How Snapchat Fails Forward

In my book, Snapchat’s failures are more impressive than its successes. They show a maturity and a degree of willingness to change course (and eat humble pie) that you'd expect from an older and more seasoned firm.  

In the latest example, the social sensation is pressing pause on its original content efforts, shelving Snap Channel, and sending home the 15-person team behind the quasi-content studio.

As sources tell Deadline, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel and his team determined that the costs associated with staging a successful content push simply outweighed the potential benefits.

In a similarly humble adjustment, this past summer, Snapchat scrapped its famous press-and-hold method for viewing content. Rather, the company reshaped what was probably its most distinguishing characteristic, and began letting users simply tap to view snaps and stories.

Industry experts applauded the move. “The CEO of Snapchat, Evan Spiegel, is doing something that everyone in business should learn to do: Be unromantic about how you make your money,” VaynerMedia co-founder and CEO Gary Vaynerchuk told MediaPost at the time. “He took a feature that was very specific and unique to Snapchat, and sacrificed it for what is best for the user.”

Spiegel and company appear to be showing similar discipline with their original content strategy.

Having recently raised an additional $537 million at a valuation of $16 billion, we have no doubt that Snapchat will get back to original content.

Regardless, the restraint that management is presently showing bodes well for Snapchat’s long-term success.

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