He said no to Google and is now a billionaire


Evan Spiegel

Today I’m going to tell you about a 30-year-old, Evan Spiegel, born on June 4, 1990 in Los Angeles. He is the CEO and founder of Snapchat. You will probably know this app. It is the one that allows users to post images and videos that disappear after a short period of time (Instagram has copied the stories.)


In a short time this boy became rich thanks to his invention. But its success faltered in the face of giants like Google and Facebook. He had the courage to resist and carry on his business.


This decision derives from a characteristic that great successful entrepreneurs have within themselves. Either they were born with it or they learned it with experience. And today you can discover it thanks to this article.


Read on, after a brief summary of his life I will explain it. Including the knowledge of two people who will be instrumental in his making Snapchat.



snapchat logo on phone screen

Spiegel grew up in Pacific Palisades, an affluent Los Angeles neighborhood . He is the son of two lawyers: Melissa Thomas and John Spiegel.


“The father, in particular, is a partner in the prestigious firm Munger, Tolles & Olson, which among their clients include Warner Bros and the oil company BP. Golden childhood, exclusive schools, then the university of Stanford.”


As a child he showed an entrepreneurial spirit by setting up a lemonade stand and hiring neighborhood children to work for him.


He was a bright student at school, but he didn’t like studying. According to Forbes, his parents had to hire tutors to help him get through classes. He was also kicked out of Stanford University twice.


The first time because he accumulated too many absences and the second time because he lied about his application for admission (he said he was taking a leave when in fact he was kicked out).


Despite this, in May 2012 he graduated with a degree in product design. Then, along with two friends from Stanford, he founded Snapchat.



Evan Spiegel

The app was born from an idea of Spiegel’s. When he was still a student he needed to send retractable photos to his friends.


“The original name of the app was Picaboo, then it was changed to Snapchat.”


The operation is very simple: you take a photo, add a text and send it. The recipient will be able to see it for up to 10 seconds, after which it will disappear forever. There is no way to get it back.


“Spiegel’s intention was to create an ephemeral messaging service that could be used without consequences and with peace of mind.”


Unlike other social networks where messages and images remain stored forever.


A study by the British agency Havas Media says 7 out of 10 people between 18 and 34 would rather give up sex than their smartphone. Many of them probably use Snapchat.


The app was first released in September 2011, exclusively for iOS. The Android version came out a year later.


In May 2012, Spiegel and his friends, Reggie Brown and Bobby Murphy, raised $485,000 from Lightspeed Venture Partners.


To develop the app they used their parents’ money, as well as student loans and credit cards. In total they managed to raise 1.2 million dollars.


A few months after launch, Spiegel realized that the app could have been more successful if it had been linked to a social network like Facebook. He tried to interest Mark Zuckerberg in his project, but the Facebook CEO refused.


Zuckerberg would tell Spiegel he was too young to understand how the world of social media worked.


Spiegel then decided to continue working on Snapchat alone. In 2013, the app had 50 million users.


The following year, it jumped to 100 million and in 2015, it hit 200 million. Now used by more than 300 million people every day.




snapchat logo on google

In 2013, Snapchat rejected a $ 3billion offer from Facebook.


“Two years later, Google offered $4.3 billion, but Spiegel once again refused.”


The young entrepreneur’s decision was criticized by many who said he made a mistake not to sell the company when he had the chance.


Spiegel himself said he regrets not selling the app to Facebook, but added that he is happy with the way things went.


In 2017, Snapchat went public and its value skyrocketed. Today, it is worth more than $30 billion.


Spiegel’s net worth is estimated at $4.1 billion, making him one of the youngest billionaires in the world.


Evan Spiegel is now married to model Miranda Kerr. The couple have two children.


Their wedding was a star-studded event attended by celebrities such as Orlando Bloom, Ashton Kutcher, and Katy Perry. Kerr wore a bespoke Dior suit that reportedly cost $2 million.




The story of Spiegel is a reminder that it pays to believe in your own ideas and have the courage to resist both the small failures encountered along the way and as in this case the jackals of the market.


Refused offers from two of the largest companies in the world because they believed in their product and knew it had potential.


That is:


1 – That he would have grown even more and therefore had room to earn in the future and much more than that poor offer.


2 – That he should not have been afraid of various competition they could always give him.


3 – Above all was certain that his company would have a future. If he had not believed it, it is obvious that he would have sold for cash on a speculative bubble and that’s it.


His bet paid off and today Snapchat is worth billions. If Spiegel had sold earlier, he would have made a lot of money, but he wouldn’t be where he is today.


There is also prestige that must be considered. It is perhaps one of the most rewarding things, besides running a company that works, giving jobs to many people and entertaining a lot of users.


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