19 Lesson from Alexis Ohanian (Founding Partner @ Seven Seven Six)

Alexis Ohanian (@alexisohanian), founding partner at Seven Seven Six. He’s also the founder of Reddit and former general partner at Initialized.


He’s one of the most successful operators-turned-investors of all time, and his career arc is very different than most of the other investors we have studied.


Here are 19 lessons from studying Alexis and his career.

Free resources to help you on your VC journey:



  • Your reputation as an investor matters more than anything else. In other words, your current reputation is a proxy for future returns.


  • Having people in your corner who have done this before is the ultimate competitive advantage for early-stage founders. Doing it all yourself is playing on hard mode.


  • Identify the most important metric(s) worth tracking to measure company success. Put this number everywhere so that decision-making revolves around optimizing it.


  • Process design is a superpower. Build internal systems that scale and open you up to do non-scalable work.


  • You get tunnel vision when you work on a problem 24/7. Seek advice from people who will tell you the hard truths about your work.


  • CMOs are in charge during boom times; CFOs are in charge during downturns. Especially during economic downturns, people become more aware and sensitive to where and who they support with their money.


  • Early-stage VC is the only profession where insider trading is legal. If you don’t have a structured way to store information and identify opportunities, you have no chance at generating alpha.


  • Your first 100 users will determine the direction of your company. Make sure that you have done everything you can to make them happy.


  • You should often be asking more questions rather than giving advice. This is advice for building companies and life in general.


"In the early days, you should be only doing two things: writing code or talking to users."

"Most VCs don't realize that they are in the net promoter score business, and that is what matters most."

"The goal is not getting the next level of fundraising. The goal is growing the business so that that next level of fundraising can be plausible."

"If you're beholden to advertisers, it limits you so much in what you're able to build."

"Focus on the things that you can control. Work as hard as you can to improve on those things. Spend as little time as you can worrying about things you can't."

"As a mentor, it's not enough to be a complacent figure giving advice."

"Be judicious about what merits your time."

"Choose mentors, investors, advisors, who have broad vantage points and long histories of watching companies rise and fall. You want folks who have seen enough to know they’ve seen too much, and who will talk you into pushing yourself as a result."

"The most impressive communities grow by delivering more people the content they already love faster."

"If it hurts, enjoy it, because that’s what growth feels like.”

One Place to Learn the Different Parts of Venture Capital


We started our careers in venture. After about a week, we had a realization.


We had no idea what we were doing.


Turns out, we weren’t alone.


Junior VCs don’t get training. You’re forced to figure it out on your own.


Learning the rules, tools, and players takes FOREVER to learn. That’s why we made the ultimate VC resource library to speed up the learning curve.


Our best VC resources … FREE