We did get super fortunate in that our first hire was Chris Slowe, another YC founder who went back to grad school after his 3 mos at YC and had 2 spare bedrooms. We moved in with him and a month later we were begging him to help us on Reddit. He's a big part of our mental model for how we think about great hires -- high talent and low ego. The toughest challenge during Reddit was not actually business-related: http://alexisohanian.com/keep-ca...
John Pagley
John Pagley@johnpagley · Internet Marketing Director
Do you and your team use Product Hunt to announce new versions of Reddit?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@johnpagley Absolutely! I submitted the Reddit native app to PH when we launched it. It's a great platform for launching things (FD: I'm an investor in PH). I've already talked Ryan's ear off when it comes to feature recommendations, but I think every company will be investing more in PH over time as this becomes as or more important than places like the AppStore or GooglePlayStore to engage with your audience around releases (and help new people discover you). https://www.producthunt.com/tech...
John Pagley
John Pagley@johnpagley · Internet Marketing Director
@alexisohanian Thank you! This recommendation coming from you means a lot. Yes, I think HP is definitely a valuable source for new released products. After spending more and more time on PH I've discovered dozens of helpful products that I wouldn't have found otherwise (on the app stores). I'm new to PH, but I already love it! If only more people knew about it. My team and I are soon to launch a new blog. My content team will be writing great things about PH and hopefully help expose its value. Do you have a suggestion of where I can find shareable PH benefits and features that I can give to my content team?
@alexisohanian @johnpagley This is extremely great information for these blog!! And Very good work. It is very interesting to learn from to easy understood. Thank you for giving information. Please let us know and more information get post to link. https://svrtechnologies.com/mule...
Paul Golebiewski
Paul Golebiewski@paulgole · Product Designer
Any advice on SAAS start-ups? As well as any advice on starting a start-up in Canada?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@paulgole It's a good time to be doing SAAS. Everyone in the workforce now uses world class software daily (e.g. Instagram/FB on their smartphone) and thus has world class consumer software standards when they go to work on less-than-great software (or worse). Unlike consumer, lots of your planning can be done with spreadsheets once you've found product market fit, so when you've hit that next level, get your people together and plan a strategy for getting the sales machine going. Obsess over hitting those numbers and making your sales cycle as short and efficient as possible. Read up on https://www.saastr.com/ I've only invested in a couple Canadian companies, but the tax incentives are quite helpful. Combine that with access to a lot of people you're selling to and proximity to a great pipeline of talent from a strong university and you can do a lot. There are some great startup towns in Canada - tho none have the depth and breadth of savvy+bold early stage investors that the Bay Area does, that will come in time as more big exits happen.
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
Hey Alexis! Thanks for being here today 🙌 What is success to you?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@ems_hodge Hello, Emily! IMHO, success is being able to do what you love.
Pratik Gandhi
Pratik Gandhi@pratikg_ · Growth Marketer at NEAR Protocol
Hey Alexis, I know @ProductHunt is the best example (built in '14) but can there be Reddit for X be built in 2016 / 17? And if yes, which categories you think are really explorable?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@pratikg_ @producthunt Hmmm.... PH works because the nature of each post type "a thing" doesn't lend itself well to how ephemeral Reddit is. As PH develops these canonical product types, you'll see this even more. Everyone who's shipping things (even Reddit!) loves updating people via PH and hopefully one day we won't have to do an entirely new post with each launch (just an update that notifies folks who upvoted it before). Upvotes have been replicated by loads of folks, but the platform for communities part that makes Reddit really unique isn't so copy-able and scalable, but if there's anything that should be the next "Reddit for X".... I hope Reddit does it!
Karim Daghari
Karim Daghari@deleted-538914
Hi Alexis, hope you're having a good day! My question for you is regarding the community of reddit: how did you get around building it? Also, one of the things I read was that Steve created a bunch of accounts (where he was the one posting with) which in consequence made the [potential] user think 'hey, there's people in here' I'm curious to know more about other strategies you used.
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@karimdaghari This is true. https://www.producthunt.com/live... The core insight about community building is that it's a lot of work. And the kind of work that's very similar to offline community building. If it involved talking to users, there was no job beneath us even as cofounders eg http://alexisohanian.com/give-a-... Gotta be active. Engaging. It's a bunch of not glamorous work - responding (well) to every feedback email, comment (good/bad), etc. But the long-term payoff is huge.
