Executive Briefing

Why WeWork is worth rooting for

Plus: The consumer nuggets in WeWork’s IPO filing.

WeWork lobby
Courtesy WeWork

Perhaps it’s late-summer listlessness, but WeWork’s IPO prospectus, filed last week, generated an uproar of disapproval not experienced since, well, Uber’s a few months ago.

WeWork’s losses — almost $1 billion so far this year, on more than $1.5 billion in revenue — weren’t unexpected. Everything is growing rapidly.

But the filing exposed a bad look: How founder and CEO Adam Neumann is tangled up in a grotesquely complicated relationship with the company, including playing both sides of real estate dealings and effectively paying himself $6 million to license the trademark “We.”

And the company’s mission — to “elevate the world’s consciousness” — would be one thing if WeWork was an otherwise mundane, aspirational business. But when it’s attached to an organizational structure that looks like this, it’s hard not to roll your eyes and wonder a little.

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Dan Frommer

Hi, I’m Dan Frommer and this is The New Consumer, a publication about how and why people spend their time and money.

I’m a longtime tech and business journalist, and I’m excited to focus my attention on how technology continues to profoundly change how things are created, experienced, bought, and sold. The New Consumer is supported entirely by your membership — join now to receive my reporting, analysis, and commentary directly in your inbox, via my twice-weekly, member-exclusive newsletter. Thanks in advance.

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