Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian has slammed toxic ‘hustle porn’. Picture: Aaron Francis/The Australian
Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian has slammed toxic ‘hustle porn’. Picture: Aaron Francis/The Australian

Millionaire boss’s surprise work advice

ALEXIS Ohanian is one of the planet's most successful tech entrepreneurs - and he worked hard to get there.

But the millionaire Reddit CEO and husband of tennis star Serena Williams has just delivered some surprising advice for workers everywhere.

Speaking at Web Summit, the world's biggest tech conference, the father of one said so-called "hustle porn" - the glorification of long, brutal work hours - was creating a toxic environment.

The 35-year-old said it was especially common in the entrepreneurial and tech communities, where individuals routinely work well into the night and throughout the weekend to put their business on the map.

"This is one of the most toxic, dangerous things in tech right now," he said at the conference, according to Business Insider.

"This idea that unless you are suffering, grinding, working every hour of every day, you're not working hard enough.

Mr Ohanian said “hustle porn” took a toll on workers’ wellbeing. Picture: Aaron Francis/The Australian
Mr Ohanian said “hustle porn” took a toll on workers’ wellbeing. Picture: Aaron Francis/The Australian

"It's such bulls**t, such utter bulls**t. It has deleterious effects not just on your business but on your wellbeing."

Mr Ohanian, who co-founded the social news website known as the "front page of the internet" in 2005 with fellow University of Virginia graduate Steve Huffman when both men were just 22, now has an estimated net worth of $US9 million ($AU12.4 million).

But earlier this year, Mr Ohanian described how he threw himself into work during the early days of Reddit as a coping mechanism after developing depression after his former girlfriend was seriously injured in an accident, and after he lost his mother to brain cancer.

Writing in medium.com, he said becoming a workaholic was not a healthy solution.

"As entrepreneurs, we are all so busy 'crushing it' that physical health, let alone mental health, is an afterthought for most founders," Mr Ohanian wrote.

"It took me years to realise that the way I was feeling - when working on Reddit was the only therapy I had - was depression.

"I haven't felt it in a long time and I'm grateful for it, but it doesn't take losing a loved one to feel this way, especially with the pressures of entrepreneurship.

"When you're struggling, talk to someone. It can be a professional, a family member, or even a stranger can be helpful in getting you into a better headspace."

He wrapped up his speech at the summit by pleading with the audience not to "succumb to hustle porn".

Mr Ohanian tied the knot with tennis champ Serena Williams on November 16, 2017 - on his late mother's birthday.

The couple's daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr, was born two months before the wedding, on September 1.

Mr Ohanian and Mr Huffman sold Reddit to Condé Nast in 2006, making the then 23-year-olds instant multi-millionaires.

While the exact sale price has never been revealed, it has been estimated to be between $US10-20 million ($AU13.7-27 million).


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