Now, in response to The_Quiet_Earth’s question about time-traveling marines, Erwin started typing. He posted his answer in a series of comments in the thread. Within an hour, he was an online celebrity. Within three hours, a film producer had reached out to him. Within two weeks, he was offered a deal to write a movie based on his Reddit comments. Within two months, he had taken a leave from his job to become a full-time Hollywood screenwriter.
Although Erwin’s success is unprecedented, it’s entirely consistent with Reddit’s ethos. The site was purposely built to make instant heroes of the funny and the artful. It was created in June 2005 by a pair of recent University of Virginia graduates, Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman. At first, Ohanian and Huffman didn’t have any users, so they made dozens of bogus accounts and posted content themselves. “We just wanted to create a place where you could find what was interesting online,” Ohanian says. “All Steve and I knew early on was that we were going to need a community to make it work.”
If this is what the future of talent discovery looks like, I'm excited.