Digg is struggling these days, quieter competitor Reddit is still going strong. Co-founder Steve Huffman, who sold the site for millions to publishing company Conde Nast four years ago this month, now says he wishes he still owned the site.While social news site
In an interview yesterday on the podcast Mixergy (which is highly recommended, by the way), Huffman told host Andrew Warner "I wish I still owned Reddit now". He recognizes, though, that the economic climate between now and then may have required the umbrella of Conde Nast in order for Reddit to have thrived. It's an interesting discussion about decisions, history and independence - for once regarding a startup that wasn't suffocated after acquisition.
From the interview:
Andrew: Have you ever regretted selling when you did instead of holding on for a little bit longer?
Steve: A little bit longer, no. Also, when we sold it was the fall of 2006, right before the economy totally tanked. And so, if we had held on a little longer, I think we would have had dark days ahead. If we could have seen the whole future that in four years things would recover and Reddit would be huge and traffic would be great, yeah, I wish I still owned Reddit now and owned it for the last four or five years.
For everything to have gone right for us, to have the stomach to survive that economy, I mean, who knows, like Conde Nast's umbrella helped us during that economy. We could still hire and pay market salaries when a lot of people couldn't. So, maybe we wouldn't have even survived. It's hard to say.
Huffman then goes on to say that life hasn't changed a lot for him since the sale, he just has millions of dollars now and doesn't stress out about money.
For more perspective on life after the sale of a startup, see So You Sold Your Company For Millions, What Next?