From Reddit to Hipmunk: What We Can Learn From Steve Huffman

As a general career path, Steve Huffman has had it pretty sweet. He has some pretty impressive skills under his belt and some pretty impressive achievements, too. But as with any successful business man – it hasn’t been plain sailing.

From his role as web developer and co-founder of Reddit, to the founder of new web start-up Hipmunk, although his career path has been full of wins – there have also been a few losses, too. So what can learn from this Internet entrepreneur? And how can we apply examples from his career to our own? Well read on to find out.

1. Think big.

Reddit was a simple idea with big aims – and the company have gone from strength to strength. While it may not be as big as other social networks, never undervalue the underdog. At the time of writing, Reddit hosted an “Ask Me Anything” social conversation with President of the United States, Barack Obama during his election campaign. Just goes to show – amazing things come to those who wait.

2. Be patient.

You may see yourself running the best travel website – but to get there and to reach that point you often have to build your experience in other places. Huffman built his expertise in online thoroughly with other ventures (such as Reddit) before he channelled that expertise into something he was truly passionate about – his travel start-up Hipmunk. This applies to everyone in business – it’s pays to participate in side ventures. It’s worthwhile to get to experience and it will eventually lead you to where you need (and want) to be.

3. When the time is right, sell.

For many people, selling their business is the last thing on their mind. Why would you sell something you’ve worked so hard for? But Huffman proves that selling when the time is right can only be a good thing. Selling online company Reddit at the right time (it was acquired by Conde Nast Publications in 2006) meant that he could then invest his newly found time in Hipmunk – an innovative travel start-up growing fast.

4. Do what you love

If you’re good at something, do it! If you have a skill, embrace it! Huffman has been working on his travel start-up Hipmunk for two years now and it is quickly becoming a leading competitor in the travel market. You’ll excel in something if you care about what you’re doing – so if you’re looking to go into business make sure you’re going into where your skills lie and where your interests lie, too.

5. Get the word out

Since their launch, Hipmunk has not only produced a fantastic website for booking travel but also a business class tool. Why have they grown so fast? Because they’ve been able to get the word out there and let people know about their service. Hipmunk haven’t been shy about promotion, in fact they’ve been avid with advertising and their product has backed up all their claims. They’ve had some great press, with big names like Forbes reporting on how impressive the app has been for them. The lesson here? If your product is good and you believe in it – tell people.

James Daugherty is a blogger(and snowboarder) from the Emerald City who loves surfing the World Wide Web and working in the online marketing world.