Review: “Without Their Permission” by Alexis Ohanian

17333428One of the founders of reddit wrote a book! Don’t know what reddit is? It’s only one of the best websites there ever was, one of the most popular sites in the US (but also popular internationally). It allows users to submit links from around the web and vote them up or down, so that really great links are the most visible, and links that suck fall into oblivion.

It also allows users to create their own sub-forums (called subreddits) around any topic you can imagine. I’ve pulled information from /r/books for this blog before. Besides links, users can also submit text posts to ask questions or share information.

The book is both a memoir of the author’s life thus far and a guidebook for entrepreneurs looking to start their own online businesses or websites. As I am no entrepreneur, I enjoyed the book for its anecdotes and insight into the formation of reddit, as well as Ohanian’s other projects like hipmunk (my favorite place to book flights). It’s also a great inspiration to do anything worthwhile, including charity work or political activism (via the interwebs, of course). However, it could make you feel bad about yourself seeing as Ohanian is now known internationally and he’s barely 30. But his tone throughout is humble, not at all condescending.

It’s a quick read and at times made me laugh out loud. It also introduced me to a lot of great new websites, as well as this guy:


You’ll just have to read the book to figure out what that’s all about. Or Google it. Either way.

If you want to hear Ohanian talk about his book, check out his interview on The Colbert Report from November 14th.


If you’re looking for some inspiration for a business or are a reddit fan, it’s worth picking up a copy of your own, though the $27.00 list price seems a bit much for so small a book. Otherwise, find a copy at the library.

Amazon | Goodreads


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