Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian on the Biggest Lesson He’s Learned From Wife Serena Williams
What is it like being Serena Williams, a tennis powerhouse with 39 Grand Slam titles and four Olympic gold medals?
A new HBO documentary series called Being Serena premieres Wednesday and delves into Williams’ world far beyond just tennis. She opens up about the biggest moments in her career, her marriage, and her pregnancy with daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr.
Fortune caught up with her husband and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian on Tuesday. He said the cameras follow the couple during some of the most pivotal moments as new parents. “It followed basically the entire time during my parental leave,” Ohanian said. “Parental leave, by the way, was really, really important. In that period, I had the luxury of being able to focus on my family.”
Ohanian admits that returning full-time at his venture capital firm Initialized Capital was a challenge because of the extra planning and focus that goes into balancing career ambitions with his duties as a parent.
“My wife and I knew what we were getting into when we started dating because we’re both very driven people,” Ohanian said. “It is work to make time for family, but it’s something we both want to do. It’s important that when we’re together, we’re actually together without any distractions. That’s something she’s much better at than I am, but I’m making an effort to improve.”
Ohanian said that he has a habit of being glued to his phone — reading, answering emails, and talking to founders. Over time, he says, he’s learned to put the phone down during date nights or when he’s playing with his daughter.
But the biggest lesson Williams has taught him about his own business?
“I’ve realized how not hard my job is. I really couldn’t imagine doing my job in front of millions of people live like Serena,” Ohanian said. “Imagine giving founders advice knowing there was a real-time feed of people on Twitter watching it and saying, ‘Oh, that was some bad advice.’ ”