You are probably aware that Evan Spiegel is the CEO at Snapchat and Bobby Murphy, the guy who co-founded the app alongside Spiegel, is its Chief Technology Officer.
But it may take you by surprise just how much you are yet to learn about these two former frat rats.
There’s so much about Snapchat that can distract your attention from the founders’ personal lives. From founding the fastest growing mobile app on the planet to the turning down of Facebook’s $3 billion acquisition offer – the video sharing app has had quite a lot to hit the headlines with.
Not everything has been ‘good news’ though.
Spiegel is not exactly the typical favourite friend to many. He has this rich-kid reputation plaguing the American generation of his age.
A recent security breach on the network’s 4.6 million users’ personal data has not gone down well with the company either.
Not to mention the ongoing court case against Spiegel and Murphy for allegedly short-changing a possible third co-founder.
On the brighter side: 100 million daily active users, 400 million daily snaps and $123 million in their app’s funding- only in their mid-twenties.
The ownership disputes aside, we find it worth digging a little deeper into the backend of the lives of these two young billionaires – Spiegel and Murphy.
1. Spiegel Dropped Out of College a Few Weeks Before Graduation
Who knew that a college dropout would be worth over 2 billion today?
That’s a shocking reality. But it is the reality that marks one of Stanford University’s most fascinating histories. A story is told of a young, white guy who drops out of the institution to follow an entrepreneur’s dream. He takes two of his friends Brown and Murphy to share his dream of “participating in consumer society and creating a company”.
Perhaps without that drop-out incident, we wouldn’t be speaking of Snapchat today.
But as it is, we can’t reverse history, and we can only reiterate with pride that the meeting of Spiegel and Murphy as undergraduates at Stanford University has given us a great video messaging app- Snapchat.
2. Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy Both Belonged to Kappa Sigma Fraternity
Many people are aware that Evan Thomas Spiegel studied product design and his friend and college mate Bobby Murphy majored in mathematical science.
It is less popular though that both the young men, two years apart in college, share another form of brotherhood. They both belong to the Kappa Sigma social frat house.
Spiegel’s leadership is rooted deeper beyond the executive office at Snapchat. Back in college, he chaired his social fraternity.
Social chair of a fraternity?
That may appear ironic, judging from the way he appears to rub many folks the wrong way.
Stanford University’s administration scrapped the fraternity off its grounds in 2010 for breaking an alcohol regulation within the campus.
3. Evan Spiegel has Worked in Africa
Snapchat’s current CEO Spiegel had an unpaid internship at Red Bull sales department long before the idea of the mobile app became even a remote possibility.
He’s known to have promoted Red Bull in bars and clubs. He also worked at the California NanoSystems Institute with molecular dynamics simulations.
But the most beautiful part is, he was never just stuck to the US through these early stages of his career.
He worked as a careers instructor in South Africa’s Cape Town during his school days at Stanford University.
4. Bobby Murphy’s Parents are California State Employees
Murphy, the Snapchat’s co-founder, is the son to two employees of the state of California. His mother isn’t originally from the US, but an immigrant from the Philippines.
5. Spiegel’s Parents are Both Lawyers
Spiegel is the son of Melissa and John Spiegel, who both share the same profession-law.
Melissa Spiegel holds a degree in law from Harvard University. John Spiegel, on the other hand, is a former law student of the University of Yale.
The two don’t live together. They had a divorce in 2007, and Evan’s father John Spiegel bought another house leaving their former home to the mother.
Snapchat’s CEO chose to live with his father in the new house, the very house where he and his two friends Reggie and Bobby worked the app’s prototype.
6. Spiegel can be Misogynistic
As an undergraduate at the University, the young CEO once wrote a set of emails with explicitly homophobic and misogynistic utterances.
The emails addressed to fraternity members were released in May 2014 by a Silicon Valley gossip and news site, Valleywag.
Spiegel has since apologised for that behaviour and distanced himself from such attitudes toward women.
According to him, it’s an embarrassment that his “idiotic emails” during his frat days became public. He admits having been a jerk back then, to which he is sorry, and the emails should by no means be taken to reflect who he is today.
7. Snapchat is not Murphy and Spiegel’s First Business Venture, Their Initial One Failed
The two friends rolled out a different venture called Future Freshman in 2010 during summer. This was supposed to help alleviate the stress experienced by high schoolers, counsellors and parents during college admissions.
In his statement to Forbes, Spiegel said the website received barely five people and the service was virtually never adopted
8. Bobby Murphy Apparently has a Desirable Self-control
Snapchat’s co-founder Bobby Murphy has been likened to a monk by one of the company’s earliest employees.
Reason? The guy never seems to get angry at anything.
Judging from his ever bubbling smile, it shouldn’t be difficult to believe that trait.
In a statement to Forbes, the Snapchat employee said that not once has he ever seen Murphy upset.
9. Spiegel and Murphy did Everything to Protect Their Idea From Getting Stolen
Spiegel’s refusal to sell Snapchat to Facebook at $3 billion was not their first shot at retaining the app and the idea behind it.
The two co-founders desperately needed investment funds for their computer servers in 2012 with a burgeoning user base.
The Snapchat CEO met with two Stanford business school professors who suggested a meeting with venture capitalists or Twitter as an alternative. He refused the offer as this would lead to a loss of control of the company.
He had another major scruple- the Twitter people would steal his app’s idea. And he wouldn’t let that happen.
Well, there you have the nine snapchat facts.
Feel free to share them in the comment section below!