Snapchat in middle of Facebook-like dispute

The now infamous story (and lawsuit) about the founding of Facebook was immortalized in 2010 with the movie "The Social Network." Many Montgomery residents know the tale by now: Mark Zuckerberg, the man associated with Facebook (and one of its creators), was sued by Eduardo Saverin, who claimed he was pushed out of the company by Zuckerberg and other investors. As a result he lost millions -- possibly billions -- in stock in Facebook.

They settled the dispute out of court, and not much has been heard about it since then. Zuckerberg took Facebook public and the company is valued in the billions (though it may not have the social clout that it did during its ascendancy).

What many Montgomery residents may not know is that a Facebook-type dispute is ongoing with the mobile app Snapchat, which allows people to share photos with their friends that disappear after a few seconds. Evan Spiegel is the CEO of Snapchat, and along with Reggie Brown they recruited Bobby Murphy. These three people pushed Snapchat (which was called Picaboo early in its existence) to its heights today (the company is valued between $3-4 billion).

However, during Snapchat's rise, Spiegel and Brown -- who were good friends -- had a falling out, and Brown essentially faded from the company's memory. Spiegel says Brown was nothing more than an employee, though Brown contends he was much more than that.

The details get murky from there, and you can read more about it in the source article. The key point here is that whenever anyone starts a business, it is crucial for the parties involved (founder, investors and employees) to have a clear picture for what the company is and where it's headed. A business formation plan that clearly identifies the roles people will play helps in this regard.

Source: Business Insider, "SNAPCHAT LAWSUIT VIDEOS: After A 37-Second Pause, Snapchat's CEO Describes Regrets About The Friend He Ousted," Alyson Shontell, Nov. 25, 2013

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