Earlier this year, Snap employees got the chance to ask the CEO, Evan Spiegel, anything on their minds.
Using a Google document that was shared throughout the company, employees submitted written questions to Spiegel, who had recently started the tradition (unlike execs at other tech companies, Spiegel rarely holds in-person, all-hands meetings).
The questions from employees revealed a common anxiety: About one dozen of the questions were a variation of whether employees should worry about Snapchat’s competitors, particularly Facebook and Instagram, which appeared to be crimping Snapchat’s rapid growth.
Spiegel’s responses were short, and the one-word answer “no” was all that was written next to some of the queries, according to multiple people with knowledge of the document. Other answers of Spiegel’s explained how employees should not think about the competition and should instead focus on delivering the best products and on innovating.
In other recent Q&As and conversations with employees, he explained that the ability to grow and succeed as a company in light of Facebook’s copying efforts was not a zero-sum game, and expressed frustration that it’s often framed that way outside of the company.
Spiegel has also said inside and outside of the company that people use different products to satisfy different needs, suggesting that social networks like Snapchat and Instagram can peacefully coexist.
While he’s frequently addressed comparisons to Facebook in private, Spiegel’s only public response to Facebook’s copying is from Snap’s first-ever earnings call a few months ago.
“At the end of the day, just because Yahoo has a search box, it doesn’t mean they’re Google,” he said at the time.
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