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IMPULSA - Fòrum Fundació Príncep de Girona
IMPULSA - Fòrum Fundació Príncep de Girona

Don't give up being clever


Tumblr currently hosts 62 million content creators. Every second 800 posts are published, reaching 140 million people all over the world, and we register 17 billion impressions every month.

This is a huge evolution from where we began, and to a great extent it has been purely accidental, without us having drafted a prior strategic plan.

Our position has always been to maintain a working structure that we can manage, and not to grow too quickly. When I created Tumblr it was something I wanted to be useful for me, and for the people I saw also had this need, and gradually more and more people have started using it.

I started selling computers from a small shop in New York that sold Apple computers, in 2000, when I was fourteen years old. I was happy because I had the opportunity to meet very interesting people who came to the shop. They talked to me about the Internet, about all the things coming in the near future. I managed to get a summer placement in a company that experimented on the Internet, and that’s where I realised that I was learning so much that I convinced my parents to let me focus on the company and drop out of school. It was a great opportunity to create software alongside real experts, and at the same time to see the work I was doing validated and improved by the users themselves.

So, I got together enough money to open my own small business in 2006, and we had lots of practice there, collaborating together and improving our software.

This was, for me, the main motivator, and it gave me the skill to develop my own venture. In just two weeks we launched the first Tumblr project, which was certainly not perfect and needed various improvements, but it started to circulate among our friends, and we kept improving it based on their suggestions.

Once it was being used by a greater number of people it began to attract potential investors, and although we had the opportunity to grow very quickly as a company, we preferred to keep a small structure and follow our instinct, doing it because we were passionate about it and feeling that we should keep the project within our reach. That is how we became one of the 20 most popular websites in the USA, with only 20 people working in Tumblr.


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