Almost exactly five years ago today, I came home from work and walked into my kitchen. My daughter Natalie and a few of her high school sophomore friends were sitting at the table. They were all absorbed in their phones and were laughing.
I felt compelled to ask…“What are you all doing?”
My daughter looked up at me and said: “Dad, have you seen this app? It’s called Snapchat.”
“No. What does it do?”
“You take pictures, send them to your friends, and they disappear in 10 seconds.”
“Hmmm. What kinds of pictures?”
“It’s like funny and goofy stuff between friends. It’s one of the most popular apps at school, along with Angry Birds and Instagram.”
I had heard of Angry Birds and Instagram…but not Snapchat.
“How often do you use it?” I asked.
“I used to send 5 or 6 a day. Now I get 30 a day!” Natalie said.
The other girls nodded in agreement and showed me some of their Snaps.
“Do boys use it?”
My son Andrew nonchalantly walked into the room: “Yeah, we use it a lot too.”
This was getting interesting.
I needed to tell someone about this — my Partner, Jeremy Liew.
That moment marked the beginning of a journey that led Lightspeed to Stanford University, and two entrepreneurs who had a fresh vision for the future. Ten days after meeting Evan and Bobby, we made our seed investment in Snap. Later, we offered them a small space in our building to get going.
While I’ve enjoyed Snap’s journey with my Partners as an early investor, I have the unexpected bonus of sharing the experience with my children. It’s been amazing for us to watch how far Evan and Bobby and Snap have come since that kitchen table conversation between my daughter and me…and how much they’ve already changed how we communicate today.
From all of us at Lightspeed, we congratulate Evan, Bobby, and the entire team at Snap and wish the company the best as they continue on their journey.