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As Wall Street gets to know Snap and its CEO Evan Spiegel, Silicon Valley can't stop talking about the upcoming IPO, which The Information broke last fall. I haven't seen this level of pre-IPO buzz since the 2012 Facebook offering.

It's a funny turn since Silicon Valley has generally been a little icy towards Snap, to say the least.

Here are a few things to know about Snap's relationship with Silicon Valley:

  • Los Angeles-based Snap has always wanted to appear hipper than the Bay Area's stereotypically geeky startups, so it's actively distanced itself from Valley giants. Spiegel has avoided hiring Google and Facebook employees—and in the rare cases he has, they often haven't lasted long. For a long time, Snap refused to have a San Francisco office. Spiegel recently caved, a little.
  • Spiegel is a very different type of CEO than the typical Valley icon (think Zuckerberg or Page.) He's been more unabashedly into business far earlier in Snap's lifecycle. And he has good instincts about the media business, which Silicon Valley tycoons have long failed to understand.
  • Anecdotally, Instagram has won back some early adopting techies. To be sure, that's because the photo sharing app has flagrantly copied some popular Snapchat features. But it appears to have worked. The "who's who of Silicon Valley" market is only so big and may be insignificant to Snap's growing ad-supported business. But getting Silicon Valley trendsetters to use your product is never a bad thing.
  • Despite all this, Snap is playing more from the Silicon Valley playbook than it would like to admit. The founders have protected themselves with a very Valley-like structure to allow them to maintain voting control in an IPO. And Snap has chosen to compensate employees as other tech companies do. Lastly, its growth is dependent on self-service ad campaigns, al la Google and Facebook.

What's next: It all depends on how well the IPO does. If Snap makes its investors rich and pushes private companies into the public markets, leaders here will be cheering it on. (The thinking goes that if the IPO is successful, maybe their portfolio companies will finally consider getting them some liquidity, too.)

But if Snap stumbles, there'll also be some (very private) snickering. In startups, as in sports, everybody roots for the hometown team.

Go deeper

Biden to sign executive orders focused on women's rights

President Biden. Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Biden will sign executive orders Monday establishing a Gender Policy Council and directing the Department of Education to review the federal law Title IX, according to administration officials.

Why it matters: The Biden administration is signaling its priorities to advance gender equity and equality as women, particularly women of color, have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

3 hours ago - World

Report: U.S. calls for UN-led Afghan peace talks

Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the State Department in Washington, D.C., in February. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a letter outlining a plan to accelerate peace talks with the Taliban that the U.S. is "considering" a full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, Afghan outlet TOLOnews first reported Sunday.

Why it matters: In the letter to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, also obtained by Western news outlets, Blinken expresses concern that the Taliban "could make rapid territorial gain" after an American military withdrawal, even with the continuation of U.S. financial aid, as he urges him to embrace his proposal.

Harry and Meghan accuse British royal family of racism

Photo: Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via Reuters

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle delivered a devastating indictment of the U.K. royal family in their conversation with Oprah Winfrey: Both said unnamed relatives had expressed concern about what the skin tone of their baby would be. And they accused "the firm" of character assassination and "perpetuating falsehoods."

Why it matters: An institution that thrives on myth now faces harsh reality. The explosive two-hour interview gave an unprecedented, unsparing window into the monarchy: Harry said his father and brother "are trapped," and Markle revealed that the the misery of being a working royal drove her to thoughts of suicide.

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