Kara Swisher

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Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian Needs No Permission (Video)

medium_Alexis_Ohanian_shot_by_Tanya_Kechichian

Last night, I did an onstage interview with Alexis Ohanian at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. He is, of course, the co-founder of Reddit, the social platform that was created in 2005 as the “front page of the Internet,” grew large, and was later sold to Condé Nast.

Ohanian also was part of launching travel site Hipmunk, and also social enterprise effort Breadpig. He’s also been a big advocate of the open Internet, and an active angel investor.

Tonight’s interview was in the style of Reddit’s well-known “Ask Me Anything” events, known as AMA, about his new book, “Without Their Permission.”

It’s a lively read about his life as an entrepreneur — so far, at least, since he is only 30. It also is a primer for those even younger — Ohanian is visiting 65 colleges on his book tour — to see innovation as a reachable goal.

“I want to knock entrepreneurship off its pedestal,” he said in our interview last night.

Here’s the entire discussion, with questions from the audience:

(Photo by Tanya Kechichian, courtesy of Ohanian’s book website)


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald