Hiltmon

On walkabout in life and technology

The One-Person Product

Marco Arment, writing about David Karp, founder of Tumblr, in The One-Person Product. Not only is this piece well written, it is an amazing perspective of Tumblr from the inside. But, for me, the salient point and the highest praise in the piece goes to David Karp, the founder and visionary:

David has an impeccable sense of what’s best for Tumblr, and he doesn’t need anyone else telling him what’s best for the product. Many people, myself included, have tried to convince him to go different directions, and we’ve been proven wrong every time.

Tumblr is David, and David is Tumblr.

I don’t know of many founders (excluding Steve Jobs) whose people feel so strongly positive about their personality, vision, tenacity, forethought and skills to write something so wonderful like this. I do know a few, their vision is emerging brightly, and one day pieces like this will be written about them too.

However, I also know of many founders who love to think they are great visionaries, who think they are right all the time, who think they are the Jobs (and Karp’s) of this world and are most certainly not. They do not have the humility and laser focus needed for the product. They spend more of their time on making money, on self-promotion, in self-delusion and in making mysterious pronouncements that do not match reality, their business or their products. And their products and profits are showing the results of such a loss of true focus.

We can’t all be Steve Jobs or David Karp. But we sure can try to emulate their strengths.

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