Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Book Review - Without Their Permission by Alexis Ohanian
Read this book!
Alexis Ohanian founded Reddit with university friend Steve Huffman in June 2005, and sold it to Conde Nast in October 2006, having been on a whirlwind start-up experience. Since then he's spoken at TED (all about Mister Splashy Pants - see below), marketed travel site Hipmunk, set up a not-for-profit company Breadpig, and campaigned for internet freedom, all in a mission 'to make the world suck less'.
All of this makes for a very entertaining, readable and inspiring book about what it's like to be a tech and media pioneer in the age when 'software is eating the world'. While he's an acknowledged geek, he also confesses that he stopped coding about a month into Reddit - his strengths in other areas are arguably more important.
Alexis is clearly a great marketer, and willing to put this to good use, whether it's showing comic book writers or musicians how to run Kickstarter campaigns, or explaining the number of jobs being created by the open internet for politicians in Capital Hill.
He also gives insights into what it's like for a start-up to be incubated by someone like Y Combinator (I never realised that the sign of a start-up that will make it is growth of 8% a week or so), and you can see all of the ones that he invests in personally on his own site here.
Finally, as you'd expect with such a book, it's littered with footnotes, giving links to articles, videos and other sources to illustrate or back up what he's saying.
Buy it here