Founder Friday: Did Reddit Have Two or Three Co-Founders?
Reddit is set to have its IPO at the beginning of 2022. That makes it the perfect time to feature them on Founder Friday. Often, Reddit is credited as having three co-founders, but is that accurate? The answer is yes and no.
Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman had come up with the idea their senior year at the University of Virginia. As Ohanian stated in an interview in Inc., Paul Graham, after rejecting their initial startup pitch, told Ohanian and Huffman that they needed to “build the front page of the Internet.” That idea turned into Reddit. Reddit became a Y Combinator Summer 2005 (S05) company, the first batch for Y Combinator.
At Y Combinator, Ohanian and Huffman were introduced to Aaron Swartz. Swartz was part of another wiki/blog platform, Infogami. The three agreed to merge under the Reddit name, and all would be labeled as co-founders. Swartz only worked with them for a short time, and once Condé Nast acquired Reddit, Swartz was quickly terminated.
And what about Chris Slowe? Some credit him as a co-founder, but he started with a different Y Combinator company, Memamp, and joined even later than Swartz. Unlike Swartz, however, Slowe worked for Reddit until 2010.
In the eyes of Ohanian and Huffman, there have only been two actual co-founders. We tend to agree since they started the company pre-Y Combinator and worked on Reddit six months before the Infogami merger.
- Inc.: How Alexis Ohanian Built a Front Page of the Internet
- Observer: Rumors & Acquisitions: Did Reddit Have a Third Co-Founder?
- The Focus: Who was Aaron Swartz? Was he removed from the Reddit founders’ list?
- The Business of Business: Y Combinator’s First Batch: Where are they now?
- Quartz: When Aaron Swartz met Paul Graham his life–and the entire internet–changed forever
*Image found on Reddit’s homepage About section