Be patient with this video, it takes a while to get going but it’s worth it and you also get two companies for the price of one. Steve Huffman is one of the Co-founders of Reddit as well as Hipmunk, a flight search engine which delivers results in more of a visually appealing way than competitors, for example, on long haul flights where there are stopovers, total journey time is a consideration.
Hipmunk displays this information with time bars which can be easily compared by size to see how long you have to hang around in.. well, airports you don’t want to hang around in.
Much of this interview looks into the background of Reddit and how it scaled into the behemoth it is today from being run entirely from Huffman’s MacBook Pro. It also looks into how Reddit overcame the standard puzzle of creating a community online, how do you attract people to a community when there is no community?
In starting Hipmunk, Hoffman says that he was reluctant to enter a space with so much competition, yet when your Co-founder is the reigning North American debate champion, it is a lot harder to get the outcome you initially had in mind. This is despite believing that Hipmunk would not be in business after three months by which time Huffman would be able to go off and do whatever business he wanted.
Reddit and Hipmunk have nothing in common.. my third start up is going to be the shit.. I’m telling you it’s gonna be great!
In the early days of Reddit, Huffman says that they did not even collect email addresses so the learning journey with business and marketing has been huge to the degree that with strategic partnerships such as Yelp, Huffman believes that they will be able to IPO one day and the only obstacle that would stand in their way, is themselves.
This philosophy is the same that turned a utilitarian website with no regard for it’s appearance, copied from the old Delicious UI, into the largest community on the web.