Rahul
Rahul@deleted-625271
Why is u/spez inactive?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@rhlkmth He's busy being Reddit's CEO! He reads Reddit daily, but one of the really admirable things about Steve is that he is very good at focusing. He's an engineer through and through. Maybe you should send him a nice PM! I bet he'll respond. http://reddit.com/u/spez
Yuhong Bao
Yuhong Bao@yuhong2
@alexisohanian @rhlkmth As a side note, I have been thinking about Yishan-style CEOs for a while now, particularly in public companies. Which also reminds me that Yishan Wong is not on Product Hunt.
Jia Frances Chen
Jia Frances Chen@jia_chen · Founder and CEO of wevenues.com
Is it a myth that bay area investors usually don't invest outside of the bay?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@jia_chen The majority of investments by Bay Area investors do tend to be in the area, but the companies they do invest in find a way to pass through the area when they're fundraising. Given the high density of early stage investors, it makes sense to be here to fundraise, although it's not a requirement for your company to be here to be successful. That said, you should have a very good reason why your tech company is based where it is -- we did an entire season of Small Empires to show off the geo diversity of startups across the USA and Canada, so I'm a big believer in tech beyond the Bay (Reddit was started in Medford, MA!) but it has to be for the right reasons and the team has to have demonstrated that it's not a significant impediment.
Bryce Daniel
Bryce Daniel@bryceoflife · Perpetual Side Hustler
How do you create an environment and a platform that fosters the creation of good / quality content? (Reddit has a ton of bad content, in part by design, but they also have a ton of great stuff). Second, how do you get the first 10, 100, 1000 users? Especially when the value of your site is really dictated by the creation of content.
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@bryceoflife I've talked a bit in this QA about how we got started, the one thing I haven't mentioned was how we used stats + leaderboards to encourage people to contribute more great things. That's something I'd like us to bring back on the per-community level so people can really see positive reinforcement for being great contributors.
Jonny Miller
Jonny Miller@jonnym1ller · Cofounder @Maptia
Hi Alexis – I'm asking on behalf of an Escape the City "Startup Tribe" (52 hopeful London based founders) who would love it if you could share a couple of examples of MVPs or creative hacks to get early customer validation that you've come across over the years (these could be from Reddit's early days or examples from other founders who you have talked to). Thanks for your time!
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@jonnym1ller The first version of Instacart (I'm a seed investor), which was basically the app as it is today, with items scraped from Safeway website, powered by some drivers hired from craigslist on the backend. But it worked! So many founders had talked about building something like this, but Apoorva was the first I'd seen to actually build it. They sent @GarryTan (then partner at YC) a sixpack of beer to prove it worked. (It worked, he let them into YC even well after the deadline had passed and the batch had started)
Lizzie Siegle
Lizzie Siegle@lizziepika · Always a Padawan, never a Jedi.
what advice do you have for aspiring entrepeneurs/startup founders still in college?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@lizziepika Side hustles! If you've got things you want to build just build them for the sake of learning a new thing. Don't obsess over starting a full on company right now. And surround yourself with people who challenge and motivate you. Great quote about this: You're the average of your 5 closest friends.
Chris Cashion
Chris Cashion@cash_n · Designer @Microsoft. Irrational Optimist
What's next for Alexis Ohanian?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@cash_n I'm going to get some coffee and jump on a call. I'll be back answering questions throughout the day.
Diogo Ferreira
Diogo Ferreira@diogomartf
Hey Alexis, what are you're favorite books and why?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@diogomartf SO MANY! I really enjoyed Confessions of an economic hitman, Drive, White Man's Burden, Outliers, The Walking Dead (but I'm way behind), 1984, Brave New World, We, and Founders at Work. I prefer non fiction because I like the mental stretching, but when I read fiction I have a fondness for dystopian novels. I'm a tech optimist, though!
Kostantin Gorodinskiy
Kostantin Gorodinskiy@konstantin · developer
Would you fly to Mars? And what did you think of Elon Musk project? =)
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@konstantin I would not be in the first 10K people going to Mars. Or even the first 100K people. Elon is a living legend and I have tremendous respect for the orgs he's built -- this one in particular, because it's getting America to give a damn about space exploration again. Once the Chinese put an astronaut on the moon, I think that'll be a "sputnik moment" for the US Govt to have the people's mandate to invest more into NASA, but in the meantime, thank you Elon for dragging us all forward. And come by Reddit for another AMA anytime.
