Billion dollar loser The epic rise and spectacular fall of Adam Neumann and WeWork

Reeves Wiedeman

Book - 2020

The inside story of the rise and fall of WeWork, showing how the excesses of its founder shaped a corporate culture unlike any other. Christened a potential savior of Silicon Valley's startup culture, Adam Neumann was set to take WeWork, his office share company disrupting the commercial real estate market, public, cash out on the company's 47 billion dollar valuation, and break the string of major startups unable to deliver to shareholders. But as employees knew, and investors soon fo...und out, WeWork's capital was built on promises that the company was more than a real estate purveyor, that in fact it was a transformational technology company. Veteran journalist Reeves Wiedeman dives deep into WeWork and it CEO's astronomical rise, from the marijuana and tequila-filled board rooms to cult-like company summer camps and consciousness-raising with Anthony Kiedis. Billion Dollar Loser is a character-driven business narrative that captures, through the fascinating psyche of a billionaire founder and his wife and co-founder, the slippery state of global capitalism.

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Subjects
Genres
Case studies
Published
New York ; Boston ; London : Little, Brown and Company 2020.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Item Description
"Portions of this book appeared in articles published in New York magazine and its website"--Title page verso.
Includes index.
Physical Description
viii, 341 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN
9780316461368
0316461369
Main Author
Reeves Wiedeman (author)
  • Capitalist kibbutz
  • Green desk
  • 154 Grand Street
  • "I am WeWork"
  • Sex, coworking, and rock 'n' roll
  • The physical social network
  • Reality distortion field
  • Greater fools
  • WeLive
  • Manage the nickel
  • Mr. Ten Times
  • Me over we
  • Blitzscaling
  • The holy grail
  • WeGrow
  • Game of thrones
  • Operationalize love
  • A WeWork wedding
  • Fortitude
  • The I in we
  • Wingspan
  • Always half full
  • The sun never sets on We
  • Brave new world.
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Journalist Wiedeman debuts with a thrilling page-turner about the fantastic success and subsequent crash of WeWork. Drawing on interviews with the company's current and former employees, competitors, and industry observers, Wiedeman meticulously recounts what happened between WeWork's 2010 launch and disastrous 2019 IPO. Envisioned by CEO and cofounder Adam Neumann as a reimagined space for community living that would make people "feel as if they were part of a club," WeWork quickly became a major player in commercial real estate, but as Wiedeman reveals, that growth was untenable—WeWork employed nearly 10,000 people by late 2018, half of whom had been there for less than six months. Wiedeman creates a palpable sense of suspense as the 2019 IPO approached—an investor tour left analysts with serious questions, which Wiedeman sums up as "What is it, exactly, that you do?"—and how, as losses mounted following the IPO's failure, Neumann, now WeWork's "greatest liability," grew increasingly paranoid and self-important ("No one says no to me"). What lifts this book to excellence is Wiedeman's ease at presenting a complex business saga both understandably and entertainingly. Readers will feel like they are in the room with Neumann and his beleaguered colleagues during every twist and turn of this fascinating corporate train wreck. Agent: Chris Parris-Lamb, Gernert Co. (Oct.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

The inside story of the rise and fall of WeWork, showing how the excesses of its founder shaped a corporate culture unlike any other. Christened a potential savior of Silicon Valley's startup culture, Adam Neumann was set to take WeWork, his office sharecompany disrupting the commercial real estate market, public, cash out on the company's 47 billion dollar valuation, and break the string of major startups unable to deliver to shareholders. But as employees knew, and investors soon found out, WeWork's capital was built on promises that the company was more than a real estate purveyor, that in fact it was a transformational technology company. Veteran journalist Reeves Wiedeman dives deep into WeWork and it CEO's astronomical rise, from the marijuana andtequila-filled board rooms to cult-like company summer camps and consciousness-raising with Anthony Kiedis. Billion Dollar Loser is a character-driven business narrative that captures, through the fascinating psyche of a billionaire founder and his wife and co-founder, the slippery state of global capitalism.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Chronicles the rise and fall of WeWork, the freelance office real estate company, detailing CEO Adam Neumann's relationships with investors, its chaotic expansion, and a day-by-day account of the weeks leading up to WeWork's botched IPO.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller  'Vivid, carefully reported drama that readers will gulp down as if it were a fast-paced novel' (Ken Auletta)  The inside story of WeWork and its CEO, Adam Neumann, which tells the remarkable saga of one of the most audacious, and improbable, rises and falls in American business history    In its earliest days, WeWork promised the impossible: to make the American work place cool. Adam Neumann, an immigrant determined to make his fortune in the United States, landed on the idea of repurposing surplus New York office space for the burgeoning freelance class. Over the course of ten years, WeWork attracted billions of dollars from some of the most sought-after investors in the world, while spending it to build a global real estate empire that he insisted was much more than that: an organization that aspired to nothing less than "elevating the world's consciousness." Moving between New York real estate, Silicon Valley venture capital, and the very specific force field of spirituality and ambition erected by Adam Neumann himself, Billion Dollar Loser lays bare the internal drama inside WeWork. Based on more than two hundred interviews, this book chronicles the breakneck speed at which WeWork's CEO built and grew his company along with Neumann's relationship to a world of investors, including Masayoshi Son of Softbank, who fueled its chaotic expansion into everything from apartment buildings to elementary schools.   Culminating in a day-by-day account of the five weeks leading up to WeWork's botched IPO and Neumann's dramatic ouster, Wiedeman exposes the story of the company's desperate attempt to secure the funding it needed in the final moments of a decade defined by excess. Billion Dollar Loser is the first book to indelibly capture the highly leveraged, all-blue-sky world of American business in President Trump's first term, and also offers a sober reckoning with its fallout as a new era begins.