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The story of WeWork’s rise and fall

Web Log: WeCrashed is dramatic and highly visual storytelling at its best

WeWork chief executive Adam Neumann

Strap yourself in. WeCrashed tells the story of the dizzying rise and spectacular fall of co-working start-up WeWork, a high-flying unicorn that lost its wings after flying too close to the sun (apologies for the mangled mythological metaphor).

“With his billowing robe, flowing black hair and arms outstretched, Adam [Neumann] looked more like preacher than what he really was: the chief executive of a multi-billion-dollar start-up called WeWork and Adam was here to spread the spirit of ‘We’,” narrates David Brown, host of WeCrashed as well as Business Wars, his other podcast that looks at private enterprise through the lens of competition (Facebook vs Snapchat, Netflix vs Blockbuster).

Apple fanboys

As Brown gets further into the WeWork story, a picture of a millennial Steve Jobs emerges but this man could probably sell PCs to Apple fanboys. He spins a company that leases office space into a revolution, a social movement, a way of life.

“It was a good story and he was a good storyteller,” says Brown who frames this skill in another way, furnished with a quote from Neumann himself who tells an audience what his wife said to him on their first date: “You, my friend, are full of s**t.”

This is dramatic and highly visual storytelling at its best following WeWork from its humble beginnings in 2010 to a peak valuation of $47 billion (€42.3 million) followed shortly by a $9.5 billion (€8.5 billion) bailout to stave off bankruptcy.

wondery.com/shows/we-crashed/

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