Best jobs: Tumblr

Inside the small but booming Internet start-up.

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  • Photographs: Allison Michael Orenstein

Photographs: Allison Michael Orenstein

The first thing you'll notice at the Tumblr offices is the lack of Segways—what kind of Internet start-up is this? Minus one point. "We were joking before you guys showed up that we'd line the walls with Razor scooters," says founder David Karp (davidslog.com). The staffers here don't have time for toys. Last month, Tumblr, an inviting, user-friendly blogging engine that feels like a social networking site, became one of the 50 largest websites in the U.S.—and it's run by just a dozen employees. In addition to working a flexible 10am to 6pm schedule, Karp and his tech team are on the clock during peak time—9pm--midnight—to fix problems and run analyses. "That night routine is a big part of what we're tasked with," says Karp.

The Rock Band parties Tumblr used to throw are on hiatus, but since the majority of the staff were plucked from the Tumblr community, according to president John Maloney (john.io), they're a committed bunch. Partially, this is due to the fact that new iterations, fun hacks and additions to the Goodies page are launched quickly. "You can directly see the impact you have on the company every day; it becomes addictive" says lead designer Peter Vidani (blog.petervidani.com).

While Tumblr keeps a low-key office with no desk phones and minimal IMing (director of outreach Meaghan O'Connell jokes they primarily communicate via lolcats), employees take a joint hour-long lunch to chat and "[give] each other shit about who has more followers," says O'Connell (meaghano.com). Then there's the occasional bunking off work en masse to see Iron Man 2. The office is shared with and rented from legendary animation producer Fred Seibert, a mentor of Karp's—that's his badass art collection on the walls. "When I first walked in here the space just blew me away," says editorial director Christopher Price (topherchris.com). "It's Willy Wonka's chocolate factory."

Wanna work here?
Tumblr will be hiring this year; check the staff blog (staff.tumblr.com) for openings. The site is currently seeking a Community intern to help with meetups, events and press. A huge plus: Be a leading community member (a popular bloggler) on Tumblr.

Stats

Employees: 12
Tumblr blog-to-book deals: 15
Blog-to-book ideas generated by staff per week: 6 "It's happened so many times, it's an ongoing joke," says Peter Vidani with a laugh. "We really love the books. By the way, I just made that number up."
Pictures on the wall: 104

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