At 27, Tumblr’s David Karp is a 145-pound dropout worth $200 million, with the tech boom’s hottest and most innovative start-up, bigger by some measures than Facebook. And the reason that he’s revered by his employees is the same reason the platform he created is so successful. How hedge-funder Sahm Adrangi used tweeting (and a lot of research) to become one of Wall Street’s most successful players. With clever curation and high production values, One Kings Lane has transcended the flash-sale- site model. Meme marketer Ben Lashes turns Internet stars like Grumpy Cat into multi-platform franchises.Lending Club has shown that you don’t need banks to make loans—only people. Hamdi Ulukaya’s Chobani brand is making Silicon Valley–level profits off Greek yogurt—and reviving the dairy industry in upstate New York.
Plus: The companies and creators that made tacos a boom business, launched millions-generating torture-obstacle races, turned the spare bedroom into a microhotel, and more.
Grumpy Cat. Photograph by Jeff Minton for New York Magazine.