WeWork

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pages: 303 words: 100,516

Billion Dollar Loser: The Epic Rise and Spectacular Fall of Adam Neumann and WeWork by Reeves Wiedeman

Adam Neumann (WeWork), Airbnb, barriers to entry, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, coronavirus, corporate governance, Covid-19, COVID-19, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, East Village, eat what you kill, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Gordon Gekko, housing crisis, index fund, Jeff Bezos, Lyft, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, medical residency, Menlo Park, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, prosperity theology / prosperity gospel / gospel of success, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, sovereign wealth fund, starchitect, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the High Line, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, WeWork, zero-sum game

Not long after the IPO announcement, a team from WeWork met with employees at Imagination, a marketing firm that helps companies prepare the front-facing parts of going public. When the WeWork team explained its timeline, the employees from Imagination laughed. Finishing everything that needed to be done, with the requisite approvals from the SEC, would be impossible to pull off that quickly. But it had never been WeWork’s way to accept norms or restrictions. “It says everything about WeWork,” an employee on the WeWork team said, “that the response from the top was, If you can’t do this the WeWork way, we’ll go somewhere else

“If you look closely, we’re already in a revolution.” Many of WeWork’s first employees were bewildered by Adam’s bombast. WeWork’s offices were nice—but a revolution? And yet the community-building mission Adam preached was also what attracted many of them to leave decent but boring jobs elsewhere. WeWork wasn’t offering big salaries, nor was it handing out stock options like most tech start-ups, so Adam and Miguel’s promise that WeWork was helping to build a better way of working was their primary recruiting tool. Danny Orenstein, WeWork’s third employee, came from JPDA, Miguel’s old architecture firm, where the same economic forces that had hurt Krawlers—Neumann still owned the brand, but had handed over the day-to-day operations—had forced American Apparel to put its expansion plans on hold.

The empires of the 2010s—Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Airbnb—were being built on “platforms” with “network effects” that made them more and more valuable with each user that signed up; WeWork leased office space in half a dozen buildings to people who paid rent. But Miguel and Adam had been talking about the networking aspect of WeWork since the beginning, a decade after Miguel had missed the social revolution with English, baby! When Lisa Skye woke up on her first day at WeWork back in 2010, she found a two-sentence email from Adam in her inbox: “Good morning. Let’s build the largest networking community on the planet.” The idea was to connect WeWork’s buildings and members so that belonging to the WeWork community would become as valuable as the space itself.


pages: 303 words: 100,516

Billion Dollar Loser: The Epic Rise and Spectacular Fall of Adam Neumann and WeWork by Reeves Wiedeman

Adam Neumann (WeWork), Airbnb, barriers to entry, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, coronavirus, corporate governance, Covid-19, COVID-19, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, East Village, eat what you kill, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Gordon Gekko, housing crisis, index fund, Jeff Bezos, Lyft, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, medical residency, Menlo Park, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, prosperity theology / prosperity gospel / gospel of success, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, sovereign wealth fund, starchitect, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the High Line, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, WeWork, zero-sum game

Not long after the IPO announcement, a team from WeWork met with employees at Imagination, a marketing firm that helps companies prepare the front-facing parts of going public. When the WeWork team explained its timeline, the employees from Imagination laughed. Finishing everything that needed to be done, with the requisite approvals from the SEC, would be impossible to pull off that quickly. But it had never been WeWork’s way to accept norms or restrictions. “It says everything about WeWork,” an employee on the WeWork team said, “that the response from the top was, If you can’t do this the WeWork way, we’ll go somewhere else

“If you look closely, we’re already in a revolution.” Many of WeWork’s first employees were bewildered by Adam’s bombast. WeWork’s offices were nice—but a revolution? And yet the community-building mission Adam preached was also what attracted many of them to leave decent but boring jobs elsewhere. WeWork wasn’t offering big salaries, nor was it handing out stock options like most tech start-ups, so Adam and Miguel’s promise that WeWork was helping to build a better way of working was their primary recruiting tool. Danny Orenstein, WeWork’s third employee, came from JPDA, Miguel’s old architecture firm, where the same economic forces that had hurt Krawlers—Neumann still owned the brand, but had handed over the day-to-day operations—had forced American Apparel to put its expansion plans on hold.

The empires of the 2010s—Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Airbnb—were being built on “platforms” with “network effects” that made them more and more valuable with each user that signed up; WeWork leased office space in half a dozen buildings to people who paid rent. But Miguel and Adam had been talking about the networking aspect of WeWork since the beginning, a decade after Miguel had missed the social revolution with English, baby! When Lisa Skye woke up on her first day at WeWork back in 2010, she found a two-sentence email from Adam in her inbox: “Good morning. Let’s build the largest networking community on the planet.” The idea was to connect WeWork’s buildings and members so that belonging to the WeWork community would become as valuable as the space itself.


pages: 460 words: 130,820

The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion by Eliot Brown, Maureen Farrell

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Adam Neumann (WeWork), Airbnb, Bear Stearns, Bernie Madoff, Burning Man, cloud computing, coronavirus, corporate governance, Covid-19, COVID-19, don't be evil, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, future of work, gender pay gap, global pandemic, global supply chain, Google Earth, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, hockey-stick growth, housing crisis, index fund, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Network effects, new economy, Peter Thiel, pets.com, post-oil, railway mania, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, San Francisco homelessness, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, Snapchat, software as a service, sovereign wealth fund, starchitect, Steve Jobs, super pumped, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, WeWork, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zipcar

to go from $73 million of revenue: Financial Update, 2015–2018 Plan, WeWork. WeWork announced the deal on June 24: “WeWork Announces $400 Million Funding Round,” WeWork newsroom, June 24, 2015. valued WeWork at $10 billion: Eliot Brown, “WeWork’s Valuation Soars to $10 Billion,” Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2015. worth around $3 billion on paper: Eliot Brown, “WeWork: A $20 Billion Startup Fueled by Silicon Valley Pixie Dust,” Wall Street Journal, Oct. 19, 2017. sold $120 million between: “WeWork Companies Inc. Valuation of a Minority Common Stock Interest,” Alvarez & Marsal, prepared for WeWork, March 21, 2017. Mark Zuckerberg had secured his control: Andrew E.

Brokers were getting huge commissions leasing WeWork space. Management companies were getting rich cleaning the lobbies and running security at building entrances. What if someone owned the whole system? What if WeWork vertically integrated it all? WeWork would own buildings, it would build buildings, lease buildings. It would rent apartments, expanding WeLive. WeWork would advise companies on their office space—becoming the sole solution. If companies wanted to stay in their own buildings, WeWork would design them; then it would lease them desks, run their coffee machines, sell them software. A WeWork ID could open WeWork-run security gates.

“late-stage investors, desperately afraid”: Bill Gurley, “Investors Beware: Today’s $100M+ Late-Stage Private Rounds Are Very Different from an IPO,” Above the Crowd, Feb. 25, 2015. In 2014, WeWork took in: “WeWork Companies Inc. Valuation of a Minority Common Stock Interest,” Alvarez & Marsal, prepared for WeWork, March 21, 2017. it expected an operating profit: “WeWork Five-Year Forecast,” Oct. 2014, accessed via Scribd upload from Nitasha Tiku, www.scribd.com/​document/​284094978/​Wework-Five-Year-Forecast-October-2014. called himself Neumann’s “fluffer”: Cory Weinberg, “Neumann’s Downfall Upends WeWork’s Tight Leadership Circle,” Information, Sept. 25, 2019. “vice chairman—and also head DJ”: Adam Neumann in speech to staff, WeWork Global Summit, Los Angeles, Jan. 8, 2019.


pages: 269 words: 70,543

Tech Titans of China: How China's Tech Sector Is Challenging the World by Innovating Faster, Working Harder, and Going Global by Rebecca Fannin

Adam Neumann (WeWork), Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, call centre, cashless society, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, family office, fear of failure, glass ceiling, global supply chain, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Menlo Park, money market fund, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, QR code, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart transportation, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, WeWork, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, young professional

•Keep the long-term vision and perspective; don’t expect to go public tomorrow. WeWork and Naked Hub New York–based WeWork arrived in China in 2016 and jumped right into China’s booming office-share market, forming a stand-alone entity, WeWork China. What has worked exceedingly well for WeWork China is well-plotted acquisitions and steady, calculated expansion supported by megafunding. Within two years of plunging into the foreign market, WeWork bought Chinese coworking startup Naked Hub from Shanghai-based luxury resort operator Naked Group for a cool $400 million, a move that gave WeWork an immediate lift. WeWork scooped up 25 Naked Hub locations in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong to add to its own 13 spots in China.

One of the larger operators, Kr Space in Beijing, owned by China tech news site 36Kr, was racing to beat WeWork but has recently cut staff and scaled back ambitious expansion plans. Fresh funding is the difference between survival and closure. Deep-pocketed WeWork and its China subsidiary are loaded with new capital: WeWork China pulled in $500 million in 2018 led by SoftBank, a huge $4.4 billion investor in WeWork itself, on top of $500 million the year before. WeWork has covered China with 60 locations across a dozen megacities, adding to its global presence in 23 countries worldwide. WeWork’s recent rebranding as We Company signifies its new direction into social lifestyles and even residential rentals, an elementary school, and a coding academy, and this concept could be brought to China.

WeWork scooped up 25 Naked Hub locations in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong to add to its own 13 spots in China. It didn’t take long for WeWork CEO Adam Neumann to take a lesson from Naked Hub’s operation in trendy Xintiandi, which was making bundles of money from renting office space on a flexible, come-as-you-like basis, with no monthly contract. WeWork quickly launched the feature as WeWork Go, which lets China-based customers check for open desks by mobile app, go to the location, and register by QR code. From there, the clock starts ticking—15 yuan per hour ($2.50) and double that rate for premium locations. WeWork China reportedly picked up 50,000 registered users in Shanghai after a three-month pilot of the hourly rate that compares with a monthly rental charge of $270.


pages: 329 words: 100,162

Hype: How Scammers, Grifters, and Con Artists Are Taking Over the Internet―and Why We're Following by Gabrielle Bluestone

Adam Neumann (WeWork), Airbnb, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Burning Man, cashless society, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, financial thriller, forensic accounting, gig economy, global pandemic, high net worth, hockey-stick growth, Hyperloop, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Naomi Klein, Netflix Prize, NetJets, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, WeWork

Two out of the three WeWork employees took sips, the third told the New York Times.76 But perhaps Neumann’s greatest trick of all was his preternatural ability to profit personally from WeWork. Using his own private funds, he’d buy buildings and then lease them to his company. In 2019, he personally trademarked the word We and then sold it to WeWork for almost $6 million, although he later returned the money after a public outcry.77 He didn’t even try to pretend any of the money was linked to WeWork’s proprietary tech or real-estate holdings, which were intentionally slim—most of WeWork’s branded properties were actually just subleases, an untenable business plan. Instead, he explained in 2017, WeWork’s “valuation and size today are much more based on our energy and spirituality than it is on a multiple of revenue.”

Levin, "Re: William McFarland; United States District Court, Southern District of New York, 17-CR-00600-NRB and 18-CR-00446-JMF," letter submitted to court, August 20, 2018. 74. Alex Sherman, "WeWork’s $47 Billion Valuation Was Always a Fiction Created by SoftBank," CNBC, October 22, 2019, https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/22/wework-47-billion-valuation-softbank-fiction.html. 75. Adam Neumann, Baruch College Commencement 2017. Speech, Baruch College, New York, NY, June 12, 2017. 76. Kevin Roose, "Do Not Disturb: How I Ditched My Phone and Unbroke My Brain," New York Times, February 23, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/23/business/cell-phone-addiction.html. 77. Ben Gilbert, "WeWork Paid Its Own CEO $5.9 Million to Use the Name ‘We,’ But Now He’s Giving It Back After the Deal was Criticized," Business Insider, September 4, 2019, https://www.businessinsider.com/wework-ceo-gives-back-millions-from-we-trademark-after-criticism-2019-9. 78.

