tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:/posts Making the World Suck Less 2014-04-16T17:54:26Z tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/674930 2014-04-09T00:50:38Z 2014-04-16T17:54:26Z I believe I was the first person on Meet The Press to use the term "O.G."   ]]> Alexis Ohanian tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/673739 2014-04-06T20:42:13Z 2014-04-07T13:55:35Z Apparently I've always been an optimist -- and a terrible speller.

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Alexis Ohanian
tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/660362 2014-03-04T02:35:53Z 2014-04-14T03:31:15Z On being a proud non-technical founder a recent commentary on the YC Female Founders conference, so I thought it'd be wise to bring some evidence to the discussion:
Then there was Jessica Livingston’s keynote itself… Oh Boy. There was one point where she told us ‘when you’re the nontechnical cofounder, your job is everything that’s nontechnical’ including grocery shopping and errand running. I don’t know why this comment struck me as odd … maybe it’s because the only people I know who identify themselves specifically as “nontechnical cofounders” are women. Male cofounders rarely volunteer that information or qualify themselves that way. Every time I hear Alexis Ohanian speak he is the cofounder of Reddit, as if he wrote every line of code himself. To get a male founder to admit he doesn’t write the code his startup depends on you have to twist his arm. With a female founder it’s the second sentence out of her mouth. As if to say “PS - don’t take me seriously”
You'd be hard pressed to actually find one time where I made it sound like I "wrote every line of code myself."
In my book, Without Their Permission, pg 60:

Steve and I would have brainstorming sessions with pens and notebooks, which I’d take to PaintShop Pro 5.0 so that I could mock up designs and layouts, sometimes even for random ideas that had no chance of coming to fruition anytime soon. We only had one developer, of course, and that was Steve, who was responsible for everything technical. Thanks to him, those pixels I doodled actually became something useful.  

and on page 110:

Long before the glorious day of our acquisition, we were just grateful that Y Combinator had let us into their exclusive program after a dramatic rejection. This program, with Paul at the helm, was oriented toward key developers, who really do have all the leverage in this industry. I was one of only two “nontechnical founders” in the program. Despite having programming experience in high school and college, I was devoting my time to doing “everything else” at the company, though that assertion was met with quite a bit of skepticism. A running joke that Steve had to endure at Y Combinator meetings was “What does Alexis do?” One of the advisers in the program even overheard me speaking German (I’m proficient, thanks to my mother) and remarked to Steve, “Alexis sounds much more intelligent in German.”

I didn’t think I sounded that dumb in English. Fortunately, as a guy who grew up with the name Alexis, I quickly learned that it’s those with the lowest self-confidence who belittle and bully other people. When it comes to put-downs, I ran out of “fucks” to give back in grade school, so now I just embrace it.

I don't expect everyone to have read my book, though, so I took a minute to search "alexis ohanian nontechnical" and found pages of results -- here are a few from my recent speaking tour and interviews:
Here it is in an interview I did with Lambdaphant. I declare myself one comment on my book chapter excerpt on fourhourworkweek.com. It was a common theme during my 200-stop book tour, here's a few instances in interviews from my Syracuse University and University of Waterloo Without Their Permission book events.

In fact, it's even in my linkedin profile.

I'm not sure I can make it more clear: I'm a proud nontechnical founder, but that means a lot more work if you want to be valuable to an early stage tech startup. The reason I've gone across this country encouraging people to code is because in the internet age, makers have all the power.

Jessica is absolutely right when she says "when you’re the nontechnical cofounder, your job is everything that’s nontechnical’ including grocery shopping and errand running" and it's the same advice I've given for years and especially in the last five months on tour, using myself + Steve in founding reddit as a casestudy. 
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Alexis Ohanian
tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/656716 2014-02-20T22:34:30Z 2014-02-20T22:34:31Z Meanwhile in Venezuela. Follow along via this reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/vzla


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Alexis Ohanian
tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/652549 2014-02-09T21:58:53Z 2014-02-12T00:54:26Z My 2013 in Review: Year of the Entrepreneur

I did this for 2012, so here goes my 2013 year in review! And what a year it was -- thanks to all of you for making it my best yet!

My book dropped! People liked it!

Without Their Permission is a WSJ Bestseller - #4!

