Evan Spiegel is an American Internet entrepreneur who co-founded Snapchat, an image messaging and multimedia mobile application. He also serves as the CEO of Snapchat Inc. Born into a wealthy family in Los Angeles, California, he had a privileged childhood and had a $250 weekly allowance. Interested in technology from a young age, he gained a reputation of being a nerd while in high school. After being educated at the Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences in Santa Monica, he was accepted into the prestigious Stanford University. It was at Stanford that he met fellow students Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown with who he would one day form Snapchat. Spiegel was a product design major and the prototype for Snapchat was started by him and Brown as a project for his classes. Gradually he became more interested in developing the prototype due to which he dropped out before completing his degree. Along with Brown and Murphy he launched the mobile application in 2011 which over the years registered phenomenal growth, making the young man a billionaire. Eventually Brown moved away from the project. Spiegel is known for being a demanding boss; many of his employees hardly last a year in his company. But his refusal to settle for anything less than perfect is what majorly contributes to his company’s tremendous success.
Childhood & Early Life
Evan Thomas Spiegel was born on June 4, 1990, in Los Angeles, California. His parents Melissa Ann Thomas and John W. Spiegel are both lawyers. His family was a very affluent one and as a teenager he received a $250 weekly allowance. His parents eventually divorced.
As a teenager he asked his father to buy him a new BMW and on his refusal he moved in with his mother out of protest. She leased him the $75,000 car. His privileged life as a youngster conditioned him to never take a “no” for an answer.
He attended the Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences in Santa Monica. He also took design classes at the Otis College of Art and Design while still in high school and attended classes at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.
As a student he used to conduct experiments with Photoshop and had an unpaid internship in sales at Red Bull.
After completing high school he joined the prestigious Stanford University in a product design program and was accepted into the Kappa Sigma fraternity.
He met fellow student Bobby Murphy who hired Spiegel for the job of designing an online social network, inspired by the Google Circles. This venture however was a failure.
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The young men did not give up and proceeded to develop what would become their first project: Future Freshman, an online software aimed to help in the management of college admissions by counselors, parents and high school students.
The project started well but could not maintain a steady growth and ended soon after. At around this time Spiegel and Murphy met another student Reggie Brown. The collaboration between the three would prove to be a productive one.
The idea for creating a disappearing pictures app was conceived by Brown and Spiegel decided to start a prototype based on this idea as a project for one of his classes. Soon Murphy became involved as well and the three young men began developing the prototype.
The concept was first floated under the name “Picaboo.” Initially Spiegel’s classmates made fun of his final project as they felt that the idea of impermanent photos was not a feasible one.
The application was re-launched under the name Snapchat in September 2011. Snapchat soon evolved into an image messaging and multimedia mobile application, and early on the team focused on usability and technical aspects.
In May 2012, 25 images were being sent per second on Snapchat and by November, the users had shared over one billion photos on the Snapchat iOS app, with 20 million photos being shared per day. Brown left the organization around this time.
Newer elements like "My Story" feature and the ability to communicate via video chat were added, making the app extremely popular worldwide. The company grew at a phenomenal rate over the years and in 2016, Snapchat hit 10 billion daily video views. By April 2016 it was the top downloaded app in 28 different countries.
Evan Spiegel is the co-founder of Snapchat, an image messaging and multimedia mobile application. The app which provides photo sharing and social networking service is currently used by millions of people worldwide.
Awards & Achievements
In 2013, Spiegel won the Crunchies Best Mobile Application award.
He was honored with the 2015 Eddy Award presented by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) in recognition of his leading role in the development of the LA County economy and in the creation of well-paying jobs for its residents.
Personal Life & Legacy
Evan Spiegel once dated singer Taylor Swift. He began dating super model Miranda Kerr in 2015; he first met her at a Louis Vuitton dinner in New York in 2014.
As of August 2015, his net worth was US$2.1 billion.