Evan Spiegel is not an average tech billionaire. He keeps a private life – despite being engaged to one of the most famous women on the planet, the model Miranda Kerr – and stays away from the San Francisco tech scene, basing his company, Snap, in Los Angeles.
However, he draws many comparisons to another famous founder, Apple’s Steve Jobs. Mr Spiegel, who turned 26 last year, making him the first self-made billionaire to be born in the 1990s, is seen as a product visionary as well as an occasionally ruthless leader.
His company, the owner of the Snapchat app, was worth more than $30bn (£25bn) after it went public in New York on Thursday, with My Spiegel’s stake being worth more than $5bn.
Whoa, Spiegel’s signature in the @NYSE book:
— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) March 2, 2017
Snapchat, the app he founded in 2011 while at Stanford University, allows its users to send disappearing images and videos to friends or post them for 24 hours on their public profile.
Mr Spiegel saw, or perhaps predicted, the pressure of sites such as Facebook, which is seen as a permanent record of one’s past and as a result can stress out its users.
Snapchat, by comparison, is fun. Users can scribble on their photos or alter their selfies with lenses – the most popular being a dog ears and nose – that have proved massively popular.
The privacy of Snapchat is reflected in its founder. Mr Spiegel has in the past been embarrassed by leaks and revelations about his childhood and time at university, when sexist emails painted him as something of a spoiled brat, and now rarely gives interviews or posts on social media. “Deleting should be the default,” he told the Telegraph in 2013.
His girlfriends in the past have included the model Lucinda Aragon but in July last year Mr Spiegel and Ms Kerr announced their engagement. Ms Kerr, a former Victoria’s Secret model, has criticised Snapchat rival Facebook and attended Snap’s IPO in New York on Thursday. source