Three billion dollars. Billion, with a bootylicious B. This is what Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg offered the owner and CEO of Snapchat for his uber-popular app. An offer the CEO he swiftly rejected.
Upon hearing the news, many people, including business experts, had a few questions about this bold decision. Evan Spiegel had just said no to a sum larger than all of Whole Foods' profits in 2013.
Their first question was, What In the hell were they thinking?
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Who knows why Spiegel did what he did. Some say the offer was not high enough, and, like Instagram, which is now worth ten times more than when Facebook purchased it, Snapchat didn't want to sell just yet. But something tells me it did not have to do with the money. When you are throwing around sums that are in the billions, you are already in the realm of "ludicrous" amounts of money. It's like wondering whether you should eat a quadruple cheeseburger or a quintuple one. The importance of the margin keeps getting smaller and smaller.
My theory is this: it was a philosophical decision. Spiegel maybe knew something about how Facebook planned to manage the app, or had a hunch of how his baby would be raised, and he didn't like it. He might've said No simply because he was afraid that his passion project would be bastardized in the hands of another. He would rather walk away from insane cash than accept this rupture to his personal morality. And after reading the story behind the development of Snapchat, and Spiegel's ballsiness, it all adds up.
This sounds even more plausible to me because of Spiegel's generational DNA. Millennials don't care about money as much the rest of the world does. Money is important, yes, but there are things way more valuable, like ideals, sense of meaning and purpose, and how impact on the world. No amount of money can make you feel good about doing something that goes against your core values. Not even $3 billion. If that's why he said No, well, color me yellow-ghost impressed.