Announcing My Epic 200 Stop, 82 University, 5 Month Book Tour
When my national bestseller, Without Their Permission, dropped, I announced an ambitious 100 stop, 65 university, 5 month speaking tour -- with a bus and everything. Then things quickly escalated.
It ultimately became 200 stop, 82 university speaking tour. It was a long 5 months, but I'll never forget them. I met entrepreneurs (and aspiring ones) from all over North America.
Without Their Permission is both a blueprint and a rallying cry for the open internet and entrepreneurship, but what I want to promote is how our generation has a tremendous opportunity to do amazing things online. We’re all still figuring out just what kind of an impact the internet will have on the world — let’s be the ones doing it.
This isn’t just my story, it’s the stories of your successful alums as well as current students, all learning from and contributing to the greatest platform for ideas the world has ever seen (the internet). All told, the student bodies of all the schools I’m visiting is just shy of 1,000,000! I told you it’s going to be epic.
Let’s hang out IRL, high-5, and I’ll doodle you a reddit alien while you alternate between asking me anything and telling me about your favorite subreddit.
About this epic tour
This tour is going to be the exact opposite of every book tour so far; as in, it’s going to be amazing.
The week before each college visit, I’ll jump on the college’s subreddit to source what you want me to discuss in my keynote the following week at your campus. I’ll talk about anything you upvote most—seriously—and take your questions on stage for an AMA IRL. After that, because author readings are silly (if you wanna hear me read my own book just listen to the audiobook) I’m bringing back an alum of your school so I can interview him or her about all the awesome stuff s/he’s done online since graduating. I want these events to be everything Steve and I wish we had as undergrads at UVA (wahoowa).
Finally, to keep with the this-ain’t-no-conventional-book-tour-mentality, we’re going to have a book signing/networking combo after each event so everyone can put their newfound enthusiasm towards planning their foray into entrepreneurship, not standing in a long line.
Afterwards, we’ll head to a meetup organized by the college subreddit at a local watering hole.
Why a massive tour spreading the goodness of entrepreneurship?
Back in 2005, Steve and I ended up visiting Cambridge during our senior year Spring Break to hear Paul Graham give a talk called “How To Start a Startup.” This talk set Steve and I on the course that led to Y Combinator and thus reddit. I’m proud to announce that Y Combinator is backing this tour, so it’s kinda coming full circle.
I hope this tour will be more than an awesome excuse to rent a bus for five months—may it inspire and guide a new generation of internet entrepreneurs. And I’m not talking about just starting the next reddit (or some other tech startup); the internet has the potential to re-invent so many industries begging for innovation.
Even if you’re a history major like me, there’s no excuse. The more people we can get learning and creating online, the better ideas we’ll have in the world. And I just want better stuff: better companies, better art, better comedy, better music, better nonprofits, better activism, better everything.
There are amazing projects going on right now nationwide that I’ll use this tour to spotlight. We are a generation that hasn’t been given much to work with, yet I’m so inspired by people I meet, whether on our heartland bus tour last fall, in Brooklyn where I live, or everyday throughout the vast communities here on reddit.
How you can help
We’re making a ton of progress, but we haven’t confirmed all 65 colleges yet and I’d love your help. Take a look below, and if you can help in any way (like you know an administrator, professor, or student group who wants to make your college event happen—or if you’re a staff or faculty member who wants to help) please don’t hesitate to email me and my team.
If we aren’t speaking at your school, I’m sorry. Perhaps you can convince us (we’re all ears), but really it’s a matter of timing, logistics, and the laws of physics.
We’re also still looking for alums to bring back for the fireside chat at a number of universities, so if you’d like to nominate someone (or yourself) please fill out this form.
I can’t wait to upvote you
I’m excited. Even more excited than when I see an orangered at the top of my screen. I always love meeting redditors all over the world; if it weren’t for you, reddit would still just be me and Steve submitting links with each other, so there’d definitely be no book, and thus no tour—and I would have no use for this t-shirt cannon. Steve would’ve gone on to be another programmer in suburban Virginia and I’d probably be an immigration lawyer.
Thank you for that. I hope I can show you just how much I appreciate you all and take every single one of you out for waffles.