Before Tumblr, Founder Made Mom Proud. He Quit School.
May 22, 2013,
When David Karp was 14, he was clearly a bright teenager. Quiet, somewhat reclusive, bored with his classes at the Bronx High School of Science. He spent most of his free time in his bedroom, glued to his computer.
But instead of trying to pry him away from his machine or coaxing him outside to get some fresh air, his mother, Barbara Ackerman, had another solution: she suggested that he drop out of high school to be home-schooled.
Karsten Moran for The New York Times
David Karp, the founder of Tumblr, on Monday with Marissa Mayer, the chief executive of Yahoo.
“I saw him at school all day and absorbed all night into his computer,” said Ms. Ackerman, reached by phone Monday afternoon. “It became very clear that David needed the space to live his passion. Which was computers. All things computers.”
Now 26 years old, Mr. Karp never finished high school or enrolled in college. Instead, he played a significant role in several technology start-ups before founding Tumblr, the popular blogging service that agreed to be sold to Yahoo for $1.1 billion this week. With an expected $250 million from the deal, Mr. Karp joins a tiny circle of 20-something entrepreneurs, hoodie-wearing characters like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley, who have struck it rich before turning 30.
“When I first met David he was 20 years old and wearing sneakers and jeans,” said Bijan Sabet, a general partner at Spark Capital, who was one of the first people to invest in Tumblr. “But I knew he was one of these rare entrepreneurs that grew up on the Web and who could come up with an idea, build it himself, and then ship it that night.”
Since founding Tumblr six years ago, Mr. Karp has been admired for his programming skills and Web site design acumen but at times has been a polarizing figure in New York tech circles because he so often blogged about his personal life and party-hopping. He has popped up in the New York Post’s Page Six Magazine, and has been a recurring target for the gossip Web site Gawker, where he was labeled a “fameball,” a derogatory term for someone who has an unquenchable desire for fame.
Tall and willowy, with a mop of brown hair and piercing blue eyes, Mr. Karp typically dresses in jeans, a T-shirt and sneakers. He speaks at a rapid clip and, often, for minutes without stopping. Technically, he never graduated from high school, which he cracked in an interview is “hopefully not a condition of Yahoo employment.”
After dropping out and working for a time in small New York tech outfits, Mr. Karp made his way to Tokyo, where he worked for several months for a start-up. He returned to the United States and became the chief technology officer for UrbanBaby, an Internet message board for parents. CNET Networks bought UrbanBaby in 2006, and Mr. Karp took the several hundred thousand dollars he made from the sale to start his own company, called Davidville. One of Davidville’s projects was a simple blogging service called Tumblr.
Mr. Karp’s run at Tumblr has not been without problems. He had trouble hiring in Tumblr’s early days, unsure how to even interview recruits. He often thought large companies were too big for their own good, proclaiming he could manage Tumblr with a team of four.
But Mr. Karp stepped out of the party scene and started dating his current girlfriend, a graduate nursing school student at New York University, four years ago. He also appeared to get more serious about his company as it grew from less than a dozen employees to more than 175 today. “David has grown up in Tumblr,” said Mark Coatney, who oversees Tumblr’s relationship with media companies.
Still, Mr. Karp’s unsure footing led to discussions about his taking a different role at Tumblr, according to two people who worked with the company and who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity. Because revenue was not growing as fast as they would have liked, investors considered putting Mr. Karp in charge of Tumblr’s product development and finding a more seasoned chief executive.
Mr. Karp denied in an interview that there was a plan for him to give up the chief executive’s job. He said that when Tumblr’s chief operating officer left in the middle of last year, filling that job and other critical roles like head of marketing was “top of mind,” but he said there was no plan for him to step aside.
Like many who run so-called social Internet companies, Mr. Karp can teeter on reclusive. In an interview last year at the F.ounders conference in New York, he said he preferred to come to the office early to work alone, avoiding other people.
“Where I feel the most productive and engaged is when I’m buried in code, buried in some project, tweaking some designs,” he said. “I’m certainly introverted.”