That all sounds amazing. But let me tell you something: I don’t think that’s true.” After waiting for the applause to die out, Adam Neumann, the founder of WeWork, continued his speech. “We will not stand by, and we will not lend our power to presidents, CEOs, ministers, or anybody—any leader—that does not lead us in the right direction, that lies to us, that does not take care of us. No one is above the law,” Neumann said. Less than three years later, WeWork would be so broke that planned cost-saving layoffs actually had to be postponed because the company couldn’t afford to pay out the severance. “It’s very hard, in the early, nascent embryonic stages of a business, to really—and I’m being intellectually honest here—know if somebody is going to be an absolute genius or a total fraud.


pages: 506 words: 133,134

The Lonely Century: How Isolation Imperils Our Future by Noreena Hertz

"side hustle", Airbnb, airport security, algorithmic bias, Asian financial crisis, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Broken windows theory, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, car-free, Cass Sunstein, centre right, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, coronavirus, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, dark matter, deindustrialization, Diane Coyle, disinformation, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fellow of the Royal Society, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, housing crisis, illegal immigration, independent contractor, industrial robot, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, meta-analysis, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, Pepto Bismol, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Oldenburg, remote working, rent control, RFID, Ronald Reagan, San Francisco homelessness, Second Machine Age, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Great Good Place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, urban planning, Wall-E, WeWork, working poor

See photo by Jonathan Bachman, Reuters, at https://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2017/02/13/blogs/the-worlds-best-photo/s/13-lens-WPress-slide-JSQ0.html. 45 Keiko Morris and Elliot Brown, ‘WeWork Surpasses JPMorgan as Biggest Occupier of Manhattan Office Space,’ Wall Street Journal, September 18 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/wework-surpasses-jpmorgan-as-biggest-occupier-of-manhattan-office-space-1537268401; ‘WeWork Locations,’ archived November 2017, https://www.wework.com/locations. 46 ‘The We Company’, United States Securities and Exchange Commission, 14 August 2019, https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1533523/000119312519220499/d781982ds1.htm. 47 Rani Molla, ‘“Co-living” is the new “having roommates” – with an app’, Vox, 29 May 2019, https://www.vox.com/recode/2019/5/29/18637898/coliving-shared-housing-welive-roommates-common-quarters. 48 Henny Sender, ‘Investors embrace millennial co-living in Asia’s megacities’, Financial Times, 28 January 2020, https://www.ft.com/content/c57129f8-40d9-11ea-a047-eae9bd51ceba. 49 ‘Coliving is city living made better’, Common, https://www.common.com; Society, http://oursociety.com; ‘Join the global living movement’, The Collective, https://thecollective.com; Winnie Agbonlahor, ‘Co-living in London: Friendship, fines and frustration,’ BBC, April 24, 2018, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-43090849. 50 Common, https://www.common.com/why-common/; ‘The 4 Co’s of Coliving’, Ollie, https://www.ollie.co/coliving. 51 Jessica Burdon, ‘Norn: the offline social network reviving the art of conversation’, The Week, 30 April 2018, https://www.theweek.co.uk/93266/norn-the-offline-social-network-reviving-the-art-of-conversation; Annabel Herrick, ‘Norn rethinks co-living for a new generation of nomads’, The Spaces, https://thespaces.com/introducing-norn-the-startup-taking-co-living-to-new-heights/. 52 See comment at: https://news.ycombinator.com/threads?

, Conscious Coliving, 30 July 2019, https://www.consciouscoliving.com/2019/07/30/berlin-co-living-meet-up-how-can-coliving-foster-thriving-communities/. 63 Coldwell, ‘“Co-Living”: The end of urban loneliness’. 64 Venn, ‘2019 Semi Annual Impact Report’ (Venn, 2019), https://39q77k1dd7472q159r3hoq5p-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/impactreport2019.pdf. 65 ‘Your Amenities’, Nomadworks, https://nomadworks.com/amenities/. 66 Alessandro Gandini, ‘The rise of coworking spaces: A literature review’, Ephemera 15, no. 1 (February 2015), 193–205, http://www.ephemerajournal.org/contribution/rise-coworking-spaces-literature-review. 67 ‘Doing things together’, Happy City, https://thehappycity.com/resources/happy-homes/doing-things-together-principle/. 68 Oliver Smith, ‘Exclusive: Britain’s Co-living King Has Raised $400m To Take On WeWork In America’, Forbes, 27 March 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/oliversmith/2018/03/27/exclusive-britains-co-living-king-has-raised-400m-to-take-on-wework-in-america/. 69 Brad Eisenberg, ‘Why is WeWork so popular?’, Medium, 15 July 2017, https://medium.com/@eisen.brad/why-is-wework-so-popular-934b07736cae. 70 Hannah Foulds, ‘Co-Living Spaces: Modern Utopia Or Over-Organised Hell?’, The Londonist, 12 April 2017, https://londonist.com/london/housing/co-living-spaces-modern-utopia-or-over-organised-hell. 71 Marisa Meltzer, ‘Why Fitness Classes Are Making You Go Broke’, Racked, 10 June 2015, https://www.racked.com/2015/6/10/8748149/fitness-class-costs. 72 Hillary Hoffower, ‘Nearly one-third of millennials who went to a music festival in the past year say they took on debt to afford it, survey finds’, Business Insider, 1 August 2019, https://www.businessinsider.com/millennials-going-into-debt-music-festivals-coachella-lollapalooza-bonnaroo-2019. 73 ‘City Reveals Selected Shared Housing Development Proposals’, NYC Housing Preservation and Development, https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hpd/news/092-19/city-reveals-selected-shared-housing-development-proposals#/0. 74 Jane Margolies, ‘Co-Living Grows Up’, New York Times, 14 January 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/14/realestate/co-living-grows-up.html; ‘City Reveals Selected Shared Housing Development Proposals’. 75 The Common Team, ‘Common and L+M Development Partners Win ShareNYC’, Common, 8 October 2019, https://www.common.com/blog/2019/10/common-announced-as-winner-of-sharenyc-hpd/.

For some, they do seem to be making life less lonely. ‘I would consider WeWork and co-working spaces the best thing to ever happen to my social life,’ reported a freelance web developer. When he worked from home, he wrote, his mood was lower and he even found himself feeling tired and getting sick more often – exactly what we’d expect, given what we know about physical health and loneliness.52 But at WeWork, he says he ‘went from a rather introverted person to being quite extroverted and growing emotionally’.53 Others have had similar experiences. Daniel, a software engineer and expat who worked at a WeWork in Paris for a year and a half, credits his co-working experience with sparking a number of real-life, non-work friendships.


pages: 245 words: 75,397

Fed Up!: Success, Excess and Crisis Through the Eyes of a Hedge Fund Macro Trader by Colin Lancaster

Adam Neumann (WeWork), Airbnb, always be closing, asset-backed security, beat the dealer, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bernie Sanders, bond market vigilante , Bonfire of the Vanities, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, buy the rumour, sell the news, Carmen Reinhart, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, collateralized debt obligation, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Donald Trump, Edward Thorp, family office, fiat currency, fixed income, Flash crash, global pandemic, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Growth in a Time of Debt, housing crisis, index arbitrage, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, margin call, market bubble, Mikhail Gorbachev, Modern Monetary Theory, moral hazard, National Debt Clock, Nixon triggered the end of the Bretton Woods system, Northern Rock, oil shock, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Sharpe ratio, short selling, statistical arbitrage, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, two and twenty, value at risk, WeWork, yield curve, zero-sum game

We are sitting at our normal table in the restaurant, waiting for the food to arrive. A headline has just hit on WeWork, and all of us are checking our phones. WeWork is run by a guy named Adam Neumann, and its largest shareholder is a company called SoftBank, run by Masayoshi Son.5 SoftBank has been pouring money into fast-growing tech companies. Masa Son famously lost $70 billion, the most money lost in stock market history, during the dotcom bust. He’s back at it again and swinging for the fences. WeWork is his new crown jewel and is considered one of the unicorns. Unicorns are high-flying growth companies with valuations in excess of $1 billion, companies that don’t actually make any money.

Things aren’t good.” Neumann, the WeWork CEO whom Jerry liked to stalk, will be keeping busy with his lawsuit against SoftBank. He sued the bank for scrapping the bailout, which had included a plan to buy $3 billion worth of stock from Neumann and other shareholders. But the bank scrapped the deal, claiming WeWork hadn’t met the conditions of the contract and citing legal inquiries by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the SEC. According to The Guardian newspaper, reporting on this latest lawsuit, “Mr. Neumann put his trust in [SoftBank and SoftBank’s Vision Fund] to be stewards of WeWork, which he and thousands of others had worked so hard to build,” only to be met with “brazen” abuses.

Unicorns are high-flying growth companies with valuations in excess of $1 billion, companies that don’t actually make any money. No shit. They have no earnings. You see stuff like that in a ten-year bull market. But WeWork is a special case. They got greedy. They tried to monetize too quickly and wanted to do an IPO and go public. This forced them to provide transparency in their business records and their problems, all for the world to see, in massive footnotes in tiny font. Unfortunately for WeWork, when a company wants to go public, there are analysts whose sole focus and pay depends on doing a deep dive into these records and reading and re-reading the footnotes to unearth the dead bodies.


pages: 394 words: 57,287

Unleashed by Anne Morriss, Frances Frei

"side hustle", Airbnb, Donald Trump, future of work, gig economy, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, Jeff Bezos, Netflix Prize, Network effects, performance metric, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, super pumped, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, WeWork, women in the workforce

The lesson she takes from her experience is the power of patience and persistence, of knowing without a shadow of a doubt that marginalized talent is out there.3 We brought the same conviction to our work with WeWork, the coworking company that’s still rebuilding as we write this, after a change in leadership and disrupted IPO.4 Full disclosure: we’re still advising the company and on record for being decidedly bullish on its prospects.5 We believe in the company, in part, because its commitment to inclusion runs deep. WeWork’s passionate, frontline community teams are devoted to inclusive hiring. Whenever they interact with senior leadership, suggestions pour in about how to be more inclusive to working moms, people of color, military veterans, immigrants … round it off to everyone.

Pamella de Leon, “Entrepreneur Middle East’s Achieving Women 2019: Cammie Dunaway, Chief Marketing Officer, Duolingo,” Entrepreneur, September 22, 2019, https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/339699. 4. Maureen Farrell et al., “The Fall of WeWork: How a Startup Darling Came Unglued,” Wall Street Journal, October 24, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-fall-of-wework-how-a-startup-darling-came-unglued-11571946003. 5. TED, “The TED Interview: Frances Frei’s Three Pillars of Leadership,” A TED Original Podcast, Podcast audio, November 2019, https://www.ted.com/talks/the_ted_interview_frances_frei_s_three_pillars_of_leadership. 6.

—JEN WONG, Chief Operating Officer, Reddit “Talking about love at work isn’t normal yet, but it should be. Love is fundamental to happiness and productivity at work. This book is a powerful resource for any leader who aspires to be most effective in our emerging future.” —MIGUEL MCKELVEY, cofounder and Chief Culture Officer, WeWork “Frei and Morriss have a unique gift of understanding how to empower leaders to unlock the potential in themselves, their teams, and their businesses. The guidance they share in Unleashed is invaluable for me and for the leadership teams I work with.” —JACQUI CANNEY, Chief People Officer, WPP “In Unleashed, Frei and Morriss provide an incredibly compelling case for effective leadership by distilling what leadership is all about.


pages: 154 words: 47,880

The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It by Robert B. Reich

Adam Neumann (WeWork), affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, business cycle, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, financial deregulation, Gordon Gekko, immigration reform, income inequality, independent contractor, Jeff Bezos, job automation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, mortgage debt, Occupy movement, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Savings and loan crisis, shareholder value, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, union organizing, WeWork, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

* * * — To the conservative mind, socialism means getting something for doing nothing. This pretty much describes Adam Neumann, the young, charismatic billionaire founder of WeWork, an office-sharing start-up. Wanting to get into the action early with the hope of leading WeWork’s initial public offering, JPMorgan poured so much money into the company and into Neumann’s own pockets that Neumann reportedly described Dimon as his “personal banker.” Neumann used the money to fund projects such as buildings that he leased back to WeWork, and a lifestyle that included a $60 million private jet, a sixty-acre estate in Westchester County, a residence in Manhattan’s upscale Gramercy Park neighborhood, a $22 million home in the Bay Area, another in the Hamptons, in-house concerts, a personal spa attached to his office, and a Maybach luxury car.

Neumann used the money to fund projects such as buildings that he leased back to WeWork, and a lifestyle that included a $60 million private jet, a sixty-acre estate in Westchester County, a residence in Manhattan’s upscale Gramercy Park neighborhood, a $22 million home in the Bay Area, another in the Hamptons, in-house concerts, a personal spa attached to his office, and a Maybach luxury car. WeWork never showed a profit. In the end, it all fell apart after the bank pressed Neumann to disclose his personal conflicts of interest in WeWork’s filings for the initial public offering and potential investors fled. Neumann was ousted in October 2019 and walked away with over $1 billion. Yet most other WeWork employees were subject to harsh capitalism. They were left holding nearly worthless stock options. Thousands were set to be laid off. Getting something for nothing also describes General Motors’ receipt of $600 million in federal contracts, plus $500 million in tax breaks, in the two years after Donald Trump took office.


pages: 404 words: 95,163

Amazon: How the World’s Most Relentless Retailer Will Continue to Revolutionize Commerce by Natalie Berg, Miya Knights

3D printing, Adam Neumann (WeWork), Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, business intelligence, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, computer vision, connected car, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Elon Musk, gig economy, independent contractor, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, market fragmentation, new economy, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, QR code, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, remote working, sensor fusion, sharing economy, Skype, Steve Bannon, sunk-cost fallacy, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, trade route, underbanked, urban planning, WeWork, white picket fence

As urbanization takes hold, physical spaces must adapt by becoming smaller, more convenient and multi-dimensional. ‘The trend of urbanization is something we must all recognize and understand’, says Adam Neumann, CEO and co-founder of shared office space provider WeWork. ‘People from every walk of life are seeking spaces in big cities that allow for human connections. There is no reason why retail space should not be part of that movement.’15 WeWork: a lifeline for department stores? Collaboration with shared office providers like WeWork will especially help to bring department stores into the 21st century. As discussed earlier in the book, the biggest challenge for these large stores today is making use of surplus space as spending shifts online.

Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/17/two-thirds-of-world-population-will-live-in-cities-by-2050-says-un [Last accessed 30/6/2018]. 15 Sharf, Samantha (2017) WeWork’s acquisition of flagship Lord & Taylor is a sign of the changing real estate times, Forbes, 24 October. Available from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/samanthasharf/2017/10/24/in-a-sign-of-the-time-wework-acquiring-lord--taylors-manhattan-flagship/#16255ee326ad [Last accessed 30/6/2018]. 16 JLL (2017) bracing for the flexible space revolution. Available from: http://www.jll.com/Documents/research/pdf/Flexible-Space-2017.pdf [Last accessed 30/6/2018]. 17 Kestenbaum, Richard (2017) HBC’s Richard Baker on WeWork-Lord & Taylor deal: ‘this is a moment of transition’, Forbes, 24 October.

Plus, shared office space is a natural extension of services found in most department stores – cafés and free Wi-Fi. WeWork has already been linked to Debenhams in the UK (John Lewis too is exploring the option of co-working space) and in Paris they have opened in the former headquarters of French department store retailer Galeries Lafayette. But it was their $850 million acquisition of the iconic Lord & Taylor building in Manhattan that will have quashed any doubt that co-working is part of the future of retail. The deal, announced in 2017, will see the 5th Avenue store shrink to about a quarter of its size in the 660,000-square-foot building. The upper floors will be occupied by WeWork – both as its headquarters and office space.


pages: 265 words: 69,310

What's Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy by Tom Slee

4chan, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, David Brooks, don't be evil, gig economy, Hacker Ethic, impact investing, income inequality, independent contractor, informal economy, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South of Market, San Francisco, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ultimatum game, urban planning, WeWork, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, Yochai Benkler, Zipcar

Lending Club became a publicly owned company in December 2014 and the volume of peer-to-peer loans is growing rapidly: as of May 2015 the five biggest companies have issued nearly a million loans between them and are generating more at the rate of well over $10 billion a year.6 Another booming sector is shared working spaces, promoting “access over ownership” for new businesses and independent creators. WeWork, the leader in this space, has raised over $500 million to help it expand. Wired magazine explicitly compares WeWork to Uber and Airbnb after the company’s latest funding round valued it at $5 billion: It’s a steep price for what is essentially an office leasing company. But WeWork’s business model, which combines real estate with technology, plays into the “sharing economy” trend that has captivated investors in recent years, thanks to hit companies like Uber and Airbnb.

siteedition=uk#axzz3kEBZA0Wj. Laband, David N. “An Economics Lesson at the Baggage Carousel.” Wall Street Journal, January 9, 2014, sec. Opinion. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303848104579308820544892490. Lapowsky, Issie. “Believe It: Co-Working Space Startup WeWork Is Now Worth $5B.” WIRED, December 16, 2014. http://www.wired.com/2014/12/wework-valuation/. Lathrop, Daniel, and Laurel Ruma, eds. Open Government: [collaboration, Transparency, and Participation in Practice]. 1st ed. Theory in Practice. Beijing ; Cambridge [Mass.]: O’Reilly, 2010. Lawler, Ryan. “A Look Inside Lyft’s Financial Forecast For 2015 And Beyond.”

But WeWork’s business model, which combines real estate with technology, plays into the “sharing economy” trend that has captivated investors in recent years, thanks to hit companies like Uber and Airbnb. Both companies infused established industries (car services and vacation rentals) with a high tech touch, and as a result, both companies have garnered valuations far beyond their established predecessors (taxi and limo services and hotels). And so it goes with WeWork.7 Botsman and Owyang both extend the definition of the sharing economy to include companies largely outside the scope of this book. Coursera and others are challenging university education by providing massively open online courses (MOOCs), online marketplaces for products—such as eBay and Etsy—predate the rise of the Sharing Economy and its focus on “real-world” exchanges, and crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter can be seen as an extension of the peer-to-peer finance platforms.


pages: 372 words: 101,678

Lessons from the Titans: What Companies in the New Economy Can Learn from the Great Industrial Giants to Drive Sustainable Success by Scott Davis, Carter Copeland, Rob Wertheimer

3D printing, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, airport security, barriers to entry, business cycle, business process, clean water, commoditize, coronavirus, corporate governance, Covid-19, COVID-19, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, factory automation, global pandemic, hydraulic fracturing, Internet of things, iterative process, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Marc Andreessen, megacity, Network effects, new economy, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, random walk, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, skunkworks, software is eating the world, strikebreaker, Toyota Production System, Uber for X, WeWork, winner-take-all economy

It’s as if the hard-learned lessons from the 2008–2009 financial crisis have already been long forgotten, even as we encounter a new crisis that could have even deeper impacts. In this new world, companies are increasingly difficult for investors to value. Determining which ones are truly built to last has taken a back seat to dreams of market disruption and domination. WeWork’s near collapse in late 2019 serves as a stark reminder of this challenge, Uber’s extreme volatility is another, and Tesla is a notable addition to this roller coaster ride. And the extreme stock market volatility that has defined 2020 so far has brought many sectors to Depression era–type valuation levels while barely touching others.

But we couldn’t make the models work. And we were far from alone. Debt rating experts seemed particularly frustrated. The SEC should have taken notice, but no one seemed willing to take on GE and its powerful lobby. In today’s world, analyst complaints get the attention of auditors and regulators. We saw that in the failed WeWork IPO in late 2019. The system worked to protect investors from misleading financials. But back then, no one was empowered to call out GE’s actions. The power in the system was all in the possession of large companies, which had a hand in setting regulations and then abusing them, and any vocal complainants were usually dealt with harshly.

Designing a breakthrough software app at Uber created an industry, but managing an extremely large, asset-intensive chain is something else, and the costs of doing so poorly are creeping up. Uber may not own cars, but that doesn’t make it an asset-light business model overall. Equipment rental is asset sharing, old economy style. It differs in several ways from the recent versions created by Uber, Airbnb, and WeWork. First, it doesn’t shy away from owning assets: it’s a hardware management business, not just software. Second, the leaders employ people in good jobs with good training, instead of using contractors. Third, it is highly profitable. United Rentals and Sunbelt generate billions in cash to grow and expand, all while materially lowering the costs for their customers and making the economy more efficient.


pages: 272 words: 76,154

How Boards Work: And How They Can Work Better in a Chaotic World by Dambisa Moyo

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, blockchain, Boeing 737 MAX, Bretton Woods, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, collapse of Lehman Brothers, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, deglobalization, don't be evil, Donald Trump, gender pay gap, gig economy, glass ceiling, global pandemic, global supply chain, hiring and firing, income inequality, index fund, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, long term incentive plan, Lyft, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, new economy, old-boy network, Pareto efficiency, passive investing, remote working, Ronald Coase, Savings and loan crisis, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, sovereign wealth fund, surveillance capitalism, The Nature of the Firm, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, trade route, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, Vanguard fund, Washington Consensus, WeWork, women in the workforce

“Understanding a Company Director’s Fiduciary Duties and Consequences of Failing These Duties.” Last modified February 25, 2020. www.begbies-traynorgroup.com/articles/director-advice/understanding-a-company-directors-fiduciary-duties-and-consequences-of-failing-these-duties. Bellstrom, Kristen. “WeWork Has an All-Male Board—and It’s Not Alone: The Broadsheet.” Fortune, August 15, 2019. https://fortune.com/2019/08/15/wework-%20ipo-board-of-directors-male/. . “Why One Diverse Candidate Isn’t Enough: Broadsheet for June 24.” Fortune, June 24, 2019. https://fortune.com/2019/06/24/why-one-diverse-candidate-isnt-enough-broadsheet-for-june-24/. Bellstrom, Kirsten, and Emma Hinchliffe.

Nzima, Simiso, Daniel Bienvenue, Beth Richtman, and Theodore Eliopoulos. “Corporate Board Diversity Update.” Investment Committee. CalPERS, agenda item 9c, June 18, 2018. www.calpers.ca.gov/docs/board-agendas/201806/invest/item09c-00_a.pdf. O’Brien, Sara Ashley. “WeWork Is Banning Meat.” CNN Business, July 13, 2018. https://money.cnn.com/2018/07/13/technology/wework-meat-ban/index.html. OECD. “Inflation (CPI).” OECD iLibrary. https://doi.org/10.1787/eee82e6e-en. O’Kelley, Jack “Rusty,” and Melissa Martin. “Global and Regional Trends in Corporate Governance for 2018.” Russell Reynolds Associates, December 8, 2018. www.russellreynolds.com/insights/thought-leadership/global-and-regional-trends-in-corporate-governance-for-2018.

The anti-corporate spirit has inspired employee revolts and environmental activism, and it has even influenced movements such as Black Lives Matter and #MeToo, the latter of which is estimated to have ousted over four hundred high-profile executives within an eighteen-month period. The last two decades of business history are littered with examples of challenged and even disgraced companies. Boeing, Enron, General Electric, Kmart, PG&E, Theranos, the Weinstein Company, WeWork, and WorldCom are just a handful of the many corporations left in ill repute, their financial value decimated and the reputations of their leaders indelibly stained. In fact, this phenomenon extends beyond individual companies. Whole industries have been severely damaged, including the US auto industry, banking, and technology in the dot-com crash.


pages: 217 words: 63,287

The Participation Revolution: How to Ride the Waves of Change in a Terrifyingly Turbulent World by Neil Gibb

Adam Neumann (WeWork), Airbnb, Albert Einstein, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, gig economy, iterative process, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kodak vs Instagram, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Network effects, new economy, performance metric, ride hailing / ride sharing, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, trade route, urban renewal, WeWork

In 2010, Neumann and McKelvey sold GreenDesk and decided to take what they had learned and implement it on a larger scale. They called their new business “WeWork”. When businesses rapidly scale, they often lose the essence of what first made them special. They become something to franchise or “roll out”. But Neumann and McKelvey were keenly aware of what it was that had made GreenDesk so special. It wasn’t the shared office space, although that was vital. It was the fellowship, the intimacy, the sense of belonging, camaraderie, and shared experience. They made this special quality WeWork’s primary focus, its social mission: to create a world where people work to create a life, not just a living.

This is a “sun is the centre of the universe” insight. Perhaps the “sun is the centre of the universe” insight. Human connection is the currency of the social economy. It is potentially the most abundant and sustainable energy source on the planet, yet for so many it is the scarcest. By the end of 2016, WeWork had 80,000 members in 110 locations all around world. In February 2017, the business was valued at $20 billion. 2 Ours “I know that may sound strange to some people, but most important is my connection with my fans and the connection that they breed with one another” Lady Gaga In May 2012, word began to spread that the British indie band the Stone Roses were going to play a free gig at Warrington Town Hall, a small and decidedly unglamorous venue in the hometown of lead singer Ian Brown.

Apple, meanwhile, had a market capitalisation of $625 billion, making it the most valuable company in the world. 2. Bank to the future “When I met my wife I was focused on making money, but failing miserably. She taught me that, ‘Financial success can never be the goal, only a by-product of living with purpose.’ That was a game changer for me” Adam Neumann, CEO, WeWork Ravi runs a fish stall in the maze of tiny back streets that connect up the thoroughfares of Pudu market in Kuala Lumpur. His stall is situated on a sliver of a street alongside other stalls packed densely down both sides, each trader’s produce bleeding into the next. Pudu market is a bustling, restless, rabbit warren of hustle and trade.


pages: 661 words: 185,701

The Future of Money: How the Digital Revolution Is Transforming Currencies and Finance by Eswar S. Prasad

access to a mobile phone, Adam Neumann (WeWork), Airbnb, algorithmic trading, altcoin, bank run, barriers to entry, Bear Stearns, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bitcoin Ponzi scheme, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business intelligence, buy and hold, capital controls, carbon footprint, cashless society, central bank independence, cloud computing, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, deglobalization, disintermediation, distributed ledger, diversified portfolio, Dogecoin, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, eurozone crisis, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial independence, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, full employment, gig economy, global reserve currency, index fund, inflation targeting, informal economy, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, litecoin, loose coupling, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, mobile money, Money creation, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, open economy, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, profit motive, QR code, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, random walk, Real Time Gross Settlement, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, risk/return, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart contracts, special drawing rights, the payments system, too big to fail, transaction costs, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, WeWork, wikimedia commons, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Some of the events associated with the history of SoftBank’s investments in WeWork and the company’s attempted turnaround in 2020 are reported in Amy Chozick, “Adam Neumann and the Art of Failing Up,” New York Times, May 18, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/02/business/adam-neumann-wework-exit-package.html; Arash Massoudi, Kana Inagaki, and Eric Platt, “WeWork on Track for Profits and Positive Cash Flow in 2021, Says Chairman,” Financial Times, July 12, 2020, https://www.ft.com/content/6b977ff2-ca5c-449a-bb6b-46039bd26c9b; and Konrad Putzier, “WeWork Sheds Youthful Image as It Lures Big Corporations,” Wall Street Journal, July 28, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/wework-sheds-youthful-image-as-it-lures-big-corporations-11595937615.

