How Hipmunk Learned to Respect Its Users (peep this interview Adam & I did with

He could have been studying, but instead, in a University of Virginia college library in 2005, Alexis Ohanian plotted out an idea for a user-ranked news site. "I thought: People should say at parties, 'I read it on Reddit.'" Today he jokes, "To the best of my knowledge, that has never really happened." But the news links site he created today is a hallmark of social aggregation. When he and co-founder Steve Huffman left the company in early 2010, they took with them lessons learned from managing a large, amorphous audience they'd empowered to rate the news to populate the site's homepage. With that, they created Y Combinator-backed Hipmunk, a radically simplified travel search site. This year, Hipmunk was a darling of the South by Southwest Interactive festival, taking top honors for the SXSW Accelerator's Innovative Web Technologies competition. Ohanian, along with Hipmunk co-founder Adam Goldstein, talked with's Christine Lagorio about the lessons they took from Reddit in founding Hipmunk—why simple design, cute mascots, and massive amounts of user-respect drive their success.

Woohoo! Thanks, Christine (@lagorio). OK, now back to trying to make the world suck less...

1 response
I like your style towards founding and start ups. How can we pitch you at least one of our projects? Right now we wanna create a social aid-network for managing private resources during and after catastrophes.
In general we wanna build a platform for empowering users economically, updating the stupid notion that "greed is good". We believe, economically speaking, sharing is better:cheaper, more efficient, and also more profitable. Making the world suck less with lots of cash for "everybody" to spend in a way...
I really think you are the right guy for us to talk to
Pleeeaaase get in touch with us:
Thank you
Ed. Wassermann