Fundhub
Fundhub@fundhubxyz · Fundhub.xyz
Hey Alexis, what was the most vital thing you did to get reddit out to the people, what was the most crucial marketing strategy? Thanks, and take care!
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@fundhubxyz Stickers! We've only spent a few hundred dollars ever advertising Reddit, so the best marketing strategy we had was creating a platform that had great, sharable content. Not the most helpful, but it does go to show that it's vital for you to know why you're providing value and to focus in on that, especially in the earliest days.
BrianBest
BrianBest@brianbest · Software Developer
I need a new book, and I just got some Audible credits. Any recommendations?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@brianbest I'm reading the Inner Game of Tennis right now. @GarryTan recommended it to me and it's really fascinating, even if you don't play (I don't) but want to better understand your mental performance under pressure.
Rajat
Rajat@thisisrajat · Software Engineer
Hey Alexis, since you get so much done: how do you manage your time and what all apps do you use? How do you remain productive throughout the day? Any secrets?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@thisisrajat I don't have any secret weapon, Rajat. The best thing I can do for myself is avoid using Reddit too much during the day. I use a good bit of lattice, gmail, and streak. But nothing specifically for time management.
Gina Son
Gina Son@gina_son · Project Coordinator, BeachFront Tech
Hey Alexis, Big fan of Reddit! I wanted to know who are your biggest inspirations?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@gina_son Thanks, Gina! My parents. How unoriginal is that? But it's true. Don't get me wrong, Elon Musk...Bill Gates... they're inspirational as hell, but it's just different.
Hi Alexis, What are you the most proud of about Reddit?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@patry_francois All the little amazing connections that are formed every day between people across the world on Reddit make me most proud -- someone doing a solid for a stranger, lending them a few bucks, or just helping someone out by listening to their problems.
@alexisohanian Thanks Alexis. It's refreshing to see someone proud of others helping others.
Tushar Jawa
Tushar Jawa@tusharjawa · Sales Intelligence and common sense
Hi Alexis.. What all stuff did you work on while starting Reddit, given that Steve was taking care of tech. I am in a similar situation (non tech) and it would be great if u can briefly share your experience
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@tusharjawa I've written about this a good bit. Basically everything that has to get done at a company that's non-technical. It's a humbling thing: ordering dinner, responding to feedback emails, whatever needs to get done. Writing code and talking to users are the two most important things you can do at an early stage company and as a non-technical founder, your job is squarely the latter (and everything else).
Edwin Halim
Edwin Halim@edwinshalim · Tech and startup enthusiast
Hi Alexis, I'm a young enterpreneur wanting to create a social startup where people can share their favourite product recommendations to their community in Indonesia. What are some of the crucial tips that you can give me regarding building an online passionate community. Also, how do I convince investors that even though this kind of thing doesn't really solve a hard problem, it is needed by the majority of people as a way to connect to their community. Thanks!
Mairaj Pirzada
Mairaj Pirzada@mairaj_pirzada
Hello Alexis, thanks for doing this! Here are my questions: - How much influence did your academic education have on your entrepreneurship? - What is the best advice you ever received? - To drop out of college or not, is the question? Is college degree really necessary to make it big in entrepreneurship? Waiting for answers.
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@mairaj_pirzada -Funny story about that, I was denied entry to UVA's entrepreneurship class. But my history and business degrees were helpful, especially history, because of all the exercise in taking a huge corpus of data and finding connections and communicating those connections. -"Don't sell Reddit." -It's not necessary, but the part of college that's still super valuable is finding cofounders + early employees. If you can afford it, it's a special time in life when you can surround yourself with other hungry + curious people who could very likely end up starting something amazing with you (e.g., Steve and I living across the hall from each other freshman year).
Claude Waddington
Claude Waddington@mr_c_wadd · Entrepreneur
Hey Alexis. How do you define your company culture?
Albert Ohanyan
Albert Ohanyan@ohanyan_albert · Artist
HI Alexis, great to be here, Love your book. Alexis is it any way , any ware that I can have your personal attention, I would love to have contribution in making World Suck Less. Thank YOU.
