2016 SUCCESS Achiever of the Year: Evan Spiegel


“You and I are here, we’re both paying attention to each other, and that feels good.”

At 21 years old, while studying product design at Stanford University, Spiegel proposed the idea of a self-deleting photo messaging app (originally dubbed Picaboo) as a class project. With fellow co-founders and classmates Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown, the trio released Snapchat in 2011. Within five years, the popular app quickly scaled up in size and popularity, most recently valued at nearly $20 billion. Spiegel has focused on monetizing the app through advertiser-friendly improvements such as sponsored video stories and geolocation filters. With a recent surge in advertiser-hooking features such as Discover, which allows media companies to share their content with millions, Spiegel plans to take his company public as early as March 2017. He hopes to garner enough support to bump Snap Inc.’s value as high as $35 billion.

  • More than 60 percent of 13- to 34-year-old smartphone users are on the app
  • More than 150 million daily active users
  • More than 5 billion unique images sent through the app since its launch
  • A reported $2.1 billion net worth for Spiegel, making him the youngest billionaire in the world, according to Forbes


Read more 2016 SUCCESS Achievers of the Year stories:

2016 SUCCESS Achievers of the Year2016 SUCCESS Achievers of the Year2016 SUCCESS Achievers of the Year2016 SUCCESS Achievers of the Year2016 SUCCESS Achievers of the Year

This article originally appeared in the February 2017 issue of SUCCESS magazine.


Cecilia Meis is a full-time writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas. Besides SUCCESS, her work has appeared in Time Out Dallas, Rewire, Healthline and others. Outside of work, she plays beach volleyball, attempts home cooking and is ardently working toward making her cat, Nola, Insta-famous.

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