Yahoo buying Tumblr
Sun, May 19, 2013 at 1:55 PM by Dave Winer.
  • It looks like Yahoo is buying Tumblr.
  • A picture named champagne.gifI feel some sense of pride here because Tumblr is a descendent of products I made, Manila and Radio, that laid the groundwork for products like theirs. David Karp and Marco Arment will get rich (or richer) and that's cool because they're smart people who worked hard and made something real happened. I am in awe of systems that handle as much content as Tumblr. Their users should be in awe as well, imho.
  • Yet we still don't have a whole system for product development in this industry.
  • The rewards for digging the first holes that become the foundations for great systems like Tumblr and WordPress are minimal, if they exist at all. When you try to talk with investors about kicking back a bit of their proceeds in ventures that in addition providing good ROI, also create open formats and protocols that industries can be built on, you get blank stares. As if they don't understand. Of course they do understand, it's just easier to pretend they don't.
  • They profit from this work, but like the grasshopper in the famous fable, they aren't willing to participate in the investment that made the profit possible. Too bad, because if they did -- I think their companies would be stronger as a result. The better the foundation, the bigger the building you can make, and the more efficient it is to keep it running. Had we had a longer easier runway for Radio and Manila, Tumblr might have gone further on less investment.
  • Anyway, that's a small point right now. Get out the champagne and celebrate, because some of the good guys won. (Or at least appear to have, we'll find out for sure tomorrow.)