Mr. Karp, who lives in a $1.6 million one-bedroom loft in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, with his girlfriend and dog, said he is staying put in New York and with Yahoo. He intends to “figure out something” with philanthropy. And one day he might even go to college.
“At least I should be able to afford it,” he said.Nicole Perlroth and Michael J. de la Merced contributed reporting.
James Estrin/The New York Times
14歲時，戴維·卡普(David Karp)顯然是一個聰明少年。安靜，有點不合群，布朗克斯理科中學(Bronx High School of Science)的課程令他感到乏味。閑暇時間，他大多待在卧室里，粘着自己的電腦不放。
Karsten Moran for The New York Times周一，Tumblr創始人戴維·卡普和雅虎首席執行官瑪麗莎·梅耶爾在一起。
卡普現在26歲，他始終沒完成高中學業，更未註冊去上大 學，而是在許多科技創業公司中發揮重要作用，然後創辦了廣受歡迎的博客網站Tumblr。本周，他同意將Tumblr以11億美元（約合67億元人民幣） 賣給雅虎。預計卡普將在此交易中得到2.5億美元。由此，卡普躋身少數20多歲、穿套頭衫創業家的行列，例如Facebook的馬克·扎克伯格(Mark Zuckerberg)及Foursquare的丹尼斯·克羅利(Dennis Crowley)，他們在30歲前暴富的。
星火資本(Spark Capital)的普通合伙人畢賈·薩伯特(Bijan Sabet)是最先投資Tumblr的人之一。他說，「我第一次見到戴維時，他20歲，穿着牛仔褲和球鞋。但是，見面那天晚上，我就知道他是那種罕見的創 業者，在網絡世界長大，能想出一個主意，自己去做，當晚就把東西拿出來。」
創建Tumblr六年來，卡普的編程技巧及網站設計才華是 受人敬仰的，但時常也是紐約科技圈子裡引發爭議的人物，因為他常常寫博客記錄自己的私人生活和忙於參加聚會的經歷。他登上《紐約郵報》(New York Post)的「第六頁雜誌」（Page Six Magazine，《紐約郵報》的八卦版——譯註），而且反覆成為八卦網站Gawker網的關注對象。Gawker網將他稱為「名利之徒」，這是對於那種 對名聲有着不熄慾望的人的貶稱。
退學後，卡普在紐約的一家小型科技公司工作了一段時間。他 隨後又去了東京，為一家創業公司工作了幾個月。返回美國後，他成了UrbanBaby的首席技術官。UrbanBaby是一個供家長使用的網絡留言板。 2006年，CNET Networks收購了UrbanBaby，卡普用出售所得的數十萬美元創立了自己的公司Davidville。Davidville其中的一個項目，就 是叫做Tumblr的簡單博客服務。
但是，四年前，卡普不再去參加各種聚會了，開始與他的現任 女友交往。卡普的女友是紐約大學(New York University)護士研究院的學生。他對自己公司的態度似乎也變得更加認真了，公司員工現在已經由不到12人增加到了超過175人。負責 Tumblr媒體關係的馬克·科特尼(Mark Coatney)說，「戴維是在Tumblr成長起來的。」
然而，據兩名曾與Tumblr合作的人說，由於卡普游離不 定，人們開始討論他是否會在Tumblr擔任不同的角色。這兩人同意在匿名的前提下發言。由於公司收益並沒有以投資者所希望的速度增長，投資者考慮讓卡普 去負責Tumblr的產品開發，並為公司尋找一位更有經驗的首席執行官。
2011年12月06日 07:15 AM新聞人物：斯大林獨女斯韋特蘭娜Enduring lessons of Stalin’s little sparrow《斯大林：紅色沙皇》作者西蒙•塞巴格-蒙蒂菲奧里為英國《金融時報》撰稿
Svetlana Stalina, who died on 22nd November 2011, always said that Stalin, her father, “broke my life”. Her troubled life illustrates how power coarsens, corrupts and corrodes family itself. Even in democracies, the relentless demands of power are wearying, then coarsening then corrupting. In the long reigns of despots, the more absolute, the more corrosive. The gentle ties of family are ground to dust by steel wheels of power. Men of power such as a Stalin or Hitler usually see themselves as selfless, lone knights riding with swords drawn into hostile territory. Even for those such as Colonel Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein or the Assads for whom politics is dynastic, power is paramount.