I love startups. It's been a great year for investing

Fortunate enough to invest in dozens of amazing new startups (full list here) -- here are some with big updates:
  • Grupo Regalii - Mobile platform for cross-border remittances with a focus on Latin America. These guys are holding it down in Washington Heights, NYC -- a NY tech startup to watch!
  • Mobileworks - Crowd-sourced work platform I've been using thoroughly for the last few months to outsource complex tasks like lead generation and large research projects.
  • Envoy - Saving the world’s time through automated receptionist kiosks -- you've probably seen this at some top tech frontdesks, including airbnb and yelp.
  • Frontback - Mobile app and social network for selfies. Seriously. I can't get enough of this. I've even made a subreddit for them.
  • Secret - They've just launched and are exploding. iOS (for now, Android to come) app for sharing anonymously with your friends. I haven't been this addicted since reddit.
  • AeroFS - It's a Dropbox-like file synchronization platform that allows individuals and companies of all sizes to run their own Dropbox on their own hardware they control, either behind the firewall or in the cloud. Privacy ftw.
  • Teespring - I love this startup so much because we made a janky version of it a couple years ago on breadpig (a brilliant Christina idea) and we sold a ton of shirts. Teespring went ahead and built that as a polished platform. It's magical.

My Show & Love Letter to NYTech Debuted

My show, Small Empires, debuted on The Verge and you wonderful people really liked it. We're working on Season 2, which should start shooting not long after I return from the book tour in May 2014. I've got some pretty awesome surprises planned.

2014 is going to have a few really exciting media developments for me. 

So much press -- everywhere!

Interviewed on The Colbert ReportCharlie RoseMeet The Press, and just about every news network.

Breadpig keeps soaring

++

I've got even bigger plans for 2014 and I won't be able to do it without all of your support.


Thanks especially to all the people on "team Alexis" without whom none of this would've happened: Asa Solomon, Christina Xu, George Rohac, Joseph Kristoffer, Michael Pope, and Richie Siegel.

-- Alexis

PS. My latest Teespring campaign has only a few hours left for you to get a special limited edition "HYE FTW" shirt. Let's be twinsies - you don't have to be Armenian to look fabulous!
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Alexis Ohanian
tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/651357 2014-02-06T21:52:14Z 2014-02-06T21:54:31Z Video of me "Cooking Inspiration" at USC on #WTPbook tour

Cooking Inspiration - WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION from DOCUinc on Vimeo.


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Alexis Ohanian
tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/646587 2014-01-27T15:44:42Z 2014-01-27T17:41:35Z Speaking frankly about guns & reddit My parents left Brooklyn in the eighties to raise me in Columbia, MD—a charming Baltimore suburb. Two days ago, tragedy struck a mall there. In the town I grew up in, at a place I wandered regularly as a kid, someone shot two people then turned the gun on himself.

Seeing footage of people hurt and afraid at our mall was surreal and unsettling. Memories of this place—a childhood friend meeting his wife, camping out at Electronics Boutique, enjoying lazy afternoons with friends—were tarnished with images of innocent people fleeing for safety.

What happened in Columbia was shocking, saddening, and occurs all-too-frequently. Even more disturbing is the lack of coverage of prevalent gun violence in urban communities: there were 12 separate shootings just twenty minutes away in Baltimore last week alone. That these tragedies don’t get nearly the same attention is baffling.

While I do not own guns or particularly like them, I have shot them (even earning a rifle shooting merit badge in Boy Scouts). I also occasionally visit gun ranges with friends. That said, I firmly believe our right to bear arms is inseparable from responsible use and smart regulation. The shooting in Columbia is another sad example that we’re not there yet in terms of stemming senseless gun violence.

To get there, we need honest debate, civil discussion, and bi-partisan legislation. I hope healing and tangible action will come from the pain inflicted on my hometown, but what happened to me a day before was a step backward.

On Friday, while on my book tour for internet entrepreneurship, I sat down with FastCompany’s Adam Popescu, who requested an interview to “talk about Reddit's commerce market.” Since the only reddit marketplace is the reddit gifts marketplace, I interpreted Mr. Popescu's invitation as an opportunity to discuss that platform. Reinforcing my assumption was Mr. Popescu’s desire to connect with Dan McComas, the reddit marketplace’s founder. It turns out Mr. Popescu wanted to talk about guns.

