Steve Huffman is the co-founder of Reddit along with Alexis Ohanian (his college roommate). He started programming at the age of 8. His net worth as of 2021 will be about $10 million.
Early life and education:
He was born on November 12, 1983. Steve Huffman’s childhood was spent growing up in Warrenton, Virginia. At the age of 8, he began programming computers.
In 2001, he graduated from Wakefield School in The Plains, Virginia. He graduated in 2005 from the University of Virginia (UVA), where he studied computer science.
Steve Huffman on Reddit:
During their spring break, Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, who was his college roommate, drove to Boston, Massachusetts, to hear programmer and entrepreneur Paul Graham speak.
They talked with Graham after the lecture. And he invited them to apply to his startup incubator, Y Combinator. Huffman came up with an original idea, My Mobile Menu. The app allowed users to order food by SMS. Although the idea was rejected, Graham asked Huffman and Ohanian to meet him in Boston to pitch another idea for a start-up.
At that brainstorming session, the idea that came up was the “front page of the Internet”. Huffman and Ohanian got accepted into Y Combinator’s first class. Huffman coded the entire site in Lisp. Finally, he and Ohanian launched Reddit in June 2005, which was funded by Y Combinator.
The site’s audience grew rapidly within its first few months. By August 2005, Huffman noticed their habitual user base had grown large enough that he no longer needed to fill the front page with content himself.
At the age of 23, Huffman and Ohanian sold Reddit to Condé Nast for a reported $10 million to $20 million on October 31, 2006. Huffman worked for Reddit until 2009, when he stepped down as acting CEO.
Before he and Adam Goldstein made the travel site Hipmunk, Huffman spent a few months in Costa Rica, which was also paid for by Y Combinator. In 2010, he was an author and software developer. Hipmunk was launched in August 2010 with Huffman serving as CTO. In 2011, Inc. named Huffman to its 30 Under 30 list.
Huffman admitted that his decision to sell Reddit had been a mistake. And that the site’s growth had exceeded his expectations in 2014. On July 10, 2015, Reddit hired Huffman as CEO again, following the resignation of Ellen Pao. It was a particularly difficult time for the company.
After rejoining the company, Huffman’s main goals were to launch Reddit’s iOS and Android apps, fix Reddit’s mobile website, and create A/B testing infrastructure.
Huffman made a number of changes to Reddit’s technology when he went back to work there. These included a better mobile experience, a stronger infrastructure, and new rules for what content could be posted.
Shortly after returning, Huffman wrote that,
“Neither Alexis nor I created Reddit to be a bastion of free speech, but rather as a place where open and honest discussion can happen.”
The New Yorker and The Verge both noticed that Ohanian had used the same word to describe Reddit in an interview in 2012.
Huffman had worked hard to make the site more advertiser-friendly. And he also led efforts to host video and images on the site. In January 2017, Huffman led the redesign of Reddit’s website, its first major visual update in a decade. Huffman had said the site looked like a “dystopian Craigslist,” whose obsolete presence deterred new users.
In April 2018, after more than a year of development, the new site was launched.
Steve Huffman, Net Neutrality Activism:
Steve is an advocate for net neutrality. He had told The New York Times that without net neutrality protections, “you give internet service providers the ability to choose winners and losers”, in 2017. Huffman urged Redditors to express support for net neutrality and to contact their elected representatives in Washington, D.C.
Steve Huffman said that the repeal of net neutrality rules stifles competition. He had said that he, along with Reddit, would continue to advocate for net neutrality.
Steve Huffman lives in San Francisco, California. He mentors aspiring programmers at coding bootcamps such as Hackbright Academy. Huffman was also an instructor for e-learning courses on web development at Udacity.
Along with that, he is on the board of advisors for the Anti-Defamation League’s Center for Technology and Society. Astonishingly, Huffman is a ballroom dancer. At UVA, Huffman used to compete in intercollegiate competitions.
Steve Huffman, News:
Late in 2016, Huffman caused a stir when she changed posts on a subreddit called The Donald that Trump supporters often use. Following criticism from Reddit users, he issued an apology and undid the change.
This year, TikTok gained a lot of popularity—and not particularly in a good way! To this end, the co-founder of Reddit thinks TikTok is “fundamentally parasitic”.
He said these things in front of a big group of Silicon Valley investors and business owners at the Social 2030 conference, which was put on by Lessin’s VC firm, Slow Ventures, and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Maybe I’m going to regret this, but I can’t even get to that level of thinking with them. I look at that app as so fundamentally parasitic. It is constantly listening, and the fingerprinting technology they use is truly terrifying. I could not bring myself to install an app like that on my phone. I actively tell people not to install that spyware.