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@ohanyan_albert My cousin! Thanks for the shout. Drop me a note anytime on social media when you've launched.
Albert Ohanyan
Albert Ohanyan@ohanyan_albert · Artist
@alexisohanian Thank You for your attention ,it gave me something I didn't have it for a while . . . hope I'll do everything right before launch
Akanshu Argh Jain
Akanshu Argh Jain@jainargh · Running Hooklabs!
Hey Alexis! Thanks for having this AMA! how would you recommend a non- techie to start a internet business, should we do like more research and outsource or find a co-founder. Just curious to know as you are a history grad and not a techie.
Ronak Kadhi
Ronak Kadhi@ronak_kadhi
What are your views on mentoring the next generation entrepreneurs who are out their trying hard to find someone like you who can help them.
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@ronak_kadhi Thanks, Ronak. One of the reasons why I wrote a book and an ebook and try to publish my ideas and experiences on social is because I want them all to scale. There aren't enough hours for me to be a very good mentor right now, but the first step is also realizing that you don't need someone like me as your mentor to be successful.
Daniel Lee
Daniel Lee@dleesta · Product Manager
Hey Alexis, are you a goal oriented person? How do you choose what goals to set, not just in business but in life?
Ahmed Ali
Ahmed Ali@ahmed_hasanali · Country Operations & Expansion-Delhivery
Hi Alexis, What revenue sources/ models should a consumer product discovery platform look at? Considering most listed products are bootstrapped and not a lot of them make sales early on- charging them doesn't make much sense/ add big value. Partnering with an e-commerce site doesn't solve the problem as you may be eating into their (e-comm) profit share and end up making a direct competitor. Thanks in advance.
Abhishek Chakraborty
Abhishek Chakraborty@coffeeandjunk · UX Designer
Hey Alexis, what made you leave Reddit in the first place?
Rahul
Rahul@deleted-625271
Why do you think reddit's growth has been so slow? Unlike other websites.
Michael Hwan
Michael Hwan@michaelhwan
What was your most memorable moment while on set filming Small Empires? What did you NOT like?
Lizzie Siegle
Lizzie Siegle@lizziepika · Always a Padawan, never a Jedi.
if you could go back to college, or go back in time in general, what would you do differently?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@lizziepika I would care a lot less about my GPA. I spent too much time obsessing over that in college because I thought I was going to law school for the first few years.
Aidan Breen
Aidan Breen@aidanbreen · PhD Candidate (A.I.), NUIG
Hey Alexis! What's the greatest idea you've had, heard, or been pitched that flopped? Conversely, what is a terrible idea that was surprisingly successful? 💚
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@aidanbreen hi Aidan, there are so many ideas that sound bad and turn out great (and vice versa) because execution is everything. There isn't one that stands out, though. A lot of people told me Reddit and Hipmunk were terrible ideas when we launched them, so do those count?
Aidan Breen
Aidan Breen@aidanbreen · PhD Candidate (A.I.), NUIG
@alexisohanian Thanks man! Really appreciate you taking the time to reply!
Matthew TW Huang
Matthew TW Huang@matthewtwhuang · Tech Lover, Engineer
Hi Alexis, I love Reddit because it creates a means for people to explore their interests that aren't necessarily mainstream in society, particularly if they are not in an environment that is diverse. I was wondering what percentage of active users actually partake in conversations on Reddit. Is there anything that Reddit does to increase that number? I am trying to solve the issue of exploring/growing interests and other things that the world has to offer with people similar to you in the real world (because reality has aspects that digital can't seem to replace... yet). I would love to talk to you about how I am going about it and where I could possibly improve. Thanks!
Sushruth Sastry
Sushruth Sastry@sushruthsastry · JavaScript developer
What powers Reddit ? (Apart from users). In terms of code and infrastructure down to physical level and network.
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@sushruthsastry Good idea. We should do a blog post about this. Here's a start. Not sure how much is still relevant today, though: https://www.quora.com/What-is-Re...
Harvi
Harvi@harv_79 · Innovative Sales + Marketing
Where do you see the future of community based websites going? Do you think the "forum" based style is here to stay or will there be another step?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@harv_79 Hopefully it's Reddit. We still have a lot of room to grow and improve the product, but our core "forum style" is still quite good at encouraging and nurturing tens of thousands of commenters.
