• 04.23.13

David Karp’s Challenge To “Find The Formula” For Tumblr

The 26-year-old founder of the blogging giant–now reportedly being acquired for $1.1 billion by Yahoo–couldn’t figure out how to sustain its experimental journalism project. Here’s Karp on Tumblr’s future from our recent Innovation Uncensored conference.

David Karp’s Challenge To “Find The Formula” For Tumblr

Recently, Tumblr abruptly announced it was closing up Storyboard, its year-long journalism experiment that surfaced interesting content from within its blogging community. Today at Fast Company’s Innovation Uncensored conference, founder and CEO David Karp opened up about why he decided to put the project to rest.


“If we could just tell these stories in the same way great journalists can, it might be a lot more natural and potent than the product marketing that most companies do,” Karp said. “But we didn’t find the formula for it.”

Karp added that many others had the same idea, notably Facebook, which operates its own experimental journalism project, Facebook Stories.

“If we do too much storytelling ourselves, the fear is that we’re going to take away from our community of storytellers,” Karp says. “They’re already terrific at this.”

Listen to Karp’s Innovation Uncensored interview with Robert Safian here:

Image: Flickr user Enrique Dans

About the author

Christina is an associate editor at Fast Company, where she writes about technology, social media, and business.