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Can Snapchat’s Culture of Secrecy Survive an IPO?


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Last September, Snapchat employees read a report about a leaked commercial touting a new product—a pair of glasses for shooting videos. They felt emboldened to ask their bosses: Are these Spectacles glasses really from us? It seemed plausible. Paparazzi had photographed Chief Executive Officer Evan Spiegel wearing similar frames months earlier.

But after the inquiries, employees got an e-mail, clamping down on the chatter, according to people familiar with the matter. You may have seen reports about a product that we may or may not be working on, it said. Don’t talk about it.

Hours later, Snapchat publicly announced that the glasses were indeed real and part of a new strategy to define itself as a “camera company.” The company’s new name was Snap Inc. Many employees read about this for the first time in the news. – READ MORE

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