Alexis Ohanian has joined Y Combinator as a partner.
I ran into the high-profile Internet entrepreneur at an event in San Francisco yesterday, where he was sporting a very hipster beard and seemed even more excited about the prospect of being part of the just-as-high-profile startup development organization.
Ohanian is, of course, the co-founder of Reddit, the social platform that was created in 2005 as the “front page of the Internet,” grew large and eventually sold to Condé Nast.
He was part of launching travel site Hipmunk and of social enterprise effort Breadpig. He has also been a big advocate of the open Internet, as well as an active angel investor.
He recently wrote a book, titled “Without Their Permission,” about his life as an entrepreneur. Although he only recently turned 30, it is a primer for those even younger to see innovation as a reachable goal.
Ohanian is already on the job, posting a letter he wrote to the FCC on Y Combinator’s behalf about net neutrality, in which he noted, in part:
The world isn’t flat, but the world wide web is. It must remain that way.
We need the FCC to keep the level playing field that let me — and so many others — succeed as entrepreneurs. The reason so much innovation and wealth creation has happened in tech over the last decade is that any American with her laptop and Internet connection could build a startup and compete with incumbents (and even beat them) without a team of lawyers and without a large budget to pay for priority from ISPs.
Let me be clear: we need a bright-line, per se rule against discrimination, access fees, and paid prioritization on both mobile and fixed.
Here is a lively interview I did with Ohanian last fall at the Commonwealth Club, so you can get a taste of his moves: