by Christina Yeager
“There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.”
This stands, one hundred percent true when we talk about David Karp, the genius who did not need a school name to his credit to become the founder of the coolest blogging and social networking website - “Tumblr”.
David Karp: From school dropout to success.
The early years
David was born on July 6, 1986, in New York - his parents were a teacher and a film composer. It all started with Karp showing an interest in technology and learning HTML at a very young age. While being a high school student at The Bronx High School of Science, he was already designing websites for money. Despite being a student at a prestigious New York City public school, he dropped out of school a year later to save himself the commute time and to have more freedom to explore the computer world by himself at the age of fifteen.
His mother, a single parent by this time, was supportive enough to help him develop his passion. She helped him every step of the way by helping him set up a homeschooling regimen with many tutors including a tutor for speaking Japanese. This helped him a lot when he ended up living in Japan for a few months to work for the online parenting advice site UrbanBay and eventually becoming their CTO.
“Self-education is the only possible education; the rest is mere veneer laid on the surface of a child's nature.”
At 20, he went back to live with his mother again. By that time, he had done several successful digital startups. Then one fine day he came across the idea of creating a website that could enable its users to not only share their blog posts but also their photos and videos. The best part was that all this information was going to be interconnected. Hence, the short-form blogging platform, Tumblr, was born in 2007. It was an overnight sensation and had 75000 users within the first couple of weeks.
As the CEO of Tumblr, Karp was living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in an apartment worth $1.6 million. He was living happily with his girlfriend and dog – Clark. Unfortunately, things didn't work out for the two of them and they split up after 3 years.
Meanwhile, on the work front, Yahoo eventually purchased Tumblr at a whopping $1.1 billion putting Karp amongst the top 35 innovators in the world of technology. His net worth was already $200 million before he even touched his thirties. While being the CEO of Tumblr and he was doing a few other projects as well. He openly supported Hillary Clinton for president in the 2016 United States elections.
Even in the initial years of Tumblr, when it needed much of his time, and Karp was busy looking at every aspect personally, it was a known fact that he didn’t like being pinned down and refused to keep a schedule.
Taking time for himself
This naturally led to the circulation of news regarding him stepping down from the post of the CEO of Tumblr after more than ten years. It wasn’t a shock to many in the world of tech -- working for the same company for over a decade is considered as an eternity. Though it is not clearly known why he left, he did say that it was a decision that came after months of self-reflection and that he wanted to explore other realms of technology.
Today, though not very active, his net worth speaks for itself. The only activity known since his departure from Tumblr has been a board advising slot with a political advocacy group. He’s most likely enjoying his non-scheduled, free-rein of time to do only what he absolutely wants and the rest of the world can be envious of his retirement.