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Reddit Co-Founder Steve Huffman on the Importance of Thinking Big

Steven Huffman

Steve Huffman, who along with Alexis Ohanian, founded the popular site Reddit said the one mistake he made early on was not thinking big enough. He told Smart Company, “Think about the company you want to be, the founder you want to be. A lot of the mistakes we made were out of naivety. We weren’t thinking big enough.” Marking out a path for the development is essential, but there is some flexibility required as the path may change.

Reddit was started in 2005 with Huffman and Ohanian providing the lion’s share of content for a few hundred users. Now content addresses almost every topic under the son, and he site has 147 million users. Huffman left Reddit in 2010, and started Hipmunk, a travel site, which he feels is a different ballgame than running Reddit. “We are not social or viral or addictive the way Reddit is, ” he explained, adding that since people travel only a few times a year, the trick is to make Hipmunk the top go-to site for travelers.

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Huffman thinks Reddit offered its users an “authentic voice” and didn’t mar the experience by censoring comments or content. “Our users felt they were getting the real deal.” There are two things that upset Huffman since he left Reddit. He is unhappy with the way the site operates on mobile, and secondly, the fact that the content hasn’t changed much since his departure.




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