Based on a video Mr. Popescu posted about our t-shirt cannon at a talk I gave prior to the interview, it's obvious to me he had an agenda. Mr. Popescu later admitted to "being vague" in order to get the interview, but I’m a guy who’s definitively refuted bogus allegations with loads of sunlight and spoken candidly about heated topics like “donglegate” and the tech community’s role in them. I’m OK talking about controversial issues, let’s just do it honestly.

Right now, people are using social media platforms to legally arrange gun sales to other people. These social platforms are not commerce sites—there is no actual purchasing happening on the platform. Last fall, the headlines were all about instagram being used for this. Now, it’s reddit.

During this interview, Mr. Popescu pointed to “more than 400 redditors” involved in gun sales.” Out of 100,744,653 monthly users, this is .0004% of the userbase. He also implied that Condé Nast allowed the reddit logo to be sold, which is false. The logo was not sold: people were given permission to use it (in a transaction the aforementioned Mother Jones article already addressed was a “not-for-profit-buy”). I pressed him for facts and he backtracked, saying he’d follow up later.

This simplification continued into a plea that I say something, mobilizing the masses like he claims I do for internet freedom issues. Sadly, I’m not an expert on guns or gun laws. I’m an expert on tech, which is why I speak as much and as often as I have on tech policy issues like SOPA, PIPA, CISPA, TPP, and net neutrality.

In my view, new technology platforms aren’t the problem -- it’s the law. If we turned the internet off tomorrow, these exchanges would still happen on corkboard bulletin boards. Legislation is the way to solve this. The law currently leaves private, in-state gun sales virtually unregulated. We had a chance to change that last April, but Senate Republicans blocked it.

I asked him to work toward convincing people to act by engaging their representatives to pass the stricter gun laws a majority of citizens demand instead of going after hyperbolic headlines. Let's drive honest discussion instead of pageviews. He rebuffed me, saying regular people can’t make a difference -- that it’s up to people with “followings” like me to rally everyone. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. This was remarkably naive and simplistic.  

He went on to insist that regular people don’t have much of a voice or the time or inclination and if it isn’t easy they can’t do it to actually make a difference. It was so condescending. As I’ve always said, it was precisely these regular people who defeated SOPA and PIPA. I was one of millions of private citizens who accomplished this. It’s how movements happen online -- from the bottom up. We didn’t defeat SOPA and PIPA because I led the way, it’s because I followed millions of people.

I understand many people still associate me with running reddit, despite not being involved with daily operations since leaving the company in 2010 (I do sit on the board). I’m happy to share my personal views, but that’s what they are: my personal views. After addressing how disappointed I was that he misled me into this interview, he implied he got what he needed. I have no idea what his FastCompany piece will entail, but I wanted to take the time to put forth my own views in my own words.

•••

Finally, Mr. Popescu, I do own pink socks (and love them) but the ones I was wearing that day were actually orange. During our interview, you called my childhood friend and crew manager Asa Solomon a “little guy,” which was rather unprofessional (sure, he’s a little shorter than average, but why the petty putdown?). And lastly, there’s no reason to insult our bus driver, Bruce, for owning a bag that didn’t meet your high-fashion expectations.

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Alexis Ohanian
tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/625300 2013-12-01T17:35:35Z 2013-12-01T17:36:03Z reddit could've been called "hotlex" or "voxaloo" I found these gems in an email I sent to Steve back on April 22, 2005. These are just a few of the names we tossed around before I discovered "reddit.com" -- good thing I did....

sosnoo.com
mysnoo.com
hotagg.com
aggpop.com
hotsnoo.com
snoopop.com
perkma.com
hotlex.com
perkperk.com
voxperk.com
lexpop.com
gaxoo.com
freshperk.com
perkoo.com
perklu.com
popfresh.com
perkla.com
dosedose.com
perkdose.com
ripefresh.com
laperk.com
perkle.com
populoo.com
frescoperk.com
frescoo.com
nitlu.com
nitman.com
redsnoo.com
ripered.com
snoovox.com
voxloo.com
voxaloo.com

More stories from the early days of reddit can be found in my WSJ bestseller, Without Their Permission.

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Alexis Ohanian
tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/620855 2013-11-18T18:59:43Z 2013-11-18T19:11:11Z A night with Stephen Colbert

I can't tell you how nervous I was, but I think it turned out OK despite me not realizing Stephen pre-dated Stewart on The Daily Show (fail).

Watch the clip.

Sure enough, Without Their Permission had another surge thanks to the Colbert Bump! I can't possibly thank Stephen and the entire team at The Report enough for making this all happen & being so freaking accommodating to me and my guests.

