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Tumblr couldn't have emerged in Sunnyvale. ~Roelof Botha

Stashed in: Silicon Valley!, Sequoia, Sunnyvale

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Frederic Lardinois writes:

Tumblr founder David Karp clearly doesn’t have much love for Silicon Valley. He noted how University Avenue is perfectly pleasant and “smells great,” but he also feels he can’t be there for more than a few days. In New York, he said, at least “not everyone you run into is wearing a fucking Dropbox or Airbnb Shirt.” In New York, he believes, people can still appreciate a good idea from the users’ perspective and – because not everybody already works for a startup – from a startup perspective.

Asked why that’s the case, Roelof Botha argued that New York has a real advantage because it is “one of the densest urban environments in the U.S. If you are in Mountain View, you don’t resonate with the needs of urban dwellers,” he said – and the demographics are shifting toward these dense environments. “Tumblr couldn’t have emerged in Sunnyvale,” Botha noted, though he sadly didn’t quite explain what exactly it is that makes Tumblr a service for the urban jungle of New York.

Needs of urban dwellers?

Btw I neither own a Dropbox shirt nor an Airbnb shirt.

Ingrid Lunden wrote earlier this year about two key challenges:

The first is that hefty dose of NSFW content on Tumblr. It may not be the biggest proportion of users, but 13 percent of Tumblr’s daily audience of 5.7 million daily visitors still works out to about 741,000 minors visiting the site daily. Apart from older users who simply find the adult content offensive, I wonder how the minor contingent of visitors juxtaposed with adult content sits with would-be advertisers (a juxtaposition we’ve pointed out before). But immoral or not, it could just be a storm in a teacup as far as monetizing is concerned: Union Metrics, which provides Tumblr analytics based on the site’s full firehose of data, claims that in fact the question of adult content doesn’t come up in conversations with advertisers.

Second, if Tumblr doesn’t figure out how better to show itself off and attract older users, the site might end up losing some of those users (and advertisers) to sites like Pinterest or Facebook instead.

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