“David Karp reminds me of Ted Turner, but also Rupert Murdoch,” Seibert said. “He is like all artists — people who don’t just have a vision; they create the future. Whether the artist is Picasso or Mark Zuckerberg, these are the people who can see around the corners while we’re just walking down the street.” -PBS MediaShift
When Channel Frederator gave tumblr’s David Karp the Vanguard Award of 2007 we already knew he was special. After all, it was David’s imagining of Channel Frederator to begin with that launched us out into the internet wild. That he went on to build his platform into one of the media greats and sell it to Yahoo this week was no surprise to any of us.
We were fortunate to literally be there at the birth of tumblr at David’s desk at the Frederator/NY loft on Park Avenue South. He gamely showed up at Frederator’s animation events on both coasts, and even sponsored our first viral hit.
Most importantly, David’s been both a friend and a mentor to this digital immigrant every day. (Here’s a bunch of David’s appearances on Frederator’s blogs.) So, I thought it was fitting in this tumblr celebration week to point out some of my favorite articles that have popped up about David and tumblr. If you take out some of the usual digi-snarking that’s always out there after a big deal, there are a number of observers who get underneath the surface.
The One-Person Product. By Marco Arment. My favorite by far (it actually made me cry) was this memoir by David’s first employee and co-conspirator Marco Arment. In it he recounts the earliest days and how David’s visions and Marco’s talents and skill combined to launch over 100 million ships. Marco truly gets to the heart and soul that David pours into everything he does.
Tumblr’s Sale Is a Billion-Dollar Trophy for the New York Tech Scene. By Kevin Roose. Tumblr couldn’t have happened anywhere else in the world but New York City, because David Karp is a crystalline product of the best that New York has always offered to creative people, innovators, and entrepreneurs. ”So while David Karp may be the one pocketing Yahoo’s money this time, every New Yorker should be smiling. Because his success is the city’s, too.”
Tumblr CEO David Karp’s Wild Ride from 14-Year-Old Intern to Multimillionaire. By Dorian Benkoil. The New York Times probably did the definitive piece on David’s rise (“my wife said, ‘Fred really likes teenagers, you should send him over.’”), but PBS MediaShift covered my role the best, so I’m going with Dorian on this one.