In an interview with Charlie Rose Thursday evening, Tumblr founder David Karp said that he dropped out of high school because his “parents are enablers.”
“I have a hard time taking too much credit for it. I had a lot of dumb luck along the way and some incredibly enabling parents,” Karp said.
Karp continued, “Parents who supported me along the way and really pushed me … [they] either pushed me or set me up to find my way.”
Karp told Rose that his supportive parents would get him music lessons if he wanted to play an instrument and take him to Boston to see an MIT robot competition if he wanted to build robots.
In the summer he turned 11-years-old, Karp discovered his passion for code writing when he “found AOL — the internet.”
“The internet was an incredible place back then,” he told Rose. “It was raw. It was the Wild West, but it was starting to be able to do some incredible stuff.” When Karp saw his “little glimmer of a vision” and there wasn’t a computer science education in New York school system at the time, he decided to drop out.
“And that was the real reason I dropped out of school. It wasn’t ‘screw this.’ It wasn’t that I was bored. It wasn’t that my friends are so lame. I was actually really enjoying school.”
After encouragement from his mother, Karp left Bronx High School of Science after completing his freshman year and never received a high school diploma.
Karp said in an interview with The Associated Press earlier this week that he does not recommend young people leave high school because of his success.
“That is not a path that I would haphazardly recommend to kids out there,” he said. “I was in a very unique position of knowing exactly what I wanted to do at a time when computer science education certainly wasn’t that good in high school in New York City.”
Tumblr founder David Karp is proof that wunderkinds don’t need a degree.
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