- A laugh riot
- CEO profile: Henry Ketcham
- CEO profile: Jürgen Schreiber
- CEO profile: Jim Shaw
- CEO Profile: John Beck
- CEO profile: Lino Saputo
- CEO Profile: Nancy Southern
- CEO Profile: Paul Reynolds
- CEO Profile: Terry Leon
- Chatelaine -New Year Resolutions
- Chatelaine health briefs
- Chatelaine: defuse your temper
- Chatelaine: exercise rut
- Chatelaine: farmer’s market
- Chatelaine: serenity on route
- Chatelaine: Walk off 10 pounds
- Clippy, I hardly knew thee
- Crocs lose footing
- dandyhorse – bike summit
- dandyhorse- door prize
- dandyhorse- Marvel
- dandyhorse- Rockers who Roll
- Diamond industry
- Divorce planning
- Entourage: accountant
- Entourage: clothier
- Entourage: doctor
- Entourage: financial advisor
- Entourage: lawyer
- Entreprenuer of the year: Ven Coté
- Family File – Divorce
- Family file: can we retire?
- Family file: cancer
- Family file: ditch the suburbs
- Family file: first home
- Family file: how big a slice?
- Family file: newlyweds
- Family file: religion
- Family file: self-employed
- Family file: too much, too soon?
- FP column – philanthropy
- A Good Night’s Sleep
- Bikes for Tykes
- Boomer philanthropy
- Corporate philanthropy day
- Detecting Fraud
- Doing well and good; Entrepreneurs and art gallery owners make charity their business
- Donations down
- First responders heed Haiti’s call
- Fraud and the Banyan Tree
- Freedom from Four Eyes
- Girl Impact
- give a day to help fight AIDS
- mental health and addiction
- the silent issue
- FP column: Entourage
- FP column: portfolio repair
- FP Mag – Job Shadow – Chef
- Fp500: Booms, busts and aggro
- How to stand out
- Impunity in Canada
- Job Shadow- chalk artist
- Laid off?
- Money from nothin’
- Money from nothin’
- Sex in the newsroom
- Social Enterprise
- Spraypaint scripture
- The colour of money
- The Colour of Money
- The refinance itch
- To you, I’m fluff
- When you hear layoff rumours…
A Q&A with reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian
Join Fast Company's Miles Kohrman at 12:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday, October 8, for a live chat with reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian about his new book, Without Their Permission.
But good ideas can (and do) get to decision makers -- my favorite example would be the SOPA/PIPA fight, which was declared inevitable by so many experts in DC, until a bunch of us, millions of people, made it unthinkable. We defeated $94M in lobbying from the entertainment industry and did so with an entirely leader-ful movement from the grassroots level (shamless: read all about it in my book ;))
You can definitely start it as a side hustle -- many before you have! The cost of starting companies these days is almost trivial -- it's cheaper to pay a cellphone bill than to host your first website. And many platforms -- etsy, kickstarter, creativemarket, shopify etc etc etc are marketplaces for talented people to (for nothing) start their own small empire. See what I did there? I'm sorry.
Also relevant: Shocking stats about who's really starting companies in America.
Alexis needs to leave Fast Company HQ and head to another commitment! But don’t worry, he’s going to stay online (in his cab) and keep answering questions! While he makes his way downstairs to his car, let's take a look at his debate with USC professor Jonathan Taplin that covered everything from antipiracy to SOPA to the current state of the movie and music industries.
TPP is what's scaring me right now.
It's ultimately on us as citizens to create the government we deserve. As I said earlier, we're very capable technologically to continue circumventing and adapting (far faster than any one organization, especially government, could) but civilization would be all the poorer for not being able to take full advantage of the platform (the open internet) as it was intended. But here's the thing -- this is all new frontier. No one has a playbook for how this will turnout, but we've got good lessons from history for how it could go wrong.
While we wait for Alexis's answer, this is relevant: How to make a splash in a sea of startups (great advice from Chicago's top accelerator and VC)
Here’s an excerpt from Alexis’ last book, "Make Something People Love: Lessons From a Startup Guy," where he explains how reddit’s $500 marketing budget was spent entirely on stickers.
Apologies for the radio silence! We're going to take a short break while Alexis finishes up what he's doing and finds a solid internet connection. We'll send out a tweet from @FastCompany to let you know when we're back.
Thank you all for your participation!
First, realize no one has a really 'new' idea - everything is a remix, people.
A week after we launched reddit, I discovered digg (seriously, I found the email and quoted it in the book). I emailed Steve and PG (Paul Graham) saying "meet the enemy: digg.com" and PG gave some great advice: competitors will never beat you, ignore them. And he was absolutely right -- look at digg and all the digg-clones who just clumsily aped what they did, they're all gone.
So don't let that incumbent stop you -- ignore them + out execute them!
Even big companies and startups find 'hiring good talent' as a big challenge.
As I'm single and working on my idea, how can I find right people through online as I can't find anyone around me? What are all the thing that I need to look for in my co-worker for my project?
It's going to be very hard to convince someone to join you until you can build something on your own, assuming you're capable of doing that, here are a few places to find cofounders:
+ friends and friends of friends and friends of friends of friends
+ University orgs, student groups, clubs etc.
+ Meetup.com (search for any number of keywords related to your business or industry)
+ Hacker News meetups
+ one of my 150 book events ;-)
Hey Alexis, I haven't read your book yet (I will I will!) but assume the title refers to the increasingly popular idea among new companies that employees and even business mandates would do well to operate around the idea that we should "ask for forgiveness later, rather than permission now." Can you elaborate on why you think that's an important idea for startups and really businesses of all kinds?
Yes, maccabeam, you should totally be like Grace Hopper. Obviously this also means use your best judgement and behave responsibly, but this cuts down on so much of the unnecessary bureaucracy that gets in the way of progress at so many large organizations. People need a bit of freedom to take risks, and sometimes fail, if they're going to improve and innovate.
Hey Alexis, I'm curious to get your thoughts on the balance between innovation and disruption in the content delivery space. We've seen booming services like YouTube become global phenomena, but then face legal setbacks from companies like Viacom. Aereo is a good modern example of this. On the other hand, for startups like Philo or Spotify, their choice to work with content owners has arguably slowed their pace of scale and speed of innovation.
It's insane to me that I can't pay to watch a TV show like "Hard Knocks" online (due to an issue between NFL Films and HBO)……so I get why startups often want to work around them. What are the pros and cons to this? How do you balance it as an entrepreneur? Is it moral?
Oh hai Austin. When legislation that *only* serves to protect incumbents gets in the way of innovation, it's a sign that something's wrong. It's a shame because the content industry has long decided to deal with changes in consumer preference and technology by legislating instead of innovating.
I'm reminded of my dad at the dinner table while I was growing up -- he'd just started his own travel agency at a time when the internet (and Online Travel Agencies) were changing his entire industry. Many agents went out of business, but the ones who survived (like my dad) adapted to the new world. I could never have imagined my dad throwing up his hands and saying "Boohoo! The internet is changing everything, I need to call my lawyer and lobbyist and get the laws changed to preserve my business model."
Yet this is exactly what the content industry has done for decades. Mark my words, the companies that are *innovating* today, with CEOs who openly say "piracy is a service problem" and are building services that customers will pay for because it's easier&better are the ones who'll be around in a decade -- and thriving.