I may be remembering stuff wrong, but wasn't there more tension + conflict during the period right after the acquisition? Didn't Reddit struggle to pay for basic infrastructure stuff due to their new parent company's skepticism about its viability and perception of its value?
And it was a long while until it got spun out. (http://venturebeat.com/2011/09/06/reddit-break-conde-nast/)
Not that there's anything crazy in any of this. Just that the NYT story paints it like right away they 1) knew Reddit's worth and 2) knew to have a hands-off approach.
I'm far from a Reddit power user, happy to hear other perspectives.
Including myself, three of the four reddit programmers came to that conclusion within the same six month period. (Props to spladug for keeping the flame alive!)
As for hardware, all we wanted was a team printer that didn't jam, an SSD for ketralnis's workstation, and the right for our engineers to substitute an equal-cost laptop of their choice for the IT-approved MacBook.
Sure, the fact that they had a huge headcount, meant that they had to take more risk to try to monetize...but the nail in their coffin wasn't cost...but loss of traffic
He's also pushing a $500M portfolio into every new-media-investing VC fund he can find: http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/advances-ma-...
So the fact that reddit got ignored for a few years, both to its detriment (having to beg for money) and to its benefit (not getting eaten/squished) is mostly just a byproduct of advance/newhouse's "buy all the things, figure out what to do with them later" strategy.
I think Conde had realized later on that Reddit can become like Craigslist where while it won't be squeezed every ad dollar out of it but it will become enormously profitable and prominent in the web.
Whether this was a deliberate plan or the byproduct of executive apathy, it's still quite amazing