Son acquired the reputation of a visionary investor in technology start-ups. In 2016, Son met Adam Neumann, the cofounder of WeWork, and soon became enamored of Neumann’s business idea. WeWork is a real estate company that rents out office and meeting spaces for technology start-ups and other enterprises. Through the sheer charisma of its founder, it portrayed itself as an exciting technology company rather than a humdrum real estate business. SoftBank invested $10.7 billion in WeWork from 2017 to 2019 in return for about a 23 percent ownership share, giving the company a valuation of $47 billion. In August 2019, the company issued a detailed description of its financial situation and prospects in advance of a public listing of its shares on the stock market.

In August 2019, the company issued a detailed description of its financial situation and prospects in advance of a public listing of its shares on the stock market. This gave investors a clearer picture of the company’s shaky finances—not to mention its cofounder’s various financial shenanigans. Investors balked and the public listing had to be canceled. With the pandemic-induced recession crushing demand for WeWork’s product and jeopardizing the viability of the company’s business model, SoftBank faced the risk that its investment in the company would turn into a pittance. These two examples highlight the nature of the business—any investment could yield astronomical profits or turn to dust. From 2017 through 2019, private equity firms worldwide raised more than $650 billion in capital each year.


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Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization? by Aaron Dignan

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, DevOps, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, endowment effect, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gender pay gap, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, hiring and firing, hive mind, impact investing, income inequality, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, race to the bottom, remote working, Richard Thaler, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, smart contracts, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software is eating the world, source of truth, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The future is already here, the High Line, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, Tragedy of the Commons, uber lyft, universal basic income, WeWork, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

The same strategy can be applied in an organizational context. Your project portfolio is probably a bell curve, but it could be a barbell. Take the case of WeWork, the global coworking space. It maintains more than four hundred locations that reflect its core business—desks and offices for rent in a vibrant social setting. But the firm has made unusual bets too: coliving spaces called WeLive, a luxury gym called Rise, and a private school called WeGrow. If they fail the sky won’t fall, but if one of them pops, WeWork wins big. Careful with OKRs. The OKR, which stands for objectives and key results, is a concept introduced to Google and several other prominent firms in Silicon Valley by venture capitalist John Doerr.

Gore WP Haton Zalando Technology Zappos Zingerman’s Sources of Inspiration Airbnb Amazon Chipotle Chobani Danone North America Etsy Facebook GitHub Google Johnsonville Lyft Quicken Loans Slack Southwest Airlines Stack Overflow Toyota Warby Parker WeWork Wikimedia Zapier USING THE OS CANVAS The canvas can provoke incredible conversations and powerful stories. It can help you and your team identify what to amplify and what to change. It can even help you find unexpected sources of inspiration. But for your first foray into what can be an emotional and challenging conversation, we recommend a lightly structured workshop format that has proven to be both safe and effective.

., 62, 86 Theory X and Theory Y, 39–41, 130 Thomison, Tom, 89 tipping point, 216 Torvalds, Linus, 132 Toyota, 20, 111, 235 TPG, 253 traffic flow, 9–12, 45 roundabouts for, 10–12, 13, 47, 55 signal-controlled intersections for, 9–12, 13, 46, 55 tragedy of the commons, 98 training, 6, 156–57 transparency, 129, 130–31, 134, 136, 190, 195, 258 compensation and, 168, 169–71, 173 radical, 152, 154 trust, 236 twenty percent time, 107 Twitter, 84 Urwick, Lyndall, 25 User Manual to Me, 147–48 value creation, 78, 111–14, 160 Valve Software, 66, 107 Vang-Jensen, Frank, 227 Vanguard, 48 venture capital, 253 Vrba, Elisabeth, 103 VUCA, 43 wages, 34, 166 see also compensation Wallander, Jan, 94, 227 Warby Parker, 96 waterline principle, 69–70, 72 Weber, Max, 25 WeWork, 87 Whole Foods, 59, 61, 170, 259 Wikipedia, 140 Williams, Ev, 84–85 workflow, 14, 54, 110–17 working in public, 132 work in progress (WIP), 115–16, 132 World War II, 6–7 Wright, Orville and Wilbur, 103 Y Combinator, 230 Zanini, Michele, 26 Zappos, 144 al-Zarqawi, Abu Musab, 129 Zobrist, Jean-François, 37, 42–43 Zuckerberg, Mark, 88 ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ About the Author Aaron Dignan is the founder of The Ready, an organization design and transformation firm that helps institutions like Johnson & Johnson, Charles Schwab, Kaplan, Microsoft, Lloyds Bank, Citibank, Edelman, Airbnb, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, and charity: water change the way they work.


We Are the Nerds: The Birth and Tumultuous Life of Reddit, the Internet's Culture Laboratory by Christine Lagorio-Chafkin

4chan, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, compensation consultant, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, disinformation, Donald Trump, East Village, game design, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, independent contractor, Internet Archive, Jacob Appelbaum, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joi Ito, Justin.tv, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, QR code, recommendation engine, RFID, rolodex, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, semantic web, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Stephen Hawking, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, technoutopianism, uber lyft, web application, WeWork, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

She had planned to go from Reddit’s office in the coworking space in WeWork’s SoHo location to New Jersey that evening to visit family for the long Fourth of July weekend. Her packed suitcase was by her side. There were multiple AMAs in planning stages—she couldn’t abandon the individuals working hard on them. “What?” she stuttered. “How?” Taylor looked around the little glass-walled room; she’d amassed quite a collection of knickknacks and gifts from celebrities whom she’d interviewed. God, she wished she still had Jerry Seinfeld’s old coffee cup, which she’d kept for ages but a WeWork cleaning staffer had inadvertently discarded.

* * * By the summer of 2014, Reddit was maturing as a company, and Wong had hired up; the company comprised twenty-eight employees, across many cities. In San Francisco, space was getting tight in the Wired conference room. Martin and the small team of community staffers gradually moved back to New York, where a couple of ad-sales reps now worked. Reddit’s Manhattan presence expanded from one glass-walled cubicle in a SoHo WeWork space to two. One of the new hires in New York City would be a community manager to specialize in moderating and nurturing the AMAs. An extensive search process yielded two candidates, both avid Redditors, one of whom worked in Hollywood public relations, and had experience wrangling celebrities through various Internet endeavors.

In Salt Lake City, Dan McComas ushered Yishan Wong into a room. He put his head down for a moment, and began addressing the Reddit Gifts team, who were blindsided, some in tears. In New York City, employees got up from their desks and walked down a narrow hallway into a little glass-walled conference room at WeWork. Martin looked around the room at Victoria Taylor, two advertising employees, and Alex Angel. He started his address with a heavy heart. “First, I’m going to be leaving Reddit,” he said. There were audible gasps. But then Martin stiffened up to deliver the real news, the reason everyone was gathered: Second, he said, the company was shifting strategy and was asking everyone to move to San Francisco.


pages: 320 words: 90,526

Squeezed: Why Our Families Can't Afford America by Alissa Quart

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, business intelligence, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, East Village, Elon Musk, full employment, future of work, gig economy, glass ceiling, haute couture, income inequality, independent contractor, Jaron Lanier, job automation, late capitalism, Lyft, minimum wage unemployment, moral panic, new economy, nuclear winter, obamacare, Ponzi scheme, post-work, precariat, price mechanism, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, school choice, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, surplus humans, TaskRabbit, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, wages for housework, WeWork, women in the workforce, working poor

Work in previous centuries was something people did mostly out of economic urgency, and they dreamed of a heaven where they wouldn’t have to work or a land of milk and honey. (Aristocrats, of course, tended not to work at all and to live off their property.) To bring this mantra abruptly into the present; I had typed this sentence at a desk at the coworking behemoth WeWork, where the phrase was emblazoned on the company’s T-shirt. I stared at this koan, hoping the young woman wearing the shirt while restocking WeWork’s coffee was living it out somewhere else, and I thought about how many parents I knew, both younger and middle-aged ones, had bought into this maxim, to a mixed end. How are we all supposed to survive doing what we love? What will become of the rest of the world?

News & World Report, 55 Valencia College Peace and Justice Institute, 105 Vanity Fair, 211 Very Hungry Caterpillar (Carle), 7 Wages for Housework, 129–30 Wage stagnation, 9, 60–61, 243 Washington Center for Equitable Growth, 177 Wayne, Christina, 219 “Wealthies” vs. selfies, 216 “Wealthy Hand-to-Mouth, The” (study), 96–97 Weather Underground, 89 We Believe the Children: A Moral Panic in the 1980s (Beck), 75 Weber, Max, 60 Weeks, Kathi, 242 Weldon, Fay, 291n Westwood College, 41 WeWork, 38–39 Wharton, Edith, 94 Whitehall Studies, 96 Who Cares Coalition, 254 Wilkinson, Will, 213 William Cullen Bryant High School, 144–45 Williams, Joan, 29 Williams, William Carlos, 40 “Will to education,” 133 Wire, The (TV show), 217 Wolcott, James, 211 Women Have Always Worked (Kessler-Harris), 112–13, 123–24 Worker cooperative movement, 157–60, 259–60 Work-life balance, 13–14, 251 Work schedules, 5, 68–72 extreme day care and, 64–66, 68–74, 78–79 remedies, 84–86 Workweek, 73–74, 84–85 of average American adult, 65, 71 rise of 24/7 day care, 64–65 World Economic Forum (WEF), 227–28 World of Homeowners, A (Kwak), 128 Xanax, 45, 62 Yale University, 48 YouTube, 214, 222 Zelizer, Viviana, 77 Zimmerman, Martín, 218 Zūm, 70 Zunshine, Lisa, 48 Zutano, 257 About the Author ALISSA QUART is the executive editor of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, a journalism nonprofit with Barbara Ehrenreich.


Lifespan: Why We Age—and Why We Don't Have To by David A. Sinclair, Matthew D. Laplante

Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, anti-communist, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Atul Gawande, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, biofilm, Biosphere 2, blockchain, British Empire, caloric restriction, caloric restriction, carbon footprint, Claude Shannon: information theory, clean water, creative destruction, dark matter, dematerialisation, discovery of DNA, double helix, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fellow of the Royal Society, global pandemic, Grace Hopper, helicopter parent, income inequality, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, labor-force participation, life extension, Louis Pasteur, McMansion, Menlo Park, meta-analysis, microbiome, mouse model, mutually assured destruction, Paul Samuelson, personalized medicine, phenotype, placebo effect, Plutocrats, plutocrats, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, Skype, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Tim Cook: Apple, Tragedy of the Commons, union organizing, universal basic income, WeWork, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Along with a vast coworking space, “there will be a juice bar, a real bar, a gym with a boxing studio, an outdoor basketball court and panoramic vistas of Manhattan. There will be restaurants and maybe even dry cleaning services and a barbershop.” D. Gelles, “The WeWork Manifesto: First, Office Space. Next, the World,” New York Times, February 17, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/17/business/the-wework-manifesto-first-office-space-next-the-world.html. 32. And let us not forget the water we expend on producing crops and meat that we never eat. 2013 estimates put the amount of water being used for food production by 2050 at 10 to 13 trillion cubic meters a year, which is 3.5 times as much as the amount of fresh water currently consumed by the planet’s population.

After a century of movement toward McMansions, the latter half of the 2010s saw a significant drop in the square footage of new homes and increasing demand for smaller apartments,30 continuing a centuries-long migration from farm-based rural living to smaller, shared urban spaces. As the global success of WeWork proves, today’s young adults are not only comfortable with much smaller working and living quarters, with shared community spaces such as offices, kitchens, gyms, laundries, and lounges, but increasingly are demanding them.31 The slow death of stuff is not the end of consumption, though. We’re as addicted as ever to wasting food, water, and energy.

