An interview with Tumblr’s first employee


The Macro recently did an interview with Tumblr’s first employee Marc LaFountain. In case you somehow found yourself stuck in a cave for the last decade, Tumblr sold to Yahoo in a $1.1B deal. At the time of acquisition Tumblr was seeing what we like to call insane traction with 120,000 new sign-ups per day and over 300 million active users.

There’s something magical about the early days of a startup, especially a startup like Tumblr that grew so quickly and sold for so much at a relatively young age. What I like about Marc’s interview is how humble and appreciative he is about the whole experience. We’ve all known people who change with a big windfall like this, it’s clear from this interview that Marc is still the same guy who startup using Tumblr in 2007, before it was on the map, as an early user.

Like most startup stories, there’s no linear path that Marc took to get to Tumblr, instead like so many people, he was just a good guy willing to try a new software platform for sharing content online. Little did he know that a simple email to would turn into a life-changing experience, here’s the email that started it all:

“Hey I’m one of your earlier and more passionate users. I have a tech support background. I love Tumblr. I love support. I think you guys probably need somebody to start working on support and I would love to be that somebody.” (Source –

Whether you’re an early employee at a startup, or a founder who just hired their first employee this interview will probably hit home for you. Heck even if it doesn’t it’s a great read. Congrats to Marc, not just for taking the initiative to make a better future for himself but for staying true to himself through the whole experience. As Marc says at the end of the interview:

“I guess the only thing that I would say for anybody who ends up reading this, is that I wanna make sure that I come across with the proper degree of humility here. I feel tremendously lucky. My email to David was a shot in the dark that he did not have to read or respond to. And then I worked hard at Tumblr. I think I did a pretty good job at Tumblr, but I don’t doubt that there are many, many other people who could have done as good or better at the job. Life is really about trying to make the most of the luck that you have. And I think startups are that way, too.” (Source –

You can read the full article here

Image source – The Atlantic

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton