Reddit Founder Alexis Ohanian Wants to Make the World Suck Less

The entrepreneur, social news leader, and author of a new book on what terrifies him, what wakes him up in the morning, and what the Internet can accomplish

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Tanya Kechichian

The first thing Alexis Ohanian does when he wakes up in the morning is feed his cat. The Reddit co-founder, investor and entrepreneur, who’s been called Mayor of the Internet, says he doesn’t even have a chance to check email before his cat curls up on top of his face to remind him that it’s time for breakfast. He may be a 30-year-old millionaire, but he knows who runs his house.

That house is about to look a lot different, and Ohanian’s daily routine — early mornings with his cat and late nights with Grand Theft Auto V — is about to change as he sets out on a 150-stop, 75-university, 5-month-long bus tour to promote his new book, “Without Their Permission,” chronicling his life navigating the startup world from college kid to upending how the news is made and told.

Ohanian’s book begins with his experiences as a startup founder (Reddit, Hipmunk, Breadpig) and is a blueprint for readers hoping to start their own companies. It ends with tales of Ohanian’s offline advocacy called “Using the Internet’s Power To Make the World Suck Less” such as the fight against The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).

Sprinkled in alongside details of his civic involvement are stories of Ohanian’s life between high school and college working at Pizza Hut, a deli counter, a FedEx warehouse and as a parking lot attendant.

Ohanian sat down with TIME to talk about what terrifies him about writing a book (it’s a finished product), why he hates unscheduled phone calls (“It’s like saying, ‘Hey, hey, hey, look at me! Stop what you’re doing! Look at me!’”), and who would play him in a movie (Christopher Walken). TIME also talked to Ohanian about the six most important moments in Reddit history.

Ohanian explains the title and design of his book:

What scares him about writing a book:

Why he’s traveling across the country visiting college campuses:

His greatest success:

His life motto:

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