(Founder Stories) Christopher Poole: Build A Product Before You Build A Platform

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One of the biggest startup cliches is that every other startup wants to become a platform for other startups to build on. But to Christopher Poole, the founder of Canvas and 4Chan, that is the wrong approach. “People get caught up in trends—game mechanics, building a platform,” he tells Chris Dixon in the Founder Stories video above. Instead of trying to copy what works for others, founders should “focus on building what you love, focus on the product and building the community.”

He doesn’t understand “this obsession with building platforms. Focus on building something worth scaling. You don’t even have something worthy of an API yet. Focus on users and have them fall in love with your thing.” Amen.

Poole (aka Moot) also talks about his “boring” Internet habits and how he went to California to recruit the team to build Canvas, his current startup, and brought them back to New York City. In the video below, he talks about how he’s helping to “keep kids off the street” and into startups with HackNY, which is doing a student-only Hackathon this weekend (sign up here), and his work as an adviser to Lerer Ventures.

This is Part III of this interview. Watch Part I and Part II, or the entire uncut interview. (Subscribe to Founder Stories on iTunes).