Olick found that younger Americans “seem to be drawn to smaller, simpler living,” citing the tiny-house trend, one underpinned by technology equipping small spaces with “big amenities.” D. Olick, “Why Houses in America Are Getting Smaller,” CNBC, August 23, 2016, https://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/23/why-houses-in-america-are-getting-smaller.html. 31. A $20 billion New York start-up called WeWork focuses on offering shared working environments rich with immediately accessible amenities. The eight-year-old business, at the time of David Gelles’s New York Times business profile, had “built a network of 212 shared working spaces around the globe” and was in the process of putting up the fifteen-story Dock 72 on the East River.


pages: 339 words: 103,546

Blood and Oil: Mohammed Bin Salman's Ruthless Quest for Global Power by Bradley Hope, Justin Scheck

augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, clean water, coronavirus, distributed generation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, Exxon Valdez, Google Earth, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, MITM: man-in-the-middle, new economy, Peter Thiel, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, sovereign wealth fund, starchitect, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, urban planning, WeWork, women in the workforce, young professional, zero day

Each of the men Mohammed would meet in the United States had some vision for how he could use a huge Saudi investment and little to say about putting his own money into the kingdom. The studio chiefs hoped Mohammed would back new movie projects. Silicon Valley wanted capital to further inflate bubbles like WeWork and the dog-walking app Wag. Even the curious magazine that showed up across the United States celebrating the prince’s visit seemed to be a sales pitch. The magazine was in the tradition of low-brow royal worship that US newsstands hadn’t seen since the days of Princess Diana. Beneath the title The New Kingdom, Mohammed stared out in a red-checked shemagh and white thobe, smirking yet somehow still looking serious.

Undeterred, he ordered the IPO team to begin preparations for an international listing a year later—detractors be damned. Despite disappointing news about the $45 billion SoftBank investment, which inflated a bubble by pouring billions of dollars into nontech companies posing as innovators, including WeWork, dog-walking app Wag, and a construction company called Katerra, PIF chief Rumayyan was discussing putting more money into a new SoftBank fund. He was also working with a previously little-known figure in the kingdom, ex–reality TV producer DiBello, who seemed to appear in Saudi Arabia out of nowhere and was showing up at major events around Mohammed and other senior leaders.

SoftBank was trying to raise a second $100 billion fund, and he was hoping his loyalty to Mohammed through his ups and downs would pay off. Would Mohammed like to be the cornerstone investor again? He had the gall to ask even as the first Vision Fund was reeling from big mistakes, like a massive bet on WeWork, an office-rental company masquerading as a tech start-up that would have been in serious difficulties were it not for SoftBank’s doubling down on its initial bad bet, and the poor performance of many of the other investments in the fund. There weren’t many businessmen like Mohammed in the world, people with unbelievable access to money and the ability to decide in a second what to do with it.


pages: 229 words: 61,482

The Gig Economy: The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time Off, and Financing the Life You Want by Diane Mulcahy

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, basic income, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, collective bargaining, creative destruction, David Brooks, deliberate practice, diversification, diversified portfolio, fear of failure, financial independence, future of work, gig economy, helicopter parent, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, independent contractor, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, mass immigration, mental accounting, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, passive income, Paul Graham, remote working, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, the strength of weak ties, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, wage slave, WeWork, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Returning ex-pats Elaine Kuok and David Roberts wrote about the year they spent living “home-free” in Airbnb apartments around New York City to explore a variety of neighborhoods.12 Their lifestyle offers them flexibility they couldn’t have if they were committed to a year-long lease or a multidecade mortgage. I contacted David on Twitter for an update, and, as of this writing, he and Elaine are enjoying a second year of their home-free lifestyle. The market for accessing housing is young but is continuing to grow. WeWork, the company that offers coworking space for rent in major cities here and abroad, just launched its first We-Live property in New York City, with month-to-month rentals of fully furnished and decorated apartments. As demand for accessing housing increases, we can expect to see even more options emerge.

life insurance Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) loss aversion Maker’s Schedule Manager’s Schedule marketing, for new jobs Marsh, Nigel Mastermind Dinners (Gaignard) material wealth, vs. personal fulfillment MBA students, planning by McDonald’s mental tasks, combining with physical Merchant, Nilofer MetLife, Study of the American Dream Microsoft middle class impact of home ownership middle managers Mihalic, Joe Mint.com Moment money, perspective on mortgage mortgage calculator National Labor Relations Act National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) negative cash flow net worth, in principal residence networks maintaining 99designs Obituary exercise offer in connecting 168 Hours (Vanderkam) opportunity, income security from opportunity mindset outbound connecting Outliers (Gladwell) overconfidence ownership, vs. access paid leave part-time side gigs passion, pursuing in time off passive income Peers.org pension plans personal branding personal burn rate personal fulfillment, vs. material wealth perspective, time off to change Pew Research Center physical tasks, combining with mental pilot tests planning for best-case scenario in financial flexibility for time off playtime portfolio of gigs building for experiments learning by doing opportunity for connections Postmates power, and expanding time predictors of future feelings priorities checkbook diagnostic exercise on extended family as of others, impact of private sector, job creation decline pro-bono legal adviser Proctor & Gamble Profiting from Uncertainty (Schoemaker) public assistance, eliminating public speaking purchases, time cost of Qapital QuickBooks quitting job, exit strategy for Rae, Amber rates of return, for housing Raw Deal (Hill) referrals, asking for regret, risk of Reich, Robert Reinventing You (Clark) rejuvenation, time off for relationships, impact on success renting growth in households vs. ownership reputation RescueTime resources, allocating to short-term activities vs. long-term goals resume, gaps for time off resume virtues retail workers retirement healthcare costs in new vision of plans to work longer before saving to finance traditional savings plans supplemental income in rewards, time for longer-term risk assessment of of boring life debt and of diploma debt facing fear by identifying size of risk reduction by acceptance by eliminating exercise for facing fear by assessing options with insurance by mitigating risk by shifting risk risk taker, learning to be Rohn, Jim Rolf, David Roth IRA Rowing the Atlantic (Savage) S Corporation S&P 500 companies, average life sabbaticals safety net, creating Sagmeister, Stefan Savage, Roz, Rowing the Atlantic saving for retirement traditional plan savings, financial plan and increase ScheduleOnce Schoemaker, Paul, Profiting from Uncertainty Schrager, Allison security creating from diversifying for income for job self-employment income tax form for risk assessment SEP IRA service workers Shared Security Account Shell, Richard Simmons, Gail skill-based economy, vs. credentials-based economy skill-based employment system, vs. tenure-based employment system skilled workers skills, income security from building Slaughter, Anne-Marie Snapchat social capital, of introducer social contagion social media Social Security Social Security Administration Society for Human Resources Management sole proprietor, independent worker as South by Southwest (SXSW) speaking inbound connecting through skills for specialization spending, auditing Stand Out (Clark) Star Plates start dates, negotiating startup exit strategy for Strayed, Cheryl Stride Health strong ties in network student loans success as contagious defining vision of external versions new American dream as definition refining vision of surrogation sweat equity bucket Target TaskRabbit tax data analysis Tax Policy Center taxes deductions for mortgage interest Schedule C withholding teaching technology for delegating outbound connecting by leveraging technology companies tenure-based employment system, vs. skill-based employment system time age-related difference in perception calculating use employees’ learned helplessness about expanding horizon for savings plan for longer-term rewards management mindfulness about and purchase cost reaction to wasting reclaiming tracking investments time frame, for goals time off benefits developing ideas for exercise financing friends and family reaction gaps in resume from between gigs, vs. paid time off planning for Toastmaster tolerance of risk Ton, Zeynep The Good Jobs Strategy Top Chef Topcoder total cost of home travel Twitter Uber drivers uncertainty, cognitive biases about unearned income unemployment insurance unemployment protection, for self-employed universal basic income (UBI) universality of benefits universities, faculty members Upwork Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center vacation. see also time off Vanderkam, Laura, 168 Hours Vanguard, online calculator Virtues exercise volunteer positions during time off wage insurance Walmart Ware, Bronnie weak ties in network wealth gap WeWork withholding taxes Wolff, Edward work flexibility full-time job disappearance future of workers eliminating categorization of last resort workers’ compensation working lives, end of worst case, facing fear by starting with writing skills inbound connecting through Xero YouCanBook.me ABOUT THE AUTHOR Diane created and teaches The Gig Economy, which was named by Forbes as one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Business School Classes in the country.


pages: 288 words: 66,996

Travel While You Work: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Business From Anywhere by Mish Slade

Airbnb, Atul Gawande, business process, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Firefox, Google Chrome, Google Hangouts, Inbox Zero, independent contractor, job automation, Kickstarter, low cost airline, Lyft, remote work: asynchronous communication, remote working, side project, Skype, speech recognition, turn-by-turn navigation, uber lyft, WeWork

There are many remote job boards out there where you can post, such as: Remotive (www.worktravel.co/remotive): full-time remote jobs. Remote OK (www.worktravel.co/remoteok): full-time, one-off, part-time, etc. jobs. WFH.io (www.worktravel.co/wfh) remote jobs solely in the technology space. We Work Remotely (www.worktravel.co/wework): has a few more non-technie jobs compared to the others. Most of the jobs are full-time, permanent roles. Authentic Jobs (www.worktravel.co/authentic): doesn't just list remote jobs, but there's a handy filter for people looking for them. Has a wide range of freelance, contract, full-time and part-time jobs available.

: www.worktravel.co/quora2 Stay focused and filter out distractions Unroll Me (unsubscribe from emails): www.worktravel.co/unroll Gmail "plus sign" trick: www.worktravel.co/plustrick Trello: www.worktravel.co/trello Pomodoro Technique: www.worktravel.co/pomodoro Pomodoto (Pomodoro timer): www.worktravel.co/pomodoto You Can Book Me (appointment-booking software): www.worktravel.co/bookme iDoneThis (track what you've achieved): www.worktravel.co/donethis AskMeEvery (track what you've achieved): www.worktravel.co/askme Kransen headphones: www.worktravel.co/kransen ShareDesk (coworking spaces): www.worktravel.co/sharedesk Coffitivity (concentration app): www.worktravel.co/coffitivity Focus@Will (concentration app): www.worktravel.co/focus Optimise your workspace Roost laptop stand: www.worktravel.co/roost Portable keyboards: www.worktravel.co/keyboard Mini-mouse: www.worktravel.co/mouse ZestDesk (standing desk): www.worktravel.co/zestdesk StandStand (standing desk): www.worktravel.co/standstand Kinivo ZX100 laptop speakers: www.worktravel.co/zx100 Deal with wifi issues Wifi speed test: www.worktravel.co/speedtest Huawei E5330 mobile hotspot: www.worktravel.co/hotspot Didlogic (cheap international calls without internet): www.worktravel.co/didlogic Skype To Go: www.worktravel.co/skypetogo Google Docs Offline: www.worktravel.co/docsoffline CHAPTER 5: FREELANCE FROM ANYWHERE Emailing Boomerang (to delay when an email gets sent): www.worktravel.co/boomerang Scheduling World Time Buddy: www.worktravel.co/worldtimebuddy Doodle: www.worktravel.co/doodle Mixmax: www.worktravel.co/mixmax You Can Book Me: www.worktravel.co/bookme Phone/video calls Buy a Skype Number: www.worktravel.co/skypenumber Zoom (alternative to Skype): www.worktravel.co/zoom GoToMeeting (alternative to Skype): www.worktravel.co/gotomeeting Join Me (alternative to Skype): www.worktravel.co/joinme Didlogic (cheap international calls without internet): www.worktravel.co/didlogic Skype To Go: www.worktravel.co/skypetogo Screen sharing Screenleap: www.worktravel.co/screenleap Document signing HelloSign: www.worktravel.co/hellosign EchoSign: www.worktravel.co/echosign Getting paid PayPal: www.worktravel.co/paypal Stripe: www.worktravel.co/stripe Freshbooks (for information about PayPal Business Payments): www.worktravel.co/freshbooks Harvest (for information about PayPal Business Payments): www.worktravel.co/harvest TransferWise (cross-currency payments): www.worktravel.co/transferwise CHAPTER 6: HIRE LIKE A CHAMP Hire remote contractors Upwork (formerly Elance/oDesk): www.worktravel.co/upwork Guru: www.worktravel.co/guru Freelancer: www.worktravel.co/freelancer Gigster: www.worktravel.co/gigster 99 Designs: www.worktravel.co/99designs Crowdspring: www.worktravel.co/crowdspring Fancy Hands: www.worktravel.co/fancyhands Information about "milestones": www.worktravel.co/milestones Screencast-o-matic (record screencasts): www.worktravel.co/screencast Hire permanent employees Working Mums (UK): www.worktravel.co/workingmums Hire My Mom (US): www.worktravel.co/hiremymom Remotive: www.worktravel.co/remotive Remote OK: www.worktravel.co/remoteok WFH.io: www.worktravel.co/wfh We Work Remotely: www.worktravel.co/wework Authentic Jobs: www.worktravel.co/authentic Upwork: www.worktravel.co/upwork Information about KPIs: www.worktravel.co/kpi Topgrading (hiring tips and resources): www.worktravel.co/topgrading Buffer's 45-day contract period: www.worktravel.co/bootcamp CHAPTER 7: RUN THE BEST BIZ Team chat software Slack: www.worktravel.co/slack HipChat: www.worktravel.co/hipchat Structured meetings and ad-hoc calls Mastering The Rockefeller Habits (book): www.worktravel.co/rockefeller World Time Buddy: www.worktravel.co/worldtimebuddy Google Calendar: www.worktravel.co/calendar Zoom (alternative to Skype): www.worktravel.co/zoom Appear.in (alternative to Skype): www.worktravel.co/appear Screen sharing Screenleap: www.worktravel.co/screenleap Giving tutorials and training Screencast-o-matic: www.worktravel.co/screencast ScreenFlow (Mac): www.worktravel.co/screenflow Camtasia (Windows): www.worktravel.co/camtasia Procedures Google Drive: www.worktravel.co/drive Process Street: www.worktravel.co/process Project management Trello: www.worktravel.co/trello Basecamp: www.worktravel.co/basecamp Asana: www.worktravel.co/asana Teamwork: www.worktravel.co/teamwork Wikipedia's "Comparison of project management software" page: www.worktravel.co/pmtools Cloud storage Dropbox: www.worktravel.co/dropbox OneDrive: www.worktravel.co/onedrive Google Drive: www.worktravel.co/drive Information on Google Drive "offline mode": www.worktravel.co/docsoffline Box: www.worktravel.co/box Amazon Cloud Drive: www.worktravel.co/acd Other useful tools and resources LastPass (password management): www.worktravel.co/lastpass HelloSign (document signing): www.worktravel.co/hellosign EchoSign (document signing): www.worktravel.co/echosign Sqwiggle (video team chat): www.worktravel.co/sqwiggle Zapier (task automation): www.worktravel.co/zapier IFTTT (task automation): www.worktravel.co/ifttt Also by the author… Protect Your Tech: Your geek-free guide to a secure and private digital life If your password for every website is "monkey" or "iloveyou"… you need to read this book.


