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David Karp

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Original author: 
Peter Kafka

Thanks to Quartz’s Zach Seward for jogging my memory about this oldie and goodie: Tumblr’s David Karp in a video interview taped in 2007, when he was 21, had 75,000 users and was talking about stuff like Digg, Flickr … and Twitter.

Karp’s interviewer is Howard Lindzon, who’s now known as the guy behind StockTwits. Assuming that the interview was taped close to the time it was published, it would have meant that the two men were talking as Karp was raising his first funding round of $750,000, led by Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital.

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Incorporating advertising on photo-sharing or visually-driven sites has yet to be done successfully, mostly because companies haven't been able to do it without completely disrupting the user experience.

But Tumblr, whose CEO David Karp really doesn't like advertising, is working on a way to crack the code.

We asked Rick Webb, consultant on marketing and revenue at Tumblr, how Tumblr is using advertising and if it is actually working, at our IGNITION conference last week.

Watch below.

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David Karp, the founder of the blogging platform Tumblr, was 17 when he decided to cut the apron strings and move to Tokyo. With a smattering of Japanese and a sharp eye for computer code, the impatient Manhattan teenager embarked on a period of self-discovery. “I was holed up in the middle of this world where it was just me on the internet,” Karp recalls. Within weeks, he had fine-tuned his computer skills and cooled on the idea of building robots. He wanted to be an entrepreneur. But there was one small problem: 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,” he says. “I lied about my age. I lied about the size of my team. I lied about my experience. I was so terribly embarassed about it for so long. I should have just owned up.”

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