Reddit: Much More Than Meets the Eye
Founded in 2005 by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, college roommates at the University of Virginia, Reddit is now the 11th most popular site in the U.S. and 25th in the world. Attracting 542 million users per month, users look for quality content and trust that they won’t be targeted by advertisements on the platform.
This is one of the things that makes Reddit so unique and raw in today’s ad-cluttered world. Businesses that use Reddit as a marketing tool can expect high levels of engagement if your strategy is executed right.
Both founders were present recently at The Next Web Conference in Brooklyn, New York and spoke out about the highs and lows of entrepreneurship. As Ohanian points out, neither of them expected much, “the culture just created and accelerated.” Following years of good and bad times, Reddit has five core values, which they hold onto dearly.
Over the years Reddit has lost employees, but hired many more. It is constantly evolving, whether it’s in user reach, employees or revenue. Since launching an app earlier this year, it already accounts daily for 40% of screen views and 10% of daily active users.
From building Reddit in three weeks to hosting President Obama as an AMA guest, evolution is part of the DNA at Reddit and it’s no surprise that it’s the number one value they live by.
2. Remember the Human
This value is vital in the company, and includes people’s lives both inside and outside the office. As both founders have gone through personal and professional ups and downs, Ohanian emphasized, “the beauty of life is the fact that it’s fleeting; start thinking about your health and well-being.”
Entrepreneurs are lucky in the sense that they have the chance to work on things they’re passionate about, however, it should not be considered as life and death, as there is more to life than your business. Reflecting on his personal situation, Ohanian points out “my worst day in business is still not as bad as a bad personal day.”
3. Sign Your Name on It
After leaving Reddit to pursue other endeavors and returning last year, when momentum was dead and moral was low, Huffman decided that he was going to “make employees proud to work at Reddit — and the world to be proud that Reddit is in it.” Personal employee touches are what make Reddit what it is today. He wants employees to own their input and be proud of what they are creating by themselves and as part of the Reddit team.
4. Everyone Needs to Do the Dishes
Do we need to say more?
5. Act Like an Owner
In order for the business to grow, Huffman and Ohanian encourage employees to think about the company as a whole and to broaden their minds to more than what’s expected from their position. Huffman highlights that “to become a Redditor, you have to want it.”
Both founders’ talks at The Next Web Conference were predominately based around personal situations while evolving their businesses. They also emphasized the importance of maintaining your own well-being as an entrepreneur. Ohanian closed the conference, in Brooklyn — where he was born and raised, and pleaded with a room filled with entrepreneurs, investors and press to “hang on to the people and experiences in your life that actually matter.”
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