David Karp

David Karp

Have you heard of David Karp? No. You should. David Karp is the founder of Tumblr and recently made headlines due to the billion dollar deal between Yahoo and Tumblr that is set to earn him a windfall of about 250 million dollars. Despite all this one of the most interesting things from his story is that he dropped out of high school at the age of 14. Yes, 14. More interesting to this was that it was at his mother’s suggestion.

A lot has been said about college drop outs and the headlines being made by them in the tech industry from the late Steve Jobs, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. Question is whether this is really a viable option in an African context. Having grown up in a society that places the highest value on education – i.e. university degrees- do we lose out on the entrepreneurial potential that is there, especially in our youth, by having them finish through a university or even high school education?

The new Government has set it in its manifesto to get laptops to class 1 pupils but a lot of questions have been raised about the move. Despite it being a grand idea to have our young exposed at an early stage to technology, the question is raised if we have set the context and environment for such a generation to be brought up in. As we give them the exposure to the technology we should also set in place an environment so that this technology may be relevant and maybe then will we have a society that accepts dropouts who set out to pursue their passion outside the education system.

Read David’s story here.