documentary hack

WeWork

Jed Rothstein

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

In Hulu's new documentary, director Jed Rothstein shows how co-founder and former CEO of WeWork Adam Neumann's dishonesty led to the company becoming one of venture capital's most significant cautionary tales.

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WeWork

WeWork

by Jed Rothstein

Overview

In the summer of 2019, at the height of its power, WeWork - a commercial real estate company focused on renting out flexible work spaces to startups and other small employers - was valued at $47 billion. In September of that year, less than six weeks later, the company's valuation had plummeted, and rumors of bankruptcy were swirling.

WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn, is the story of that fall from grace. In its heyday, Silicon Valley investors and some of the most powerful global investors were clamouring to give WeWork their money. But co-founder and former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann's greed and hubris got in the way, and ultimately resulted in the company's dramatic downfall.

The story of WeWork is inextricably linked to the story of Neumann's failings as a leader, and it's also the story of how one company can go from a near-invincible powerhouse to a Silicon Valley laughing stock. WeWork is the answer to the question of how far a company can survive on hype, glitz, and name recognition alone.

Favorite quote

For God's sake, they were renting f**king desks.

- Scott Galloway, professor of marketing at NYU Stern School of Business

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