David Karp

  • Aired:  07/16/13
  •  | Views: 60,952

Tumblr creator David Karp discusses dropping out of high school, selling his site to Yahoo and letting pornographic images slide. (6:14)

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK,

EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS A HIGH

SCHOOL DROPOUT WHO SOLD HIS

INTERNET START-UP FOR $1.1

BILLION.

JUST IMAGINE HOW MUCH HE COULD

HAVE MADE IF HE DROPPED OUT OF

GRADE SCHOOL.

PLEASE WELCOME DAVID KARP.

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]

>> Stephen: YOU ARE FOUNDER AND

CEO OF TUMBLR.

>> TUMBLR.

Stephen: YOU BECAME

SUCCESSFUL WITH THIS, WHAT DID

YOU CALL IT?

>> I STILL HAVE A WAYS TO GO.

Stephen: YOU DON'T THINK

YOU'RE SUCCESSFUL.

>> NOT YET.

I HAVE LOTS TO PROVE.

WE HAVE TO GET THINGS TO

PROFITABILITY.

THAT'S A PRETTY BIG MILESTONE.

>> Stephen: NOT YOUR PROBLEM

ANYMORE.

YOU JUST SOLD IT TO YAHOO.

>> THAT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO ME.

Stephen: WHY DID YOU FOUND

TUMBLR TO BEGIN WITH.

>> I WAS AN ASPIRING CREATOR

GLOWING UP.

THERE WAS A SET OF TOOLS THAT

WAS MISSING, SOMETHING THAT I

WANTED TO EXPRESS MYSELF OUT

THERE IN THE WORLD.

I DON'T HAVE A TV SHOW.

>> Stephen: YOU DON'T HAVE A TV

SHOW.

AM I WITH MY TV SHOW, AM I KIND

OF TUMBLING RIGHT NOW?

I'M ON TUMBLR.

>> ALL RIGHT.

I DON'T FOLLOW YOU YET.

WHAT'S YOUR ADDRESS ON TUMBLR.

>> Stephen: I WON'T TELL YOU.

FIND ME.

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE ON THE

TUMBLR NOW.

>> WHAT DO I DO ON THERE?

IT'S PRIVATE.

>> Stephen: HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE

ON THE TUMBLR.

>> ABOUT 120 MILLION BLOGS ON

TUMBLR AND A FEW HUNDRED MILLION

PEOPLE THAT READ THOSE BLOGS.

>> Stephen: UNLIKE BILL GATES OR

STEVE JOBS YOU DID NOT DROP OUT

OF COLLEGE BUT YOU DROPPED OUT

OF HIGH SCHOOL.

>> I DROPPED OUT THE SUMMER I

TURNED 15 GOING INTO MY

SOPHOMORE YEAR.

>> Stephen: WHY?

YOU SEEM LIKE A SMART ENOUGH

KID.

>> THIS WAS 12 OR 13 YEARS AGO.

I WAS GOING TO HIGH SCHOOL IN

NEW YORK.

I KNEW I WANTED TO WORK WITH

COMPUTERS AND WRITE SOFTWARE.

I WAS PRETTY SURE I WANTED TO DO

STUFF ON THE INTERNET.

REWIND 12, 13 YEARS.

THERE WASN'T A WHOLE LOT OF

COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATION IN

SCHOOLS, IN HIGH SCHOOLS IN NEW

YORK CITY AT THE TIME.

I TELL YOUNG PEOPLE OUGHT TIME

WHO ASK ME WHAT SHOULD THEY BE

DOING, THEY'RE BORED IN SCHOOL.

YOU CAN GET A GREAT COMPUTER

SCIENCE EDUCATION IN GRADE

SCHOOL TODAY.

GO FOR IT.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT.

IT WASN'T AN OPPORTUNITY I HAD

WHEN I WAS IN SCHOOL.

>> Stephen: DO YOU WANT YOUNG

KIDS TO STAY IN SCHOOL.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

Stephen: BECAUSE YOU'RE

PULLING THE LADDER UP BEHIND

YOU.

YAHOO IS NOT THE HIPPEST OUTFIT.

DID THEY BUY YOU TO BUY YOUR

COOL?

>> NO, LOOK.

I THINK... I HOPE NOT.

