Tumblr Founder a High School Drop-Out
How David Karp left school, found success
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2013 7:45 AM CDT
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, right, and Tumblr Chief Executive David Karp pose for photographs after a news conference Monday, May 20, 2013, in New York.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

(Newser) – At 14, David Karp—who would one day found Tumblr—was already obsessed with computers and bored with school. So his mom, a science teacher, suggested he drop out. "It became very clear that David needed the space to live his passion. Which was computers," Barbara Ackerman tells the New York Times. Her son dropped out to be home-schooled, but ultimately he never finished high school. Instead, he started working with TV producer Fred Seibert, learning everything he could about engineering; ultimately, he built a video app for Seibert that was one of the first to be sold on iTunes. From there he moved to other startups before ultimately starting his own company in 2006 and then founding Tumblr.

Now 26, Karp is a Mark Zuckerberg-like, sneakers-and-jeans-wearing entrepreneur (his response to Yahoo's $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr this week: "F--- yeah.") who has been a somewhat controversial figure, often blogging about partying and showing up on the gossip pages. He's currently fighting rumors that investors want to replace him as Tumblr's CEO. But there's no arguing with his success; he'll reap an expected $250 million from the Yahoo deal, and he already lives in a $1.6 million Brooklyn loft with his girlfriend of four years. What's next for him? Maybe college—"At least I should be able to afford it," he says—and some sort of philanthropy.

View 1 more image
More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Tumblr Founder a High School Drop-Out is...
3%
22%
1%
63%
0%
11%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 11 comments
123Och32
May 21, 2013 1:58 PM CDT
his response to Yahoo's $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr this week: "F--- yeah." *********************************************** Yes, how "nice." That's what a high-school dropout WOULD say.
tickle_me_blue
May 21, 2013 12:18 PM CDT
All this is going to do is encourage more teens to drop out of school to "follow their dreams". There's nothing wrong with following a dream, but almost every teenager I know needs a huge dose of reality. Too many don't take even a basic education seriously because they "know" they're going to be the next big musician or sports star, or even the next Zuckerberg. You will never get through life successfully without at least a basic education, a strong work ethic, discipline and respect, and a skill set both useful to general experiences and more tailored to work goals. High school is a stepping stone for all that. It gives you the tools for a basic education, and ideally further instills respect for authority (aka teachers and administrators). Also by adhering to a schedule, doing assignments, and the like, it gives you a basic sense of structure and discipline. I've seen people who called in from work, or didn't actually do their job while at work, because they didn't feel like it. Thats not how life works.
Tology
May 21, 2013 9:33 AM CDT
Some of the stupidest people I know are college graduates. Some of the smartest people I know are High School Graduates who never went to college. Life experience and following your passion is sometimes the best teacher.