Billy Gallagher’s new paperback version of the Snapchat story doesn’t pull any punches
From the get-go, Evan Spiegel looks like a spoiled brat. Having grown up with rich parents who had a set designer from the sitcom Friends design his childhood bedroom, Spiegel seemed like just the kind of guy who would spend his Stanford days partying with daddy’s money. And that he did.
However, Billy Gallagher’s new paperback version of How To Turn Down a Billion Dollars: The Snapchat Story paints a more complex inside account of the rise of Spiegel’s social media empire. The former TechCrunch journo shows the reader a driven young man who was always looking to prove himself by setting up his own startup. The book showcases this spirit in fast-paced detail in a story that spans the years between Spiegel’s childhood to him building an empire strong enough for him and his Snapchat co-founder Bobby Murphy to famously turn down a $3bn acquisition offer from Mark Zuckerberg – and beyond.
Pulling no punches, Gallagher expertly depicts both how the Snapchat CEO was instrumental in growing the business from day one and the abrupt ousting of third co-founder Reggie Brown as well as the subsequent lawsuit with the same keen eye for detail.
If you’re remotely interested in how Silicon Valley works or if you’re one of those older people who can’t figure out what the deal with Snapchat is, then this is the book for you.