Tumblr, like a lot of things on the internet, began as a side project. I wanted a way to blog that didn’t exist yet. It was easy enough to put the first version together, and it seemed fun to put it out there for others to use. By happy coincidence, it was something a lot of other people were looking for, too. Today, millions of them are using it in ways I could never have imagined.
People use Tumblr to write, to draw comics, to share GIFs, to crush on unconventionally attractive celebrities, to celebrate cultural detritus in both ironic and unironic ways, to share and debate their political beliefs, to explore their identities, and to find communities of all kinds that I never knew existed. I may have launched Tumblr, but our users have carried it to where it is today.
The whole Internet works like this. There’s no singular vision that holds it together, and anyone can take it in whatever direction they want to. Anyone can make a blog on Tumblr, put out a video on Vimeo, sell crafts on Etsy, Kickstart their dream project, build an app—anything that will fit through a fiber cable.
Using the Internet, people can turn hobbies into jobs, and passion into revenue. They can do so with little risk, and they can be sure that anyone who’s interested in what they’re doing has access to it. That’s what the companies that carry Internet traffic are there for.