pages: 244 words: 66,977

Subscribed: Why the Subscription Model Will Be Your Company's Future - and What to Do About It by Tien Tzuo, Gabe Weisert

3D printing, Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, Build a better mousetrap, business cycle, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, connected car, death of newspapers, digital twin, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, factory automation, fiat currency, hockey-stick growth, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Lean Startup, Lyft, manufacturing employment, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, nuclear winter, pets.com, profit maximization, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, smart meter, social graph, software as a service, spice trade, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Tim Cook: Apple, transport as a service, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, WeWork, Y2K, Zipcar

They want to have more flexibility, more choices, and the ability to mix up their environments when they feel like it. In our office at Zuora, we give everyone a desk, but lots of people can’t stand them. They’re much more comfortable taking their laptops to a sofa in a lounge space, putting on their earphones, and cranking away. Companies like WeWork and Servcorp have figured out that they can make more money per square foot catering to these new preferences. Companies aren’t as interested in onerous long-term property leases anymore—they want the flexibility to expand or decrease their footprint as they see fit. More and more of the physical world is becoming unlocked.

See subscription video on demand (SVOD) Symantec, 90 Symmons Industries, 112 Target, 34 Tarkett, 112 Technology-as-a-Service Playbook: How to Grow a Profitable Subscription Business (Lah and Wood), 85–86 technology industry, 80–96 fish model and, 85–86 growth in, since Great Recession, 96 hardware companies, 93–96 software as a service (SaaS) model, 5–6, 80–93 2001 crash and, 82–83 2008 crash and, 83–84 TechValidate, 171 Ten Commandments, The (film), 38 Terry-Lloyd, Richard, 158 Tesla, 34 Thompson, Ben, 66, 94, 184 Thompson, Mark, 78 Three Rooms mental model of storytelling and, 149–51 Thync, 107 Times Warner, 46 total quality initiative, 16 Tower Records, 17 Trunk Club, 23, 28, 33 Trupanion, 118 Tunguz, Tomasz, 82 Twitch, 42 Uber, 3, 13–14, 53, 54–55 Udemy, 117 Ulrich, Lars, 39 UNTUCKit, 23 upselling, 164–67 usage-based billing, 221–27 user data, 139–40 utilities, 119 value metric, 221 value of customers, increasing, 164–67 VandeHei, Jim, 68 Vanity Fair, 65 Veghte, Bill, 171 Venmo, 121 Vice, 67 Virgin Megastore, 17 virtuous feedback loop, 48–49, 136–37 Volvo, 52 Vox, 71 VRBO, 120 Wadhwani, David, 81, 88 Walgreens, 34 Wall Street Journal, The, 65 Walmart, 25–26 Warby Parker, 23, 33, 145 Wealthfront, 121 West, Kanye, 48, 136–37 Westfield World Trade Center mall, 35 WeWork, 120 Whim app, 63 Whirlpool, 107 Whole Foods, 23 Wizard of Oz, The (film), 37 Wolf, Michael J., 24, 76, 78 Wood, J. B., 85–86, 96 Wufoo, 171 Xero, 3 Xerox, 12 Yellin, Todd, 140 Yoshida, Naoki, 127 Zendesk, 3 Zillow, 120 Zimmer, John, 55 Zipcar, 3, 53–54 Zou, Cheng, 5–6 Zuora, 3, 6, 42, 63, 120, 149, 150, 160, 161, 201 ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ About the Author Tien Tzuo is the CEO and cofounder of Zuora, the leading subscription SaaS provider, with more than 1,000 customers worldwide.


pages: 226 words: 65,516

Kings of Crypto: One Startup's Quest to Take Cryptocurrency Out of Silicon Valley and Onto Wall Street by Jeff John Roberts

"side hustle", 4chan, Airbnb, altcoin, Apple II, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Blythe Masters, Bonfire of the Vanities, Burning Man, buttonwood tree, cloud computing, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, Dogecoin, Donald Trump, double helix, Elliott wave, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, family office, Flash crash, forensic accounting, hacker house, hockey-stick growth, index fund, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, litecoin, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, offshore financial centre, open borders, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, ransomware, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ross Ulbricht, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Satoshi Nakamoto, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, smart contracts, software is eating the world, Startup school, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, transaction costs, WeWork, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

The company’s finances were in good shape thanks to a series E funding round worth $300 million and backed by the hedge fund Tiger Global. This cash infusion topped off a war chest the company had built up during the boom. Unlike other high-profile startups like Uber and WeWork, which were bleeding billions every quarter, Coinbase could actually turn a profit. Meanwhile, Coinbase lacked the hyper-bro culture that contributed to the implosion of other startups, including WeWork, whose plans for an IPO blew up spectacularly amid reports of its CEO’s penchant for tequila shots and smoking weed. What’s more, crypto winter offered Coinbase a desperately needed respite. If 2017 had been a wildly successful party, then 2018 would be a year to clean up all the broken glass and replace the smashed furniture.


pages: 316 words: 87,486

Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? by Thomas Frank

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American ideology, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, Burning Man, centre right, circulation of elites, Clayton Christensen, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, full employment, George Gilder, gig economy, Gini coefficient, income inequality, independent contractor, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, microcredit, mobile money, moral panic, mortgage debt, Nelson Mandela, new economy, obamacare, payday loans, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, pre–internet, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Republic of Letters, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Savings and loan crisis, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, union organizing, urban decay, WeWork, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, young professional

The wi-fi was free; the screens hung here and there displayed still more famous quotations about inventiveness; and of course the walls were writable; but otherwise it was not much different from an ordinary public library. Aside from not having anything to read, that is. This was my introduction to the innovation infrastructure of the city, much of it built up by entrepreneurs shrewdly angling to grab a piece of the entrepreneur craze. There are “co-working” spaces like “Workbar” and “WeWork,” shared offices for startups that can’t afford the real thing. There are startup “incubators” and startup “accelerators,” which aim to ease the innovator’s eternal struggle with an uncaring public: the Startup Institute, for example, and the famous MassChallenge, the “World’s Largest Startup Accelerator,” which runs an annual competition for new companies and hands out prizes at the end.

See also banks; financial crisis of 2008; stock market bailouts and Bill Clinton and blue states and compensation Democrats and deregulation and Dodd-Frank and financialization and fraud and Hillary Clinton and Obama and Social Security and Wall Street Journal Wal-Mart Wap, Fetty Warburg Pincus firm Warren, Elizabeth Washington Monthly Washington Post Watergate scandal Weisberg, Jacob Welfare Reform Act (1996) Wellesley College Wells Fargo WeWork White, Theodore White Collar (Mills) White House Conference on the New Economy (2000) White House Counsel White House Travel Office Whitewater scandal Who Owns the Future? (Lanier) Why doesn’t Microfinance Work? (Bateman) Wolfe, Tom Woman in Charge, A (Bernstein) Woodward, Bob Work of Nations, The (Reich) Works Progress Administration (WPA) WorldCom-MCI merger World War II Yale University Law Journal Yergin, Daniel YouTube Yunus, Muhammad yuppies Zuckerberg, Mark ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This book owes a tremendous debt to my two researchers, Alex Kelly and Zachary Davis, who did so much capable work on so many different subjects.


pages: 324 words: 80,217

The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success by Ross Douthat

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, charter city, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, ghettoisation, gig economy, Haight Ashbury, helicopter parent, hive mind, Hyperloop, immigration reform, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Islamic Golden Age, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, life extension, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, megacity, microaggression, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multiplanetary species, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, obamacare, Oculus Rift, open borders, out of africa, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, QAnon, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social web, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wage slave, WeWork, women in the workforce, Y2K

So it sits there, widely regarded as one of the defining success stories of the Internet era, a unicorn unlike any other, with billions in losses and a plan to become profitable that involves vague promises to somehow monetize all its user data and a specific promise that its investment in a different new technology—the self-driving car, much ballyhooed but as yet not exactly real—will square the circle and make the math add up. That’s the story of Uber—so far. It isn’t a pure Instagram fantasy like the Fyre Festival or a naked fraud like Theranos; it managed to go public and maintain its outsize valuation, unlike its fellow money-losing unicorn WeWork, whose recent attempt at an IPO hurled it into crisis. But like them, it is, for now, an example of a major twenty-first-century company invented entirely out of surplus, less economically efficient so far than the rivals it is supposed to leapfrog, sustained by investors who believe its promises in defiance of the existing evidence, floated by the hope that with enough money and market share, you can will a profitable company into existence, and goldwashed by an “Internet company” identity that obscures the weakness of its real-world fundamentals.

News & World Report, 98 utopianism, 210–13 Vanity Fair, 91–93 Varoufakis, Yanis, 219 Vendée, the, martyrs of, 206–7 Venezuela, 33 venture capital, 19 video games, 88 see also virtual entertainments Vietnam War, 70, 90 Villeneuve, Denis, 94 “Violent Passion Surrogate,” 128, 130, 132, 135 virtual entertainments, 122–26, 128–29, 149 and decline in risky social behaviors, 122–23, 148 in Japan, 88, 125 pornography and, 125 sex and, 128 violence in, 122 worktime participation and, 124 virtual realities, 236 Virtue of Nationalism, The (Hazony), 218 virtuous communities, 215–17 Vollrath, Dietrich, 182 wages: black-white gap in, 99 gender gap in, 99 “Waiting for the Barbarians” (Cavafy), 157–58 Walgreens, 19 Wallace-Wells, David, 195–96 Wall Street, government symbiosis with, 69 warfare, surgical precision in, 150, 151 Waugh, Evelyn, 183 Weglarz, Geoffrey, 137–38, 148 welfare programs, 34 welfare state, 76 birthrates and, 51, 52 West: cultural synthesis of postcolonial world and, 208–9 decadence of, 10 Western frontier, 3–5 WeWork, 21 White, E. B., 109 white supremacists, 153 Why Liberalism Failed (Deneen), 215–17 “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” (Slaughter), 97 Wikipedia, 106 Wilder, Gary, 208 Wild Wild Country (documentary), 101–2 Wills, Garry, 110 Winemiller, Roger, 62 Wire, The (TV show), 95 Wired, 211 Wolfe, Tom, 96–97, 109–10 women, in workforce, 24 workers, as less likely than before to change jobs, 27 workforce participation: decline in, 23 virtual entertainments and, 124 women and, 24 World Trade Organization, China’s entry into, 29 World War II, 109, 183 Wright, Robin, 134 Wrinkle in Time, A (L’Engle), 240 Xi Jinping, 114, 167 Yemen, 199 Yiannopoulos, Milo, 143 Young, Michael, 170–71, 172 YouTube, 194 AVID READER PRESS An Imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc. 1230 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10020 www.SimonandSchuster.com Copyright © 2020 by Ross Douthat All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.


