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hackNY Speaker Series – Christopher Poole

July 10, 2011

Your point is moot.

On 7th July, 2011, history was created. The hackNY class of 2011 met Christopher Poole a.k.a. “moot”.

Barely 20, Chris is the creator of 4chan and Canvas, has his own Wikipedia page, has delivered a TED talk, and was voted Time Magazine’s Most Influential Person in The World in 2008 (thanks in part to his 4chan fan base). The picture below describes him perfectly.


The session went well over 2 hours. Chris started off by talking about how he created 4chan (and for how long his parents didn’t know about it ;)), how he came out about it. He talked about his move to New York and his experiences raising money for his new venture, Canvas.

Creating Imperfect Experiences. Intentionally.
Moot talked about how he thought it was important to create experiences that were not necessarily perfect – in fact, experiences that are imperfect and intentionally so. He talked about how Canvas was such an experience – something between Paint and Photoshop – and how this imperfectness makes people comfortable creating content on it.

Target Fixation
Chris spoke about target fixation and why it was important to aim higher than where one actually wanted to reach. According to him, if we aim for break-even, we won’t.

A Network of Angels
He talked about building a syndicate of angels. According to him, it’s important to optimize for the right firm. He spoke about how the board’s not (supposed to be) your friend, but its good to have someone who supports and pushes you.

If your prospective co-founder wants to sleep with you, don’t sleep with him
moot talked about the importance of having a co-founder and said that one shouldn’t choose someone over-eager to be one’s co-founder as their, well, co-founder. He said we should choose that person as a co-founder who we would have to fight to get to work with us.

Start your own company
moot said that he strongly encourages us to start our own companies, as doing so can lead to invaluable experiences and learning opportunities. In his words, “I now have the opportunity to have the best or worst years of my life, and either way, I’m gonna learn a lot. Very few people in the world get to do this.”

Here’s his TED talk on anonymity –


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