'Don't drop out,' says multimillionaire dropout

Tumblr owner David Karp has just sold his internet start-up for $1.1 Billion - at the grand old age of…26. If your kids are in a rush to follow in his footsteps, it might mean leaving school early. We look at why Karp thinks that’s a bad idea for young entrepreneurs.

Young entrepreneurs - don't drop out of school

Young entrepreneurs aren’t advised to drop out of school

Apart from being stinking rich, what do Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates all have in common? The answer is that they all dropped out of school early. Now, Tumblr owner David Karp has joined the list of elite young entrepreneurs, after his internet start-up company was sold to Yahoo in a $1.1 billion deal.

What sets aside Karp from many of the rest, is his incredibly young age. At 26, he’s worth an estimated $250 million, and he does not even have a high school diploma. He found his love for code writing when he was just 11, and was soon on his way to creating Tumblr, an online blogging forum.

David Karp: Why I started Tumblr –

Many young, impressionable minds might look at Karp’s story as an inspiration to leave education early in the pursuit of making their own fortune. However, Karp offers words of warning for young entrepreneurs who are planning on making an early escape.

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‘A very unique position’

When talking about young entrepreneurs leaving school early, Karp told the Associated Press: “That is not a path that I would haphazardly recommend to kids out there.”

“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,” he added in an interview last week.

The entrepreneur from New York also stressed that he had ‘a lot of dumb luck’ which has helped him. He also credited his early success in life to his supportive parents, who were able to meet most of his requests. Whether asking for music lessons, or attending robot competitions, his parents were able to provide.

Tumblr founder David Karp

Tumblr owner, David Karp, gives his advice to young entrepreneurs

‘I was actually enjoying school’

In another interview with Charlie Rose, Karp also explained that he didn’t drop out due to any problems in school. He said: “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.”

‘Like buying a lottery ticket’

A professor from Stanford Law School has also warned young entrepreneurs. Vidvek Wadhwa, who advises start-up companies, said that dropping out of school to start a business is like ‘buying a lottery ticket’.

“More likely than not, you will become unemployed. For every success, there are 100,000 failures,” the business owner added.

For those wunderkinds and tech geniuses out there, Wadhwa instead advises that they take advantages of internships or extracurricular activities, rather than dropping out of school.

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What should young entrepreneurs do?

One individual’s success, (such as Karp, Zuckerberg or Bill Gates) cannot be used as an example of how you can easy it is to drop out and make a fortune.

Instead, we’d like to point all young entrepreneurs in the way of an incredible slideshow presentation, made by Linkedn’s billionaire founder Reid Hoffman. Hoffman has designed a free slideshow, called ‘The Three Secrets of Highly Successful Graduates’, and we think it contains some brilliant advice. It’s got a comprehensive 113 slides, which are simple, interesting and engaging – with no mention about dropping out of school early!

Find Hoffman’s slideshow here.