> Skip to content

The defining story of the exhilarating rise of Snapchat – from a frat boy fantasy to a multi-billion dollar unicorn start-up that has dramatically changed how we communicate.

'A fast-paced, highly readable history of one of the defining companies of our time. If you're interested in Snapchat, or just plain mystified by it, you must read this book' -- Brad Stone

Would you turn down three billion dollars from Mark Zuckerberg?

When he was just twenty-three years old, Evan Spiegel, the brash CEO of the social network Snapchat, stunned the world when he and his co-founders walked away from a three-billion-dollar offer from Facebook: how could an app teenagers use to text dirty photos dream of a higher valuation? Was this hubris, or genius?

In How to Turn Down a Billion Dollars, Billy Gallagher takes us inside the rise of one of Silicon Valley’s hottest start-ups. Snapchat began as a late-night dorm room revelation before Spiegel went on to make a name for himself as a visionary CEO worth billions, linked to celebrities like Taylor Swift and his fiancée, Miranda Kerr.

A fellow Stanford undergrad and fraternity brother of the company’s founding trio, Billy Gallagher has covered Snapchat from the start. His inside account offers an entertaining trip through the excess and drama of the hazy early days with a professional insight into the challenges Snapchat faces as it transitions from a playful app to one of the tech industry’s preeminent public companies. In the tradition of great business narratives, How to Turn Down a Billion Dollars offers the definitive account of a company whose goal is no less than to remake the future of entertainment.

Reviews

A fast-paced, highly readable history of one of the defining companies of our time. If you're interested in Snapchat, or just plain mystified by it, you must read this book.

Brad Stone, author of THE EVERYTHING STORE and THE UPSTARTS

A first-rate behind-the-scenes business story

Blake J. Harris, author of CONSOLE WARS

Gallagher takes you as close as you can get … [A] surprisingly candid book. It will probably remain the long-lasting, definitive history of the early years of a company whose unique feature is how briefly its media and messages last

Antonio Garcia-Martinez, Washington Post

In the grand tradition of Ben Mezrich's The Accidental Billionaires... an engaging look into a fascinating subculture of millions

Booklist

Breezy...How to Turn Down a Billion Dollars ably if uncritically chronicles the short history of a young company catering to young users, with a young chief executive, and reveals, intentionally or not, the limitations that come with that combination

Wall Street Journal

A timely biography… [Billy Gallagher] has both the connections and tech industry savvy to qualify as a compelling Snap biographer, and How To Turn Down A Billion Dollars does succeed in the difficult task of explaining Snapchat’s appeal

Financial Times

Compelling ... paints a vivid portrait of the qualities you need to build a start up

John Arlidge, Sunday Times

Timely and entertaining ... packed with personal detail and fly-on-the-wall quotes

The Week (Book of the week)

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780753557594

    February 15, 2019

    Virgin Books

    304 pages

    RRP $24.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Trade Paperback

    9780753557587

    February 26, 2018

    Virgin Books

    304 pages

    RRP $35.00

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au