Evan Spiegel Defends Snap’s IPO

Despite a shaky stock market performance, Snap Inc. co-founder and Chief Executive Evan Spiegel said he has few regrets about taking his company public this year.

"Going public was really the right thing for the company, and certainly the right thing at the time," Spiegel said in a rare speaking appearance Tuesday in front of an audience at Vanity Fair's New Establishment Summit in Beverly Hills.

At $14.64 apiece, Snap shares are down 46% from their all-time high after their stock market debut in March, and down 13% from the initial listing price of $17.

The 27-year-old billionaire said he could have better communicated his company's strengths.

"One of the things I did underestimate was how much more important communication becomes," said Spiegel, who was interviewed at the event by journalist Walter Isaacson. "When you go public you need to explain to a huge new investor base...how your business works."

Primarily, that meant better explaining the demands of a young user base. Unlike past generations, which were intent on fitting in, Spiegel said Snapchat users are clamoring for individuality and creativity.

"If you just look back, even to my parents' generation, businesses and advertising were all based on this idea of acceptance," Spiegel said. "If you looked at the Marlboro man, it was about, 'smoke these cigarettes so you can be cool.' There's a profound shift that's happening right now toward empowering people to express themselves and be the best version of themselves."

Spiegel touched on a similar theme in a Los Angeles Times interview in March, saying that he expected to spend the next five years explaining how creativity acts as a lure for Snapchat's user base.

Spiegel made his remarks Tuesday after announcing the company was partnering with pop artist Jeff Koons on a new augmented reality feature that will allow Snapchat users to see virtual...

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