TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

How to Get Rich By Losing Lots of Money: The WeWork story

Adam Neumann is out of his WeWork job, but entrepreneurs will surely imitate him.

HBO's Silicon Valley aired its final episode last year, the tech world's realities having gotten too dystopian to be fictionalized, in good conscience, for laughs. When a reporter asked what material the show had left on the table, the showrunners, Mike Judge and Alec Berg, admitted, "We missed the WeWork guy." That guy - WeWork's telegenic co-founder and former CEO, Adam Neumann - had once been known for turning an upscale co-working business into America's most valuable private start-up, peddling vague kumbayas like This decade is the decade of "We." But then WeWork filed paperwork to go public, revealing that the company had lost billions of dollars while enriching Neumann.

Among other extraordinary disclosures, it turned out that he had bought we-related trademarks, then charged WeWork $5.9 million to buy them. The press soon uncovered other details to fill out the portrait of a terrible little richling: Neumann's practice of hotboxing chartered jets, whether his co-passengers liked it or not; his musings about becoming president of the world; his company-wide ban on meat that left executives puzzling over how to implement it.

When life transcends art, tell it straight.

Continued here


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