To be honest, I don’t know much about startups. And that’s precisely why I wanted to take Alexis Ohanian’s course.
Being a co-founder and former executive chair of Reddit, Alexis Ohanian is undoubtedly one of the best entrepreneurs out there. But his MasterClass also seemed like it could be beginner-friendly and easy to follow.
So, how much did I learn about building startups, and is Alexis Ohanian’s MasterClass better suited for someone with more experience?
Let’s find out.
Table of Contents
What is the Alexis Ohanian MasterClass?
Alexis Ohanian is a founder, investor, and activist best known for co-founding Reddit in 2005. In his MasterClass, he provides insights on idea execution, pitching, funding, hiring, and pivoting. He mentions his own experiences and examples and shares useful tips on how to make your product stand out from the crowd.
Ohanian is open, friendly, and enthusiastic, and his advice is certainly beneficial to anyone interested in building a startup.
“I believe that my purpose is to help another generation do even better than I did,” he says.
Alexis Ohanian’s MasterClass consists of 16 lessons with a duration of 2 hours and 17 minutes in total.
Who is Alexis Ohanian?
Alexis Ohanian is an American founder, investor, and activist. He launched his first business soon after completing degrees in commerce and history at the University of Virginia and partnered with Steve Huffman, with whom he later founded Reddit.
Although he resigned from Reddit’s board of directions in 2020, Alexis continues to fund progressive startups in a general partner role at Seven Seven Six. The company provides seed funding with a focus on empathy, equity, and inclusion.
Who is Alexis Ohanian’s MasterClass for?
In his MasterClass, Alexis Ohanian talks about the process of building a startup – from finding an idea to turning it into reality.
It’s a rather comprehensive course that covers all parts of that process, and while the scope of it leaves some chapters rather vague and sketchy. Nonetheless, it covers all the basics in a condensed, straightforward way.
That said, Ohanian’s course is ideal for those who aren’t familiar with startups. Well, for someone like me.
On the other hand, his advice and tips are often geared toward people who understand how things in the business world work.
But as Ohanian says in the introductory lesson, this class isn’t just for business people and entrepreneurs. It’s for anyone looking for opportunities to take an idea and bring it to fruition.
In terms of course difficulty, I believe this course is suitable for newcomers as well as more seasoned entrepreneurs who want to discover Alexis Ohanian’s tricks.
What does Alexis Ohanian’s MasterClass cover?
Alexis Ohanian is very clear about what he is trying to achieve with his MasterClass: he wants to help another generation do even better than he did. While that seems like a humble but far-fetched sentiment, he does try to share as many secrets of the trade.
Alexis teaches how to find an idea (or a problem to solve) and execute it properly. More importantly, he teaches how to develop a product that won’t fail the minute after you launch it.
He also talks about the importance of having a good team to work with, networking, media presence, connecting with your customers, and other things that will help you run a successful business.
To explain certain methods and prove his points, Alexis gives examples from his own career, so I learned plenty about his project as well.
In terms of content, here is a quick overview of all the lessons:
- Lesson 1 is an introductory lesson where Alexis briefly introduces himself and the course.
- Lessons 2-3 include Alexis’ tips on how to approach business ideas and execution. He also argues that being an entrepreneur is a mindset as much as a practice.
- Lesson 4 is dedicated to finding ideas. To find a good project, Alexis often thinks about problems he wants to solve.
- Lesson 5 is focused on online communication and art and the value of NFTs.
- Lesson 6 explains how to effectively execute an idea. According to Alexis, execution is everything, and ideas alone are worthless.
- Lessons 7-8 cover crucial steps of building a startup, including funding and hiring.
- Lessons 9-11 dig deeper into practices that help entrepreneurs stand out from the crowd. Alexis talks about pivoting, countering competition, and listening to your core people.
- Lessons 12-13 are focused on the importance of networking, media presence, connecting with the customer, and aligning the business with customers’ values.
- Lessons 14-15 are dedicated to goals, passion, and reasons that drive you to build a startup. Alexis also talks about the importance of creating a healthy work-life balance.
- Lesson 16 is the final lesson, where Alexis talks about why he resigned from Reddit and what he hopes to achieve with his firm Seven Seven Six.
My favorite lessons from Alexis Ohanian’s MasterClass
Overall, I think Alexis Ohanian’s course has plenty to offer to aspiring entrepreneurs.
Lessons are dynamic and easy to follow, and Alexis’ clear language and laid-back attitude make the content more understandable.
There are many good lessons in the course, but here are some of my personal favorites.
