- Lucas Jackson/Reuters
- Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian talked about his career and what he’s learned from wife Serena Williams in a new interview with the The New York Times.
- Ohanian married 23-time grand slam champion and four-time Olympic gold medalist Serena Williams last year, and the two have a daughter together.
- The tech co-founder’s words of adoration for Williams’ work ethic show how important choosing the right spouse can be for your professional career.
Anyone who knows Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian knows he loves his wife. Actually, he’s obsessed with his wife.
In February, Ohanian installed billboards to welcome wife Serena Williams back to tennis after she took a break to give birth to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. They read “the greatest momma of all time,” but in his interview with The New York Times’ David Gelles, Ohanian said that it’s her career he’s learned most from.
“I’ve had this front-row seat over the last three years to greatness,” he said. “It is a work ethic on another level.”
Those words are warranted, considering Williams is arguably the greatest tennis player of all time. She has four Olympic gold medals and has won 23 Grand Slam singles championships, breaking Steffi Graf’s record for the most wins since 1968 with her last win – which she played while she was pregnant.
Her work ethic is what Ohanian says has allowed her to dominate in an industry where “there’s a winner or a loser, and you can’t delude yourself.” He contrasts this to business, where there are many ways to measure success.
“I thought I was the hardest-working person on the planet. I thought we were the hardest-working industry. That’s what we tell ourselves. It’s all malarkey.”
His adoration for Williams’ work ethic is a testament to their relationship and to the mutual respect that allows two people from such different backgrounds and careers to be successful in their own rights. It’s also a valuable lesson in how choosing the right spouse can benefit a person professionally.
“I watched my first match when I met her, and quickly got an appreciation for the sport. It’s not just the physical requirements but the mental requirements. I could not imagine doing my job with millions of people watching,” he admitted.
At one point, Ohanian even offered up a sports analogy to explain the backlash against big tech in recent years, explaining that the industry “has had this notion of being the underdog.” He says it’s important to realize that this isn’t the case anymore, as tech becomes a larger part of people’s lives.