Need NDA first? E-mail us at hello@ofspace.co

    The Downfall of WeWork Traditions

    14 December 2020

    Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey started their journey in the real estate business with Green Desk offering sustainable co-working space to the members. Customers, whom they called “members” at the time could rent desks or private offices with facilities like- fully furnished offices, conference rooms, high-speed internet access, utilities, printing, and a stocked kitchen. Neuman and McKelvey made money by charging the renters more money for the private space than the lease payments. 

    In 2010, the duo started WeWork, focusing more on creating a community rather than sustainability. With a rented building, WeWork started its journey on a trial basis. In the next two years, WeWork successfully became one of the leading venture capital firms, and in four years they opened their first international office in London. 

    With the company rapidly growing, all eyes were on WeWork, bringing all the downsides of the company in the limelight. Although WeWork was not a technological company, Neuman sold WeWork as an egomaniacal glamour and millennial mysticism. But the public release of the IPO documents brought out a scar secret to the public. 

    The co-founder and CEO of WeWork lead a very questionable life. .He reportedly changed the company’s name to the We company, trademarking the name and charging his own company a sum of $9 million. He also cashed out more than $700 million ahead of its initial public offering of the mix of stock sales and debt. The company lost over 1 billion that year. 

    The whole company lost everything because of wrong leadership and company culture. The question still remains where it went wrong. Here are a few insights on why and how a company like WeWork went off the rails in only a few years. 

    The dissimilarity of what leaders preach and practice

    Companies like WeWork advertises to be all about services. But in reality, what it did was served only the interest of one person. An organization with higher ideals is at greater risk of falling short of those values. 

    Long term goals can easily fail

    Having bigger goals can be the fuel to the engine that you need. But at the same time, it can turn out to be difficult to reach ethically.

    Always look beyond what can be seen

    People can use charming words to sell their ideas. But always remember to look behind the curtain to understand what they really are. 

    Look for culture, not a cult

    Strong company culture is always appreciated. Having a strong bond inside the company does not mean there is no authority for questioning. Company culture allows people to question and challenge the way things are done, while cult suppresses it. 

    WeWork was a good initiative taken by people who went in the wrong direction. It showed us that strong leadership is not only needed for a company’s success, we also need it to keep the company culture alive.