Look Out for Innovation and Stay Focused – A Visit from Tumblr’s CEO

The world, and especially New York, can’t get enough of David Karp.

The founder of the blog publishing platfom, Tumblr, spoke with Social@Ogilvy’s Managing Director, John Bell at Social Media Week yesterday.

Consistent with all reports about the young entrepreneur, and similar to his last visit to Ogilvy, he spoke with humility and true affection about his platform and the state of affairs for the social network community.

It has been months since David Karp has written code. He hasn’t retired engineering, exactly; he’s focusing on steering the ship, acting as a chief navigator for the little big site. He admits he’s out of practice, and dabbling with new code would only be a setback to his driven and autonomous team of engineers.

We’re now getting to the source of why this quiet creator is the darling of memes and Forbes – unlike many entrepreneurs, he has built a self-sufficient operation, which has allowed him to stay focused on the future of his company on a daily basis.

If you missed this honest and insightful conversation, you can watch Social@Ogilvy’s exclusive chat during Social Media Week below.

Here are are three quick things you should know from the panel:

1.  Mobile is in a transient place – Tumblr and sites like it work in tandem with the hard side of engineering – Karp gives real credit to the “creative horsepower of the new software.” Your ability to Tumble from your mobile changes Tumblr, demanding a mobile dashboard. Karp says to pay attention to this symbiotic relationship.

2.  Surprise people and you will do well – When it comes to the all too-familiar multi-screen experience, brand advertising, and storytelling, Karp reminds the audience that we like, reblog, and respond to unexpected cleverness. If you are looking to make waves – ooh and ahh the audience that sees a million things every day.

3.  Stay disciplined on where you put your energy – Karp cites Tumblr as an example – outsourcing analytics was a choice on behalf of the betterment of the company, to keep Tumblr moving on its projected path and vision. Remind yourself of your end-goal, ask yourself if your energy output is getting you there, or distracting you?

Karp is a celebrated individual – and deserves the credit for his business savvy and creative brainchild – but yesterday, he reminded us that the most important thing in professional and personal pursuits is to respond to the pattern of behaviors you are witnessing in the world – while staying true to yourself.

Publications that covered the panel: