Reddit founder has rival’s nasty comment on his office wall for motivation

‘Thank you, unnamed Yahoo exec, for motivating me to prove you so goddamn wrong,’ says co-founder

Gino Spocchia
Friday 09 July 2021 13:03
<p>Reddit co-founder and chairman, Alexis Ohanian</p>

Reddit co-founder and chairman, Alexis Ohanian

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The co-founder and chairman of Reddit, Alexis Ohanian, has revealed how a Yahoo executive’s nasty comment was a form of motivation for years.

Mr Ohanian, who started Reddit with Steve Huffman and Aaron Swartz in 2005, was allegedly told by a Yahoo executive that Reddit was “a round error compared to us”.

Although Yahoo was around before Reddit’s founding, the social news site has an estimated worth of about $6 billion and a billion visitors monthly.

Yahoo, meanwhile, has recently been valued at $1.6 billion.

After the remarks from that 2005 meeting resurfaced on Twitter on Thursday, Mr Ohanian revealed that he framed the words “you are a rounding error” for his office — and offered ridicule of Yahoo.

“My favourite part is that he motivated me for the next decade with that shutdown. I literally put it on the wall at the office the next day,” wrote Mr Ohanian.

A Twitter user who resurfaced the comments, Chris Hladczuk, asked the Reddit co-founder if “that motivation was needed to turn Reddit into what it is today?”

Mr Ohanian wrote: “Reddit didn't need it. I did, though. I live for that extra motivation.”

“I went home after this meeting and printed out a piece of paper with the words ‘you are a rounding error’ and put it on my wall at my desk so I would see it every single day at work,” the Reddit co-founder added on Instagram.

“Thank you, unnamed Yahoo exec, for motivating me to prove you so goddamn wrong”.

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