When Snapchat first launched, it was primarily seen as a sexting app, an idea re-enforced by a bout of horrendous emails obtained by ValleyWag from Spiegel’s college days, which made him look like a sexist jerk.
Today, though, the app is catching the attention of big time advertisers and Spiegel himself has matured as well.
Former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo called him “one of the best product thinkers out there.” Here are a few of Spiegel’s quotes that prove him to have grown past his frat boy days into a respected executive:
On not selling to Facebook: 'There are very few people in the world who get to build a business like this. I think trading that for some short-term gain isn't very interesting.'
On social media being truly social: 'Somewhere along the way, when we were building social media products, we forgot the reason we like to communicate with our friends is because it's fun.'
On not giving up before Snapchat: 'We would experiment and fail. We must have attempted nearly 34 projects.'
On the importance of ephemerality: 'The intent to preserve and capture something is very different from the urge to share, but they had become intertwined. Creating a representation of yourself for the Internet stopped making sense when we were all on phones and connected everywhere.'
On future technologies (and how we'll talk about them): 'The biggest constraint of the next 100 years of computing is the idea of metaphors.'
On perseverance: 'In times of despair, you may believe the cynic who tells you that one person cannot make difference -- and there are times it may be hard to see your own impact. I beg you to remember that it is not possible at this time or any time to know the end results of our efforts.'
On conversation in the age of short attention spans and distractions: 'If we can always try and emphasise how important it is for both people to be (in a conversation) at the same time, that would be a win for us -- that would be the holy grail. This captures the best parts of a conversation, that you and I are here, we're both paying attention to each other, and that feels good.'
On conformity: 'One of the saddest things that happens with creativity ... I think sometimes it isn't expressed because of fear. Everyone is born very, very, very creative, but at some point it can be scary to try to do something new, that feels different.'
On creepy advertising: 'We think it's weird when brands try to act like your pal. I think there's some nuance -- I think it's very important to be friendly, but not a buddy.'
On the downside of a lot of social media: 'I think it feels crumby to have to market yourself all day long; the whole notion of a personal brand got very, very popular and still persists today, as people manage all their profiles.'
On success: ''Don't feel bad if you sell out. Just don't stop there. Find something you aren't willing to sell.'
BONUS: Spiegel on his privilege: 'I am a young, white, educated male. I got really, really lucky. And life isn't fair.'
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