Mohammed Toraif
Mohammed Toraif@toraif · CEO, Fish Transporter, fish.me
Hello @alexisohanian, Have you invested in food industry before?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@toraif Hello! Does soylent count?
Mohammed Toraif
Mohammed Toraif@toraif · CEO, Fish Transporter, fish.me
@alexisohanian of course it does! I was wondering if you would like to have a look at our product fish.me which enables fishermen to sell their catches directly to consumers.
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@toraif Wow: "Fish.Me is the first and only app to order fish in Bahrain." That's niche, but it looks like you're solving a real problem for people. If you've solved it for individuals, do you think you can keep expanding either to a wider audience (restaurants? markets?) beyond direct.
Mohammed Toraif
Mohammed Toraif@toraif · CEO, Fish Transporter, fish.me
@alexisohanian our main focus are individuals at the moment and we have couple of restaurants the dealing with us but offline. We are having the idea of expanding it to cater to restaurants and markets, plus wholesale market between different importers/exporters in the long run.
James McCarthy
James McCarthy@jjjams · CEO Placement Labs www.createbrief.com
Hey Alexis, big fan of reddit and your book. I just watched the documentary "The Internet's Own Boy" regarding Aaron Swartz. He seemed like a really great and smart guy. What is your favorite story about working with Aaron?
Michael Hwan
Michael Hwan@michaelhwan
What was Aaron Swartz's role in the creation of Reddit?
james frewin
james frewin@jamesfrewin1 · Head of Creative @ Labstep
Hi Alexis! What is an area of business/startups that you previously haven't but would be interested in getting into, investing in and learning more about?
Hanis
Hanis@hanishassim · Engineer
What do you think on investing on startups based in SouthEastAsia?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@hanishassim There's a lot of growth opportunity in SEA, but I don't invest there for legal/tax simplicity. Now, if the company had a US C-corp, maybe, but I'd have to learn up quite a bit about the market, too.
Derek Yang
Derek Yang@derekyang · product at yik yak
How do you think about the identity curve (anonymity, pseudonymity, real identity) when it comes to social interactions online? When it comes to helping people discover places where they can be their true selves, and empower communities to flourish, does identity / anonymity actually hinder progress?
Lauren Holliday
Lauren Holliday@laurenholliday_ · Journalist with a marketing mindset
Hi Alexis! I was approved (not scheduled) to do an AMA on Reddit. Do you have any tips to make it a success? I'm nervous about it. =)
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@laurenholliday_ You got this, Lauren. Just be your genuine self as best you can. Imagine the entire thing is happening over a dinner table and you'll be fine. And don't hesitate to reply to replies and get in there!
Dr.Chirag
Dr.Chirag@drchirag511
What's is most important criteria (or 1-3 criterias) founders need to understand about creating network effects ?
Philip Butler
Philip Butler@philip_butler · Founder @ Radiate - I enjoy high fives
Have you ever been to Burning Man? If so, how many times and what do you love about it? If not, why haven't you made it out yet?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@philip_butler Yes. Once. It was a lot of fun, especially the camping throwback to my Boy Scouts days, only with a lot more drugs and EDM. A lot more. I found a lot of the self-reliance and community aspects at BM in my days backpacking + hosteling throughout and after college, so that part didn't quite resonate with me in the same way, but the art installations and audacity of the whole enterprise is something to behold.
JP McGlone
JP McGlone@jp_mcglone
Alexis! What do you think about Elon Musk's ideas on taking us to Mars? Are you excited? Skeptical?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@jp_mcglone Well, this one already got press... I'm excited to see us working toward colonizing Mars! http://fortune.com/2016/09/28/al...
Sam Hunt
Sam Hunt@sam_hunt · Looker
Hey Alexis. When seeking new startup investment opportunity, aside from gaining financial return, what makes you go... 'Hey, I gotta get me some of dat!'??? What particular new value, or ideas are you interested in propelling?
Christy Sandhoff
Christy Sandhoff@christysandhoff
Does referring to "speech" as "content" devalue it and turn it into something you "edit" rather than "censor?"
