In 2013 Evan Spiegel, the brash CEO of the social network Snapchat, and his co-founder Bobby Murphy stunned the press when they walked away from a three-billion-dollar offer from Facebook: how could an app teenagers use to text dirty photos dream of a higher valuation? Was this hubris, or genius? In How to Turn Down a Billion Dollars, tech journalist Billy Gallagher takes us inside the rise of one of Silicon Valley’s hottest start-ups. Snapchat began as a late-night dorm room revelation, the brainchild of Stanford English major Reggie Brown who was nursing regrets about photos he had sent. After an epic feud between best friends, Brown lost the company to Spiegel, who has gone on to make a name for himself as a visionary—if ruthless—CEO worth billions, linked to celebrities like Taylor Swift and his wife, Miranda Kerr. A fellow Stanford undergrad and fraternity brother of the company’s founding trio, Gallagher has covered Snapchat from the start. He brings unique access to a company Bloomberg Businessweek called “a cipher in the Silicon Valley technology community.” Gallagher offers insight into challenges Snapchat faces as it transitions from a playful app to one of the tech industry’s preeminent public companies. In the tradition of great business narratives, How to Turn Down a Billion Dollars offers the definitive account of a company whose goal is no less than to remake the future of entertainment.
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