Created by a trio of Stanford University students in 2011. That knowledge/serendipity combination is behind the story of Evan Spiegel and Snapchat. Spiegel grew up as a privileged kid in Southern California, the eldest child of two high-powered lawyers. By the time he attended Stanford, Spiegel was the kind of wealthy, connected, snowboarding, BMW-driving party guy who would’ve been at home in an episode of “Entourage. Such a guy apparently had quite a bit of experience with women sending him potentially embarrassing photos, which got him thinking about a missing: Spiegel believed there would be a market for a way to send images or text that would automatically disappear. He was at Stanford, steeping in the school’s computer science and start-up milieu, providing him with knowledge of the possibilities of new technology. So he pursued his disappearing-picture idea, originally called Picaboo. Picaboo soon became Snapchat, and Spiegel’s market insight evolved into a full-blown media property and turned into a business valued at billions of dollars. It was also not obvious that these entrepreneurs could build the technology, companies, and categories that would make the insights come alive. And that’s the other trick about market insights. When you have a good one, it seems a little crazy. It is nonconsensus. It becomes your job to make it consensus, and to believe in it when no one else does. Three marketing pillars: target audience fitting, focus on engagement, and a word of mouth growth engine. Then.... Target audience pivot, a sense of security, social obligation, FOMO (fear of missing out), one-to-one communication at scale, instant onboarding.. Many students mocked the concept, but Spiegel didn't give up in the face of criticism.. Spiegel's mother had told his cousin who was in school about this app who later showed it to his classmates. The app became an instant hit and rapidly spread throughout Southern California. By early 2012, it's active user base had increased to 30,000. The guys swiftly got the hint and pivoted the app to Generation Z teens.. Friction-free creation growth hack embedded into the product that favored teens because of their natural impatience. After launching the app, the camera was immediately activated, encouraging instant photo-capturing.. Even the slightest friction can have a large impact on teenage audience.. Read-receipt subconsciously turns a simple question “Did you get my message?” into a commodity: “do you respect me?” and ”are you ok with me?”. Feeds are implicit broadcasts, not directed to specific individuals unless mentioned. In turn, consumers of the message have no obligation to respond and in some cases, may be hesitant to reply in a public forum.. As kids moved to Snapchat, their parents quickly followed, and the service became a way for teens to communicate with their parents too.. Since 2012 Snapchat’s growth channels have been comprised word of mouth (68%), invites (19%), and press (9%).. To manage all this growth hacks and keep the focus on the target audience, Snapchat hired a community marketing manager, their first employee, and by October of that year, the user base had increased to 1,000,000 and the app processed over 231 photos shared per second.