Bill Gates, Michael Dell and Mark Zuckerberg have proven that you can be in your early 20s and have the wisdom to run a transformative billion-dollar company. Snapchat CEO Even Spiegel seems intent on proving the opposite.
To wit: The lead anecdote in our cover story on Snapchat, released today, attracted the attention of a lot of people (45,000 views today and counting). One of those was Spiegel himself. The story related how Facebook’s Zuckerberg reached out to Spiegel to come visit him, and Spiegel’s response boiled down to this: come to me– in Los Angeles.
Spiegel has received plenty of press lately – their data breach last week drove a lot it — and true to a 23-year-old who apparently turned down a $3 billion cash offer from Zuckerberg, much of it tags him as brash and cocky. The Business Insider was one of the outlets that summarized our piece, and the writer described Spiegel as “arrogant.”
Spiegel then took to Twitter, saying: “realize that makes for a good story but that’s not what happened.” He then posted the following screenshot, an email exchange with Zuckerberg, designed to contradict the “arrogant” narrative.
Here’s the problem with that email exchange: it completely contradicts what he told our reporter, J.J. Colao, who spoke with Spiegel in-person, his recording device sitting on the table in front of him:
Spiegel: So Mark sends an email to my personal email. Like, how would he know that right? And it’s like, “Hey we’re interested in what you’re doing. Would love to meet you or whatever.”
And we’re like, “You know we’re working in LA, you know, thank you. You know, let us know if you come to LA.”
Colao: That’s awesome.
Spiegel: And so he at that time was like working with Frank Gehry on the new office. And so he was in LA and was like, “Hey I’m in LA. Why don’t you meet me at this address?”
So did Spiegel lie originally in his recounting of events, fabricating a story full of swagger when talking for a Forbes cover story, and then forward his fawning response to Zuckerberg, complete with smiley emoticon, only when he didn’t like being characterized as arrogant? No. It gets cuter than that. It turns out that there was a second half of the exchange that Spiegel only posted on Twitter after Colao pointed out that he was making him – and the fact-checker that verified the story – look like a liar. It reads like this:
— Evan Spiegel (@evanspiegel) January 6, 2014
So Snapchat investors, this the guy you’re betting a couple billion on?