Snapchat, Self Made
Los Angeles, CA
Bachelor of Arts / Science, Stanford University
Evan Spiegel is the CEO of Snapchat, the temporary photo messaging company he cofounded with Bobby Murphy in 2011. After growing up comfortably in the Los Angeles area, he studied product design at Stanford and met Murphy, who was two years ahead of him and studying math, at the Kappa Sigma frat house. The two eventually developed an app that could send photo messages to contacts with a timer that would remove them in 10 seconds or less and called it Picaboo. It flopped. Rebranded as Snapchat, the app took off in the fall of 2011 and is now used by 100 million people monthly, for free. In late 2013 Spiegel turned down a $3 billion buyout offer from Facebook. In February 2015 the company reportedly received offers that would value it at $19 billion. Forbes estimates that Speigel and Murphy each have ownership stakes of at least 15%. In September 2014 the duo got rid of a significant distraction, settling out of court with another former fraternity brother and early creator of the app, Reggie Brown. Spiegel sees a big future for his company. "There are very few people in the world who get to build a business like this," he told Forbes in late 2013. "I think trading that for some short-term gain isn't very interesting."