“Steve Jobs and Willy Wonka to me were just like these brilliant people who had these magical factories where every six months they’d come out with this huge show,” David Karp told me a few years ago. “I thought that was like the coolest thing ever. That’s what I wanted to do.” And now, it seems, he just might have done it.

Karp, of course, is the 26-year-old autodidact who founded Tumblr, the social-networking blog site that Yahoo! Inc. just scooped up for $1.1 billion. Karp stands to make $250 million from Yahoo Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer’s effort to make her search site relevant again.

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