JP McGlone
JP McGlone@jp_mcglone
If you could nominate any non politician to take their shot at becoming president in 2020, who would it be and why?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@jp_mcglone Kanye West. Because Kanye is guaranteed to get 100% of the Kanye vote.
JP McGlone
JP McGlone@jp_mcglone
@alexisohanian Haha! Ok, so who would be VP?
C B
C B@kur1 · Mobile + Geek Stuff
@jp_mcglone @alexisohanian Taylor. For checks and balances.
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
Leon Hitchens
Leon Hitchens@leonhitchens · Digital Marketing Strategist
I imagine Reddit is a full-time job and more. My question is around health; how do you find enough time to sleep and stay healthy?
Harini Subash Chandra Bose
Harini Subash Chandra Bose@harini_bose · Analyst, Tring to enter Product Mgnt
Hi Alexis, there were other 'forum' style sites when Reddit began. There was also the 'Ask Jeeves' which disappeared. How did Reddit manage to distinguish itself from them.
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@harini_bose Internet message boards have been around since the start of the www, but we really focused on creating a platform that would sort the best, freshest content easily using those up and down votes from readers. That's the big difference that set us apart, especially in comment threads (today, Reddit comments are still unique in that they're actually as visited or more than the content they're discussing because they're so engrossing). We didn't think a lot about our competitors, just how we could provide something unique for users.
Supreet Sharma
Supreet Sharma@supreetsharma · Business Analyst @ Accenture
Hi Alex, Reddit is always having issues with slow response time etc. It has great potential to be an anonymous forum for a verity of topics. What do you guys have in store to make reddit fast, responsive and a tiny bit more mainstream.
Ryan Freeze
Ryan Freeze@rynfrz · Helping Makers Make It
I've had a lot of productive meetings and ideas over hash browns scattered, smothered, covered. What's Waffle House's secret?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@rynfrz I got the chance to meet the CEO of Waffle House after a talk I gave on my book tour at Georgia Tech (he's an alum) because of all the shoutouts I give the company on TV + in the book + in general for changing my life. He runs a really impressive organization and even setup the first "Waffle House in California" in our offices in SF! The whole executive team served Reddit waffles that morning and regaled us with stories about how seriously they take their operations. It's amazing to think that the Waffle House network is run so well, it's used as an unofficial indicator for disaster recovery. https://www.reddit.com/r/todayil... Tech is sexy right now, but they fill stomachs. It's a low margin, but high value business that's not going to go away anytime soon (and hey, I invested in soylent, but I still believe that). AND the food changes lives. More proof of that https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/co... https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/co...
Albert Ohanyan
Albert Ohanyan@ohanyan_albert · Artist
@alexisohanian @rynfrz , Cant wait to have Waffle House in or around Los Angeles, Best breakfast in TN.
Ryan Freeze
Ryan Freeze@rynfrz · Helping Makers Make It
@alexisohanian Thanks for the response and all the cool WaHo info. Spent a lot of time at their stores and had an office across from their Corporate space in Norcross. 👍🏻
Hicham Amine
Hicham Amine@hicham_amine · Head of Growth, Hidden Founders
Hey Alexis, what's your advise for mobile Apps marketing? Keeping the momentum of growing the userbase and exposure after a successful launch ?
Ariel Janover
Ariel Janover@ariel_janover · COO at Raconto
Hello Alexis! What's your best recommendation for people eager to make a positive impact but unable to find the right idea / problem space to do it?
Miftakhul Farikhin
Miftakhul Farikhin@miftakhul_farikhin · entrepreneur wannabe
what is your best and bad moment when u're building reddit on early days?
Erin Niehaus
Erin Niehaus@erin_niehaus · Director, Strategy and BD @ Fiskkit
Interested in your thoughts on elevating discussion about news/issues online. What do you see as the best way to achieve this? Is it even possible?
