The Catastrophic Story Of WeWork Reeves Wiedeman Modern Wisdom Podcast 238


Video Creator’s Channel Chris Williamson

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Some Of This Just Comes Down To

temperament and we start the book with a quote from Adam Newman.’s high school driving instructor Adam’s either going to be a millionaire or he’s going to jail. Those are the two options There’s no like nice steady Adam Newman work his way up the ranks at some job he was he was a go big kind of person and the question was going to be whether he he ended up being successful with that risk or or falling on his face or both or both. What have you spent the last couple of years researching well. I’ve spent about the last year and a half researching wework the company and and the last few years researching sort of the world of I guess high growth.

Unicorn Startups.

is is one way of of putting it, some of which have flamed. out in one way or another and some of which are are still with us? So is wework classed as one of those unicorns and what what is a unicorn for people that don’t live in Silicon valley. What’s a unicorn sure sure well there’s there’s there’s unicorns There’s Zebras There’s all kinds of different species now but it but a unicorn very um simply is a company that according to private valuations set by private investors is worth more than a billion dollars , and you know there there are now um certainly more than 100 of these kinds of companies and wework Despite all those troubles remains one of those those companies that are unicorns are they still private or of some of those transition to now be traded yeah the the the typical way it’s sort of looked at is is these are um you know they. are magical creatures they exist outside of the way the the markets traditionally treat these companies so so unicorns are generally companies that are that are private before um before they hit the stock market which and then you are no longer a unicorn.

  • unicorn
  • unicorns
  • researching
  • business
  • businesses
  • wework classed unicorns
  • high growth unicorn startups way
  • treat companies unicorns generally companies
  • troubles remains companies unicorns
  • live silicon valley unicorn

Once You Do I You Are Youre Not

I don’t know like what you transform into exactly and like the Silicon Valley nomenclature but but you you you yeah it’s it’s sort of like caterpillar butterfly thing but I don’t know what the next like transformation is got you if anyone understands the pokemon game that is Silicon Valley sufficiently well, what does the unicorn evolve it’s Charizard Isn’t it charizard and then you get the shiny one and then that’s everyone at school wants you cards well. You’re you’re joking. I I think but but truthfully there There is There is another group called a Decacorn and a Decacorn Is Is an even rarer breed of company that has a private valuation above 10 billion dollars and wework was was was one of those I guess that is actually a qualification that the company has has now lost . What who else is in that category of the old deckacon do you know you know I’d have to think I mean airbnb is one that is um is sort of going public has said they’re they’re going public soon . I think palantir which also went public recently is is another one that that would have classified it’s it’s a pretty small group and it and it has traditionally been kind of the biggest companies.

The Ubers, The Lifts And

and the we works that that reach. That kind of threshold have you had a look at much to do with the electric scooter lime and Bird and all of this there was a period was it towards the start of last year where they were doubling their valuation every six weeks. Like all of them yeah well and here here in the us they seem to find a new city um to occupy every every um every few weeks and and um Yeah! I mean those are the kinds of companies that we’re talking about and I think one of them. I’m I’m forgetting exactly but I think bird may have at one point had a had a billion dollar valuation, which is I mean you know if you want to kind of summarize the last decade. A billion dollar scooter company that didn’t exist a few years ago.

Is Is Which By The Way I Was

I was recently in Nashville, Tennessee, and tried to get a bird scooter. I think technically I was trying to get a lime scooter going their birds their limes. There’s like five or six different companies in all these cities and I I could not could not get the app going. Could not get the scooter to stop chirping at me and eventually eventually just gave up on it. So it’s unclear exactly what what the billion dollar evaluation is is.

Is Worth.

There’s some executive from bird and lime screaming into their airpods at the moment going it was your fault. This wasn’t us This was we tested it to the until the cows come home yeah well you know. Unfortunately, the scooter is no good without the human human to get on it so I I. Guess maybe take the app back back? It’s interesting with that just to sort of linger on that scooter thing for a second as well.

It Really Does Show How Decoupled Valuation

has come from marketability. There are entire cities that have outlawed these scooters. I think is it San Francisco had decided that they were going to permit one or two scooter companies at a time to trial because they didn’t want overload. It’s that right here’s the six-week window where everyone can have a go on a lime. Here’s a A six-week window window where everyone can have a go on a bird yeah that’s right and I I live in New York City where they um they aren’t allowed and and it’s been kind of a political back and forth of do we want these These scooters you know cluttering up our our sidewalks and and the battle we’ve had there recently or sort of the back and forth was was there’s now multiple kinds of scooters We have We have these scooters called revels, which are you know you actually sit back it’s almost sort of like a vespa, an electric vespa and .

