Meet David Karp, not your average young entrepreneur

demgen entrepreneur spotlight david karpWhat would you do if you were a young, successful, computer programmer worth about $200 million dollars? If you’re anything similar to David Karp, the founder of Tumblr, your answer would be spending the weekend at home, or laying low in general.

If you aren’t sure what Tumblr is, a brief explanation would be that it is one of the world’s most used online blogging platforms; and the reason Tumblr is so interesting to the business world is because 27-year-old Karp signed a $1.1 billion dollar acquisition deal for his company to Yahoo earlier this year.

To call Karp a modern day child wonder would be, well, the right title. Dropping out of high school at the age of 15, with the blessing of his parents, Karp spent his last years of adolescence being homeschooled and interning for Frederator Studies, directly followed by landing a job at online parenting forum, UrbanBaby. Definitely not what the regular 15-year-old with no school obligations would spend his time doing, but it seems to have paid of exponentially since then.

Karp eventually started his own software consultancy company, Davidville, which later turned into Tumblr, Inc. after the launch of the micro blogging website with the same name. Surprisingly, the most interesting thing about Karp is not the start of his million-dollar company but instead, how he spends his time being a millionaire.

demgen entrepreneur spotlight david karpA simple web search will provide the link to Karp’s personal Tumblr, David’s Log. This might be the best source of proof that Karp spends the majority of his time like just about every other young adult. On the blog you can find links to articles Karp finds interesting, various quotes, and personal photos, which include Karp, his girlfriend Rachel, and their French/English Bulldog, Clark. Other pictures on Karp’s Tumblr reveal a sparsely furnished apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and a love for small things – like taking Clark on walks through the park, and spending time with close friends.

What you slowly learn about Karp is that he is an entrepreneur that sincerely loves his creation, and intends to continue building and growing with Tumblr for the rest of his life. Instead of moving on from his business like some entrepreneurs do when a certain status is reached, Karp negotiated to remain as the CEO of Tumblr when it was acquired by Yahoo, and doesn’t intend to pursue any other business interests in the future.

Who’s to say that Karp’s dream was to build a social media platform that would become the meeting place for millions of artists, musicians, graphic designers, bloggers and fans? Even if it wasn’t, he has done an amazing job of growing and supporting the users of his creation. Karp has even reached a point in his career that most entrepreneurs strive for: he sincerely loves his creation. So while Karp’s life may look similar to perfection, it’s also a good reminder that achieving a balanced and happy lifestyle is capable, with plenty of time for dog walking along the way.


© Zoe Begopoulos, DemGen Inc. 2013

Images courtesy of BetaBeat and David’s Log