WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn, from Jed Rothstein, covering the rapid rise and fall of Adam Neumann, an Israeli entrepreneur who lived in a variety of countries before settling in New York City at the age of 23. Drawing off the city’s energy and the millennial generation coming into the workforce, Neumann and partner Miguel McKelvey created WeWork, a coworking space Neumann said would change the nature of work. Capitalizing on a generation’s need to find a calling, WeWork provided purpose and a sense of belonging. To an outsider, WeWork looked an awful lot like a cult—a multi-billion-dollar cult with no ceiling. But Neumann’s inspiration became imposition: on his partners, his investors, his employees, everyone. And quicker than you can say IPO, he was out. The making and breaking took less than a decade.
WeWork is a decent doc about a fascinating story with an atrocious ending, but hammers the point home: There are an awful lot of lost souls adrift in this world. And when someone like Neumann comes along with promises too good to be true, far too many go down with him.
WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn is available to stream on Hulu. A version of this review first appeared in the pages of Boulder Weekly Vol. 28, No. 32, “Turning rebellion into money.”