April 24, 1983 |
New York City, New York, USA
|Residence||New York City, New York|
|Education||Howard High School (Ellicott City, Maryland)|
|Known for||entrepreneurship, startups, social marketing|
Alexis Ohanian (born April 24, 1983) is an American internet entrepreneur, activist and investor based in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, best known for co-founding the social news website reddit, helping launch travel search website Hipmunk, and starting social enterprise Breadpig.
Alexis Ohanian was born to an Armenian-American father and a German-born mother. After graduating from the University of Virginia in 2005, Alexis Ohanian started reddit.com, with co-founder Steve Huffman. Reddit initially received funding from Y Combinator and was later acquired by Condé Nast Publications in 2006. Ohanian continues to work closely with reddit as a member of its Board of Directors.
A few months after the site launched an executive from Yahoo! invited Huffman and Ohanian to come for a visit to Yahoo!'s headquarters in Silicon Valley. The executive--whom Ohanian has never named--ended up laughing them out of his office, calling Reddit's traffic, "A rounding error in comparison to Yahoo!." As of March 2014, Reddit's monthly traffic is roughly equivalent to 39% of Yahoo's monthly traffic. , while Reddit operates with roughly 0.002 of the personnel and operating costs expended by Yahoo!
In 2007, Ohanian launched breadpig, an "uncorporation" that produces geeky merchandise and gives the proceeds to charity. He continues to run breadpig today as its Founder and Chief Swine Defender.
In June 2010, Ohanian announced the launch of his company Das Kapital Capital, which focuses on startup investing, advising and consulting.
Ohanian was named the "Ambassador to the East" for early stage venture firm Y Combinator. In this position, he meets with East Coast applicants, mentors New York YC founders, and is a general representative for the company.
Open Internet Activism
In late 2010 and early 2011, Ohanian spoke out against Congress's Stop Online Piracy Act and the Senate's Protect IP Act. He helped lead the Internet-enabled grassroots campaign that eventually overturned the two bills. Ohanian spoke to members of Congress, helped launch the national anti-SOPA/PIPA protests that took place on January 18, 2012, and spoke at the rally in New York that was organized by NY Tech Meetup.
In October 2012, Ohanian teamed up with reddit General Manager Erik Martin and embarked on the Internet 2012 Bus Tour from Denver, CO to Danville, KY to campaign for the open Internet during the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates. One of the campaign stops spurred the idea for a possible "National Geek Day." in Washington DC.
In response to his work advocating for the Open Internet, The Daily Dot named Ohanian number one in their top ten most influential activists of 2012, and Forbes dubbed him "Mayor of the Internet."
On December 10, 2012, Alexis Ohanian teamed up with Lester Chambers of The Chambers Brothers to launch a Kickstarter project, with the intent to make a new album titled "Lester's Time Has Come." According to Fast Company, Ohanian aimed "to prove that there are new, sustainable funding opportunities for artists now thanks to platforms like Kickstarter."
Awards and honors
- In 2010 and 2012, Ohanian was named to the Forbes "30 Under 30".
- In 2013, Ohanian was featured as a tech "Titan" in WIRED Magazine’s 20th Anniversary issue.
Ohanian has published a book titled Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed, released October 1, 2013. Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed ranked 4th on the Wall Street Journal's best sellers list for Hardcover Business. In connection with the book, he embarked on a 5 month, 150 stop and 75 university book tour that aims to spread the startup entrepreneurial spirit, and give students the event he always wished he had as an undergrad.
- "Alexis Ohanian". Crunchbase.com. CrunchBase. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
- Kompanek, Christopher (20 September 2013). "Alexis Ohanian on founding Reddit and future start-ups". Financial Times. Retrieved 25 October 2013. "His mother was born in Hamburg and his paternal grandparents were Armenian immigrants."
- businessinsider.com 2010-08
- businessweek.com Sept 2007
- blog.reddit.com 2011/09
- Hunckler, Matt. "Haters Gonna Hate: How Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian Deals with Critics (from UberFacts)". Verge Startups. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- "Reddit.com". Quantcast. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
- "Yahoo.com". Quantcast. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
- "Investor Relations". Yahoo!. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
- "Reddit Mythbusters". Reddit.com. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
- Mister Splashy Pants
- techcrunch.com 2010/09
- Collier, Kevin. "The top 10 most influential Internet rights activists in 2012". Society. The Daily Dot. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
- Austin Carr, Reddit Cofounder Alexis Ohanian Taps Kickstarter And The Chambers Brothers To Prove Music Industry Wrong fastcompany.com
- 30 Under 30 forbes.com
- wired.com 2013/04
- Without Their Permission
- alexisohanian.com - Official Site
- Official Site for Alexis Ohanian's book Without Their Permission
- New York Times on the SOPA/PIPA protest
- Alexis Ohanian's WIRED Op-Ed on SOPA/PIPA
- Forbes on "How Reddit's Alexis Ohanian Became The Mayor Of The Internet"
- BuzzFeed on the Internet 2012 campaign
- Alexis Ohanian interviewed on the TV show Trianglation on the TWiT.tv network