Trip Adler

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Trip Adler
Trip Adler.jpg
Born (1984-06-24) June 24, 1984 (age 32)
Occupation Co-founder of Scribd

John R. "Trip" Adler III (born June 24, 1984) is an American entrepreneur.[1] He is the CEO and co-founder of Scribd, a digital library and document-sharing platform, which has 80 million users.[1][2][3]

Background and early career[edit]

Adler grew up in Palo Alto, California. He graduated from Harvard University with a biophysics degree in June 2006.[4] His father, John R. Adler, is a neurosurgeon at Stanford University and also an entrepreneur.[1]

Among his schoolmates at Harvard, Trip was known by a colorful array of nicknames including Tiny, Golden Boy, Tiny Tony, Stone Pony, Nerd, Nerdman, and Entreprenerd.[5]

After graduating from Harvard, Adler contemplated starting various online ventures, including a ride-sharing service, a Craigslist-type site for colleges, a call center called 1-800-ASKTRIP, and a social media site called "Rate your happiness."[6]


Adler received inspiration for Scribd from a conversation with his father, who had difficulty publishing an academic paper in a medical journal.[4] Adler then built Scribd with Jared Friedman, a fellow Harvard student, and they attended Y Combinator in the summer of 2006.[7][8][9] Scribd was launched from a San Francisco apartment in March 2007.[10] In 2008, it ranked as one of the top 20 social media sites according to Comscore.[11] In June 2009, Scribd launched Scribd Store,[12] and shortly thereafter closed a deal with Simon & Schuster to sell ebooks on Scribd.[13] In 2012, the company became profitable.[14]

In October 2013, Scribd launched a subscription ebook service, and signed a deal with HarperCollins to make their backlist books available on Scribd.[10][15][16][17] Scribd currently has more than Scribd was known for unlimited audiobooks and downloadable books however in late 2015 and early 2016 the subscription has been dramatically downgraded to a reduced subscription service.

Scribd 300,000 titles from 1,000 publishers in its book subscription service.[18][19]

Personal life[edit]

As a member of the Harvard Surfing team, Adler Participated in the first Ivy League Surf Championships in May 2003.[20] He also plays the saxophone.[1][21] In 2007, Adler earned the company’s first $17 in revenue by playing the saxophone outside Scribd’s office at Christmas time.[1]



  1. ^ a b c d e Jessica Guynn (November 10, 2013). "Scribd co-founder wrote his own story". Los Angeles Times. 
  2. ^ Jeff Bercovici and Emily Inverso (2014). "30 Under 30: Trip Adler". Forbes. 
  3. ^ Lynn Neary (October 4, 2013). "New E-Book Lending Service Aims To Be Netflix For Books". NPR. 
  4. ^ a b "John R. "Trip" Adler III '06 (Physics) Broke Tradition but Still Ended up on Top". Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. 
  5. ^ url=
  6. ^ Penenberg, Adam L. (June 18, 2012). "How Trip Adler Found His Idea For Scribd After Hanging Up On 1-800-ASKTRIP". Fast Company. Retrieved July 11, 2012. 
  7. ^ Cromwell Schubarth (October 28, 2013). "Y Combinator's 10 most valuable startup alumni". Silicon Valley Business Journal. 
  8. ^ Bobbie Johnson (July 22, 2009). "How Scribd made pages pay". The Guardian. 
  9. ^ Spencer E. Ante (June 11, 2009). "Scribd: An E-Book Upstart with Unlikely Fans". Businessweek. 
  10. ^ a b Calvin Reid (October 1, 2013). "Scribd Launches E-book Subscription Service". Publisher’s Weekly. 
  11. ^ "Scribd Had A Blowout Year, And So Did the Web Document". TechCrunch. 2008-12-31. Retrieved 2012-07-11. 
  12. ^ "Scribd Invites Writers to Upload Work and Name Their Price". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-07-11. 
  13. ^ "Simon and Schuster to Sell Digital Books on". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-07-11. 
  14. ^ Anthony Ha (August 13, 2012). "Social Publishing Startup Scribd Gets A Facelift: New Website, New Logo, New iPhone App". TechCrunch. 
  15. ^ Anthony Ha (October 1, 2013). "With HarperCollins Deal, Scribd Unveils Its Bid To Become The Netflix For Books". TechCrunch. 
  16. ^ Josh Ong (January 29, 2014). "Scribd takes aim at Amazon by bringing its subscription ebook app to the Kindle Fire". The Next Web. 
  17. ^ Julie Bosman (October 1, 2013). "HarperCollins Joins Scribd in E-Book Subscription Plan". The New York Times. 
  18. ^ Angela Chen (February 18, 2014). "What Your iPad Knows About You". The Wall Street Journal. 
  19. ^ About Us. Scribd.
  20. ^ "60 SECONDS". SURFING Magazine. Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
  21. ^ Christmas at Scribd featuring Trip Adler
  22. ^ Dan Fletcher (2010). "Tech Pioneers 2010: Trip Adler and Jared Friedman". TIME. 
  23. ^ Arik Hesseldahl (2010). "Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs 2010". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. 
  24. ^ "30 Under 30: Trip Adler". Forbes. 2014. 

External links[edit]