Thursday, March 26, 2020

Evan Spiegel: Snapchat CEO & Billionaire

Innovator, CEO

Snapchat Co-founder


Wears Black Shirt, Black Suit...

Blacked-out Rolex Explorer


I was one of the early adopters of Snapchat. I immediately created a Rolex Magazine account, I invested in the company, and I was the first geo-filter creator of my town. (A geo-filter adds a fun watermark to your picture based on your location.)

While I had used and enjoyed Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, there was something about Snapchat's CEO, Evan Spiegel, and his unparalleled innovations⁠—later copied by Instagram and Facebook⁠—that made me want to look into this southern California company. 

Evan Spiegel dropped out of Stanford while co-founding Snapchat, the ephemeral picture and video app that made many of the sub-24-year-olds stop using Facebook. The app became so wildly popular that, in 2013, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly offered $3 billion to buy it. But Evan turned him down. In 2016, Google floated an offer of $30 billion, which was rebuffed as well.

Evan dropped out a few credits short of earning his Stanford degree. I've always found that choosing a startup over a degree takes guts⁠—especially from a school with a superior academic reputation—but that list includes names like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. 

Today, Evan is one of the youngest billionaires in the U.S. But as with any tech billionaire, his wealth is linked to the company’s performance and fluctuating stocks.

Above, for his company's first day of trade on the New York Stock Exchange in 2017⁠—under the symbol SNAP⁠—Evan is wearing his blacked-out Rolex Explorer. Below, he is often invited at tech conferences, shedding light on an industry often misunderstood by anybody 40 and above. The billionaire is always rocking a black t-shirt and his matching under-the-radar Rolex.

The California native is an admirer of French culture and has long learned to speak the language. In 2018, he decided to become a French citizen but hasn't renounced his US citizenship. (Good choice, I'm also a US-French dual citizen.) Below, with French president Emmanuel Macron. His Explorer is not only telling time; it's telling history⁠⁠—his.

Evan has no relatives in France. He was naturalized based on Article 21-21 of the French Civil Code, which allows its Ministry of Foreign Affairs to issue a citizenship to a French-speaking foreigner that has contributed to the "shining of France and its prosperity of international economic relations." I guess Snapchat is that good.

Evan is married to Miranda Kerr, an Australian model from Sydney. She was the first Australian model for Victoria Secret. She is 36. Evan is 29.

In the videos below, we see Evan rocking his blacked-out Rolex Explorer in action.