Snapchat: Think Differently

By Shlomo Maital  


Snapchat Founders: Bobby Murphy, Evan Spiegel

     Stanford University undergraduates Bobby Murphy and Evan Spiegel had an unconventional observation about social media – one that made them billionaires.

     “What makes a social network valuable?   In the Facebook era, everyone believed they became valuable by amassing more and more users. Obvious, right?  

     But Spiegel noticed, that in real life, most of us spend more of our time with just a few friends, whose value outweighs huge numbers of looser ties. So from their Stanford dorm rooms, they made Snapchat an app that would send DISAPPEARING photos and images, n a way that “more closely mimicked the dynamics of a real world conversation” (See Katie Benner, NYT, Feb 3).   It would raise the appeal of Snapchat as a service that people used with a small number of good friends.

     And were they ever right!!   Snapchat is now close to an IPO, and it will be valued at billions of dollars.

     It’s not just that the two founders practiced ‘think differently’.   They did think differently, but in a way that appealed to the way we live, think, interact and chat with friends.   Think differently is fine, but it has to be focused, built on solid foundations of the way people behave, and the way we observe people behave.

   Innovator — check out social media, and innovations in general. Can you think different? Can you alter the basic principles, so that the device or service more closely matches the way we behave in the real non-digital world? If so, you can be the next Snapchat startup moguls.