alexis ohanian Co-Founder of reddit Completes Proust Questionnaire

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Dharmesh Shah
Dharmesh Shah



alexis ohanian, the co-founder of reddit is a great guy, a creative visionary and a starter of things.  But most importantly alexis (or kn0thing as he is known online) is single-handedly responsible for what modest success I have as an entrepreneur -- and any future success I might have.  He's second only to my mother in making me possible.  This bold admission was arrived upon after some negotiation with alexis.  His modesty would not allow him to take full credit for my success.  (His modesty is widely acclaimed and demonstrated through his use of all lower-case characters for many proper nouns associated with him -- hence the weird capitalization in the title of this article.)

Back to why alexis is responsible for my success.  alexis and Steve Huffman begat reddit (this is the first time I've used the word begat in a sentence -- it feels good).  reddit sort of begat (my startup blog ) by driving a bunch of traffic in the early days and helping build that crucial initial readership. sort of begat HubSpot (my current marketing software startup ).  So there you have it.  alexis begat reddit begat begat HubSpot begat my plan for global domination.

For more about what alexis is doing now (like breadpig), visit

alexis ohanian Proust Questionnaire

Device you would never give up?
My laptop.  Granted, I'm typing on her right now, so I'd better answer that way.

Your Favorite Software Application?

Blog you read most frequently?
TechCrunch  Just kidding!  I get all my startup news from the conversations I overhear in SF cafes; I strive for credibility.

(Real answer: Threat Level , which is owned by my parent company.)

Social Media Tool you actually use?
I had to Google "Social Media Tool," but I'm still not sure what it is.  All the results I got were Twitter-related; it's just not stable enough for me.  I do actually use my BlackBerry every day, though.

Favorite Business Book(s)?

The Lorax and Dot.con - How America Lost Its Mind And Money In The Internet Era

Favorite Newspaper(s)?
The Guardian  -- it helps me learn English, too.

Person that inspires you?
The last time I was asked this, I said Obama , but after his vote on the telecom immunity bill, I'm denying him the shoutout.  You're on notice, Barack.

My mother and father inspire me on a near daily basis.

Who Was Your Best Manager? Why?
Tony, my manager for two years at Pizza Hut.  He told me I could make a successful living as a professional waiter in a big city like New York.  This means a lot to a 16 year old, as did the fact that he let me take free pizzas home.

Your first "real" job?:
Frankly, I don't think I've had one.  My first non-lawnmowing job was in the summer after 8th grade, when I worked as a sales rep for a now-bankrupt company called Sidea.  We demoed software and hardware in a booth at my local CompUSA.

One day, after helping a customer choose between two mice, he handed me his business card and offered me a sales job at his company (food-related, I remember).  I was an overweight kid until the end of high school, so he probably thought I was older -- and would enjoy a job working with food.

Where Do You Do Your Best Thinking?
Shower.  That's why I sometimes take so long in there, honest.

What Do You Most Value In Employees/Colleagues?
Discipline: the ability to commit to something and get it done.

What Would You Like To Be The World's Best At?
Speech & debate.  Or cuddling.  But not both at once.

Which business visionary would you most like interviewed next?
Former Fannie Mae CEO, Franklin Raines.


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