What is Steve Huffman’s Net Worth and Salary?
Steve Huffman is an American tech entrepreneur who has a net worth of $10 million. Steve Huffman is best-known for being a co-founder of the social network Reddit.com. Huffman and his co-founder, Alexis Ohanian, met at the University of Virginia. They were roommates when they conceived of the idea that would eventually become Reddit. Reddit launched in June 2005 with funding from tech incubator Y Combinator. At the time Huffman hand-picked the front page’s content. On October 31, 2006, Alexis and Steve sold Reddit to Conde Nast for a reported $10 – $20 million. Huffman stayed on as CEO until 2009. He returned as CEO in 2015. In the years he spent away from Reddit, Huffman co-founded a travel website called Hipmunk. Hipmunk’s mission was to supply travelers with real time information and data organized in multiple ways. Huffman has expressed regret for selling Reddit so early. He has also admitted he never could have imagined Reddit becoming as big as it is today.
Steve Huffman was born on November 12, 1983 and grew up in Warrenton, Virginia. At the age of 8, he began programming computers and showed signs of extreme proficiency in math and science. He attended the Wakefield School in The Plains, Virginia, graduating in 2001. He then enrolled at the University of Virginia where he achieved a degree in computer science in 2005.
During spring break of his senior year at UVA, Huffman drove to Boston, Massachusetts with his college roommate, Alexis Ohanian to attend a lecture. The lecture was given by programmer-entrepreneur Paul Graham. Huffman and Ohanian remained after the lecture was over to chat with Graham about some of their own ideas. He invited the two to apply to his startup incubator, Y Combinator.
Huffman’s initial idea was for a food ordering service that would allow users to order food via text message. The idea was called My Mobile Menu. The idea was ultimately rejected by the incubator but Graham then invited Huffman and Ohanian to come back to Boston to pitch another idea for a start-up. It was during this session that the idea that would eventually morph into Reddit was formed. Huffman and Ohanian were accepted into the Y Combinator. They launched Reddit in June 2005, funded by the incubator. Huffman had coded the entire site in Lisp, a family of programming languages. Reddit was designed to be the front page of the internet, allowing users to receive news and interact with each other.
Within a few months of the site’s launch, its audience grew rapidly. By August of 2005, Huffman realized there were so many users that he no longer needed to populate the front page with content, as the users were doing so themselves.
Conde Nast Acquisition
In October of 2006 Huffman and Ohanian sold Reddit to Conde Nast for a price between $10 and $20 million. Steve and Alexis were 23 years old at the time. Huffman remained with Reddit until 2009, when he decided to leave his role as acting CEO.
After leaving Reddit, Huffman spent a few months backpacking in Costa Rica. The experience inspired him to create a travel website. He co-created Hipmunk with Adam Goldstein, an author and software developer, in 2010. The site was also funded by Y Combinator and was launched in August of that year. Huffman served as the website’s CTO.
In 2011, Huffman made the “Inc.” list of “30 Under 30,” which highlights 30 young professionals around the world who are making moves and accomplishing impressive and innovative feats in their respective fields.
Return To Reddit
In 2014, Huffman expressed his regret at selling Reddit so early as he had not anticipated the website would grow to the extent that it had. In July of 2015, Reddit hired Huffman back as its CEO, following the resignation of Ellen Pao. This was a particularly difficult time for the company and Huffman reentered with a number of specific goals. These included launching Reddit’s iOS and Android apps, fixing the site’s mobile interface, and creating new testing infrastructure.
Since his return, Huffman has managed to implement a number of these technological improvements, particularly in the mobile space. He also has spearheaded new content guidelines that include a ban on content that incites violence and cracking down on material that serves no other purpose than to make Reddit worse. He has defended some of these decisions by saying his and Ohanian’s original intention in creating the site was to create an open space for honest discussion, though the website was not intended to be a Bastian of free speech. Ohanian has also given interviews in which he echoes similar thoughts.
Huffman has additionally worked to make Reddit more friendly for advertisers. He also led the first major redesign of the website in 2017, changing its user interface for the first time in a decade. The redesign launched in April of 2018. In 2020, “Fortune” magazine included Huffman in their “40 Under 40” list in the technology category.
Steve Huffman lives in San Francisco, California. In 2009, Huffman married Katie Babiarz. The two had met while students at UVA and maintained a long-distance relationship for a number of years before getting married. However, they have since divorced.
He enjoys ballroom dancing and has been competing in dancing competitions since childhood, including while a student at the University of Virginia. Huffman also enjoys helping students learn how to code. He mentors aspiring programmers at coding bootcamps, including Hackbright Academy. He also has been an instructor for e-learning courses on web development by Udacity and is on the board of advisors for the Anti-Defamation League’s Center for Technology and Society. He is also an advocate for net neutrality and encourages Reddit users to contact their elected officials in Washington D.C. to express their support of net neutrality.