Karp in 2009
July 6, 1986 |
New York City, U.S.
|Occupation||CEO of Tumblr|
|Net worth||$200 million|
David Karp (born July 6, 1986) is an American web developer and entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of the short-form blogging platform Tumblr. According to Forbes, Karp's net worth exceeds $200 million, and Tumblr has been valued at $800 million. On May 20, 2013, it was announced that Yahoo! and Tumblr had reached an agreement for Yahoo! to acquire Tumblr for $1.1 billion. Karp would remain as CEO of the company.
Born and raised in New York City, Karp began his career as an intern under Fred Seibert at animation company Frederator Studios. Karp went on to work for online parenting forum UrbanBaby until it was sold to CNET in 2006. Karp then started his own software consulting company, Davidville, where he worked with computer engineer Marco Arment on projects for clients. During a gap between contracts in 2006, the two began work on a microblogging website, which was launched as Tumblr in February 2007. As of May 19, 2013, Tumblr hosts over 108 million blogs. In August 2009, Karp was named Best Young Tech Entrepreneur 2009 by BusinessWeek and in 2010, he was named to the MIT Technology Review TR35 as one of the top 35 innovators in the world under the age of 35.
Karp grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. His parents are film and television composer Michael D. Karp and teacher Barbara Ackerman. He has a younger brother named Kevin. His parents separated when he was 17. Karp attended The Calhoun School from age 3 through 8th grade, where his mother teaches science. At 11, he began learning HTML and was soon designing websites for local businesses. Karp went on to attend Bronx Science for one year before dropping out at the age of 15 and started homeschooling. At the time, Karp had aspirations of getting into a college in New York or MIT and saw homeschooling and doing other projects on the side as a way to impress the colleges. Karp never returned to high school or earned his high school diploma.
Karp began interning at age 14 for animation producer Fred Seibert, founder of Frederator Studios. Karp's mother had taught Seibert's children at the Calhoun School and was friends with his wife. Karp was fascinated with the work of Frederator's computer engineers and his visits became regular. After he started homeschooling, Karp also began taking Japanese classes at the Japan Society and saw a math tutor, with whom he worked on writing software for winning at blackjack and poker. When entrepreneur John Maloney sought technical help with UrbanBaby, an online parenting forum, a Frederator employee recommended Karp for the job. Karp completed the project, which had to be done in a couple of days, within four hours. Maloney made him UrbanBaby's head of product and gave him a small amount of equity. At age 17, while still working for UrbanBaby, Karp moved alone to Tokyo for five months. It was a full three months after Karp had moved to Tokyo that UrbanBaby found out he wasn't in New York.
Karp left UrbanBaby after it was sold to CNET in 2006. Using money from the sale of his shares, Karp started his own software consultancy company, Davidville, envisioning a mix of client work and his own products. Marco Arment joined the company as an engineer after replying to Karp's Craigslist ad. Karp had been interested in tumblelogs (short-form blogs) for some time and was waiting for one of the established blogging platforms to introduce their own tumblelogging platform. As no one had done so after a year of waiting, Karp and Arment began working on their own tumblelogging platform during a two-week gap between contracts in 2006. Tumblr was launched in February 2007 and within two weeks, the service had gained 75,000 users.
In October 2007, Karp shut down his consultancy business as his work with Tumblr was interfering with his client work. Davidville was renamed Tumblr, Inc. and 25 percent of the company was sold to a small group of investors. As of May 19, 2013, Tumblr hosts over 108 million blogs.
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