REVEALED: Inside Canvas, 4chan Founder Moot’s Secretive Startup

dog with a tie
This is the kind of stuff Canvas offers

Moot, a.k.a. Christopher Poole, founded the infamous imageboard 4chan and is now a respectable partner at VC firm Lerer Ventures and has a secretive startup called Canvas.The goal of Canvas basically seems to be to take everything that’s great about 4chan — the relentless creativity of the internet’s buzzing hivemind — but without the bad — kiddie porn, racism and the like — and make a profit while doing it.

Canvas has been in invite-only for a while and we managed to snatch an invite. We’ll take you through a tour.

So, how is it?

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title=”As you can see, it’s already full of memes.”
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title=”New! You can add “stickers” to any image to vote on them. We hearted this one, because it’d be funny.”
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title=”You can upload an image. (We’ll show you this later.)”
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permalink=”also-new-people-have-profiles-on-the-site-though-you-can-still-post-anonymously-we-just-got-here-so-ours-is-empty-4″
title=”Also new: people have profiles on the site (though you can still post anonymously). We just got here, so ours is empty.”
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title=”This is what you get when you click “Best.” Presented without comment.”
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[slide
permalink=”lets-check-out-an-individual-thread-now-6″
title=”Let’s check out an individual thread now.”
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permalink=”as-you-can-see-theres-more-than-a-few-replies-each-with-a-new-spin-on-the-original-image-pretty-neat-that-people-are-creating-this-stuff-7″
title=”As you can see, there’s more than a few replies, each with a new spin on the original image. Pretty neat that people are creating this stuff!”
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title=”Alright, let’s upload an image now.”
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permalink=”this-is-what-it-looks-like-pretty-straightforward-now-what-should-we-upload-9″
title=”This is what it looks like. Pretty straightforward. Now, what should we upload…?”
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title=”Yes, this will do.”
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permalink=”this-is-what-it-looks-like-after-its-posted-we-added-a-monocle-sticker-for-no-reason-at-all-11″
title=”This is what it looks like after it’s posted. We added a monocle sticker for no reason at all.”
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[slide
permalink=”where-canvas-really-shines-is-when-you-remix-a-picture-you-can-do-some-pretty-advanced-yet-user-friendly-image-editing-right-in-the-browser-12″
title=”Where Canvas REALLY shines is when you “remix” a picture. You can do some pretty advanced, yet user-friendly image editing, right in the browser.”
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title=”So you can do things like that, for example.”
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title=”Aaaaaand… Post!”
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permalink=”wait-whats-the-point-of-all-this-15″
title=”Wait, what’s the point of all this?”
content=”Well… There isn’t any. But that’s the charm!

4chan is a rambunctious, crazy place but that also makes it one of the founts of creativity that has generated memes like rickrolling, lolcats and many, many (oh so many) more. It’s an outlet for creativity for people from all walks of life, and it has produced at times scary, at times touching, and often hilarious things. It’s a form of entertainment, and one wholly native to the internet.”
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[slide
permalink=”ok-so-this-canvas-thing-how-does-it-compare-to-4chan-16″
title=”Ok, so this Canvas thing, how does it compare to 4chan?”
content=”For that, only time will tell. 4chan and sites like it depend exclusively on the community. But we’re impressed by the product and its design. It’s not exactly pretty, but it works pretty flawlessly. The image remix interface, in particular, is pretty impressive.

That should lower even further the barrier for content creation, which is always a good bet. After all, Twitter lowered the bar for publishing even further than we thought possible, and it became this amazing thing.

The stickers are a nice touch, and probably a smarter way to let content rise up than straight up/down votes or tagging.”
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title=”All right, but can this make money?”
content=”There’s no doubt it can. 4chan is an enormous traffic machine, and the only reason it’s a money pit is because of all the inappropriate content that gets posted, which repels advertisers. If Canvas can attract a fraction of the rabid enthusiasm of 4chan and keep most of the awful out, it can be a cash spinner.

The Cheesburger Network is a huge blog network that has raised tons of money and has always been profitable, and its business is basically recycling internet memes (most of which come from 4chan to start with) and slap advertising against them.”
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[slide
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title=”Let’s look at a less crazy startup this time.”
content=”Meet Bill Gross, The ‘Total Badass Swashbuckler’ With 100 Startups And 8 IPOs To His Name →
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