今年11月22日辭世的斯韋特蘭娜•斯大林娜(Svetlana Stalina)以往總是說，父親斯大林(Stalin)“毀掉了我的生活”。她坎坷的一生向人們揭示出，權力是如何破壞、腐化、侵蝕家庭的。即使是在民主國家，無止境的權力欲也是令人疲憊、進而起到破壞和腐蝕作用的。在暴君們的長期統治下，專製程度越高，這種腐蝕性就越強。家庭的溫情紐帶被權力的鐵輪碾得粉碎。大權在握者，比如斯大林和希特勒(Hitler)，往往將自己視為無私而孤獨的騎士，在佩劍縱馬前行時被吸引至敵人的疆土。即便對卡扎菲上校(Colonel Gaddafi)、薩達姆•侯賽因(Saddam Hussein)或阿薩德(Assad)家族這類人（在他們眼中，政治就等於王朝）來說，權力也有著至高無上的重要性。
In the end, as we saw in Gaddafi's downfall, the sons were expected to sacrifice themselves on the pyre of his narcissistic megalomania. Saddam struggled to hold the balance between the rivalries of his own diabolical princelings – his daughters were squeezed in this filial vice and in the ultimate poisoning of family life, he allowed his sons to murder his sons-in-law. The Assads have been cursed by familial rivalries. Gaddafi groomed several atrocious sons for power, even when they plotted against him – but all were sacrificed in his Bedouin hybrid of Saharan götterdämerung and Arabic King Lear.
It is easier for a daughter. When I researched the relationship between Stalin and Svetlana, I found that, while presenting her memoirs as frank and revealing, she had rewritten history and left out perhaps her own greatest secret. In Stalin's papers, I found parts of her life that she had excised or forgotten: on the one hand, her childhood was privileged and indulgent, her father adored her, always kissing her, feeding her from his plate, comparing her red hair and freckles to his own mother Keke. On the other, the normality of her first six years ended when her mother, Nadya Alliluyeva, committed suicide in 1932 at the moment of Stalin's greatest crisis – collectivisation.
Their children, Svetlana and her elder brother Vasily, were told she had died of peritonitis. But they could not help but notice the darkening world as Stalin destroyed his colleagues and even Svetlana's aunts and uncles. If Vasily went to pieces after Nadya's suicide, it brought father and daughter closer: he dined with her after school and signed her homework; he proudly introduced her to Winston Churchill. If he truly loved anyone in his life, it was she. “I was his pet,” she said. “He was very affectionate.”
斯大林和娜佳的子女——斯韋特蘭娜和哥哥瓦西里(Vasily)被告知母親死於腹膜炎。但當斯大林殺害自己的同志、甚至連斯韋特蘭娜的親人也不放過時，她和哥哥不禁意識到，這個世界正變得越來越黑暗。儘管娜佳的自殺令瓦西里精神崩潰，它卻使斯大林父女的關係走得更近：女兒放學回家後，斯大林和她共進晚餐，並在她的家庭作業上簽字；他還驕傲地把女兒引見給溫斯頓•丘吉爾(Winston Churchill)。如果說斯大林在一生中真心喜歡過什麼人的話，那就是斯韋特蘭娜。 “我是他的寵兒，”斯韋特蘭娜說，“他充滿了慈愛。”
In the archives, I found their letters. Stalin called her “my little sparrow, my great joy”. Stalin encouraged Svetlana, aged 11, to pretend to be dictator of Russia. Svetlana wrote to the politburo in Moscow ordering the postponement of school term in the entire USSR. Stalin's deputy replied with this note: “Hail to our Boss Svetlana! I await your instructions on the postponement of school term by 20 days!” The whole Politburo signed it with funny comments: “Agreed! Your obedient peasant! ” Another time she wrote to Stalin: “Daily Order number 3: I order you to show me what happens in the Central Committee. Strictly confidential. S. Stalina, the Boss.” Stalin calling himself “Your little Secretary” replied “your letter enabled us to find our way in complicated political questions”. But even the indulgence of paternal love cannot withstand the autocratic craving for total control: their relationship was ruined by her discovery of her mother's suicide and her emotional independence: Stalin, Victorian prude and traditional Georgian father, was infuriated by her romance with Alexei Kapler, a Jewish screenwriter. He was 40, Svetlana 16. Stalin, in this at least a typical father, slapped her face, tearing up her love letters. He then had Kapler deported to Siberia . Her first two marriages failed – and Stalin blamed her.
