Every single one of us wanted to be an astronaut when we were young. And every time I say this, everybody goes, “Yeah, yeah.” I’m like, “What happened?” Like why did everybody just start deciding to be an accountant or a banker.
How many of us would do this?
John Maloney is the president of Tumblr, and I’ve known him since September of 2009. I actually made a trip out to New York with some friends as a vacation, which was the first time I’ve ever been to New York. Instead of being on vacation, I decided to be an idiot and emailed like 40 people. Folks like Fred Wilson [a venture capitalist] and John Maloney responded. I ended up having coffees with both of them, and John brought me back to the Tumblr offices.
…a year ago I was broke and I had no job [after being laid off from Digg].
And then seven, eight months later, when I call my mom up and I’m like, “Hey mom! We just got money!” And she’s like, “Oh. Now that your company’s healthy, you need to be healthy. Eat some more vegetables.” Like my dad literally grew up in a village in the middle of China that had mud houses. And to him, what he has now — like he’s living in an apartment, he has a roof over his head, he has food to eat and he can eat whatever he wants, he can walk along the water, which is where [my parents] live in Vancouver — it’s like he taught me how to be appreciative of the little things. He taught me to remember where you’re from, and that as long as you have a beating heart and you’re not a lazy motherf*cker, you can make something out of yourself. That’s it.