ALEXIS OHANIAN

Men's Journal - - THE ART OF THE FAIL -

CO-FOUNDER OF REDDIT.COM

“In 2004, be­fore I cre­ated Reddit, I started a com­pany called My Mo­bile Menu that was a spec­tac­u­lar flop. The idea was that users could or­der food via text mes­sage, but smart­phones didn’t ex­ist yet, so the user ex­pe­ri­ence was aw­ful. My part­ner and I in­ter­viewed with Y Com­bi­na­tor to se­cure fund­ing and fig­ured we were shoo-ins since we knew the founder. Then Y Com­bi­na­tor re­jected us. I was so ashamed that at a party that night, I couldn’t bring my­self to ad­mit we hadn’t raised the money. Well, the next morn­ing, Y Com­bi­na­tor called and said, ‘We like you, but not your idea. If you’re will­ing to change it, we’ll fund you.’ So I did; our next idea was Reddit. What I thought was a fail­ure ul­ti­mately saved me from years of try­ing to launch a com­pany that would have never gone any­where.”

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