After the second world war, she glimpsed his murderousness: she overheard him ordering the killing of a Yiddish actor. She later blamed her father's crimes on Lavrenti Beria, his secret-police chief, whom she demonised in her memoirs. But she concealed the biggest secret of her youth: the real love of her life was none other than Beria's son Sergo, whom she desperately wanted to marry. But Beria was determined to prevent a marriage that would put his son in danger. When Sergo married someone else, Svetlana, truly Stalin's princess, tried to force their divorce.
To be the daughter of a titan is a burden; to be the son, a curse: Stalin regarded his eldest son Yakov as a weakling ... Then he was captured by the Nazis and committed suicide: when Stalin found out he had behaved courageously , even he was moved. His other son Vasily, Svetlana's full brother, was overpromoted to air force general but was a weak, alcoholic, swaggering debauchee whom an embarrassed Stalin repeatedly humiliated and demoted.
The success of the omnipotent father is impossible to bear. For the father, the son is a disappointment – and power always comes first. Stalin poisoned every love relationship in his life for his political mission. He ended alone and morose.
All power, even in democracies, is personal. Randolph Churchill suffered from the greatness of his father, dying young of alcoholism. Bismarck prevented his son Herbert from marrying the love of his life – and drove him to alcoholism and early death.
Stalin, the ascetic Bolshevik never gave his family any power. Yet in most tyrannies, power is monarchical – the son held back by the father threatened by the son. Hence Absolom's revolt against King David; the feud of George II and Frederick Prince of Wales ; the hatred of Wilhelm II for his father Emperor Frederick. The threat is so real that filicide often by necessity became the policy of autocrats: Herod the Great killed three sons; Constantine the Great, Genghis Khan, Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Shah Abbas of Persia, Selim the Grim and Suleiman the Magnificent all murdered sons – Peter and Ivan killing theirs personally. Suleiman watching the strangling from behind a curtain.
斯大林這位苦行僧式的布爾什維克從未給予家人任何權力。但在大多數獨裁統治中，權力是屬於最高統治者的——受到兒子威脅的父親阻止兒子獲得權力。因此才有押沙龍(Absolom)反抗大衛王(King David)；喬治二世(George II)與威爾士親王弗雷德里克(Frederick Prince of Wales)長期爭鬥；威廉二世(Wilhelm II)憎恨父親腓特烈皇帝(Emperor Frederick)。這種威脅如此真實，以至於獨裁者們往往不可避免地採取殺掉子女的做法：大希律王(Herod the Great)殺掉了自己的三個兒子；君士坦丁大帝(Constantine the Great) 、成吉思汗、伊凡雷帝(Ivan the Terrible)、彼得大帝(Peter the Great)、波斯阿巴斯大帝(Shah Abbas)、塞利姆一世(Selim the Grim)和蘇萊曼大帝(Suleiman the Magnificent)全都殺死了自己的兒子——彼得大帝和伊凡雷帝親自殺死了自己的兒子。蘇萊曼大帝在門簾後看著自己的兒子被絞死。
Stalin's toxic curse on his children has finally died with Svetlana. Churchill's attitude towards his family, despite his disappointment in Randolph, was probably the most healthy of the potentates. When grandson Nicholas Soames asked: “Granpa, are you the greatest man in the world ?” “Yes,” said Churchill. “Now bugger off.”
The writer is the author of 'Stalin: the Court of the Red Tsar'. His latest book is 'Jerusalem: the Biography'
本文作者著有《斯大林：紅色沙皇》(Stalin: the Court of the Red Tsar)一書。他的最新著作是《耶路撒冷傳記》(Jerusalem: the Biography)。