pages: 251 words: 80,831

Super Founders: What Data Reveals About Billion-Dollar Startups by Ali Tamaseb

"side hustle", 23andMe, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Anne Wojcicki, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, business intelligence, buy and hold, Chris Wanstrath, clean water, cloud computing, coronavirus, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, cryptocurrency, discounted cash flows, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, game design, gig economy, high net worth, hiring and firing, index fund, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, late fees, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, Network effects, nuclear winter, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, QR code, remote working, ride hailing / ride sharing, robotic process automation, rolodex, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, survivorship bias, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the payments system, Tony Hsieh, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, web application, WeWork, Y Combinator

Tunguz’s analysis demonstrated that the ROIC initially increased for SaaS companies—but has been on a decline since 2014 (see the graph “Return on Invested Capital over the Years”). Even SaaS startups differ widely in terms of capital efficiency. Companies below the diagonal line were more capital efficient. Source: Shin Kim, “Most Tech Companies Aren’t WeWork,” TechCrunch, January 24, 2020, https://techcrunch.com/2020/01/24/most-tech-companies-arent-wework/. Capital efficiency for software companies has been in decline. Source: Tomasz Tunguz, “Do SaaS Startups Still Require Less Capital than 10 Years Ago?” (first graph), TomTunguz.com, April 2, 2019, https://tomtunguz.com/capital-efficiency-five-years-later/.


pages: 330 words: 99,044

Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire by Rebecca Henderson

Airbnb, asset allocation, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, crony capitalism, dark matter, decarbonisation, disruptive innovation, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, fixed income, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, greed is good, Hans Rosling, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, impact investing, income inequality, independent contractor, index fund, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), joint-stock company, Kickstarter, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, meta-analysis, microcredit, mittelstand, Mont Pelerin Society, Nelson Mandela, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, profit maximization, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steven Pinker, stocks for the long run, Tim Cook: Apple, total factor productivity, Toyota Production System, uber lyft, urban planning, Washington Consensus, WeWork, working-age population, Zipcar

It took the dot-com bubble of 1994 to 2000, and the success of Facebook and Google to persuade mainstream investors of the power of platforms. But most now have a deep appreciation for the ways in which investing to build a large, sticky customer base committed to your platform can lead to massive profits. Indeed one of the causes of the recent failure of WeWork’s IPO was the fact that most investors could see that while the firm touted itself as a platform play, it was not at all clear this was the case. Viewed from this perspective, to the degree that there is genuinely money to be made in creating shared value and in building purpose-driven firms, investors’ reluctance to invest in purpose cannot be only a function of their inherent short-termism.


pages: 380 words: 109,724

Don't Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles--And All of US by Rana Foroohar

"side hustle", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, algorithmic bias, AltaVista, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, cleantech, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, computer age, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, death of newspapers, Deng Xiaoping, disinformation, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Etonian, Filter Bubble, future of work, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, income inequality, independent contractor, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Kenneth Rogoff, life extension, light touch regulation, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, PageRank, patent troll, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, price discrimination, profit maximization, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, search engine result page, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, Snapchat, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, subscription business, supply-chain management, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, the new new thing, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, WeWork, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

I’m thinking in particular of Elon Musk’s SpaceX, but also Peter Thiel’s Palantir, which has been scaling back its thirteen-course lobster tail and sashimi lunches in anticipation of its public offering (probably a good idea, given that the company has yet to turn a profit in its fourteen-year history, despite having a valuation of $20 billion).22 Today’s darlings can so easily become tomorrow’s discards; as I finish this book, SoftBank, the bloated Japanese tech investment firm, has just scrapped its $16 billion plan to buy a stake in WeWork. Valley veterans smell the froth. “In some ways, Jawbone reminds me of Palm [the former personal digital assistant maker], in the sense that there was a real market there,” says investor Tim O’Reilly, the chief executive of O’Reilly Media and author of WTF? What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us, a book about the role of Silicon Valley in our bifurcated economy.

Those same technologies reduce operational costs to pretty close to zero, given that the price of a virtual assistant based in India is negligible for this new cadre of high-end freelance worker, and the fact that he or she can work from home, or cheaply rent work spaces via membership schemes in companies like WeWork. The digital gig economy, it turns out, is no less bifurcated than the analog one. This is concerning, given that a spate of new research by various organizations, from McKinsey to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, points to the fact that in the next ten to twenty years, the number of people working as freelancers, independent contractors, or part-time for multiple employers will increase dramatically.


pages: 344 words: 104,522

Woke, Inc: Inside Corporate America's Social Justice Scam by Vivek Ramaswamy

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Bernie Sanders, carbon footprint, cleantech, cloud computing, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Covid-19, COVID-19, crony capitalism, cryptocurrency, desegregation, disinformation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fudge factor, full employment, glass ceiling, global pandemic, hiring and firing, Hyperloop, impact investing, independent contractor, index fund, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, microaggression, Network effects, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, random walk, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, source of truth, sovereign wealth fund, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, Vanguard fund, WeWork, zero-sum game

Today, progressive social values like “going green” and “being diverse” have become, counterintuitively, the modern equivalents of strippers and dwarf-tossing. They are patronized and tipped by the same corporate chieftains who indulge their fancies, all while those corporate chieftains accrete greater wealth and power for themselves along the way. Consider CEO Adam Neumann, the long-haired star CEO of the once-darling “decacorn” WeWork.24 Adam became the Dennis Kozlowski of the 2010s. He built a decent real estate leasing business, yet he described the mission of his company as “elevating global consciousness.” He trumpeted social values like diversity, all the while throwing multimillion-dollar parties featuring pop stars, purchasing a $60 million corporate jet for trips to the Maldives (burning the same carbon-based fuel as every other corporate jet), and appending an ice bath and sauna to his lavish office.

There’s Nikola, a supposed Tesla rival whose Executive Chairman Trevor Milton promised to save the planet with its hydrogen-powered vehicles, only to quickly unravel as he was, in a matter of days, accused of fraud and sexual abuse and investigated by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. There’s WeWork, a trendy, socially conscious, VC-backed hero that imploded under the weight of CEO Adam Neumann’s voluminous self-dealing. The list goes on. I could write an entire chronicle on each of these nefarious episodes, but that’s not the point of this book. Just for fun, though, let’s go through one more example.


pages: 425 words: 112,220

The Messy Middle: Finding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Bold Venture by Scott Belsky

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Anne Wojcicki, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, blockchain, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, delayed gratification, DevOps, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, endowment effect, hiring and firing, Inbox Zero, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, NetJets, Network effects, new economy, old-boy network, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, subscription business, TaskRabbit, the medium is the message, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, WeWork, Y Combinator, young professional

It was organically making Meetup better for ourselves [as customers].” By proactively integrating fresh talent and empowering its newest people to make the company’s mission personal, Meetup escaped incrementalism and made bold changes. In 2018, Meetup was ultimately acquired by the global coworking conglomerate WeWork, in large part due to its renewed growth and relevance in the lives of millions of customers. Old assumptions don’t get questioned enough because we’re used to them, and new ideas get dismissed too quickly because they are foreign and challenge conventions. Engaging and empowering new talent is a reliable way to break old patterns.

(Marquet), 167 23andMe, 41–42, 127 Twitter, 28, 36, 64, 66, 70, 83, 210, 233–34, 235, 242–43, 299, 328, 335, 360 Periscope acquired by, 69, 264–65 Uber, 10, 57, 79, 88, 112, 159, 191, 204, 210, 233, 256–57, 259, 267 uncertainty and certainty, 32–34, 69, 224 understood, being, 79 unexpected, 324–25 unicorn companies, 190 Union Square Ventures, 347–48 Universal Exposition, 200–201 unplugging, 327–28 Unsubscribe (Glei), 181 UPS, 210 utility, and novelty, 240–41 validation, 28, 138 value, measuring, 291–92 values, 55, 135, 214–15, 322–23 Van Edwards, Vanessa, 172 Van Horn, Matt, 226–27 vanity, laziness, and selfishness, 235–37 Variety, 84 Vasconcellos, Julio, 298 Vaynerchuk, Gary, 310 velocity, 14, 95 venture capital firms, 275 Victore, James, 57–58 Visa, 303–4 Vishnu, 374 vision, 161–63, 281, 296 volatility, 1, 4, 6, 8, 12, 14–16, 21, 209 von Tobel, Alexa, 65–66 Wadhwani, David, 43–44, 347 Walk, Hunter, 294, 359 Walker, Tristan, 110 Walker & Company Brands, 110 Wall Street Journal, 306 Warby Parker, 10, 204, 310 Washington Post, 336 Washington Post Company, 359 Waymo, 83 weaknesses, 29, 54, 214 wealth, 363 Web Summit, 25 WeChat, 349 Weezer, 333–34 weirdness, 58 Welch, Jack, 125 Wenger, Albert, 347–48 WeWork, 244 WhatsApp, 350 Wikipedia, 138, 261 Wilkinson, Andrew, 294 Wilson, E. O., 38–39 Wilson, Fred, 26 wins, 25, 26, 27, 56 fake, 28–31 Wired, 272 Wix, 312 Wojcicki, Anne, 41–42, 127 Wonder Woman, 84 work: doing regardless of whose work it is, 91–92 DYFJ (do your fucking job), 49–51 work space, 140–41 Yahoo, 189 Y Combinator, 73, 101–2, 193 “Yes!


pages: 444 words: 127,259

Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, call centre, Chris Urmson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, family office, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, high net worth, hockey-stick growth, hustle culture, impact investing, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, money market fund, moral hazard, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, off grid, peer-to-peer, pets.com, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, Shenzhen special economic zone , side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, software as a service, software is eating the world, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, super pumped, TaskRabbit, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, union organizing, upwardly mobile, WeWork, Y Combinator

By the fall of 2015, Uber employed nearly five thousand people globally, the result of an endless talent poaching campaign across Silicon Valley. Engineers from Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Tesla, and especially Google, came flooding into the company as quickly as recruiters could pluck them from places like the Creamery, the Battery, WeWork—VC-funded startups themselves—that had become the usual haunts of coders in San Francisco. Engineers had seen the adjectives the press used to describe the company. Uber was “fast-growing,” “pugnacious,” a “juggernaut.” They heard the whispers of staggering revenue growth, and saw the company’s surging valuation, which was already well into the billions.

See also Uber becomes Uber, 63 rollout of, 59–63 Uber Cap Bill, 116, 116n Uber Eats, 338 Uberettos, 3, 3n, 7, 10 UberPeople.net, 248 “Uberpool,” 120 “Uber Super Duper,” 184 UberX, xv, 82–83, 87, 112, 114, 227, 244, 245, 250–51 UCLA, 20–22 University of California, Berkeley, 107 University of Florida at Gainesville, 66–67 University of Pennsylvania, 214–15 University of Texas at Austin, 67 Urmson, Chris, 110 US Department of Justice, 247 US Postal Service, 231n Utah, 246 VanderZanden, Travis, 188 Vanity Fair, 126, 163n, 230 VentureBeat, 55 Violation of Terms of Service (VTOS) playbook, 246 Virgin America, 93 Vishria, Eric, 283, 294 “Vision Fund,” 317–18 Von Furstenberg, Diane, 307–8 Voytek, Bradley, 136 Wahlberg, Mark, 286n Wall Street Journal, 55, 131, 199, 332 Walmart, 115 The Walt Disney Company, 23 Washington, DC, 84, 144 Waverly Inn, 126–28 Waymo, 233–35, 236, 255–56, 338–39 Webvan, 26 WeChat, 147–48 Weiner, Mark, 115 Weinstein, Harvey, 241 Wellington Capital Group, 300 Wells Fargo, 33 West, Tony, 332, 335–36 Westchester, New York, 93, 94 WeWork, 4 WhatsApp, 257, 295, 303 Whetstone, Rachel, 6, 224–25, 237, 239, 240, 252, 260, 262, 337 Whitman, Meg, 311–13, 311n, 314, 319, 320, 321, 322–25 W Hotel, 79 Wickr, 258 Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, 100 Windows, 37 Winfrey, Oprah, 193–94, 227 WIRED, 9, 26, 333 Wolf, Charlie, 67 Wolff, Michael, 128, 129, 129n Woodside, California, 64 “Workation,” 187–88 World Economic Forum, 31 Wozniak, Steve “Woz,” 39 Wuhan, China, 142 Xchange leasing program, 218–19 Xi Jinping, 141 Xooglers, 182 XS, 7 “X to the x” celebration, 1–8, 242 Yadav, Shiv Kumar, 149–50 Yarnell, Arizona, 213 Yoo, Salle, 124, 244–45, 310 You, Angie, 32, 264 YouTube, 96, 199 Yucaipa Companies, 23 Zalanick, Travis, 129n Zappos, 92n Zillow, 65 Zimmer, John, 85, 86, 88–89, 120, 132, 186, 187, 188, 189, 211 Zimride, 85–86 Zuckerberg, Mark, 9, 21–22, 34, 45, 74, 121, 165, 171, 199 China and, 140, 202 influence of, 77, 77n purchases Instagram, 96–97 Sandberg and, 239n warns Kalanick to keep an eye on Sidecar, 86 Zynga, 77


pages: 209 words: 53,175

The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness by Morgan Housel

"side hustle", airport security, Amazon Web Services, Bernie Madoff, business cycle, computer age, coronavirus, discounted cash flows, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, financial independence, Hans Rosling, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Bogle, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, new economy, Paul Graham, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, stocks for the long run, the scientific method, traffic fines, Vanguard fund, WeWork, working-age population

