Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed Hardcover – October 1, 2013
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-Nate Silver, author and statistician, FiveThirtyEight blog, New York Times
"WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION shows how anyone can use the power of the Internet to make the world a much cooler place to live."
-Tony Hsieh, New York Times bestselling author of Delivering Happiness and CEO of Zappos.com, Inc.
"Software is eating the world and WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION is your ultimate cookbook."
-Marc Andreessen, cofounder and partner at Andreessen Horowitz
"In WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION, Alexis Ohanian shows you how to share your great ideas with an unlimited world online. Ohanian charts a course for you to build a business, or create a following, or just expand your world and those of people you haven't even met. What you'll learn from Ohanian isn't taught in any school or in any modern curricula. It is the knowledge of the future-to create a better world."
- Soledad O'Brien, Journalist, CEO, Starfish Media Group
"Alexis talking about the internet is like Sid Vicious talking about punk. Analysts merely adopted it, but Ohanian was born in it, molded by it, and is the voice of it. A fascinating story, but more importantly: a crucial insight into the healthy proactive mindset of the tech startup world that will keep defining the future."
- Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby, author of Anything You Want
About the Author
He lives in Brooklyn but remains a diehard fan of the Washington Redskins.
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If you're looking for a step-by-step guide on what to do to start the next major reddit or Facebook, you won't get that here. But I think that's intentional; you don't need explicit directions, just decide on a problem that you want to solve, and get to work. Personally a timely read for me, but really enjoyed the insight he shared along the way, and the argument he makes for keeping the internet free, open, and accessible to all (pointing out that today, while many of us take it for granted, it certainly is not).
I think it's a good read for anyone participating or interested in the "tech/startup life" - add it to your list.
The book “Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made Not Managed” by Alexis Ohanian, one of the founders of Reddit, tells us his story about creating his businesses and defining him as a true entrepreneur. The story takes us thought his life, gives us glimpses into his family and tells us of his associations leading to his successes. Throughout the book we see how even failures can lead to successes; from poor directions (redefining the business plan) of a company to starting too quickly (printing business cards before a true company existed) to walking away (when to sell or abandon) even when to involve yourself in a process you are not familiar (political causes). This reads more like an autobiography and not a how to guide on creating an entrepreneurial environment. His information is often too vague and the book reads like a college freshman report. Beginning each chapter with a quote is cute as is the large number of footnotes. Ohanian is a very smart, successful person and I really wanted to know more. He only touches on his life, and beyond his love of football and World of Warcraft we have to read too much between the lines, which is often wrong, to discover who he actually is. This was written mostly as a text book but should have been a story and I wish it had been told better.
Top international reviews
Alexis starts out by giving us detailed information about how Reddit came into being with lots of anecdotes and light banter.
He shows how ANYONE can have a presence on the internet and how you can use it to your advantage. He showcases examples of people who, if it wasn't for the internet, they wouldn't have achieved and gained what was rightly theirs.
His involvement in the boycotting of the Protect IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act describes in details the obstacles and how he and others stopped this bill from being enacted.
Great book.. just buy it.
Alexis Ohanian is a co-founder of Reddit and has all the grounds to write a book that tells the story of internet freedom through his personal projects and observations. This book is primarily for those who are just thinking to create a start-up and need someone prominent to tap them on the shoulder and say: you can do it boy!
I've already passed that point five months ago, but even for somebody who had already started a company it is a very interesting and entertaining read. Besides of tons of start-up tips and inside advice from Y Combinator, Reddit and Hipmunk you will enjoy Alexis's thoughts about the free internet. The two versions of his graduation speech in 2025 give two scenarios making it clear that we live in an age of fighting for internet freedom even though most of us don't realize it while enjoying it.
One thing that I particularly liked is that he encourages you to go out and take advantage of the Internet. A lot of people just use it to Google around or sit on Wikipedia for hours or watch Youtube videos, but Ohanian says you should do more and start creating your own stuff and putting it out there.
The optimism in this book is something we need more of.