And more importantly, he probably deserves some money. In deposition video obtained by Business Insider, Snapchat's co-creator and CEO Evan Spiegel discusses Reggie Brown, who helped create the app back in their Stanford days and was abruptly kicked out and left with nothing. But in Spiegel's own words, Brown was part of the multi-billion dollar sensation—and still won't get a cut.
The crux of the case is simple: Evan Spiegel and the other part of the Snapchat trio, Bobby Murphy, made implicit and explicit mentions of Reggie Brown as a member of the team before unceremoniously booting him. In the video above, Spiegel not only credits spurned Reggie with the entire idea of an app that sends disappearing pictures—you might say integral to Snapchat as a $3 billion "business"—but admits he and Brown looked for a programmer, together. This belies Spiegel's claims that Brown was "just" an ideas man, a non-technical contributor who had a good idea but couldn't execute it. This is persuasive if you subscribe to the Silicon Valley tenet that ideas are basically worthless, and technical execution is everything. Even if this is true (and it isn't), the admission that the two of them looked for a coder together suggests Spiegel didn't have the know-how to build Snapchat, either.
"Reggie may deserve something for some of his contributions," Spiegel concludes, somberly. If history is any indication, tech founders are as willing to quiet down an ugly spat with settlement cash as they are willing to completely screw over their best friends in the pursuit of cash. There are far worse fates than being a Winklevoss—and Snapchat no doubt wants to brush this all into the past while so much glittering paper money, and the entire super-hyped future of the app, is on the line.