Tumblr founder David Karp lives a "spartan" life with his $1.6 million 1,600 square-foot Williamsburg loft outfitted with a restaurant-grade kitchen, explains Forbes's Jeff Bercovici in this month's cover story. Wait, what? That doesn't sound very meager to us. (Nor to critics in the Twitterverse.) But, he has nothing in the big, expensive Williamsburg box, explains Bercovici. "I don’t have any books. I don’t have many clothes," Karp told him. "I’m always so surprised when people fill their homes up with stuff."
Karp and his affluent asceticism grew up on the Upper West Side and once he dropped out of high school moved to an apartment owned by his parents where he lived alone. His father helped him draw up his initial consulting contracts in his early coding days.
Bercovici starts his piece off with a description of Karp's home, "located in the world’s hipster capital, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where irony trumps showiness–he’s quite possibly the richest person in the neighborhood. But the most telling feature is on the inside, which contains … virtually nothing. A spartan bedroom with a half-empty closet. A living room area with nothing but a sofa and a TV." Responding to critics, Bercovici has clarified that Karp strives for a Spartan aesthetic not really living a monkish existence.
@benjaminjackson It's about an aesthetic, not being an ascetic.— Jeff Bercovici (@jeffbercovici) January 2, 2013
Ah yes: So he does care about money, he just wants to make it look like he doesn't. The question then becomes: Why feign a certain lifestyle at all?