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Spiegel the contrarian.

LOS ANGELES — Though almost never covered or even mentioned by us, we are in fact fans of Snap CEO Evan Spiegel. Call us common sense, contrarian kindred spirits.

In light of Snap’s excellent IPO last week, we felt a brief nod to Mr. Spiegel would only be right. Prior to the IPO, the LA Times highlighted many of Spiegel’s contrarian ways, particularly from the office space side of things. Two things stand out:

  1. No established HQ or central campus. “Snap will begin trading on public markets without a designated headquarters, an anomaly in the tech world. None of Snap’s peers — the 10 California-based technology companies with the biggest IPOs of the last 15 years — lacked a corporate headquarters when it went public. . . . [Snap employees] take shuttles or walk between offices.”
  2. Choosing Venice Beach (LA) over Silicon Valley. “Snap has been a rebel from the start. In 2013, founder and Chief Executive Evan Spiegel left Palo Alto and set up shop in Venice Beach, hoping to escape both Silicon Valley and corporate culture.”

Why we’re paying attention: Modern luxury founders have thrived by ignoring convention and doing what works best for them. In many cases — think Tyler Brule at Monocle and Tristan Walker at Bevel — these leaders have effectively created their own worlds. In another life, Spiegel could very well have been a great MLC founder (and it still isn’t too late — though we wouldn’t characterize Snap’s Spectacles as a modern luxury item.)

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