Several People Have Died And And You Know

the the companies shut down for a while. But then they kind of brush. It brush it off and and sort of continue continue expanding, so it is the the scooter wars are sort of. Interesting and and weird dynamic that’s now in in pretty much every city at this point I can see you or an equivalently talented writer coming up with a really interesting book about that in maybe five years once we have a little bit more story arc about all of this because it’s such a like Pokemon power Rangers battle of the sort of weird novelty personal locomotion world right and which one’s going to win. You know and and what’s what’s the difference between them and and it is I mean you know it’s actually is something i’ve I’ve thought about and I think one of the interesting things about a lot of these kinds of companies.

Some Of The Ones Were Talking

about but the scooter ones. Specifically is these are Silicon Valley startups that are taking that kind of ethos and bringing it into like the real. Physical world like this is not a piece of software that just exists somewhere This is suddenly there are scooters all over my city and and there’s good parts of that and there’s bad parts of that and you can argue both sides. I despite the story I just told you have enjoyed riding these scooters um in in other situations and I think there there may be a very good argument for them but but they do put these companies in kind of an interesting place that they weren’t in 10 years ago, which is that Silicon Valley startups typically um preferred to kind of choose to believe that the real world was sort of over there and and that they didn’t necessarily have to think about how their whatever they were working on sort of what effect it had on the broader world beyond whatever they want to. Do and now? These companies are having to deal with city councils and politicians and local businesses.

Real Bleep Things Yeah, Real Bleep And And

and I I remember I i. One of the first of these companies I wrote about was Uber back in 2017 and um. This was when Travis Kalanick, the founder of Uber , was around the time that he was ousted from the company. The company was going through all this all this terminal. I remember talking to an advisor who the company had hired who sort of his job was to kind of help startups deal with politics, and he was so frustrated that all these companies just wanted to believe that they could go into any of these cities do whatever they want because in their view.

They Were Making It Better And Not Realize

that they’re now part of an ecosystem and. And that while there are great things about Uber about scooters about wework you know when you get into the physical world you’re suddenly dealing with more than just bits and and data so that’s a lovely open loop into the story of wework isn’t it yeah so where do we begin what’s the people who are listening. Don’t have a clue what wework is they’ve probably gone past them in the street the sign, but maybe haven’t realized give us the whatever it’s called the cliff notes on work as a company well well in a nice loop. The story really begins I mean given the era that we’re in It begins in the last recession and it begins in in kind of 2008 when Adam Newman, who was one of the co–founders of Wework, along with Miguel Mckelvey, an architect. Long story short got together and decided to they wanted to bake make what was basically an office leasing company and and they were both sort of had worked in in small businesses.

Miguel Had Worked At A Small

architecture firm. He had also worked at a tech startup before and Adam had a few of his own businesses. and and they’ve been they’ve been written about before somewhat humorously. One of them was a baby clothes business where the main feature of the product was that they had knee pads .

The Idea Was That Babies When

they crawl their knees must hurt. . They can’t speak and and tell adults that that their knees hurt um. It didn’t quite work, but it did become a real baby clothes business and and he tried a few other things and and so you know it in sort of the depths of the recession.

In 2008 When When You Know

companies were crumbling , they started this business to to lease lease out just basically take a space cut it up into smaller pieces and lease it out to people and and it worked great and and there are all kinds of reasons that it worked great. They built a nice space people at that time were looking for community. You were getting laid off from your job and maybe you were starting to freelance and you wanted a place to go which I think we can all kind of empathize with with now. Even though we’re sort!


A unicorn is a company that according to private valuations set by private investors is worth more than a billion dollars . Wework is one of those those companies that are unicorns and what what what is a unicorn for people that don’t live in Silicon Valley? Some of this just comes down to temperament and wework.&’s high school driving instructor Adam’s either going to be a millionaire or he’s going to jail.& Those are the two options there’s no like nice steady Adam Newman work his way up the ranks at some job he was a go big kind of person and the question was whether he he ended up being successful with that risk or or falling on his face or both or both . Some of the companies that have flamed out in one way or another and some of which are still with us? Wework remains one of the unicorns despite all those troubles remains a unicorn. Wework. & Wework continues to be one of these unicorns.& We…. Click here to read more and watch the full video