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The Power of the individual and the open internet

Without Their Permission

Without Their Permission

by Alexis Ohanian

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Three lessons from Without Their Permission to help you bring your own internet startup to life:

  • All startups have to solve a real problem, but it doesn’t have to be a well-known one.
  • The internet can amplify anything, so be careful what you put out.
  • We...

  • Sixteen months after Alexis graduated from the University of Virginia, he sold Reddit to Condé Nast and became a millionaire.
  • Alexis founded a social enterprise (Breadpig), launched a travel search engine (Hipmunk), and has invested in more than sixty startups and advised hundreds mo...

  • The open Internet has levelled the playing field. If you have a connection and a laptop, you can build your ideas exponentially and share your work with the world.
  • The open Internet is not a magic wand, but as a technology, it has the potential to do tremendous things – to allow awes...

Most people starting a business (and engineers are especially prone to this, hence the term Engineer's Disease) do it in the following order:

  • Build a product you think people will like.
  • Go out the door, wave it around and ask: “Who wants this?”

And then they get sad...

A father and son duo from Australia invented a way to get honey from their beehives without having to open it and tranquillize the bees. Thanks to their simple system the honey just flows out, literally on tap.

Not a pretty common problem – yet

Forget about billion-dollar markets or reaching 1 in 7 people on the planet, like Facebook (even they started with just college campuses).

Focus on a problem that’s personal, close to you, and is unique to a small group of people, and you’ll do just fine.

The internet can amplify anything overnight so be careful what you put out.

In 2007, Greenpeace started a campaign to track a whale via satellite, to bring awareness to Japanese fishers still hunting these creatures and protest against an expedition set out to hunt down 50 whales. To en...

  • We all carry ideas we are passionate about, voices that need to be heard and projects that need to spread. And since we have access to the Internet, we have no excuse not to take action.
  • This can be incredibly empowering to some and absolutely frightening to others.
  • In an onl...

Whether you’re a solopreneur or you lead a growing team, if you want to make the world suck less, you need a kickass support team. Sure, they need to be competent and driven and quasi-entertaining (that’s a plus). But more importantly, they need to take pride in their work.

The Language = Programming.  

If you want to become The Maker, you might want to follow these 3 steps:

1.) No more excuses, like… Programmers are kids, not 35+. I’m too old. And I’m not geeky enough to be a hacker. Do I need a snippet of JavaScript tattooed t...

The digital revolution is forcing all of us to step up our game, BIG time. It forces us to develop skills that fall outside of our comfort zones. It forces us to stop apologizing for high standards and expectations. And it forces us to push ourselves, stop making excuses, and start making the wor...

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