Angela Agurto
Angela Agurto@angela20rock · Community Builder
Hey @alexis, wanted to know how you guys make your CMs and moderators work answering asap?! I know your community has a lot of active users but when did you started letting them moderate among them? all eyes :) #MVPcommunityhere
Polina Marinova
Polina Marinova@polina_marinova · deputy editor, Fortune Magazine
In your experience, what are some of the mistakes you see first-time founders making?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@polina_marinova (Nice article, Polina!) First-time founders often delude themselves with doing things that 'feel' like doing a startup, but aren't actually what matters: writing code (improving the product/service) and getting users (talking to your customers). Because there's no syllabus to entrepreneurship, a lot of students who thrived in school have problems adapting to a world where you don't get clear feedback from the market about how well you're doing. In school if you get a B on your paper, you can figure out why, and adapt your behavior to get an A for the class at the end -- in business, if you're not showing growth, or repeat use, it could be for an infinite number of reasons that aren't clear, you just have to keep testing your hypotheses.
Polina Marinova
Polina Marinova@polina_marinova · deputy editor, Fortune Magazine
@alexisohanian Thank you so much for the thoughtful response, Alexis!
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@polina_marinova Sure thing, Polina!
TD Bryant II
TD Bryant II@tdbryant2 · Dot Interactive
When you & Steve built Reddit I don't think user generated content existed, how did you continue to build something that does not exist? I am curating communities to create products that solve the world's biggest problems, have you seen any examples of this and if so why do you think their business will be successful ?
Michael Hwan
Michael Hwan@michaelhwan
What is one major difference between Bay Area and NYC startup community?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@michaelhwan The bagels aren't as good here, but then I found Wise Sons, which I wisely invested in. We've also watched LA take off in the last few years and it's got me worried about NY slipping to number 3. There just hasn't been a big, successful consumer exit to point to in NY that makes everyone think, 'yeah, we can do it here' and snapchat just sucked all the air out of the not-Bay-Area-room. The thing NYC tech still has going for it is a massive chip on their shoulder and a much more socially engaged & aware tech community. That latter part could be at the Bay Area's peril - we've really alienated.
Arman DelSól
Arman DelSól@armandelsol
why are armenians the coolest people?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@armandelsol We can't help it. 🇦🇲
Sarim Haq
Sarim Haq@sarim_haq · AI Whisperer
Hey Alexis, whats the wackiest startup growth hacking idea you have ever came across? P.S. looking forward to seeing you tomorrow at FuzeNation :)
Armin Konjalic
Armin Konjalic@vanbossto · Humaniq
Hey Alexis, I know that you have been supporting Armenian entrepreneurs. But it is hard to find info about that specific activity. Can you tell me what do you think about development of Armenian startup scene? What is your favorite Armenian startup?
Jesus Diaz
Jesus Diaz@razgriz · CEO of Hiragana Pets
Karma, that is a cool name for a cat. I know I should probably should be asking about your work on Reddit, but I am asking about your cat. :-) What gave you the idea to say, "Karma, I'm calling my cat Karma", or was it a nae that someone hinted to you?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@razgriz I wanted to name her "Upvote" but that got vetoed, so I went with Karma, which was a better Reddit reference and more fitting for a black cat.
Racheal A. Mack
Racheal A. Mack@gopublxpr · GOPublX Media Relations
If you had to describe part of the future of reddit in "1 Sentence" what would that look like?
Shema G.M. Kalisa
Shema G.M. Kalisa@shemagmk · CEO, Gojimgo; mybuzzfeedcoverletter.com
Hi Alexis, how have your experiences founding reddit informed your views as an investor? What are you looking for when evaluating an investment?
Samuel Polat
Samuel Polat@samuelpolat · Student Creator
Hello from Germany. What is your message to younger developers?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@samuelpolat Guten Tag! My advice is to get in the habit of having ideas & doing them. That's a lot of entrepreneurship, most people never commit to shipping. Get really good at this and you'll be ahead of the game whether you want to start a company or just be awesome at your job.
Samuel Polat
Samuel Polat@samuelpolat · Student Creator
@alexisohanian Thanks for the advice!
Anahit Pashayan
Anahit Pashayan@anahit_arist6 · manager
Hello Alexis will you be in Armenia?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@anahit_arist6 Yes, sister! I'm coming back in March/April for the elections. 🇦🇲
Anahit Pashayan
Anahit Pashayan@anahit_arist6 · manager
@alexisohanian Dear Alexis now give me your cell number in Armenia to meet you
Anahit Pashayan
Anahit Pashayan@anahit_arist6 · manager
HI Alexis, I want to work with you in Ycombinator is it possible? Could you be in touch with me by email , write me your email address in action by which we can speak
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@anahit_arist6 I'm no longer at YC, but you should absolutely email them. There aren't any ways that spring to mind, but you never know.
