Tumblr’s challenge: finding money in sparking creativity

From Gigaom:

or a while there, David Karp, the founder and CEO of microblogging and sharing platform Tumblr was enamored with his start-up’s exploding numbers: 20 billion blog posts, 50 million blogs and more than 120 million users. But after a crazy stretch of growth, including A 900 percent increase in visitors in 2011 ,what excites Karp is getting back to the heart of what he envisioned for the company: empowering creativity.

In a recent conversation, Karp told me that Tumblr is looking to make its mark by enabling creators to express themselves, which he said is something he feels Apple, Adobe, YouTube and others have lost sight of and which break-out hit Pinterest is not enabling in a deep way.

“We are one of the few tech companies that cares about creators. We are not trying to build a network but we’re giving people a way to express themselves . I’m hoping in the next one or two years, we will prove we are company that is bent on helping them do great shit,” Karp said.

The focus on creativity, however, obscures a bigger question hanging over Karp’s head: How Tumblr is going to make money. But in his mind, the two goals converge; if properly executed, Tumblr can make money by making sure it continues to empower and support creators.

Continue reading the rest of the story on Gigaom