“So much of it is stranger than fiction. It’s a great story, I knew that if I didn’t write the book, someone else would and I’d regret it,” says Billy Gallagher, creator of “How to Turn Down a Billion Dollars: The Snapchat Story.” The book, which begins pre-sales lately and debuts on February 13th, follows CEO Evan Spiegel from the Stanford dorms the place Snap used to be invented, to rejecting Facebook’s acquisition be offering in 2013, via Snap’s rocky IPO.
Gallagher is uniquely apt to pen the book. The former TechCrunch reporter and Khosla Ventures analyst used to be simply two years more youthful and in the similar Stanford fraternity as Spiegel [Disclosure: so was I]. He already knew lots of the younger CEO’s contemporaries and used to be aware about the back-channel gossip about how the theory for disappearing messages got here to Spiegel, in addition to why co-founder Reggie Brown used to be driven out of the corporate.
Gallagher’s first-ever tale for TechCrunch in May 2012 helped set the file directly that, “No, Snapchat Isn’t About Sexting.” Now finishing his Stanford Graduate School of Business stage, Gallagher has each the existence revel in and the expertise to decode probably the most attention-grabbing startup founding tale of the last decade. Even with out a lot the aid of the corporate itself.
“I was given no official access,” Gallagher tells me. “Snapchat’s PR helped me with fact checking. I had to rely on previous sources I had from TechCrunch. I was pounding the pavement, cold-calling and cold-emailing. ‘What files can you show me? What emails can you show me?’ ” Gallagher labored from greater than 200 interviews and 450 pages of supply notes to collect the result.
But the toughest section used to be adjusting from the rapid-fire publishing taste of TechCrunch to the lengthy comments cycle of publishing with St. Martin’s Press. “You find something out, you get really excited, you find a second source, and then you post about it,” Gallagher says of running a blog. But with the book, he’s needed to watch scoops he first sniffed out get uncovered later by means of the blogs.
Gallagher wouldn’t proportion hints about any of the scoops he has left for the book’s release in February, however says what he thinks readers will experience is “Some of the early days of the company and even stuff at Future Freshman [which pivoted into Snap]. There’s meat left on the bone there.” Plus there’s all of the main points of the rejected Facebook acquisition. While The New York Times’ Evelyn Rusli diligently reported on Spiegel turning down Facebook’s $three billion-plus bid in 2013, Gallagher’s book will divulge the interior actions that represent the failed deal.
As for his concluding standpoint of Spiegel solid throughout the writing procedure, “You have to be impressed with anyone who can take an idea that was arguably not that great of an idea at its start, turn it into something very smart and simple, and build it into what Snapchat is today,” Gallagher explains. “I admire the guts to turn down Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook at such a young age, and then back it up by taking the company public.”
Yet don’t be expecting some cheery, one-sided profile of the product genius. “Evan has some weaknesses. For founder-CEOs that are the corporate, it may be in reality onerous when what’s getting you from 0 to at least one, and trusting your intestine, isn’t what will get the corporate from 1 to 100.”
And with reference to Facebook’s means of copying Snapchat that’s making it so onerous for the more youthful corporate, Gallagher gave those foreboding phrases: “It’s a bit disheartening to look how Facebook simply appears at corporations and says, ‘You’re Houseparty. You’re doing this in reality cool cutting edge chat app. We’re going to both purchase you or overwhelm you, and overwhelm you by means of copying you with all of the benefits of our scale,’ ” he says glumly. “It’s onerous to do anything else within the social area with out getting beaten by means of Facebook. What occurs in 5 to 10 years if this cycle continues?”