Employee #1: Tumblr

August 16th 2016

Life is really about trying to make the most of the luck that you have. And I think startups are that way, too.

This series of interviews with first employees has been fun to follow. In this case, Marc LaFountain became the first employee at Tumblr after sending a cold email to David Karp. Talk about good timing.

A few things stand out about this particular interview: the importance of support and non-technical roles, working with the tension that exists between technical roles and support, and – importantly – setting personal limits while working at a startup.

When I worked at Buffer we set up a weekly practice of having every employee doing at least one hour of customer support. I remember missing a lot of weeks (shame on me), but the times that I did jump into the inbox were enlightening and one of the best exercises in customer empathy I can imagine.

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