Evan Spiegel is the youngest billionaire in the world at the moment. At the ripe old age of 26, he has an estimated net worth of $2.1 billion. The co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of the wildly popular app Snapchat has definitely got the world on a string. The popularity of Snapchat is absolutely amazing. An estimated 9,000 photos are shared every second with this app and its 150 million active users every day! But combining youth and an endless supply of money can be a very dangerous combination. Some take the responsibility of such wealth very seriously and do some amazing things, while others do the exact opposite.
Spiegel grew up with privilege and he has not even tried to hide or apologize for this. He has stated that he knows that he got lucky to have his lot in life. After all, he was handed the keys to a brand new Cadillac Escalade on his 16th birthday! It has been revealed in some leaked emails that he lived the collegiate partying lifestyle to the fullest extent of its reputation and participated in some very dishonourable behavior. While he has always had something of a charmed life and never had to worry about money, after Snapchat exploded, his wealth has skyrocketed to unimaginable levels. So with control over such a huge social media giant, what does he do with all that wealth? Here are 15 surprising things you didn’t know about Evan and his amazing billionaire lifestyle.
15. High School Gated Parking
When Evan was in high school, he kept his car parked in a corporate gated lot across from his school. His dad represented the Edison company and got him the hook-up with his own space. I guess it’s pretty understandable when you consider that his first car was a brand new Cadillac Escalade. No one really wants to take the chance of having some jerk slash your tires, or park too close to you and ding your car with their door. It must be a real burden to have to worry about such things, but this was his to bear when he was 16. Based upon the swanky school he attended, it’s probably a safe bet that there were a few other Escalades and ultra expensive vehicles in that lot.
14. Lived With Dad
Evan is quite proud of his charmed life and makes no apologies for it. Once he founded Snapchat and even after it became very successful, for a number of years, Evan continued to live at home with his father, stating that “the rent is cheap.” Hey, it’s not like his dad lived in a shack, right? Evan grew up privileged and he was perfectly content to keep living at home while he built the Snapchat empire. Many young men in their 20s would say their dad cramps their style, but I guess this wasn’t overly important to Evan. It wasn’t until November, 2014 that he decided to move out and get his own place. It was a beautiful three bedroom home in Brentwood that set him back about $3.3 million. Not bad for your starter home.
13. Taylor Swift Romance
You know you’re the real deal when Taylor Swift takes notice. Perhaps he was one of the bad guys she made good for a weekend? In December of 2013 (while he was still living at home mind you,) Taylor and Evan met at a New Year’s Eve party. They were seen together for a brief time, but like many of Taylor’s relationships, it didn’t last too long. Rumor has it Evan wasn’t prepared to give her as much attention as she wanted and he decided they shouldn’t see each other. Snapchat was his first and most important priority and nothing else could get in the way. Deciding that Taylor Swift wasn’t worth that much of your time is either incredibly crazy or absolute genius! In 2015, he started dating supermodel Miranda Kerr, so we can’t think he’s too crazy.
12. Harrison Ford House
In May of 2016, Spiegel decided that it was time to upgrade from his three bedroom home. For the bargain price of just $12 million, he purchased a 7,100 square foot home once owned by actor Harrison Ford. He and fiance Miranda Kerr moved in and made it their very own. Their beautiful new home is also located in the upscale community of Brentwood, where Spiegel was already living. Kerr made the move all the way from Malibu, but I don’t think she had any complaints. Their new home boasts seven bedrooms, a pool house, home gym, guest house and perhaps the best views of the city money can buy. Spiegel and Kerr will love starting their married life in style as they move into this spacious and incredibly lavish home.
11. Didn’t Really Graduate
Evan Spiegel did actually walk across the stage at the graduation ceremony for Stanford University in June of 2012. His family was there taking pictures and watching their son in this proud moment. The problem is that he didn’t really graduate. He was and still is a few credit hours short of the graduation requirement for his degree, but the university believed that he would soon finish them and allowed him to walk anyway. Evan has said that he regrets walking at the ceremony. At the time, he kept it hush that he hadn’t graduated because he didn’t want to be embarrassed. Today, Evan publicly admits this and uses the story to build both his and other people’s character. His message is that you shouldn’t conform to what you believe others want to see from you. Very wise, Even!
While many of the world’s wealthiest people are quick to show off their vast fortunes and talk about every little thought that creeps into their head, Evan isn’t quite the same. He doesn’t feel the need to share everything with everyone. This philosophy spills over into his company as well. Snapchat doesn’t ask for nearly as much of your personal information as other social media sites do, and Evan thinks the Facebook way of trolling to find out what kind of ads you want to see is a little much. Evan doesn’t even tell Snapchat employees about all the new products and services they are offering. That’s not to say that he’s not happy to be photographed or be seen in public. But Evan believes it is very important to be careful with what he shares and to whom.
9. Was A Spoiled Brat
We know that Evan lived a life of privilege. What you may not know is that after getting his brand new Cadillac Escalade, Evan decided that he had a taste for a more fuel efficient and sporty BMW. He lived with his father at the time, as his parents had gone through something of a messy divorce. He wrote his parents a letter proposing that they get him the $75,000 BMW that he had requested, Evan stated that he believed he had worked hard and earned the vehicle as a result of all that hard work (keep in mind, he was still just in high school at the time). His father said no to the request, so Evan moved out of dad’s house and in with his mother, who agreed to get him the car.
