5 Things You Didn't Know About Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian

Ohanian owes a lot to the Waffle House.

July 21, 2016, 12:43 PM

— -- Reddit is known by many as “the front page of the internet.” It’s a no-frills social platform with a network of 234 million unique users and 8 billion monthly page views. Users can post in almost 900,000 "subreddits" (distinct categories that span everything from World News to Cats Standing Up to Pokemon Go), or ask anything of prominent figures like President Obama, Snoop Dogg and NASA Mars scientists.

The site was founded in 2005 by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, who met as college freshmen in a dorm at the University of Virginia -- neither with any intentions of creating the ninth largest website in the U.S.

Ohanian, who was dubbed “Mayor of the Internet” by Forbes in 2012 and is the best-selling author of "Without Their Permission," sat down with ABC News’ Rebecca Jarvis on "Real Biz With Rebecca Jarvis" to talk all things Reddit, his early inspirations, tortilla makers, tech investing and the best piece of advice he’s ever received.

Here are five things you might not know about Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian:

1. Without Waffle House, there may have never been a Reddit.

Ohanian skipped out on his LSAT after he got a hankering for waffles, and it was inside the Waffle House down Route 29 in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he had an epiphany.

“If I wanted waffles more than this LSAT, I probably shouldn’t be a lawyer,” Ohanian said. “I went back to my apartment and talked to Steve, and said, ‘Let’s make something together -- let’s start a company.’”

... And that’s how Reddit was born.

2.Ohanian was born on April 24, the same day as the recognition day for the Armenian genocide.

“My entire paternal side being Armenian imbued me with a very strong sense of responsibility,” said Ohanian. “Knowing about all of their sacrifices, I think, gave me a tremendous amount of strength and ability to endure.”

So don’t forget to wish him a "Happy Birthday" next April 24!

3. His favorite app (after the new Reddit app) is Snapchat.

“It took me a while to get into it, I didn’t understand it,” Ohanian said. “It’s a very different approach to authenticity, but I very much see Snapchat and Reddit as kindred spirits in that way because it’s about being real. Not just for a generation, but I think more broadly, something more and more people want.”

4. He doodled Reddit’s mascot 'Snoo' before the company was ever launched.

If you know Reddit, you know Snoo: The little alien is the site’s mascot. Ohanian drew the little guy/gal while he was sitting, bored, in class at UVA.

“I actually had the mascot before we built the website, which is not the right order to do it,” Ohanian said. “I’ve literally met at least six people who have the Reddit alien tattoo on them!”

5. His Reddit username is ‘knOthing’

Ever wonder what the site’s co-founder goes by on his home turf?

“My username is kn0thing. It was from high school. It was King Nothing, a Metallica song. I was really into Metallica.”

What did people originally think of Ohanian’s idea for Reddit? Hear his story in the link above.

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