Using haters as motivation could be one of the reasons that entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian has been so successful.
The Reddit co-founder recently shared how he used haters to push him in his business career.
What Happened: Ohanian was the featured guest on an episode of “The F***ing Metaverse,” a new podcast from the co-founders of Yuga Labs.
In the episode, Ohanian discussed the early days of Reddit, a company he co-founded and how the haters of the company helped pushed him forward.
“I hated Kevin Rose, didn’t hate him as much because we won,” Ohanian said.
Rose was a co-founder of Digg, a company that competed with Reddit.
“When Digg 'fire sold' for a couple hundred thousand, I almost bought digg.com to redirect to Reddit,” Ohanian said.
Rose, who also co-founded Moonbirds, now counts Ohanian as an investor.
As motivation, Ohanian used rivalries and calls about him not being able to do something: “I have screenshots of every, every mean tweet.”
Ohanian said a lot of people questioned his backing of a women’s soccer team with Angel City FC.
“I would screenshot those tweets.”
Years later when Angel City was breaking attendance records, Ohanian said he would post screenshots of a full stadium and tag the person.
A meeting between Ohanian and Yahoo about Reddit was also used as motivation by Ohanian.
“I did this back at Reddit when an exec at Yahoo said that our traffic was so small that it was a rounding error compared to Yahoo.”
Ohanian said he thought the meeting was about a potential acquisition of Reddit but the meeting ended early when the Yahoo exec questioned the size of Reddit.
“I printed out the words ‘you are a rounding error’ so I could look at it every f***ing morning,” Ohanian said.
Ohanian noted five years later Reddit surpassed Yahoo in traffic and it felt good to see that printed picture.
Why It’s Important: Ohanian is an investor in several NFT collections including Moonbirds, Yuga Labs and Doodles. The Yuga Labs team said they appreciate the early feedback they got from Ohanian and his comments on proving doubters wrong could become a driving force in the world of NFTs.
Ohanian said his sense of printing out mean tweets may not be healthy.
“I tell founders this every time, might not work for everyone else. Being a founder is such a unique position,” Ohanian said.
Ohanian told the Yuga Labs co-founder that there were going to be haters, but that’s okay because it usually means you’re making something that people also love.
“You’re better off having haters.”
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