No one is guaranteed success in the App Store. Not even 4chan founder Chris Poole. Poole has announced that he's shutting down DrawQuest, the drawing app / game his team launched for iOS back in February. Canvas, an online community based around image "remixes" that Poole created in 2011, will also be closing. "No soft landing, no happy ending — we simply failed," Poole wrote on his Tumblr page. "There’s a lot of glorification of startups and being a founder. People brush the failures under the rug, but that’s the worst thing you can do," he said in an interview with TechCrunch. "You kind of have to face it head on." Canvas will go offline in a matter of days; users will be given a chance to retrieve their favorite images before Poole pulls the plug.
As for DrawQuest, Poole hopes to leave the app's servers up and running for "a few months." And he has good reason to keep it on life support; despite its sealed fate, DrawQuest has proven fairly popular in 11 months. It's been downloaded 1.4 million times and is home to 550,000 registered users. 400,000 of those accounts log on monthly, and 25,000 open the app every day. Daily drawing challenges and DrawQuest's other features have resulted in a loyal community of users, but that wasn't enough to make it viable in the long term. "It may seem surprising that a seemingly successful product could fail, but it happens all the time," he said.
Poole's funding had originally been intended for the middling Canvas project, and DrawQuest and its moderate success simply came too late to turn things around. "We were never able to crack the business side of things in time," Poole said. "I’ve come away with new found respect for those companies who excel at monetizing mobile applications," he said. "With that said, life goes on, and the best path forward is not a wounded one, but a more learned and motivated one." As for what's next for Poole — or "moot" as he's known in the 4chan community — that's less clear. "This is the first time in four years I’ve been at a crossroads like this," he said.