Keep up with everything WTP tour-related on our WIRED destination site.

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Alexis Ohanian
tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/609421 2013-10-16T04:28:50Z 2013-10-16T04:28:50Z Russian Magazine Cover Whoa.


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Alexis Ohanian
tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/608349 2013-10-13T01:16:34Z 2013-10-13T01:16:34Z I don't need a pop-up for every new song, iTunes Why is this default?

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Alexis Ohanian
tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/607356 2013-10-09T13:17:56Z 2013-10-09T13:20:41Z Talking about digital privacy rights with Chris Hayes on MSNBC

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Alexis Ohanian
tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/606643 2013-10-06T15:40:53Z 2013-10-08T17:31:04Z ABC goes old school and asks me to write answers to some interview questions This was fun.

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Alexis Ohanian
tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/604147 2013-09-25T04:20:25Z 2013-10-08T17:30:33Z Got my mug in this month's WIRED: We Need More Nerds!

Fired up! Less than a week until Without Their Permission drops!

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Alexis Ohanian
tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/601005 2013-09-12T12:31:28Z 2013-10-08T17:29:51Z I love a great startup trailer - nice job, @TeeSpring
A great trailer should look nice, sound nice (seriously, people will forgive so-so visual, but won't forgive bad sound), and tell a total neophyte exactly what your startup does as concisely as possible.
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Alexis Ohanian
tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/599996 2013-09-08T20:07:21Z 2013-10-08T17:29:35Z First look at Without Their Permission cover (and first-ever "5 Hour Read" icon)

I can't wait for you to get your hands on my first book! Pre-order it now if you don't want to wait until Oct 1st and please fwd me your receipt so I can thank you properly: thankyou@alexisohanian.com

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Alexis Ohanian
tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/599855 2013-09-08T00:21:11Z 2013-10-08T17:29:33Z Announcing an epic 100 stop, 65 university, 5 month tour for internet entrepreneurship (and Without Their Permission)

I announced this earlier this week on the reddit blog -- read all about it -- and let me know if I'm going to see you on campus!

My team and I have been overwhelmed with the response from everyone across the country and also abroad. I CANNOT WAIT for you to all get your hands on the book this October 1st (and high-5 you in person!).
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Alexis Ohanian
tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/598167 2013-08-30T23:59:27Z 2013-10-08T17:29:14Z I cannot wait for football season to start -- who's with me?

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Alexis Ohanian
tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/591704 2013-08-01T03:51:53Z 2013-10-08T17:27:53Z Make Good Art - Brilliant Commencement Speech from Neil Gaiman
So many awesome themes I totally agree with, delivered so masterfully by Neil Gaiman. Watch this.
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Alexis Ohanian
tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/586975 2013-07-03T20:40:58Z 2013-10-08T17:26:58Z Superman Is An Immigrant

My mom immigrated from Germany and was undocumented for about a year. My dad’s family fled the Armenian Genocide. They all just wanted better lives for themselves - for me. 

I am the American Way.

Join the campaign!

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Alexis Ohanian
tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/586595 2013-07-01T13:58:19Z 2013-10-08T17:26:53Z Baby Boomers are... (Yikes)

In case you were wondering how Millennials feel.

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Alexis Ohanian
tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/586385 2013-06-29T21:56:55Z 2013-10-08T17:26:51Z Help me Restore the Fourth this Fourth of July

"It's time to draw a line in the sand for what's off-limits in the digital age."

In light of the latest (and ongoing) NSA spying leaks, an early reader of my forthcoming book, Without Their Permission, pointed out an eerily prophetic passage I'd written. It's from the final chapter of WTP, a rallying cry for the open Internet and (among other things) digital privacy rights -- my editor suggested I write a portion as a fictional dystopian graduation speech from the year 2025. And let me be clear, the following is fiction::

Just this morning I found a polite note in my Dropbox from the federal agent who investigated a “suspicious” photo I’d privately stored there from a family vacation. I’d done nothing wrong, of course, but he was just letting me know they had run a quick search. At least he left a note, right? Believe it or not, there was a time when we truly believed our digital storage was as private as our physical storage. Want to enter my home? Sure, get a warrant—same goes for my Dropbox. Those were the days….

These days, of course, the government doesn’t need any due process to read our e-mail or search any of those formerly private messaging services, because they decided that the Fourth Amendment applies only to physical mail.

