Snap Inc. had a lot of explaining to do after disappointing Q1 results sent its stock plunging 25% after its first-ever earnings report on Wednesday.
But the company’s conference call with investors was also important because it was the public’s first real chance to hear from Evan Spiegel, Snapchat’s reclusive 26-year old cofounder and CEO.
Spiegel’s reputation as a product visionary who has his finger on the pulse of the millennial generation has given him iconic status in the tech world.
While his big debut didn’t impress everyone — CNBC’s Jim Cramer blasted the young CEO by calling him “arrogant” — Spiegel’s comments provide valuable insight into Snapchat’s views of the competitive landscape, the big opportunities ahead and even the importance of puppy faces.
Here are some of Spiegel’s best quotes from Snapchat’s call:
Get the latest Snap stock price here.
Spiegel on old people: '...We do tend to market our products directly to younger people because, frankly, they are more interested in learning how to use new technology products. And that's sort of -- is partly inspired by trying to teach my grandma how to use email; and she'd really prefer to just talk on the phone. So I think now a lot of grandparents are using email, but 20 years ago it was a little different.'
Spiegel on being a camera company: 'When Google came along, everyone really felt like they needed a search strategy. When Facebook came along, everyone felt they needed a social strategy. And now I think with Snap, with our company, we believe that everyone is going to develop a camera strategy.'
Spiegel on Snap's slow user growth versus competitors: 'I think one of the reasons why it's such a popular question is because there's a lot of this thing in our industry called growth hacking, where you send a lot of push notifications to users or you try to get them to do things that might be unnatural or something like that.'
Spiegel on Snapchat's famous lenses: 'The reason why I think that that prompted such an explosion in creativity is because it really lowered the barrier to creation on our service, because people enjoy looking like a puppy and things like that.'
Spiegel on ads: 'I think the big issue with advertising over the next decade or so, frankly, is going to be education.'
Why's that? 'I think we have world-class ad units. They are delivering ROI. We've done a lot of work this year to build out the measurement side of the business. And so I think now really it's an education process and I think early adopters are seeing great results. And so we've just got to keep showing people how Snap can really work for them and drive ROI.'
Spiegel on what's (not) next: 'So I think at this point, we're kind of famous for not giving guidance on the product pipeline. But we're obviously really excited about it and we love surprising our community; so should be a fun rest of the year.'
Spiegel on getting better: 'I think the more that we can remove friction from this creative process, the more people want to use our service. And that's our strategy.'
Spiegel on competitors' copying: 'I think the bottom line is, like, if you want to be a creative company you've got to get comfortable with and basically enjoy the fact that people are going to copy your products if you make great stuff.'
Spiegel on the competition (and imitation) from Facebook: 'I think, at the end of the day, just because Yahoo, for example, has a search box, it doesn't mean they are Google.'
Spiegel on why it's only popular in developed countries: 'Longer term, obviously, we really believe that Snapchat is for everyone. And it's just early days for us, so we're focused in North America and Europe first.'
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