Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian told MSPs today that "I have no idea what I'm doing -- and that's awesome." The statement, delivered at Datto Partner Conference 2013, also included this: "You can disrupt an industry from anywhere. You don't need to be in Silicon Valley." But that's not all.
Among his other key points:
- There is unlimited demand for creative people -- developers, developers, developers. "And there's not enough supply."
- He called modern education a "mind job" because the best developers are often self-taught and education often doesn't reward creativity.
- "We need more people making stuff."
- "I was a history major. I was wondering 'what the hell am I going to do?' Fortunately, I was a developer in high school."
- Side track: "If you never had Waffle House I hightly recommend it."
- The book "Masters of Doom" -- the story of ID Software -- was a must-read that influenced his decision to build a business that actually allowed him to act like a college kid the rest of his life.
- His first big idea -- a mobile app to speed restaurant orders -- was rejected because there were not smartphones and app stores at the time.
- An investor in 2005 told Alexis and his partner to build a "front page to the web."
- Instead of worrying about rivals like Digg, the Reddit team focused on its own execution. "Don't worry about the competition" was the takeaway advice. "So many Digg rivals failed because they were just copying."
- Fast forward to the present, and he confludes: "I still don't know what the f*** I'm doing."
- The barriers for innovation continue to fall. Thanks to things like open source and the cloud, you can launch a business and disrupt the establishment over night.
- Creativity is actually the re-mixing of multiple ideas -- some alrady established -- into a unique blend that delivers value.
- Another exit takeaway: In college, he was not allowed to enroll in a course for entrepreneurs. He believes education is stuck in the 20th century at a time when incredible, educational information now lives online.
- "Time Magazine doesn't give this generation -- the born in the Internet generation -- enough credit."
- Side note: He's still a season behind on "Breaking Bad."