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What it’s like to work at Snapchat, one of the most secretive companies in tech

Samantha Lee spoke to more than a dozen current and former Snap employees and people close to the company to get a picture of the inner workings of the organization as it prepares to lead one of the largest IPOs in years that's expected to value the company at $25 billion.

Compared to the "Dogfooding" tradition in many tech companies, where employees try out their products before releasing them to the public, most Snap employees don't know when a new product is coming - regardless if it would affect their team's long-term metrics or goals.

Because Snap does not have a single central campus, as companies like Google or Apple do, employees are dispersed between various buildings in LA's bohemian, graffiti-specked Venice neighborhood.

Spiegel rarely addresses the company in all-hands meetings, in sharp contrast to the weekly updates delivered by CEOs of many Silicon Valley tech companies.

Former employees say that Spiegel, who studied product design at Stanford, spends most of his time in the company's product design building and runs the company more like a design firm than a typical tech company.

Unlike a typical tech startup, Snap hasn't spent much time telling its company backstory or selling its vision publicly, which some say could leave it scrambling to craft an image and narrative before the IPO. Spiegel's dismissal of using data is another non-standard approach that's a point of pride at the company.

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