‘Sucking Is The First Step To Being Sorta Good At Something’

‘Sucking Is The First Step To Being Sorta Good At Something’

Getting good at anything takes a long time and it’s usually a pretty arduous process. Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian reminds us that no matter who you are and how much experience you have, you’re going to suck at stuff the first time around.

Speaking at a 99u conference, Ohanian’s thesis here is fairly simple: after launching Reddit, Hipmunk and Breadpig, he still doesn’t really know what he’s doing. That’s usually the case for most of us. No matter what we’re making, we’re going to suck at it initially.

Alexis Ohanian: Sucking is the First Step to Being Sorta Good at Something [99u]


  • THIS. I was just saying something similar to my friends a few weeks ago. For 6 months, I’ve been doing something in my free time, and in general making an idiot out of myself with stupid questions and stupid assumptions. As a result, there are a couple dozen people who are quite sure I know almost nothing about the thing in question, and who have resorted to explaining nearly everything I see them doing (presumably to forestall questions about things they’re, again, sure I am clueless about, even when I’m NOT actually clueless about those things). Lots of mistakes, lots of learning, and lots of fun, at the cost of a bit of my pride. A few weeks ago, I ventured out to another area where none of those same people were present, but the same type of activity was going on. I had all my gear, and I just jumped into it and gave it a go. Funnythingbut…. not only did people NOT think I was a hobbyist at the thing in question, but a couple thought I was a professional and when I said I was not, they said I might think about it, because I was good enough to make money at it. I came home and FB’d my friends to remind them to do things they want to do even if they think they suck at it at first, because that’s pretty much the only way to go from being clueless to being competent.

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