There is something very wrong with the head of Snapchat. We’ve all known it for a long time, we’re all watching a car crash slowly unfold and I suspect the headline act for Internet bubble 2.0’s big bang will be the company that trades in ephemerality.
The above is the latest example of a company that not only doesn’t play quite by the rule book, but clearly doesn’t understand what it’s doing. Currently valued at a staggering $20 billion yet still totally devoid of any revenue its CEO Evan Spiegel uploaded a low-res, poorly communicated clip mumbling directly to the camera explaining ‘What is Snapchat?’
I’ve spent the past 48 hours pondering over this video, watching it again and again trying to figure out if Spiegel’s eccentricities are to blame or if he’s simply intentionally being ironic. It’s not clear. The only rational explanation I can come up with is the video is example blurb for what he wants a PR company to communicate to his friends and somehow missed the step where it gets realised professionally. Ergo it should have never been made public for the world to see.
But we do see it, it’s there on YouTube with 144,000 views and counting forever be available for us to see, despite his even more recent Twitter stunt in which he deleted all his history and declared ‘I’d prefer to live in the present.’
It can be argued that the CEO of any firm shaping the future needs to be a little bit eccentric, however this is held together by building a fantastic team around them to help with vision and areas they can’t handle alone. Even Elon Musk, who is currently busy saving humankind from itself only employs the very best of any particular field and trusts them with that. Spiegel who I’m loathed to mention in the same paragraph of one of my heroes simply flies in the face of any advice he would be given. Which one of Spiegel’s all male team told him that video was a good idea? The only person I can relate to in tech with a similar unworthy arrogant persona is Sean Parker who lost everything with Napster, made everything off the back of Facebook and then somehow still managed to show us all he’s still a douche.
Evan Spiegel’s tower is beginning to corrode, the backers behind the intense rounds of funding will only need take one look at this video to ask what their $500 million is being spent on. Time and time again one of the co creators of the app that happily placed sexting into the hands of teens is showing just how immature and unfit he is to be running a company like that and unless he’s replaced soon or goes back grovelling to someone who knows how to build on fantastic products, it’ll come crashing down, or if you like, snap.