David Karp, the originator of the blogging stage Tumblr, was just 17 years old when he made up his mind to cut the apron strings and shift to Tokyo.
With a dash of Japanese and a sharp eye for computer code, the irritated Manhattan youngster set out on a period of self-innovation.
“I was holed up in the middle of this world where it was just me on the internet,” Karp recalled.
In just a few weeks, David Karp had polished up his computer abilities and cooled on the thought of making robotic machines. He always wished to be an industrialist. However, there was one small difficulty: his voice.
“I was so silly – I tried to be very formal and put on a deep voice to clients over the phone so I didn’t have to meet them and give away how young I was,” David Karp stated. “I lied about my age. I lied about the size of my team. I lied about my experience. I was so terribly embarrassed about it for so long. I should have just owned up.”
Karp came back to the United States with a fistful of transactions and a listing of executives’ ears to bend. Keeping up appearances, he set up a consultancy firm – named Davidville – and managed to encourage Viacom and others to appoint him.
At 25, he is at the helm of one of the web’s fastest budding startups. He set up Tumblr during the year 2007 when he was just 21, from the bedroom of his mom’s apartment building in the city of New York.
Often depicted as Twitter meets YouTube and WordPress, Tumblr allows its users curate images, video recordings and message in one place on the web. The site gathered up around 75,000 users during the first 15 days, and currently hosts a number blogs, ranging from political lines to entertainment, music and images of “Accidental Chinese hipsters”.
David Karp boasts of all the traits of a web genius.
“I thought I could totally beat the system and have this cool product that I would never need to raise money for, I would never need to sell out, because [Tumblr] would bring all the attention to this [consultancy] business where people would ask us to build them a website,” he said.
He continued his consultancy performance until Tumblr started doubling its users’ number every few weeks.
“Our clients eventually got more and more pissed off because I wasn’t returning their calls and at that poi,nt I was just totally fucking it up. Clearly, they could see Tumblr was my one and only and they were getting shafted.”