Anahit Pashayan
Anahit Pashayan@anahit_arist6 · manager
I want to see you in Armenia, here is my email pashayananahit@yahoo.com, could you give me your phone number
Goranco Petrovski
Goranco Petrovski@goranco_petrovski
Hi my name is Goranco Petrovski, a victim of crime dealing with the Sri Lanka Tsunami and the Haiti genocides, my website is www.Number1VictimOfCrime.com, is there anything you can suggest for me to help me get some financial help, I'm currently living in poverty levels.
JOENA SR
JOENA SR@joenasr80
Are you gonna change reddit s interface ever?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@joe_nasr Yes! I can tell you're not a fan. Check out http://m.reddit.com and our new + fresh native mobile apps for a glimpse at how beautiful and fast Reddit can be: https://www.reddit.com/mobile/do...
Jon F
Jon F@captainjon_85 · Entrepreneur - Project Manager
Hi Alex, what would be the best way to pitch an idea to you. I'd really love your pov if possible. Thanks in advance.
BradMichelson
BradMichelson@bradmichelson · Director of Growth @ BlockFi
As someone in the online advertising world, is Reddit making any advancements in improving/promoting its advertising platform? The results I've seen/read about leave people unsatisfied. Alternatively, do you think that poor the results may be more emblematic of the core audiences on Reddit (i.e. less likely to engage with advertisements)?
Colin Brauns
Colin Brauns@colinbrauns · -
You're the man, Alexis! How involved are you with YC these days? Do you meet with YC companies often?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@colinbrauns I stepped away from YC in February this year, but I'm always going to be a member of the family and I LOVE going to alumni demo day. I still do office hours from time to time with YC companies and try to give feedback on applications for aspiring YC founders, but not enough time tbh.
Arman DelSól
Arman DelSól@armandelsol
how are you going to use ai in the future to make reddit better
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@armandelsol No plans for AI + Reddit....yet...
Erin Niehaus
Erin Niehaus@erin_niehaus · Director, Strategy and BD @ Fiskkit
Interested in your thoughts on elevating news/issue discussions online and making it more interactive. What constructs do you see as being necessary and effective? Is this even possible?
Chris Church
Chris Church@cchurch5 · Social Media Specialist & Writer
Do the Redskins make the playoffs this year? #HTTR
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@cchurch5 One game at a time, but Captain Kirk will lead us there. Cowboys and Eagles are going to fall apart by week 10 and the Giants... well, you can be sure other teams are just going to line up 11 kicking nets and they're done for. https://www.facebook.com/bleache...
Joanna Strom
Joanna Strom@thecoinhunter · Thought Leader/Writer/Creative
Alexis, I am part of a global digital journalism think desk on Slack (members from othe countries & major cos.) Newsdesks & vertical TV is evolving/changing. Are you considering branching Reddit to a real time Twitter-like News format?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@thecoinhunter Some of our most trafficked posts this year have been Reddit Live posts. What it really nails is the signal -> noise ratio that afflicts a lot of other more ephemeral and cluttered networks, but we've got a lot more room to improve that product. All in due time! Try it out for the next live event you all are liveblogging and let me know what you think.
Hayk Yaghubyan
Hayk Yaghubyan@haykoyaghubyan · Serial entrepreneur and digital marketer
Hi Alexis. As an investor is it matter for you how many co-founders has startup ? Also I saw you will speak in the Momentum conference . Will you come to the TNW Europe on May ?
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@haykoyaghubyan One founder is really hard, but doable if it's the right person. More than 3 cofounders is a problem. I'll possibly be at TNW Europe, but it's going to depend on schedule. TNW is a really fun conference, so I'm hoping.
Joshua Voydik
Joshua Voydik@joshvoydik · Founder, Mindful Makers
Hey duder and Twitter friend! Question: Do you have any tactical tips for a creative person wanting to be more of a maker? Been working to grow startups, but want to 100x my capacity for making, and ship, repeat. Thank you sir!
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
@joshvoydik Learn to code! One reason why I invested in https://www.codecademy.com/ was just so that I could point to it whenever someone said this to me! (It happens a lot!) It's the best thing you can do for your career and it only costs time.