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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.
Top Customer Reviews
I really wanted to like this book, but find it mediocre at best. Ohanian's tone is enthusiastic, but my expectations were totally different going into it. I bought this because I am a HUGE reddit fan and user and wanted to know more about its start-up phase, founding, and ongoing business issues. If you buy this thinking you'll get good advice on how to found and run your startup, think again - that's not here. Also, this is NOT a product development book (though he offers a few tidbits on prototyping, but they are nothing revelatory).
I agree with other reviewers in that the book is a mish-mash and fails on several levels: as a biography (it's not extensive enough); as a teaching lesson on how to emulate/approximate reddit's success (again, not extensive enough -- there's not enough detail here); or as a general primer on starting an internet company ("go find an incubator or like-minded individuals!"). He does provide solid examples of internet companies like Kickstarter, DonorsChoose.org etc. that solve real problems for their customers, but you can get that info from other sources as well.
I have to point out that I find it very odd that Aaron Swartz, who is often referred to as a co-founder of reddit, is mentioned NOWHERE in Ohanian's book. Intentional omission? Sure looks that way.
A number of five-star reviewers apparently have met Ohanian personally, and by all accounts he's a really nice guy who has generously funded some good causes. That's great to hear, and I'm sure he has his followers. His coverage of DonorsChoose.org in the book is genuinely enthusiastic. All good. Nonetheless, I find his writing style to be highly focused on himself, and irritating in the same way that those informercials on cable TV in the wee hours of the morning are irritating: Some guy driving around in his expensive car, camera on himself, telling you about how successful he is and that you can succeed too. The narrative is anecdotal, promotional and superficial, bereft of any systematic or analytical approach. There's no index. The few footnotes are not a serious attempt to document sources but instead are full of cutesy comments.
This light narrative should have been condensed down to a two-part magazine article or maybe a simple Reddit thread. Of all the how-to-succeed-online books out there, this is one of the least useful I've encountered. "Jobs," "In the Plex," "One Click," or virtually any other work would be more useful if one is looking for high-tech startup tips.
I'll admit that I was also a bit turned off by the *multiple* mentions of the fact early on in the book that he was a millionaire at an early age due to the reddit acquisition.
Overall, I didn't feel my time was wasted, but I probably would not reccommend this book
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Big Source of Practical Inspiration! A Must read for all Entrepreneurs! I read it twice 😉!Published 16 days ago by MichelNizon
The gist of book is that anyone can start an internet business without anyone’s permission, and do so, with so little money because it is an “open internet” permissible to... Read morePublished 5 months ago by University of Baltimore, Student
I am a Business student at the University of Baltimore and enrolled in the Entrepreneurial Experience course that's allowed me to read this book and found it to be very inspiring. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Claudia H.
I am a Junior at University of Baltimore and I was assigned to read this book for my Entrepreneurship class. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
I’m currently enrolled in an Entrepreneur class at the University of Baltimore and I had to read this book and write a review as a requirement for the class. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Tyisha Saddler
Hello. My name is Britani. I am a student from University of Baltimore. I was recommended to read this book by my professor for my Entrepreneurship class. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Michelle Carroll
Perhaps I'm a little too old for this book, as I found it mostly lacking in substance and often, irritating to read. The author, Alexis Ohanian, is the co-founder of Reddit. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Rick
Kudos to Ohanian for writing a solid biopic about his experience as a successful tech entrepreneur; his message is simple: driven creative people can create viable businesses on... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Logan Winston
The concepts are refreshing and the book was easy to read. I enjoyed the subject matter. It will do well, very clear writing and I recommend to entrepreneurs.Published 13 months ago by Jose M Nunez