Finding a problem to solve
If you want to find a great idea for a startup – a promising, useful, and impactful one – you should think about the world around you and things you would like to be better. As Alexis points out, there’s nothing like a founder that had thought deeply about a problem and can empathize with potential customers.
When it comes to finding a good idea worth exploring, there are many factors to consider, including the product market fit, the probability of organic growth, and so on.
Execution is everything, says Alexis. To him, ideas alone are worthless. And although I don’t completely agree, I know what he means by that. If you want something to happen, you can’t just talk about it; you need to get up and do it.
To build a successful startup, you need to work hard, and you need to figure out how to continuously improve your product.
Making the world suck less
In this lesson, Alexis is trying to show how successful startups can do some good in the world. For instance, DroneSeed was created to help bring burnt forests back to life.
In other words, you can use the Internet and build a startup for more than personal gain. Although this seems like common sense to me, I guess it’s important to point that out to young entrepreneurs, nevertheless.
How much does the MasterClass cost?
Annual plans are typically available at $120 a year (which makes it $10 per month, billed annually) for the Individual plan, providing access to MasterClass courses on one device, $180 a year for the Duo plan (two devices), and $240 a year for the Family plan (six devices).
A MasterClass subscription gives you unlimited access to a catalog of 180+ classes, so if you want to take multiple classes throughout the year, the subscription is definitely worth it, and there are pleny of interesting courses on related topics to explore.
Also, the platform offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so if you’re not happy with your learning experience, you can request a full refund.
Note that MasterClass is currently running an end-of-year special offer which gives you 40% off your annual membership – as MasterClass rarely gives any discounts to speak of, I would recommend you take advantage of this beore it expires.
What I liked about Alexis Ohanian’s MasterClass
Alexis Ohanian’s class contains plenty of useful information for young entrepreneurs.
Alexis’ energy and choice of stories and examples contribute to the rather dynamic atmosphere of the course, and along with a useful PDF class guide, every learner has a chance to get something out of it.
Whether you’re here to get a glimpse of Alexis Ohanian’s mind or learn the fundamentals of running a startup, this MasterClass has got you covered.
Some of the reasons I would recommend it to anyone drawn to this kind of venture include:
Learning from an experienced instructor
One thing is for sure: Alexis Ohanian has a lot to say about startups. He is a co-founder of Reddit and a skilled investor, and his knowledge and ability to figure out what the world needs at any given moment made him one of the most successful entrepreneurs of his generation.
Learning from such a determined, experienced, and creative person is surely a privilege for every aspiring entrepreneur.
I think Alexis is a good teacher. Although he is sometimes hard to relate to, I felt relaxed as well as encouraged during the whole course.
One of the ways Alexis manages to convey knowledge effectively is by providing great examples. So, even if he’s explaining something more complex, he provides a story or an anecdote that will help you understand what he’s talking about.
This is a rather short course. However, it does cover a variety of topics.
Alexis managed to deliver content in a clear, condensed way. I didn’t feel bored at any point, even when he talked about some things I was less interested in.
With access to the course, every learner also gets an accompanying guidebook.
The guidebook for this MasterClass is very useful, containing some parts that video lessons don’t include. For instance, there’s a glossary with over 60 terms and explanations of the startup jargon.
Although Alexis doesn’t use a lot of jargon, it’s useful to be familiar with these terms.
Potential drawbacks of Alexis Ohanian’s MasterClass
Although I enjoyed the course and I think Alexis did a good job, there are some things that could be improved.
Some parts are unnecessary
Generally speaking, the course has a nice flow. It’s dynamic, well-structured, and well-produced.
This is not a detailed business course, though. Once you finish it, you’ll have to gather more information to actually start a startup.
However, Alexis also talks about some personal stuff, like his wife and children, for example. There are even video clips of his family. While it’s nice to see he is obviously proud of his wife, I don’t think these parts were really necessary, especially considering the short, concise structure of the course.
Alexis did try to fit these personal parts into the chapter where he talks about the work-life balance, but that felt a little forced nevertheless, or at least that’s how I see it.
Review conclusion: Is Alexis Ohanian’s MasterClass worth it?
All things considered, I think Alexis Ohanian’s class is worth taking. It’s insightful, immersive, and filled with useful tips.
Alexis Ohanian is a good teacher – the kind that wants to be friendly and relatable to his students. And although he doesn’t always succeed in the latter, he manages to create a productive and comfortable learning environment.
If you want to learn how to find a good idea and turn it to fruition, Alexis’ lessons, tips, and experiences can serve as motivation and a starting point. To dive deeper into the intricacies and technicalities of building a startup, you’ll have to find additional sources.
Either way, Alexis Ohanian’s MasterClass provides a great foundation to build on.