- Snap reported terrible earnings Tuesday and announced it would redesign the Snapchat app.
- It also announced a $40 million write-down related to unsold Spectacles.
- Snap has always been written about as an innovative product company, but has failed to prove that now that it’s public.
Going into its IPO this spring, the common theme around Snap that it was a company focused on innovative products that would set it apart from other social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
The company reimagined how people communicate with smartphones, emphasizing text, video, and augmented-reality tricks. More importantly, its success was tied to the 27-year-old CEO Evan Spiegel, who’s been billed as a product visionary in the model of Steve Jobs.
A Recode profile of Spiegel from 2016 cited several sources close to the young CEO who compared him to Mark Zuckerberg, Jobs, and even Picasso. And that perception permeated just about everything written about Spiegel since.
In The Wall Street Journal story tied to the debut of Snap’s wearable Spectacles, Spiegel even stole a move right out of Jobs’ playbook, unveiling a new gizmo with the fanfare of stage magician, something Jobs was famous for doing in private briefings with the tech press. He even borrowed one of Jobs’ famous quips during a product demo. Boom!
From the WSJ profile:
“You wanna see it?” [Spiegel] asks, grinning widely. There’s drama in this reveal: I’m about to join an exceedingly small circle of people whom Spiegel has shown the object to. As he lifts the towel, he breaks into a delighted laugh. “Boom!”
In my experience, if someone’s being compared to Steve Jobs — or worse, mimicking Steve Jobs — they’re most definitely not another Steve Jobs.