By now you’ve probably heard about Yahoo’s purchase of the social networking/publishing platform Tumblr for an eye-popping $1.1 billion, which made its founder David Karp about $265 million richer overnight.The 26 year old, whom Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer characterized as “one of the most perceptive, capable entrepreneurs I’ve worked with,” is cut from the same cloth as the late Steve Jobs, according to Marco Arment, Karp’s early collaborator and Tumblr co-founder:
David always obsessed over his newest ideas, features, and designs until they were completely polished and ready to go. He’s a workaholic—he truly lives and breathes Tumblr. I’ve never even seen him show any desire to work on a side project. David is all Tumblr, all the time.He expects people around him to be similarly into work and Tumblr, and often drove me hard with seemingly impossible demands. But David has a lot of Steve Jobs-like qualities, and like many people who worked for Steve, I look back on Tumblr’s crunch times with mixed feelings: I don’t want to return to that stress level, but David pushed me to do amazing work that I didn’t think was possible.
He sounds like a remarkable young man.He’s also a high school dropout who never got a GED or went to college—even though he was admitted to the Bronx High School of Science. As we’re fond of pointing out here on VM, more brains does not automatically mean you should spend more years in school. In some cases, it means you should spend less.