Evan Spiegel, who has pushed the concept of ephemeral communication as Snapchat's CEO, said he was "devastated" by the publication of his archived emails that were included in the most recent round of the Sony hack.
"I felt like I was going to cry all morning, so I went on a walk and thought through a couple things," he wrote in a memo that was sent to Snapchat employees Wednesday. "I even ran into one of my high school design teachers. She gave me a huge hug. I really needed it."
How did Spiegel's emails come to be part of the Sony hack? The most recent round of leaks included the emails of Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton, who also sits on Snapchat's board. His correspondence with Spiegel included a series of revelations, including that Snapchat had acquired some companies (one focused on wearable tech similar to Google Glass, another on QR codes, and a third that helped power Snapchat's live chat capability); discussed a partnership with Twitter; and mulled a deal with Vevo to bring music to the app.
I shared this with our team today and I wanted to share it with our partners and friends bc I think it's important. pic.twitter.com/eN5HpAhp42— Evan Spiegel (@evanspiegel) December 17, 2014
The leaks also included some insight into Spiegel's decision to reject Facebook's acquisition offer, which may have been in excess of the previously reported $3 billion, according to some of the emails.
In his memo, Spiegel touted the need for and value of secrets, which he said "keep the space between our community and the public — space that we need to feel safe in our expression and creativity."
The higher-level strategic goals of Snapchat referenced in the emails were not surprising. The app had been steadily making headway into areas like live events and video, while also introducing advertising and new features like the ability to send cash to friends.
Still, Spiegel said the leak angered him, but that the Snapchat would continue to improve.
"When we're done being mad and angry and upset we're going to keep doing exactly what we are doing. And then we're going to do it ten times better," Spiegel wrote. "We're going to change the world because this is not the one that we want to live in."
Some lauded Spiegel's letter, including New York Times tech journalist Farhad Manjoo.
— Farhad Manjoo (@fmanjoo) December 17, 2014
Others found it tone deaf, particularly when considering Snapchat's lackluster response its own security issues. In January, 4.6 million Snapchat usernames and phone numbers leaked online. In October, pictures and videos totaling around 98,000 files from Snapchat users — an event known as the Snappening — began to circulate on the Internet.
Snapchat blamed its users.
Man, startup dudes so much more upset about business plans leaking than women's bodies and privacy being violated. Imagine that.— stacy-marie ishmael (@s_m_i) December 17, 2014
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.
Tags: BUSINESS, EVAN SPIEGEL, MEDIA, SNAPCHAT, SONY HACK