The Rise (and Slight, Momentary Decline) of Evan Spiegel

Evan Spiegel is just one of those guys. He’s one of those guys who takes a problem, provides an answer, and then keeps going with it, dropping jaws in the process.

Snapchat was launched in July of 2011 under the former name of Picaboo, and in the four years since, the app has gone on to become not just a selfie safe haven, but a media machine.

Spiegel has grown from a prestigious college dropout to a very young and equally successful CEO, but his rise wasn’t as glorious as you might think.

Turns out, Spiegel was a “typical” frat boy, and he made that very clear in his college days. Emails he sent while in college were leaked a year ago, and they don’t show the side of Evan that investors like to see in their CEOs.

There was much talk of kegs, cocaine, and how other fraternities suck; you know, your average college stuff. Well, average if you’re into getting blacked (frat for “blacked out”) more than once a week.

Not so average for your CEO of a multi­billion dollar company.

Of course, these emails got Spiegel a lot of hate, but ya know, f*** the haters, man. This guy is just enjoying college, knows he’s smart as hell, and I doubt he actually treated women poorly in college, despite what the emails say.

He’s just being a bro, bro. Yeah, he may have been a bit douchey then but he’s not so frat these days; the guy’s got an awesome company to run.

It may seem like Snapchat just kind of emerged and then shot off into the stratosphere (which it kinda did), but it wasn’t like every little thing the company did worked right off the bat.

For example, fellow classmates weren’t impressed when he submitted the app as a school project­ they didn’t like how the content was ephemeral.

Spiegel recently revealed that around 1% of what Snapchat works on actually makes it onto the app and in use by the over 100 million daily users. Clearly, it’s quality, not quantity that is at the top of the list when team Snapchat creates products.

This, in turn, gives users a far better experience and satisfaction with the selfie­sharing app.

Why give consumers a whole bunch of poorly planned ideas that dilute overall interest when you can give them a couple very polished products that keep them happy?

Spiegel knows that if you do a few things well, those are all the tricks you need to keep ‘em coming.

It just so happens that Snapchat makes a ton of coin from these products, and these have revolutionized how consumers view media content and how marketers advertise in that media.

The Discover feature allows a few (11, to be exact) media outlets to post content crafted just for Snapchat­ short, ephemeral, and most importantly, vertical.

Articles the Daily Mail or ESPN post to Discover are perfectly readable in portrait format, and the short content that gets to the point is exactly what millennials and teens want from media.

“Give me exactly what I need to see, keep it short, and don’t make me tilt my phone”, are the words that Snapchat is hearing from consumers, and they provided just the thing.

I can watch SportsCenter literally all day, with repeated stories about a whole lot of stuff I don’t really care about. Luckily, the content ESPN posts is exactly what I want to see and I get all the latest info I need just by holding my finger on my phone’s screen.

Show me what I need to see, and let me get on with my life *opens up Instagram, scrolls for ten minutes*.

Evan Spiegel is barely 25, and frankly, Snapchat will be better off if he doesn’t change much from this point. Snapchat needs to be lead by someone who knows what a millennial thinks and wants, and he’s just the guy ­ I mean, he i s a millennial, too.

It’s crazy to see how a young CEO is able to create something so simple and take it to such heights while maintaining the product’s image and vibe at the same, despite all of the media attention and microscope that he’s currently under.

When you’re only 25 and have 100 million potential targets for ads that aren’t currently being targeted at your disposal, there’s going to be a whole lot of zeros in your bank account.

Spiegel realized how his generation wants to consume content­ on their phones. What he did that made it special is that he provided it in a way that it’s not watered down; the content isn’t lacking quality.

It may only take us a few moments to find out what’s really going on, but we know the meat of the subject, not the filler that takes up most of the hour of news that’s broadcast every day.

There we go, back to making it short a nd s weet, just how we like it.

I think we can all deal with the app sticking around for a while, though; some things improve with age.

 See Evan Spiegel speak below.

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