Evan Spiegel Successes and Challenges

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The journey for most self-made millionaires and billionaires has notbeen a smooth one. According to Lane (2014) on one or more times,they have dealt with lawsuits on partnerships, original ideas,privacy among other serious allegations. Lack of financialinstruments is among the challenges faced by the individuals on theverge of ground-breaking successes (Wick, 2014). More so, lack offunds has forced them to seek partnerships as the best resort togrowing their ideas faster. Evan Spiegel is not an exception for thissituation. Spiegel is the co-founder and C.E.O of Snapchat, aself-destruction application that allows people to share photos,videos and texts that disappear after a short time. As such, theanalysis of Evan Spiegel’s life illustrates the successes and thechallenges he faced.


Before Snapchat, which once trailed the relatively uncommon marketunder the original name Picaboo, Spiegel had formed his first companyknown as Future Freshman. This company targeted to assist children toapply to colleges but failed instantly. He even states and admitsthat no one used it save for his mum (Gerlitz, 2015). Spiegel thentook to examine the social media narrowing on the idea of chattingwith photos that one was able to delete after communication(Cellan-Jones, 2013). Therefore, Spiegel together with Bobby Murphyand Frank Reginald Brown materialized on a self-destructionapplication that enabled an exchange of media on a temporary basis.According to Lane (2014) Brown is the one who came up with thedisappearing act idea and run errands for the same such as patentingfor the company. Unfortunately, Picaboo did not earn enough interest,and the friendship became sour and fell off.

In 2011, Spiegel and Murphy decided to improve Picaboo and give it anew name Snapchat (Cellan-Jones, 2013). They started Snapchat underspecifically similar conditions like the Facebook ones. He began theidea in college campus at Stanford University with a dispute on theoriginality of the idea and concept. Frank Reginald Brown had accusedSpiegel and Bobby Murphy the Snapchat co-founder, of unfairlythrowing him out from the company ownership. After failing torecognize Brown’s significant contribution to Snapchat, he went ona series of lawsuits to settle the matter. The court case was not aneasy one to settle given the long period demands for appearing to theproceedings in the year 2013 (Lane, 2014). This case deprived him ofhis attention and focus on developing and initiating the application.

Besides, Spiegel’s girlfriend had dumped him during that time aswell (Cellan-Jones, 2013). Thus, he was left with nothing revolvingaround life and concentration. It could be that break-ups refreshone with new energy and ideas. In addition to the relationship,stress was the financial need. The development of applications suchas the Snapchat heavily depends on the installation of qualitycameras and sophisticated software, which are more costly. Eventhough Spiegel comes from a wealthy family, it was difficult to raisethe required 50 million for the continuation of the project. MarkZuckerberg had offered a $3billion funding that Spiegel turned downyet he knew he needed such kind of money. Instead, Spiegel and theco-founder had invested in game software that could pump money tosustain their project (Gerlitz, 2015).

Money is just but among the factor that drives people to success.Concentration and focus demand time input and perhaps a lot of it.Spiegel became overwhelmed with academics. He could no longer balanceacademics and this project slowly leading to an absolute campus dropout in a bid to have more time and concentration building Snapchat(Gerlitz, 2015). This action did not sit well with parents who happento be highly educated and respected attorney lawyers. Recognizingtheir son’s success was tricky considering their careers in thelegislation sector. Their divorce in 2007 could not help him to shapehis personal characteristics. Earlier, through leaked emails, Spiegelenlisted as a less matured young man with little manners as witnessedin the vulgar languages used in his email exchanges (Wick, 2014).Spiegel had to work harder to gain the parents and audienceacknowledgement especially with leaving school just when he was aboutclearing.


As many people say or as practical as it may be, Spiegel hard workpaid off. Snapchat has exclusively grown in the absence ofadvertising and marketing the brand through gaming services. UnlikeTwitter and Facebook, the Snapchat in-app transactions generated over90% of their $2.5 million worth (Wick, 2014). In 2014, the companysuccessfully raised funds worth $10 billion from 23 investors. DuringMay 2015, Spiegel and Murphy’s combined efforts raised $538million in a new funding project that translated to the company’svalue at approximately $16 billion. More than 100 million people nowuse Snapchat, and the number is on a steady rise specifically onteens. They view the Snapchat Stories over 500 million times dailyapart from sending or sharing 2 billion videos and photos on a dailybasis amounting to 6 billion shares as of November 2015 (Forbes,2015).

Spiegel received an award at the 20th Annual Eddy Awards Honorees in2015, and the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporationrecognizes his key economic role in developing the county by creatingwell-paying jobs for the residents. The Forbes list Evan Spiegel asthe twelfth America’s Richest Entrepreneur under the age of forty,the 327th rich man in the Forbes 400, the 99th Richest in Technologyand the 1250th billionaire of the year 2015. He is also, the 418thwealthiest young man in United States of America (Forbes, 2015).Under Spiegel leadership style, Snapchat won the “Best MobileApplication” award in 2013 at the Crunchies (Gerlitz, 2015).


Evan Spiegel grew up in a wealthy family, but it does not mean thathe did not face any challenges in coming up with his billions ofdollar company revenue. First, he had to deal with the originalitylawsuit with his co-founder against Brown. Secondly, he had to investin leadership styles that will generate more users thanadvertisements. It is worthy to note that this move prompted theirheads buried in constructing gaming activities targeted to add thenumber of users. Spiegel had to balance of series of emotions in hislife beginning with parents’ divorce and a break-up with his formergirlfriend. Standing up to admit to his use of vulgar language wasnot easy too. Building Snapchat through self-financing has perhapsbeen the most challenging part of his success. Nonetheless, his hardwork pays to great instances of successes through his recognition inhis county all the way to the global scenes. Overall, success ties tothe increase of membership, users, growth in valuation, internationalawards, local and global recognition.


Cellan-Jones, R. (2013, November 24). Chatting With Mr. Snapchat– BBC News. Retrieved December 7, 2015, fromhttp://www.bbc.com/news/technology-24925932

Forbes. (2015). Evan Spiegel. Retrieved December 7, 2015, fromhttp://www.forbes.com/profile/evan-spiegel/

Gerlitz, C. (2015). Whatsapp and Snapchat. Pop.

Lane, R. (2014). You only have to be right once: The unprecedentedrise of the instant tech billionaires.

Wick, D. (2014, September 1). Where the Boys Are: A Challenge toSnapchat`s CEO. Retrieved December 7, 2015, fromhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/donna-wick-edd/a-challenge-to-snapchats-ceo_b_5469990.htm

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