Canv.as Opens Up

I posted about Canv.as here once before. And I'm certain that a number of readers checked it out. But getting into Canv.as required a login until yesterday. And that kept things more or less under the covers. That's all over now. Canv.as is wide open. Let the fun begin.

And because I just spent the past 90 minutes reading and replying to the 462 comments (and counting) on yesterday's post, I'm short for time today. But this thread on canv.as says it a lot about yesterday's post. Nice karma.

Canvas new economy

#VC & Technology#Web/Tech

Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    It looks like a fun space to get creative.They should update their About to add USV:”Canvas is a place to share and play with images. We’re based in New York City and backed by Andreessen Horowitz, SV Angel, Lerer Ventures, Founder Collective, and Joshua Schachter.”http://canv.as/about¬†

    1. fredwilson

      We are a stealth VC firm ūüėČ

      1. William Mougayar

        Lol.

      2. Tereza

        In fairness — I see that working well for the firm and vis-a-vis VC competitors, but other pitching startups are the true losers when it comes to undisclosed investments — which seem to be getting ever more common.

        1. Guest

          I do not have any firsthand knowledge of that of which you speak Tereza but I can see the logic in your statement.

        2. Matt A. Myers

          I always ask any firm I talk to if they are investing or planning to invest in a certain company related to what I’m doing before telling them details.I suppose they could just tell their VC friends who have similar companies my plans though. I’ve gone through that anxiety and worry enough times now to realize a) I’ll be fine once I can get funding, b) I’ll still probably kick competitor’s asses because I still don’t tell the very tiny leading metrics / focuses that I come up with only after a very long time of problem solving and thinking through things.The idea feels pretty gross/scummy though – but I’m guessing you’ll never really find out if it’s happening or you’ll never be heard if it’s happening, unless you can present hard proof … but even then I don’t think enough people will or can care to make a difference.Reputation is everything, moreso character – but it’s not hard to have a good response and be careful enough to not look like a total jackass and more innocent than not; I know a common phrase is “ideas don’t matter – it’s that execution” which to me really could be close to allowing a copout from taking personal responsibility and avoid feeling guilty from it. It’s nearly impossible to know though.

        3. RichardF

          It’s a real issue Tereza made worse when the market is frothy and there are lots of teams pitching similar ideas to VC’s. ¬†No matter what a VC tells you once you have disclosed something to them the cat is out of the bag.Stealth investments are a PITA. ¬†I understand, particularly in the current market where ideas rather than traction are being funded, that a team will want to fly under the radar until they have a well defined product but it’s a VCs duty to inform pitching start ups if they have an interest in a competitor. ¬†I think a VC should have to sign a legally binding document stating that they do not have a stealth investment in a potential competitor prior to a formal pitch. (obviously not an informal chat)

        4. fredwilson

          we would disclose a stealth investment to any entrepreneur who wanted to come talk to us about something anywhere close before the meeting happens

  2. Dave Pinsen

    Since I’m pressed for time too, I’m going to copy & paste from a comment I left on your original post on Canv.as:One application I can think of for this would be to provide pictures/photo illustrations of businesses for Foursquare check-ins. If I’m feeling mildly masochistic, I click on someone’s Foursquare check-in on Twitter, and see a boring map of the business’s address. Why not, along with that, caricatures of the business’s principals? Or, if it’s a restaurant, a picture of one of its signature dishes?

    1. fredwilson

      Great idea

  3. Mark

    I really like the currency mechanism with stickers. I can see some custom stickers becoming a product of the community itself, which could result in memes upon metamemes.There should be a sticker that always costs one more coin than you have. ūüôā

    1. fredwilson

      Metamemes!

      1. Matt A. Myers

        Metamemeception

  4. Ciaran

    I’m sure it’s fun, but is it really anything more than a spruced up version of cheezburger, with an element of gamification and a slightly wider range of topics? To say that this strikes me as being niche doesn’t even come close.Fred – would you have invested in this (I’m assuming you have/are investing – apologies if I got that wrong), if it wasn’t for moot’s involvement? And even with his involvement, I don’t see the point of investing? 4chan is utterly uncommercialised, so do you see this being any different?

    1. fredwilson

      I tried to explain our thesis in the post I linked to

      1. Ciaran

        Fred – I read that post at the time, and again just now. You forget more about investing than I’ll ever know. But my question still stands (and it’s borne out of a genuine interest in your answer):* Do you see this ever being anything more than a (very engaged) niche* Do you believe that moot will ever commercialise this, considering his very anti-commercial stance with 4chan?* If so, how? LOL cat style images, no matter how remixed, will almost never appeal to the sort of blue chip brands I tend to work with.Dave/Matthew – I get that, but I don’t get this.

        1. Tereza

          Ciaran I’d love to get your views on something. Could we talk? Tereza at honestlynow dot com.

        2. FAKE GRIMLOCK

          MASSIVE COPYRIGHT AND TRADEMARK VIOLATIONS PROBABLY AN ISSUE TO. SOON AS MONEY HAPPEN, LAWYERS HAPPEN.