I THINK YAHOO IS... I KNOW YAHOO

IS LOOKING FOR A PATH FORWARD.

THEY'RE LOOKING AT THE FUTURE OF

THEIR BUSINESS AND BUILDING

STUFF THAT IS RELEVANT TO MANY

HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE

YEARS FROM NOW.

THEY SAW TUMBLR AS A BIG PART OF

THAT.

>> Stephen: BUT TUMBLR IS COOL.

I WOULD LIKE TO BELIEVE WE'RE

AUTHENTIC.

WE'RE DOING SOMETHING THAT IS

IMPORTANT TO US AND WE'RE

SERVING A COMMUNITY.

>> Stephen: WHY WON'T YOU USE

THE WORD COOL AND YOU DON'T KNOW

WHAT COOL IS?

I'M SERIOUS.

IT'S A TESTING GROUND.

YOU NEVER HAD TO DEAL WITH

CAFETERIA TABLES.

YOU MIGHT BE A COOL KID.

YOU MIGHT BE A BURNOUT.

YOU MIGHT BE A HEATHER OR A MEAN

GIRL.

DO YOU HAVE ANY WHAT THAT IS

LIKE?

>> NO.

Stephen: LET'S TALK ABOUT THE

ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM WITH

TUMBLR, OKAY?

LET ME PAINT A PICTURE OF THE HE

WILL FAPT.

IT'S ON ITS BACK AND ITS

STRETCHED ARE STRETCHED.

OKAY.

>> IS THAT WHAT YOU'RE DOING ON

THERE?

>> Stephen: IT'S PORN CENTRAL.

THERE'S A TON OF PORN ON THERE.

>> THERE'S A LOT OF EVERYTHING.

Stephen: THERE'S A LOT OF

EVERYTHING ON THERE.

THERE'S A LOT.

IS THAT GOING TO STAY ON THERE?

>> LOOK, WE'VE TAKEN A PRETTY

HARD LINE ON FREEDOM OF SPEECH,

SUPPORTING OUR USERS, CREATION,

WHATEVER THAT LOOKS LIKE.

JUST NOT SOMETHING WE WANT TO

POLICE.

WHEN YOU HAVE SOMETHING LIKE

TERRY RICHARDSON OR ANY NUMBER

OF VERY TALENTED PHOTOGRAPHERS

POSTING TASTEFUL PHOTOGRAPHY, I

DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO GO IN

THERE TO DRAW THE LINE BETWEEN

THIS PHOTO AND THIS

BEHIND-THE-SCENES PHOTO LADY GAG

AND HER NIPS.

>> Stephen: I THINK WE'RE GOING

TO HAVE TO BLEEP THAT.

I'M JUST NOT SURE.

OKAY.

ALL RIGHT.

YOU'RE A BIG-TIME PLAYER.

YOU'RE A BIG-TIME PLAYER IN THE

INTERNET NOW.

N.S.A. COMES TO YOU, THE

NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY COMES

TO YOU AND SAYS, HEY, GIVE ME

ALL THE INFORMATION ON YOUR

PEOPLE.

WE THINK ONE OF THOSE GUYS

POSTING NIP-SLIPS WITH LADY GAGA

IS PLANNING SOME BAD STUFF SO WE

HAVE TO HAVE ALL THE INFORMATION

ON EVERYONE ON YOUR SIDE.

WHAT DO YOU SAY?

>> THAT'S A COMPLICATED

QUESTION, STEPHEN.

YOU'RE PUTTING ME ON THE SPOT.

>> Stephen: YES OR NO.

I'M THE N.S.A.

HEY, YOU, WE WILL TURN YOU INTO

QUELLCALM.

WE'RE GOING TO MIND-SPACE YOUR

ASS UNLESS YOU GIVE US THE

INFORMATION.

>> WE DON'T WANT TO GIVE YOU

ANYTHING THAT'S NOT IN THE BEST

INTEREST OF OUR USERS.

WE FOUGHT FOR THAT FOR SIX

YEARS.

>> Stephen: JUST TELL US WHAT

STEPHEN COLBERT POSTED ON HIS

SITE.

>> I DON'T KNOW HOW TO FIND YOU.

Stephen: AND YOU NEVER WILL.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]

FOUNDER AND CEO OF TUMBLR, DAVID