The best place for creatives to express themselves

Last night my dear friend David Karp was honored at the NYSCI gala. I didn’t know much about NYSCI but it was an event to honor David and I felt compelled to be part of the celebration. It turns out that the NYSCI is a very cool organization that is deeply part of New York City’s history for the last 50 years.

Our table at the event was awesome. The early members of the Tumblr team came out and I even got to see Marco Arment wearing a suit and tie :)

David gave a wonderful speech that started with a few fun jokes. But then he passionately went into why Tumblr exists.

David wanted to build the very best place for creatives to express themselves. To create and share their art with the world. And that would make the world a better place because the world needs more art.

I had all these flashbacks of David telling me the same thing, ever since he was 19. It deeply matters to him. You can just feel it in his words, his eyes and his work.

And the best part? He did it. I believe Tumblr is the best place for creatives to express themselves and I am reminded of that every day.

Yahoo + Tumblr

I met David Karp, the founder/ceo of Tumblr when he was 19. I was immediately taken with his passion and drive to create wonderful things.

Those days, David was building within his consulting company called Davidville. My friend Fred Seibert made the intro and I’m forever grateful for that.

Not too long after that David launched Tumblr to the world and I became one of it’s earliest users. I fell in love with the product. It was something I wanted to use every day and I have done just that.

During the summer of 2007, David and I spent a bunch of time together and getting to know one another. And we spent time discussing what it would be like to start a company fully focused on one thing — Tumblr.

By the end of the summer we had an agreement and we put together a first round of capital to get things going. Here is David’s post back in 2007 announcing a slew of new product improvements and that first round towards the end.

Over these years, being an investor and board member in Tumblr has taught me many things. I learned the importance of a founder led company. I learned that it’s best working with people you admire and care for. And I learned there is more than one way to build a company.

Today is a huge day in the history of Tumblr. Tumblr is joining Yahoo and the future together is incredibly exciting. A deep and heartfelt congratulations to David and the entire Tumblr team.

I am grateful David took a chance on me & we had the opportunity to work together closely for the past 6 years. Also the entire Tumblr team is simply extraordinary, from the leadership team to everyone that works each day to make Tumblr such a special place. It has been a heck of a ride and it’s bittersweet to think about getting off this ride together.

I am also thankful to this wonderful and positive community here on Tumblr. The friendships I’ve made with people all over the planet changed my life.

I’ll end this post by reblogging a line from my friend David Karp.

Fuck yeah.

Fun little mobile shortcuts

Some of my favorite mobile apps have these little gems tucked inside.

For example, in Tumblr’s iOS app, you can swipe up from the new post button and automatically get into camera mode. It’s a brilliant, fast way to take a new photo and post to Tumblr. 

In Twitter’s iOS app, you can swipe up from the “Me” tab and get to the DM/messaging area. I love Twitter DM and use it all the time. Love this short cut. 

Got any favorite little mobile app shortcuts? Please share. 

The Tumblr music scene

Earlier today Fred wrote about MySpace music and how many artists are now blogging and taking control over their websites.

As a timely example, here is Ben Kweller’s tweet from just a few moments ago.

i wanna meet a professional web programmer! im talkin’ hardcore back-end e-commerce, user login, databasing shit. not just css/html. hit me!

It’s exciting to see more artists take control and move to Tumblr.

When I first switched to Tumblr in 2007 it was prior to our original investment in the company. Initially I was drawn to the simplicity and power of the platform.

But very quickly the music scene became one of my favorite things about the service. Tumblr users are passionate about music.

Tumblr has a built in constraint when it comes to music sharing. One song per day. That’s it. I think that simple constraint actually provides a terrific filter. We get one shot a day. Let’s make it a good one. I know I try to do that.

Check out these Tumblr powered sites when you get a moment. They share some amazing music.

Fred Wilson

Anthony Volodkin


New Speedway Boogie (aka Andy Weissman)


Mo Koyfman

Daryn Nakhuda

Dan Kantor (founder of Streampad which powers


David Noel

Lindsay Campbell (Lindsay gets an honorable mention here. She doesn’t share music as often as the other folks on this list but when she does it’s always great. maybe this post will even encourage her to share more tunes :).

Update: I forgot to include Dave Hyndman in this list. My bad. 2.0

I just launched 2.0 a few moments ago.

It’s still very much powered & hosted by Tumblr.

But it has a new look and new functionality.

First, many thanks to Bill Israel for his creative and technical abilities. He’s simply a great guy and a big part of the Tumblr community. And as I’ve mentioned before, the Tumblr community is lucky to have him. Bill designed my new theme for me.

The new stuff:

-I now have search built in.

-Tumblr has supported tags for awhile but I never tagged my posts because my old theme didn’t display it. This new theme does so I’ll do my part.

-I’ve also got the dark gray background that I used to have on my old typepad blog.

-The navigation bar along the top is new. I’ve got a “Random” link which is fun.

-The “mobile” link brings you to a version of this site that is optimized for mobile. Actually all Tumblr sites support mobile out of the box by just adding /mobile to any tumblr site’s url. That is what this does too.

-The RSS feed remains unchanged.

And of course, I’ve got a new look & feel.

Welcome to my new site. Hope you like it!