    2. Matt A. Myers

      An engaged user is an engaged user is an engaged user.(People having fun/getting entertainment/informational value, and actively participating in categorizing + creating unique creative content = high value)

    3. Dave Pinsen

      I don’t get it either. But then again, I didn’t get the point of Foursquare, and lots of folks seem to like using it. And if you can get millions of engaged users, then I guess you can sell it to later stage investors who believe there’s a chance of monetizing that community.

      1. testtest

        The aim is for volume of users. And I would say its biggest strength is its virality. Thus Free is crucial.

        1. Ciaran

          I don’t doubt free is essential. Would people honestly pay to use this? Maybe they would; as you say – it’s outside my psychographic profile.My question remains though: how do you monetise something like this? It strikes me as cheezburger 3.0, and yes, that makes a fair bit of cash, but almost entirely through cheap display ads.¬†

          1. testtest

            On the volume front cheezeburger gets 1m+ users a month:http://siteanalytics.compet…If it’s not free then a competitor will do the same thing but free. And that works with the increasing returns to scale on the web. The marginal cost of additional users is close to zero. Volume is the key.You answered your own question in part: display ads.Others:1) The company could get¬†acquired.¬†¬†2) Sponsored images.3) It can soak up users now, then do enhancements which opens up the opportunity for virtual currency, gifts etc4) Product placement.

      2. Carl J. Mistlebauer

        Yes, Dave, I keep waiting to figure out how to create something that engages people but has no obvious income stream until I figure that out I will have to stay stuck in making things that people pay for! ¬†I hope that by reading AVC religiously I will one day “see the light!” ¬†ūüôā

        1. Dave Pinsen

          There are also the questions of scope, scale and burn rate. It may take millions of engaged users before something free ever adds its non-obvious income stream.If you’ve got plenty of OPM to burn, and access to the hype machine that goes with it, you might have a shot at building something like that. If not, you’re better off making things that people pay for.

          1. Carl J. Mistlebauer

            I can’t seem to break out of the mold that every dollar is our last dollar and hype has always been a sin in my book….So, I am going to stay where I belong.

      3. awaldstein

        Big user numbers mean it’s struck a behavioral chord. You can’t get to millions of anything without a true connection.If you can get millions of users in a common context, be it a place (ala 4Sq) or a common interest, or a common cause, or divulging enough demographic data or with avenues for brands to engage….then you don’t have to sell it to make money.Not every community is monetizable of course. But with numbers and dynamics and true value to grow, it’s usually a good bet.

        1. Dave Pinsen

          That’s true, with millions of engaged users, you’d have a shot at monetizing it yourself.

    4. testtest

      Canv.as is not niche. It’s¬†psychographic.

  5. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

    Canv.as is great, and I hope it does extremely well.

  6. testtest

    Engagement with content. Awesome! The internet is a cool medium, in the Marshall Mcluhan sense. Websites are going to get cooler.

  7. Scott McMillin

    Account registration requires Facebook. *sigh*

  8. ShanaC

    It would be awesome if I could print some of these out as decorations…..

  9. Brandon S

    I have to admit, I don’t get it.¬† However after all of the articles I have read on here, I am willing to admit that there must be something to it – I just don’t get it.Then again, maybe people won’t get our new project either.

  10. FAKE GRIMLOCK

    GRIMLOCK USED CANV.AS.LOTS.NOT IMPRESSED.

    1. fredwilson

      we’ve got work to do

      1. FAKE GRIMLOCK

        AGREE.TRICKY PART IS NEED USE TECHNOLOGY SHAPE CULTURE OF CANV.AS.CURRENT CULTURE GRIMLOCK SEE THERE DRAG IT DOWN. WRONG THINGS ENCOURAGED, RIGHT THINGS DISCOURAGED.POSSIBLE TO DO, BUT REQUIRE KNOW THINGS ABOUT SHAPE CULTURE ON INTERNET MOOT MAYBE NOT KNOW.

  11. gwarrier

    Canvas is amazingly cool! Sort of establishes Moot as the king of Meme…never realized just playing around with pictures could be this addictive.The great thing about such meme-based¬†behavior¬†is the creativity that it unleashes right from video-remixing…to canvas. And canvas makes it just real easy.¬†Interesting to see notice where this is headed…success in the new social sphere is more about empowering the user to get what they want rather than provide what they want.Turntable.fm seems to do the same for music.

    1. fredwilson

      i think getting the user to give something of themselves to your service is the key

      1. gwarrier

        thank you. Yes, – and so that the service can use that to provide more value to the user.

  12. Guest

    *addicted*. this is awesome.

  13. Dave W Baldwin

    I’m kind of late for the bandwagon… been putting together a helpful package for a shelter dedicated to ladies suffering alcohol and drug addiction, coming in from prison via our Lions Club… you wouldn’t believe the help I’m getting¬† ;DCongrats Fred.¬† As stated in the former thread, I think this is brilliant and can expand into a lot of interests/uses!¬†Keep pushing originality and creativity!¬†

  14. FAKE GRIMLOCK

    NOT MUCH COMMENTS. IS CANV.AS BORING?

  15. fredwilson

    Music to my ears!

  16. Matt A. Myers

    I realized what was happening after 8 minutes and I quickly slammed CTRL-W..

  17. Bala

    You did not get me on this… spent a total of 6secs

  18. zburt

    “In the morning school, in the afternoon work and at night CompassionPit.”RE http://bit.ly/mTcwfe¬†