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Alexis Ohanian: Give a Damn. Give Lots of Damns.

About this talk

Alexis Ohanian shares lessons learned from years of building three startups from scratch. Making a customer’s day should be obligatory throughout every organization, he urges. Whether you mail swag to early users (like Hipmunk) or add fun to the otherwise mundane (like Wufoo), everything should have a personality that wins over users and, as a side effect, is more effective than any other kind of “traditional” marketing. “No one ever forgets their first 100 users,” he says. “Let them know that you give a damn.”

Alexis Ohanian, Co-Founder, Reddit

Alexis Ohanian is a startup founder and investor in Brooklyn, NY. After graduating from UVA in 2005, Alexis and his co-founder Steve Huffman started reddit, now a top 100 website. Ohanian helped launch hipmunk and ran marketing, PR andcommunity before becoming an advisor and joining the fight against SOPA & PIPA. He invests and advises over sixty tech startups. He’s Y Combinator’s Ambassador to the East, co-founder of the non-profit IHAS.

Along the way, Alexis spoke at TED, volunteered in Armenia as a Kiva Fellow, and was named on Forbes 30 Under 30 list two years in a row (and then turned 30). He proudly doodled the logos for all three of his startups.

Comments (10)
  • Chris

    I hope you do not stop writing these great articles!

  • PaulBaarn

    The number one take away for me: Make someone’s day.

  • Marie Holdaway

    This is awesome! It makes you really think about how much difference it makes when companies personalize their businesses and cherish their customers

  • bassamtarazi

    As I like to say, “It’s so much easier to support someone when they give a damn.” It doesn’t necessarily matter what you give a damn about but people love seeing effort and dedication. And if we’re talking business here, our giving a damn has to provide value to someone other than ourselves. Awesome stuff, Alexis

  • Trueply

    amazing! this is the kind of force needed to balance the overload of indifference today. Thank you!

  • Alexis Ohanian

    woot! Thanks for the comment – glad to hear it moved ya.

  • Alexis Ohanian

    Thank you very much! I love seeing how much this talk continues to motivate & inspire folks.

  • Alexis Ohanian

    Thanks, Marie! It really does make a difference – I’ve seen it pay dividends my entire career.

  • Alexis Ohanian

    Go ahead! Make someone’s day. It always keeps coming back.

  • Aronno_Shihan

    its good for me

    and pls visit my blog :

  • Tejas Gokhale

    Its wonderful!! Making someone’s day!
    I think its all about loving your work and for sure it will love you back!!

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