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January 21, 2013

Tumblr- Success of David Karp

Tumblr is a combination of a microblogging platform with a social networking website, launched on April 27, 2007 by David Karp. The success of this website provides an insight to the success of David Karp. From a usual teenager to the most sought after web developer and entrepreneur of America, David Karp shot up to fame in such a very short frame of time.


David Karp had a vision to chase, the vision to be famous like most teenagers of the world. Thereby, computers and technology being his key field of interest evoked his passion to become successful. David Karp was born on July 6, 1986 to Michael D. Karp and Barbara Ackerman.  His father Michael D. Karp was a renowned film and television composer, while his mother Barbara Ackerman was a science teacher and taught at a high school. Karp received his primary education at The Calhoun School and at the tender age of 11, he began to learn HTML and soon after started working and designing websites for local businesses. Karp was longing to crack into a college in New York or the prestigious MIT University. Thus, he figured out that homeschooling along with projects side by side was the only way to have an impressive college form, which could assure his seat in either of these colleges. But ironically, Karp never earned his high school diploma. In 2010, as per an article in the New York Observer, he was mentioned in the MIT technology review TR35 among the top 35 innovators in the world below 35 years of age.


Karp started his web developing career at as early as 11. He designed websites for local businesses. Also, Karp’s mother taught Fred Seibert’s kids at the Calhoun school and had been friends with his wife. Later he served as intern to the founder of Frederator studios, Fred Seibert when he was 14 years old.  This was Karp’s first exposure to a real working environment. He was fascinated to work with the highly qualified and experienced computer engineers at Frederator’s studio. As a part of his homeschooling curriculum, Karp began to learn Japanese at “The Japan Society” where he gained acquaintance to a maths tutor, with whom he began writing software for wining at online blackjack and poker games.


 Thereafter, realizing Karp’s talent and skill, a Frederator employee recommended Karp to entrepreneur John Maloney, who was looking for technical assistance for his online parenting forum, UrbanBaby. Karp satisfactorily completed the project within 4 hours whereas the work was estimated to be completed within a stretch of a couple of days. Awestruck by this computer genius’s skill, Maloney made him UrbanBaby’s product head. He also offered him a small amount of equity. Later, Karp moved to Tokyo alone for a period of five months. All he packed along was his packet of skills and little knowledge about the language Japanese. 


Karp resigned from his designation at UrbanBaby, soon after discovering the fact that UrbanBaby had been sold to CNET. Thereafter in 2006, he started his own software consultancy, “DavidVille”; with the little money he had generated from selling his shares at UrbanBaby. DavidVille was a software consultancy conceived to provide a mix of client work and his own products. Later he was joined by Marco Arment, who joined the company as an engineer after discovering Karp’s Ad on Craigslist.


Karp had for long been interested in creating tumblelogs, which are short-form blogs; and had been observing the trend with utmost care. He was just waiting for a time to strike the hot iron, create his own tumble logging website. Thereafter, after waiting for about a year for such a platform, Karp and Arment began working and developing their own tumblelogging platform. This site was launched successfully in November 2007. Within a small period of two weeks, the website had gained about 75,000 unique users. Now, as of Jan 2013, there are over eighty seven million blogs hosted by Tumblr.


 In 2009, Tumblr was made available in the AppleAppStore.  This application was created by Jeff Rock and Garrett Ross. Further, the site was made available to BlackBerry smart phone users in April 2010 through a Mobelux application. Thereafter, there was no looking back. Tumblr 3.0 version was released in June 2012. This version allows support for “Spotify”, which enabled bloggers to post high resolution images and facilitated offline access.  Two months later, Tumblr moved towards paid advertising on the site.


Though, Tumblr’s original funding came from Karp’s earning at DavidVille and his earnings at his first software consultancy job at UrbanBaby. Also, Tumblr received funding from Union Square Ventures, Fred Seibert (for whom he interned at Frederator), John Borthwick, Sequoia Capital among other investors at Tumblr Inc. Interestingly Tumblr  and twitter have two common lead investors, John Maloney ( founder of UrbanBaby) and his wife Susan Maloney. In August, 2011 the company valued $800 million. In the following month, the company managed to raise a funding of $85 million led by Greylock Partners along with the Insight Venture Partners.


On Sept 7, 2012, David Karp exclaimed in an Interview that the site Tumblr was run by the money vested in by the advertisers. Also, the founder and CEO of Tumblr torched light on the increasing number of users; thereby luring advertisers to seriously consider advertising on the site.


Tumblr is a re-envisioning of Tumblelogging, with a motive to redefine the web blogging world with alluring picture, sound and video support, simultaneously focusing on making it easier to use for even amateurs. From a creating expression to technology to advertising, this platform houses it all under the same roof. Therefore, it is emerging as a trend among people under 25, who proudly flaunt their blogs among their classmates and other colleagues.


As a matter of fact in October 21, 2011, Tumblr was the first blogging platform to host the American President Barak Obama’s blog.  Also, Tumblr hosts blogs of several celebrities and TV personalities like Lady Gaga, John Meyer, and Zooey Deschanel among several others. The terrific success of Tumblr outlines the story of success its Founder and CEO David Karp, including him among the under 30 CEO’s to run a billion dollar company.

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About Kanika

I have been writing for almost 3 years now for various clients