Without Their Permission Book Summary - Without Their Permission Book explained in key points
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Without Their Permission summary

Alexis Ohanian

How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed

(9 ratings)
15 mins
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    Without Their Permission
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    In order to create a product that people need, you have to start with a real problem.

    If you were going to found a technology-based start-up, what would you do? You’d probably begin by developing a great product and hoping that people would buy it, right? Unfortunately, it’s really difficult to persuade people to buy a product that they don’t yet know they need. In fact, it’s easier to start the whole process the other way around.

    Rather than starting with a product, begin by identifying a problem. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a well-known problem; in fact, people don’t always realize they even have an issue until you show them a better alternative to the status quo.

    For example, Adam Goldstein, co-founder and CEO of the successful travel search engine Hipmunk, realized in college that he had a problem booking flights. He was responsible for organizing all the travel for his debate team, which had a small budget for attending competitions. In order to find the cheapest flights, he had to check several flights at several airlines for several different time slots, which was an incredibly frustrating as well as time-consuming task.

    Once you have identified your problem, you can create your product around it.

    Adam Goldstein’s solution was a travel search engine that searches a number of airlines simultaneously and ranks them according to price and other factors, such as number of layovers and flight duration.

    In 2010 he brought his problem to Reddit co-founders Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman. They then turned his idea into a reality, gave it the name “Hipmunk,” and revolutionized travel searches in the process by saving people time and money.

    Unsurprisingly, the product quickly took to the market; people realized the Hipmunk’s advantages even if they hadn’t thought of travel searches as a problem, and were thankful for the simplification.

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    What is Without Their Permission about?

    Without Their Permission explores the author’s success with his hugely popular website, Reddit, as well as other internet-related stories, and investigates what exactly it is about the internet that makes it such a wonderful and dynamic place. Along the way, the author provides entrepreneurs with advice that helped him to form his remarkably successful business.

    Best quote from Without Their Permission

    Never miss an opportunity to make connections. 

    —Alexis Ohanian
    example alt text

    Who should read Without Their Permission?

    • Anyone who is considering launching a start-up
    • Anyone interested in business
    • Anyone who is interested in technology and the internet

    About the Author

    Alexis Ohanian is an internet entrepreneur, founder of Reddit, investor and open internet activist whose book, Without Their Permission, is a Wall Street Journal bestseller.

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