Pivot Patrol

The Diaspora Team Branches Out to Build Photo Remixing Tool Makr.io

(Photo: Makr.io)

After the tragic loss of one of its core members, the team behind Diaspora–a Y-Combinator-backed open source “anti-social network”–went underground for a while, privately grieving while attempting to keep the well-funded and highly hyped company running. But the startup show must go on: AllThingsD reported today that the Diaspora team channeled their grief into a new site–launched today and called Makr–that allows you to easily remix and distribute photos. Read More

the startup rundown

Startup News: Let’s Launch the Summer with a New York Tech Meetup and Loads of New Features

At the Meetup. (flickr.com/alextorrenegra)

MEET ‘N GREET Monday, June 5, is this month’s New York Tech Meetup. Presenters range from Fitocracy to Loosecubes. If you haven’t bought tickets, you’ve got one more chance: There’s one batch left, and they go on sale Friday.

MORNING, SUNSHINE News.me has just revamped its morning email, ramping up the “daily briefing” angle. Not only has the company redesigned the whole thing, News.me’s editor will be pick three big stories to summarize every morning. Also added: stuff you missed and an image. Because images are snazzy.

SALE SALE SALE For all the pinatics out there: social commerce platform Lyst has debuted a tool that’ll allow you to receive an instant sale alert whenever something on your Pinterest boards goes on sale. In addition, Lyst will notify users who pin an item from a store whether that item can be had elsewhere. Read More


Moot’s New Startup Canvas Celebrates Its First Birthday and One Millionth Post


Canvas members received a celebratory email in their inbox this morning. The image-driven social website celebrated its first birthday this week, as well as its one millionth post. As a sign the startup is all growns up, Canvas also announced that you no longer have to use Facebook to sign up.  Email notifications “when someone replies or remixes one of your posts” are also now enabled, which should encourage users to visit the site.

When Christopher Poole, the fair-haired boy prince of meme land,  first founded Canvas, it sounded like purposeful departure from his first startup, 4chan. Instead of the malwebolence of the /b/ boards, users were asked to “Keep it safe for work | Don’t be mean | Stay on topic.” That may have helped the startup pick up $3.63 million in funding, but it yielded mixed results, at first. (Nazi necrophilia, anyone?)

But that appears to have changed. Read More

the startup rundown

Startup News: a Bot, a Spy, a Small Step for Diaspora and a Tiny Launch

StepStruder MK7 (makerbot.com)

So the big news from the last week: TechStars is now 100 percent more Y Combinator, having raised a new fund from investors so it can give every graduate a $100,000 convertible note. But, did anything else happen?

3-D WHAAAT. “MakerBot Industries announced today the launch of yet another innovation to 3D printing, the MakerBot Stepstruder MK7. The most compact and reliable extruder to date, the MK7 produces the most detailed prints ever created on the MakerBot Thing-O-Matic.” Woot!

OPENING UP. Canv.as is, the second image-based startup from Christomoot Poole, is in public beta now (as is Google+). Alpha invites went out for Diaspora, that New York expatriated startup still occasionally poking at the fringes of our awareness. But Canvas still has a complex domain and the Twitter handle is @canv_as. Ick! Read More

The Internet Makes You Mean

4Chan’s Cleaner Cousin, Canvas, Debuts With Code of Conduct, Still NSFW

image via canvas

4Chan, the image board created by New York’s Chris “Moot” Poole when he was just 15, has gone on to generate some of the funniest memes and most destructive communities on the internet. Last year he launched a new startup, Canvas, which tried to recreate the viral language of creating and sharing images without the filth of 4chan. The startup, which has raised more than $3.6 million so far from top flight VCs and angels, opened up to the public today.

Canvas insisted during its private beta that users log in with Facebook Connect and posted a simple set of rules: “Keep it safe for work | Don’t be mean | Stay on topic.” It banned sexually provocative content, hate speech and insults. The rules seems to be working … sort of. Read More

Friends In High Places

Moot’s Bromance With Andrew W.K. Continues to Pay Dividends


Rocker, motivational speaker and Twitter personality Andrew W.K. is a longtime friend of 4chan ever since the remixologists of /b/ meme-ified his song “Party Hard.” The rocker has appeared in live chats with 4channers and hit up the Williamsburg night life with 4chan founder Chris “Moot” Poole. Brand boosting all around! Now Mr. W.K. is venturing into Moot’s new site, the image editor-based forum Canv.as. Read More

Words of Wisdom

Moot Talks to HackNY About The Importance of Being Imperfect


Moot (né Christopher Poole) was the latest tech luminary to impart his wisdom and experience, accumulated over the past 20-something years, to hackNY’s 2011 class.

Akarshan Kumar, one of hackNY’s new fellows, chronicled the experience on his blog New York Summer. In the two-hour talk Mr. Poole covered everything from his personal temperament (“I’m not easily offended. I run 4chan”) to not being friends with your board members.

But Mr. Poole’s most trenchant advice seemed to be about picking the right co-founder and the benefits of imperfection. When picking a partner to run your start-up, over-eagerness should be a turn-off. Instead, he told them, go for a hard-to-get founder you’re going to have to fight to work with. Mr. Kumar’s take away? “If your prospective co-founder wants to sleep with you, don’t sleep with him.” Read More


Canv.as: “We’re Not 4chan!”


Chris Poole-founded, Lerer-backed start-up Canv.as is still in private beta but nudging toward the spotlight with new features and public threads–still, the image editor/meme generator can’t shake its connection to its founder’s widely-loathed and misunderstood first start-up, 4chan. “Canvas isn’t a ‘4chan-related’ site. 4chan is 4chan. Canvas is Canvas,” the company tweeted last week at a user who complained that it was “heavily censored” and “we have to behave like school kids.” Read More