Tumblr: A One-Person Product, Says David Karp’s Former Colleague Marco Arment

There are some wonderful photos and personal reminiscences from Marco Arment of his time spent as lead developer on Tumblr. The entrepreneur and founder of Instapaper has written a blog post detailing life working for David Karp.

Entitled “The One-Person Product,” Arment details just how Tumblr–which, if you haven’t heard, was acquired by Yahoo this week for a “Fuck yeah”-worthy $1.1 billion–was the creation, vision, and development of one person: Karp.

For four years Arment worked alongside Karp as Tumblr’s lead developer. “David always had a vision for where he wanted to go next,” he writes. “I often served as an idea editor. But the ideas were usually David’s, and the product roadmap was always David’s.” Describing Karp as a “workaholic,” Arment compares the entrepreneur to Steve Jobs. “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.”

Also like Jobs, product, not profit, was the founder’s focus: “After a rough start, David got the hang of being a manager. But he still didn’t want to think about money–his heart just wasn’t in it. Instead, he continued doing what he does best: driving the product forward, knowing exactly what people want from it.”AD