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5 Quotes to Motivate your Start-up from Evan Spiegel, Co-founder of Snapchat

Evan Spiegel Startup QuotesForbes journalist J.J. Colao said of Evan Spiegel that he “will either become the next great billionaire prodigy or the ultimate cautionary tale of youthful hubris.”

At 24, Spiegel’s ego is perhaps his only fully developed and proven attribute, but the street cred to back that ego up isn’t far behind.

Spiegel grew up in the prestigious Pacific Palisades area of California, the son of two lawyers. He attended Stanford University until he dropped out to focus on his entrepreneurial brainchild, Snapchat. Snapchat is the smartphone app that allows the user to send a picture to selected contacts on a timer. When the time’s up, the picture disappears forever (well, unless the recipient takes a screenshot). Snapchatters send 400 million Snaps each day, matching the daily upload totals of Facebook and Instagram combined.

The impermanence the app allows is what differentiates itself from other social media picture platforms, which might explain why Mark Zuckerberg offered Spiegel and his co-founders $3 billion in cash in November 2013 to acquire the app (Spiegel declined the offer, hence the “cautionary tale of youthful hubris” comment). But now, one year later, investors value Snapchat at $10 billion. So, good call, Spiegel. Your ego has served you well so far.

Even though Spiegel hasn’t cashed in on his labor or patience, we don’t think it’s premature to showcase a few quotes from this young entrepreneur. Here’s Spiegel’s take on business and start-ups, and a glimpse into why he has that cocky reputation:

“There are very few people in the world who get to build a business… I think trading that for some short-term gain isn’t very interesting.”

“It’s no surprise companies that quickly grow in value attract those who may want to also profit from the hard work of others.”

“It’s not about working harder; it’s about working the system.”

“Be thoughtful and mindful about the things you say to other people.”

“When we first started working on Snapchat in 2011, it was just a toy. In many ways it still is—but to quote Eames, ‘Toys are not really as innocent as they look. Toys and games are preludes to serious ideas.’”

—Evan Spiegel, Co-founder of Snapchat