David Karp – The Founder Of Tumblr

Experience matters, and when it is earned since childhood, it can help you achieve many things. As a kid, humans are sharper than adults and capable of learning even the toughest of things. These days we see many little kids coming up and showing off their skills and knowledge, whereas many are already launching their startups in the various fields. Thanks to the evolving technology. Though David Karp is not a teenage entrepreneur, he had achieved a lot before he passed his teens. David Karp is the founder of Tumblr, the microblogging website, and has an interesting success story to follow.

Karp was born to a science teacher and a film and television composer, on 6 July 1986, in New York City. He was a bright student and got his primary as well as middle school education from Calhoun School, at the same place where his mother worked. Karp, at the age of 11, started learning HTML and was soon developing websites for businesses.

Karp always wanted to join MIT for his graduation, so, he after studying for one year at The Bronx High School of Science, dropped out and opted for homeschooling, to make his resume interesting for admissions in the university.

But things to go according to one’s will is not always possible. Karp wanted to add more to his resume, so he was doing many things alongside his homeschooling. He started working at the Frederator Studios as an intern when he was 14. At that time, he was also learning Japanese and had joined maths classes. Along with his maths tutor, he learned some of the programming skills. At the Frederator Studios, he got to work on various software products, and he even developed studio's first blogging platform and its first internet video network, named Channel Frederator.

Later, he got to work with UrbanBaby. One day, at the firm, he solved a glitch in the software successfully in a comparatively lesser amount of time. The incident helped him to win the attention of John Maloney the founder of UrbanBaby.

Maloney appointed Karp as the head of product at UrbanBaby. Karp continued to work with the company for four more years and left it in 2006 after the company was acquired by CNET. Four years spent in a company made him leave the dream of joining MIT behind, as he had also not received a high school degree yet and he was doing great as a programmer.

His work and experience opened new doors for him, and he went on to start his own development consulting company named Davidville. He hired a programmer named Marco Arment, through Craiglist, with the help of whom, Karp started to work on a new project. Karp had grown an interest in microblogging and was looking forward to developing a platform based-on microblogging. It took him a year and a half on deciding to finally work on his interest, and he launched Tumblr in February 2007.

Karp was aware of the scope of a microblogging website, but he did not know that his website will gain 75000 users just within two weeks of its launch. In six months, he realised that Tumblr has got huge potential, so to focus on it, entirely, Karp shut down his consulting business and rebranded his company as Tumblr, Inc.

In 2009, the company launched an iOS app for Tumblr, and in 2010, another app was launched for Blackberry phones. In 2011, the company valued at $800 million, and in the same year, raised a funding of $85 million. In October 2011, Tumblr became the first blogging website that hosted American President Barak Obama’s blog.

The 3.0 version of Tumblr launched in 2012, which also included support for Spotify. This way, the users could now post HD pictures on the platform and also use it at offline mode. In August 2012, the company monetized the platform through advertisements.

Major investors including Union Square Ventures, Fred Seibert, John Borthwick, and Sequoia Capital, etc. were the major investor in the company at that time. Karp sold 25% of the company share to few of its investors.

On May 20, 2013, Yahoo! announced that it will be acquiring Tumblr for $1.1 billion, Karp remaining the CEO of the company. After working together with Yahoo! for four years, Karp resigned from his post.

Karp was named Best Young Tech Entrepreneur by BusinessWeek in August 2009. He was also named in the list of MIT Technology Review TR35 as one of the top 35 innovators in the world under the age of 35.

16 August 2021
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