This is an unacceptable future (and present) for a country with inalienable rights to privacy as secured by our Constitution. I was on CNN and Bloomberg talking about these violations butif SOPA/PIPA was any indication, we need everyone talking about these issues, often.

I'll see many of my fellow New Yorkers at our Restore the Fourth rally this July 4th -- visit the one in your hometown!

America deserves better. Fortunately, she's designed so that we the people can do something about it. Let's get out there and do it.

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Alexis Ohanian
tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/585949 2013-06-26T17:59:01Z 2013-10-08T17:26:46Z The Book that Inspired the Birth of reddit

Well, since Without Their Permission doesn't drop until October 1st, the one book you need to read this summer in order to be a better entrepreneur is the book that inspired me and Steve to start reddit: Masters of Doom.

It's about the founding story of id software, the video game company that revolutionized the industry with titles like Wolfenstein, Doom, and Quake – not to mention occupied countless hours of my childhood.

Not your typical business book

Steve lent me a copy of this book sometime during our sophomore year and I devoured it. It's a pretty quick read. It's probably not for everyone, because id fanboys will most appreciate all the stories from the earliest days of Carmack and Romero.

Who knew changing the world could be so much fun?

Nevertheless, this book convinced me to consider starting a company. It just seemed like so much damn fun. Granted, we didn't end up starting a gaming company (well, I guess we had 'gamification' before that was a buzzword: karma, leaderboards, awards, etc) but the idea a few friends could get together in a house and start building something the world had never seen before – having a lot of fun in the process -- got me hooked.

Read at least one book this summer, you'll be better for it

Hopefully it'll be as rewarding for you while you spend some time away from the hustle. Even if you don't read Masters of Doom, get away from your inbox and the office this summer. We tend to fetishize hard work more than we should. Yes, it makes a difference, but don't forget about diminishing returns.

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Alexis Ohanian
tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/583267 2013-06-08T22:54:19Z 2013-10-08T17:26:13Z The Hard Part About Business Preach, PG.

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Alexis Ohanian
tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/583109 2013-06-07T21:17:10Z 2013-10-08T17:26:11Z 7 Awesome (and Unique) Things to Get Dad

Father's Day is coming up here in the US (on June 16) and the internet is full of great, unique gift ideas to let dad know he's awesome.

My dad's birthday also happens to be June 10, so he basically gets one big gift (sorry, dad) every year.

1. Special dinner guest

This year we're having dinner with one of this favorite Washington Redskins thanks to a startup with a less-than-perfect name, Thuzio (props to @davetisch for turning me on to this startup). If your dad's a sports fan and you can bring a few of his friends in on it, this is sure to be a memorable time (just don't ruin the surprise like I did and accidentally CC him on one of the email threads).

2. Meat

As a 'Skins fan, there aren't a lot of things from Texas he'd like, but I've ordered him a brisket from Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood, TX. Assuming your dad enjoys eating, there's no shortage of tasty things for him on goldbely from across the USA.

3. Bathroom Surprise

I'm not sure how dad would take this, so I'm not getting him a subscription of "One Wipe Charlies" but you've got to give the company credit for taking the viral-video-marketing approach to the next level. Perhaps your dad is a bit adventurous or has a good sense of humor?

4. 24-7 Internet

My dad can barely use his smartphone (love you, dad!) but if you've got an e-father, consider a pay as you go hotspot like Karma (no connection to reddit, though now that I think about it -- reddit gold is the perfect gift for any occasion).

5. Giant Wall Sticker

I've been so impressed by how Fathead handled their shipping fiasco on /r/NFL that I want to show them some love -- perhaps my dad can use a life-sized Robert Griffin III in his bedroom?

6. Anything You Can Imagine

If you ever need inspiration, there's always /r/shutupandtakemymoney and thisiswhyimbroke.com -- you're welcome.

7. Quality Time (the best!)

Or what if you just don't have the money to spend because your still trying to get ramen-profitable with your first startup? (You know I'm all for that) Just spend time with him -- on the phone, facetime, or ideally in-person-face-time (like he did back in his day!). That's probably all he really wants, anyway.