8. Evan’s Hard To Work For
Several people that have worked at Snapchat have stated that Evan is a little hard to work for, due to several reasons. Most tech companies are quick to meet with all the staff to show off new products or announce a new vision. Snapchat has a completely different environment. There are multiple office buildings located along the Venice boardwalk. Evan wants his teams completely separated from one another to maintain privacy. Everything is kept private and employees typically read about new products or services from Snapchat in the media like everyone else. Because of this, the company has a pretty high turnover of employees, including top executives. A human resources director left after just six short months! The segregation and lack of collaboration is very hard for many people to handle. But Evan has established this purposely and as a way of life.
7. Fashion Forward
Evan is something of a fashion guru. Not only is he engaged to a former Victoria’s Secret model, he himself has done a photoshoot with Italian Vogue. He even met Kerr at a Louis Vuitton dinner and the rest is history! Evan is perhaps the king of the understated look. His signature look is an oversized V-neck t-shirt by James Perse. In fact, he’s had this same look since he was in high school and it seems to serve him really well. His wearing of t-shirts isn’t at all an attempt to save money. These James Perse shirts run about $50 a piece! But with his more bland looking clothes, he’s taking a page out of the Steve Jobs playbook. When it comes to fashion in the tech industry billionaires club, less is definitely more.
6. Enjoys Arranging Flowers
Most billionaires have cheaper guilty pleasures. For Bill Gates, it’s washing dishes, but for Evan Spiegel it’s arranging flowers. One would think that he’d just hire it all and while he may have a little help, he and fiancee Miranda Kerr share a passion for gardening. When she still lived in her home in Malibu, he even bought her a very intense watering system to keep her property looking green and beautiful in the dry Los Angeles climate. In their new home in Brentwood, they have plenty of space to enjoy their hobby together. It’s hard seeing the V-neck tee wearing tech mogul getting those baby soft skin hands too dirty, but it is apparently a way he likes to wind down and chill out. No one can blame him with the stresses of building the Snapchat empire almost single handedly.
5. Bought A Car Seat
By now, you know that Evan is madly in love with Victoria’s Secret hottie Miranda Kerr. But to love Miranda is also to love her five year old son Flynn Bloom. So, like any 25 year old billionaire would do… he bought a car seat! In July of 2015, shortly after beginning his relationship with Miranda, he purchased a car seat of his own. You have to respect that dedication to the relationship. Maybe it’s reading too much into the gesture, but it seems that him being thoughtful enough to do such a thing is a symbol of how serious he was about Miranda. Given the wild oats that we all know he sewed while at Stanford, he must really have been ready to settle down a bit and get serious about Miranda and her little man.
4. Turned Down A $3 Billion Offer
Many people know that Evan turned down the offer from Facebook to buy Snapchat for $3 billion. This was an incredibly gutsy move and one that very few people could possibly turn down. But Evan saw far more opportunity with the communication and social media app on his plate. What most folks don’t know is that in 2012, Mark Zuckerberg tried to muscle him into a deal by explaining that Facebook was within days of launching pretty much the same thing as Snapchat and was going to make them irrelevant. This crushing mirror turned out to be Facebook Poke and was a horrible failure for the company. To this day, Evan is proud that he didn’t get suckered into selling. Now the race is on to see when he takes Snapchat public.
3. Has Been Called A Picasso
Evan is a visionary and as such, he sees things he wants well before anyone else. He is creative and incredibly controlling. As discussed, working for him is not exactly easy because of his vision and the demands he places on employees. This has been the case with many tech geniuses. Some have actually referred to Evan as a Picasso. They see what he has done with Snapchat and the company’s growth as more than just business. He is seen as an artist and uses the app and all its possibilities as his canvas. The intense privacy and autonomy he places on each team within the company make it that much harder for people to see his creative genius, but as of now, it’s all working for Evan and hopefully will continue to do so.
2. Crossroads School of Arts and Sciences
Evan was a student at Crossroads School of Arts and Sciences, an ultra expensive private school with a very free thinking, hipster vibe. We already know that he parked his Escalade in a gated corporate lot across the street from the school, but the school has a history of catering to celebs and their children. Denzel Washington was an assistant basketball coach at the school and Dustin Hoffman was a guest lecturer. Meg Ryan was frequently in the car line for after school pickup and alums of the school include Jonah Hill, Kate Hudson and many other A-List celebrities. Evan was in the presence of big time talent and Los Angeles elite. This isn’t all that surprising though, considering that he’s made it quite clear that he grew up living in a “bubble” as he calls it.
1. Rude Proposal To Miranda Kerr
Well, this is open to interpretation, but it seems like kind of a rude thing to say. Miranda was so happy to get the proposal that she didn’t seem to care. When Evan got ready to propose to girlfriend Miranda Kerr, Evan made the statement “‘Miranda, I’m telling you now, this is the first and last time I’m going to kneel down in front of you.’” Was he trying to say that he’ll never lower himself below her again? He’s a 26 year old self-made billionaire that makes everything he touches in the tech world turn to gold. As a result, it seems this may have been something of a cocky proposal statement. No matter though, because Miranda was very excited, absolutely head-over-heels in love and touched by the gesture, so I guess our opinion really doesn’t matter.