Wednesday May 23, 2018

David Karp, #Tumblr’s Minimalist Genius

Image representing David Karp as depicted in C...

David Karp (Image by Matthew Buchanan / Flickr via CrunchBase)

David Karp, founder of Tumblr, is worth about $200 million on paper. He’s busy renovating his $1.6 million 1,700 square-foot Williamsburg loft—which is striking for its ascetic atmosphere. Karp owns very little—no books, a sofa, a TV, one suit. Forbes says that minimalist sensibility has guided Tumblr to success. When selecting “GIF” as the word of 2012, Oxford Dictionaries U.S.A. pointed to Tumblr. Hollywood is developing three new TV series based on viral Tumblr sensations. “The growth we’ve seen in the last year just totally overshadows everything that came before it,” Karp told Forbes. “To be honest, it’s a place I never thought we’d be.”

At the moment, money isn’t a problem. Tumblr has saved “most of” the $125 million it’s raised. But its operational costs were $25 million last year and are estimated as $40 million this year. The question is: can Tumblr turn a profit before having to ask for more funding?