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Alexis Ohanian
tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/583083 2013-06-07T17:14:59Z 2013-10-08T17:26:11Z Can Anyone Be An Entrepreneur? @FastCompany asked, I answered ]]> Alexis Ohanian tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/582511 2013-06-04T13:57:22Z 2013-10-08T17:26:05Z Getting Things Done > Grade Point Average Zoinks! Thanks for all the love everyone! By popular demand, I've TeeSprung the quote -- all profits to DonorsChoose.org

We're a generation in debt. I had a world-class education at the University of Virginia. I met my reddit co-founder Steve Huffman there on move-in day. That chance encounter changed both of our lives. I had some awesome professors. There was the fortuitous trip to Waffle House that convinced me I wanted to be an entrepreneur, not a lawyer. I've written the book about internet entrepreneurship I wish I had back then. But my kids won't have the same education I did. And that's a good thing.

A year ago I sat on a panel at the White House* for a room full of deans from universities across the country. We were tasked to talk about entrepreneurship and how to better prepare our nation's undergraduates for an uncertain job market. "A critical skill I see in great entrepreneurs and employees alike is resourcefulness. Resourcefulness doesn't come from case-studies, it comes from doing things." This turned out to be quite the applause line.

Paul Graham says the best founders are "relentlessly resourceful."

I've been thinking about that day in D.C. ever since.

Getting Things Done > Grade Point Average

I'm an employer and I don't really care where you went to school or what your GPA was -- I want to know what you've done. Paid off student loan debt by tutoring computer science in New York? Rock on. Raised $20,000 on kickstarter for a daft punk tribute album? Awesome! Started the 'dear photograph' meme? Splendid! Blogged years worth of eating across the world and now creating food-tour-guides? Now we're cooking with bacon.

This will not be on your course syllabus

What are you passionate about?

Writing code? Awesome. Start launching stuff. Tell your friends, see if any of them are willing to use it. If yes, then you're on to something, if no, figure out why your own friends aren't using it. Or maybe they're just not into doing things, that's cool, but Drew Houston taught me a great quote about that: "You are the average of your 5 closest friends."

(Wish you could write code? Sign up for a CS class -- this is the single-most valuable class you can take. Don't wait for the semester to start, sign up for Codecademy).

Love cats? I do too! What do you know about cats no one else does? Can you start turning that into content? Is it a blog you start with cats that look like Ron Swanson? (OK, nevermind, that's been done). Are you contributing to the discussions on /r/cats?

Fired up about writing? Write about whatever moves you. Does your school newspaper suck? Start your own: TumblrWordpressPosthaven. It's happening right now.

We need more people - especially my fellow Millennials - doing things, learning things.

Don't wait for permission to be awesome.

*It was at this moment I realized I could've also called this post "From Waffle House to White House." Ah well, so it goes.

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Alexis Ohanian
tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/582422 2013-06-03T20:45:57Z 2013-10-08T17:26:04Z Phone Calls Are So Broken

I'm declaring a phone call armistice. Why?

When I call you, I’m essentially saying:

“Stop whatever it is you’re doing and pay attention to me right now.”

If you were doing anything creative, anything that involves flow, you’ve now had that interrupted. It could be hours before you get it back.

All for my phone call.

If – on the rare occasion – I’m calling you, I’m going to have a really important (read: time-sensitive) reason. Or we’re going to have scheduled this phone call ahead of time.

Exceptions should be made for close friends and relations, of course, but can we all just agree that we won’t abuse phone calls now that we’ve got countless of other ways to get someone’s attention on their terms?

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Alexis Ohanian
tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/580161 2013-05-21T05:09:49Z 2013-10-08T17:25:36Z Bring on the autonomous drones delivering medicine to remote villages, @AirWareUAS Via WIRED. Awesome stuff, Airware. Proud to be a small part of the process.

What are some more positive examples of where drones are being deployed that people haven’t seen?

We’re involved in research funded by the Gates Foundation that looks at how we can distribute medicines and vaccines in rural Africa in a fairly automated way. Essentially the researchers at looking at creating a spoke and wheel system with drones as the spokes. So from a central distribution point in Africa where there is already an airport, or vehicles that bring medicines and vaccines in, we then distribute the stuff via drones. So that entails a whole collection of UAVs that on regular schedules fly out to these remote villages, drop the package and come back in a very, very autonomous way.

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Alexis Ohanian
tag:alexisohanian.com,2013:Post/579359 2013-05-16T18:54:48Z 2013-10-08T17:25:26Z "Let me give you some advice, bastard..." "Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.”

Wise words, Tyrion.

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Alexis Ohanian