Derek Thompson of The Atlantic once described it like this: If the operating equipment of the 21st century is a portable device, this means the modern factory is not a place at all. It is the day itself. The computer age has liberated the tools of productivity from the office. Most knowledge workers, whose laptops and smartphones are portable all-purpose media-making machines, can theoretically be as productive at 2 p.m. in the main office as at 2 a.m. in a Tokyo WeWork or at midnight on the couch.²⁹ Compared to generations prior, control over your time has diminished. And since controlling your time is such a key happiness influencer, we shouldn’t be surprised that people don’t feel much happier even though we are, on average, richer than ever. What do we do about that?


pages: 569 words: 156,139

Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire by Brad Stone

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, air freight, Airbnb, Amazon Picking Challenge, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, business climate, call centre, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, computer vision, coronavirus, corporate governance, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, disinformation, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, future of work, global pandemic, income inequality, independent contractor, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, private space industry, quantitative hedge fund, remote working, RFID, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Tim Cook: Apple, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, Tragedy of the Commons, Uber for X, union organizing, WeWork

Sebastian Gunningham, who had reported directly to Bezos for years, was moved underneath Jeff Wilke, a former peer, after Wilke and Andy Jassy were promoted to CEOs of the retail and AWS divisions in a 2016 company-wide reorganization. In 2018, Gunningham left Amazon and, ruining his streak of working for visionary tech leaders, headed to the ill-fated office-sharing startup WeWork. With the champion of third-party sellers gone, along with Gunningham’s direct access to Bezos and Wilke, Peter Faricy and his team were moved under Doug Herrington and the retail group—their intellectual foils in the perennial debate between the first- and third-party businesses, and between quality and quantity.

., Amazon offices in, 296–97 Washington Post, 17, 117–34, 135, 154, 206, 244, 264, 279, 288, 313, 323, 327, 343, 344, 358, 382, 387, 406 advertising and, 130 Amazon and, 117–21, 126, 130, 134, 357, 363 Apple and, 129–30 Arc Publishing and, 129 Bezos’s acquisition of, 16, 118, 121–25, 127, 129, 134, 363 Bezos-Sanchez scandal and, 337–38 Bezos’s management of, 121, 125–33, 150 financial difficulties of, 121–22 financial turnaround of, 130, 132 headquarters of, 132 India and, 384 Pancake Group at, 124, 125, 127, 129, 130, 133 partnership program of, 125–26 pension plans of, 127–28 Rainbow app of, 124, 129 Rezaian and, 131–32 Saudi Arabia and, 321, 340, 347 Trump and, 16, 117–21, 128, 133–34, 335, 336, 351, 357–58, 363 Zuckerberg and, 121–22 Washington Post Guild, 128 Wayfair, 373 Wazir, Maria Toorpakai, 324 Webvan, 187–88, 190, 192, 222 Weekend conference, 88 Weiner, Matthew, 152 Weinstein, Harvey, 152, 155–57, 328 Weinstein, Joshua, 124, 161, 263 Weinstein Company, 152, 153, 155 Welch, Jack, 111, 220 Weprin, Mark, 311 West Nile Virus, 385 Westheimer, Ruth, 323 WeWork, 182 Weymouth, Katharine, 123 whistleblowers, 397–99 Whitesell, Patrick, 136, 325–27 Who, 145 Whole Foods Market, 184–86, 208–10, 214, 242–43, 312, 320, 396 absence of rewards program at, 185 Albertsons Companies and, 186 Amazon Prime Now and, 197 Amazon’s acquisition of, 14, 15, 69, 186–87, 209–12, 213, 287, 353, 367 Covid-19 and, 390, 391, 397 Instacart and, 192, 197 Jana Partners and, 186 Neuberger Berman and, 185–86, 210 operating structure of, 185 regional chains acquired by, 185 365 Everyday Value brand of, 204, 211 Wilke, Jeff, 8, 48, 81–84, 106–7, 139, 180–83, 193–94, 196, 202, 208, 210, 211, 216, 218, 223, 231, 237–38, 244, 246–48, 251, 255, 260, 387, 390, 401–2 Wilkie, Jason, 164 Williams, Cynthia, 166–67 Williams, Michelle, 135 Wimbledon, 345 Winfrey, Oprah, 154 Wintour, Anna, 1, 2 Wired, 34, 50, 267 Wish.com, 171–72 Wooden, John, 24 Woodward, Bob, 133 World Health Organization, 387 World Resources Institute, 403 World Wide Web, 5, 405 Wright, Jimmy, 215 WS Retail, 77, 88 Wulff, Meghan, 105–9, 112 Wurman, Peter, 224 Xfinity, 139 Yahoo, 193, 250, 253 Yale Law Journal, 307, 351, 364–66 Yale, Matt, 208 Yang, Stephen, 176–77, 375 Yap, 27–28 Yegge, Steve, 261 YogaRat, 373–74 YouTube, 41 Zapolsky, David, 351, 363–66, 372, 395 Zappos, 9, 15, 193, 211, 220, 222, 353 Zara, 179 Zhang, Danny, 172 Zillow, 109 Zoox, 283 Zuckerberg, Mark, 121–22, 345, 368, 369 Zumwalt, Kurt, 379–80 Simon & Schuster 1230 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10020 www.SimonandSchuster.com Copyright © 2021 by Brad Stone All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.


pages: 196 words: 61,981

Blockchain Chicken Farm: And Other Stories of Tech in China's Countryside by Xiaowei Wang

4chan, AI winter, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business cycle, cloud computing, Community Supported Agriculture, computer vision, Covid-19, COVID-19, cryptocurrency, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Garrett Hardin, gig economy, global pandemic, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, Internet of things, job automation, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, land reform, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer lending, precision agriculture, QR code, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, software is eating the world, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, Tragedy of the Commons, universal basic income, WeWork, Y Combinator

Other well-known surveillance companies such as Hikvision and SenseTime have a slew of foreign investment. SenseTime’s investors include Qualcomm, Fidelity International, Silver Lake Partners (based in Menlo Park, California), and Japan’s SoftBank Vision Fund. SoftBank’s Vision Fund has ties to Saudi wealth, and spans the globe in its international influence—investing in companies from Alibaba to WeWork and Slack. In one corner of the Megvii showroom is a display about Meitu, the beauty and cosmetics app with which you can quickly edit your selfies. The commercial is cheerful: a woman gives herself bunny ears, some blush, and lipstick. She makes herself a little paler, her eyes a little bigger, as is the fashion in East Asia—“Caucasian” features are seen as beautiful.


pages: 282 words: 63,385

Attention Factory: The Story of TikTok and China's ByteDance by Matthew Brennan

Airbnb, AltaVista, augmented reality, computer vision, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Google X / Alphabet X, ImageNet competition, income inequality, invisible hand, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, paypal mafia, Pearl River Delta, pre–internet, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, Steve Jobs, Travis Kalanick, WeWork, Y Combinator

After the breakthrough, they immediately worked on putting together a new round at a much larger valuation that injected 16.6 million dollars into the company. Expanding rapidly, a new office was set up in the U.S. hosting a handful of marketing, business development, and content licensing specialists. Working out of a San Francisco WeWork office, they raided Alex’s old company, SAP, for talent to form a small new team led by Alex Hofmann, under the title of president of north American operations. In addition to the founders, Hofmann would become the new face of Musical.ly at many media events and interviews. With funding secured, an expanded team, and a user base now measured in tens of millions, Musical.ly entered a new development stage.


pages: 224 words: 71,060

A Time to Build: From Family and Community to Congress and the Campus, How Recommitting to Our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream by Yuval Levin

affirmative action, Airbnb, assortative mating, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, conceptual framework, David Brooks, demand response, Donald Trump, hiring and firing, independent contractor, Jane Jacobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steven Pinker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, WeWork

E-commerce tends to offer us convenience and efficiency by eliminating the need for various kinds of human interaction and connection. It enables us to shop without seeing or speaking to anyone, and so to be left alone while getting what we want or need. Some of the most distinct innovators in the tech sector (like Uber, Airbnb, WeWork, and others) create opportunities for temporary, on-demand choices that enable us to avoid enduring commitments to standing institutions. We just use what we need when we need it and move on, and our interactions with service providers are very limited. Snapchat offers the epitome of this approach in the realm of social media—allowing users to send messages that quickly disappear once they are viewed.


pages: 200 words: 72,182

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

business process, full employment, housing crisis, income inequality, independent contractor, McMansion, place-making, post-work, sexual politics, telemarketer, union organizing, wage slave, WeWork, women in the workforce, working poor, zero day

I like to read the labels to find out where the clothing we sell is made—Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey, the Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Brazil—but the labels serve only to remind me that none of these places is “exotic” anymore, that they've all been eaten by the great blind profit-making global machine. The only thing to do is ask: Why do you—why do we—work here? Why do you stay? So when Isabelle praises my work a second time (!), I take the opportunity to say I really appreciate her encouragement, but I can't afford to live on $7 an hour, and how does she do it? The answer is that she lives with her grown daughter, who also works, plus the fact that she's worked here two years, during which her pay has shot up to $7.75 an hour.


pages: 252 words: 78,780

Lab Rats: How Silicon Valley Made Work Miserable for the Rest of Us by Dan Lyons

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, hiring and firing, housing crisis, impact investing, income inequality, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, job-hopping, John Gruber, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, loose coupling, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Menlo Park, Milgram experiment, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, precariat, prosperity theology / prosperity gospel / gospel of success, RAND corporation, remote working, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, San Francisco homelessness, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software is eating the world, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, super pumped, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Tesla Model S, Thomas Davenport, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, traveling salesman, Travis Kalanick, tulip mania, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, web application, WeWork, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator, young professional

Tesla, Spotify, Dropbox, Box, Snap, Square, Workday, Cloudera, Okta, Blue Apron, Roku, MongoDB, Redfin, Yext, Forescout, Docusign, Smartsheet—they’re all publicly traded, and they all lose money, and in some cases a lot of it, sometimes for years and years, long after they go public. Other unicorns like Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Slack, Pinterest, WeWork, Vice Media, Magic Leap, Bloom Energy, and Postmates remain privately held, but reportedly don’t turn a profit. As I write this, a tech start-up called Domo is attempting to offer shares to the public even though the company lost $360 million over the past two years, on sales of just $183 million, meaning Domo loses two dollars for every dollar it took in.


pages: 291 words: 90,771

Upscale: What It Takes to Scale a Startup. By the People Who've Done It. by James Silver

Airbnb, augmented reality, Ben Horowitz, blockchain, business process, call centre, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, DevOps, family office, future of work, Google Hangouts, high net worth, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Network effects, pattern recognition, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, WeWork, women in the workforce, Y Combinator

Most people think they need a local office as soon as they decide to launch in a new market - they don’t Do not underestimate - as soon as you open an international office-how much more complex your life is going to be. ‘It’s back to the “standardisation versus localisation/adaptation” question - do you really need an office or can you hold back for just a little bit?’ When Graze first launched in the US and was carrying out its groundwork, the team used a WeWork office in Manhattan, although it had already leased its own fulfilment centre in New Jersey, says Fletcher. ‘It kept coming back to how much complexity do you want? Do you get an office that’s this big or this big?’ he asks, demonstrating office size much like a fisherman would a prize catch. ‘We hadn’t quite worked out how big the team was going to be.


pages: 375 words: 88,306

The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism by Arun Sundararajan

additive manufacturing, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, call centre, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, distributed ledger, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, independent contractor, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, job-hopping, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, peer-to-peer rental, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ross Ulbricht, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, WeWork, Yochai Benkler, Zipcar

., 119 Varian, Hal, 118 Vayable, 77 Venture capital, 25–26, 42–43 Visible Hand, The (Chandler), 4, 69, 71 VizEat, 3, 45, 77, 149 Von Hippel, Eric, 76 Wag, 12 Walk, Hunter, 187 Walmart, 98–99 Warner, Mark, 161, 187, 190 Warner, Sam Bass, 4 Washio, 12 Waskow, Debbie, 3 Way, Niobe, 44 WeChat, 54 Weingast, Barry, 144–145 Wenger, Albert, 90, 189, 190 Werbacah, Adam, 198–199 Westly Group, 199 West Seattle Tool Library, 15 WeWork, 6 Whang, Seungjin, 74–75 What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption (Botsman and Rogers), 28 Whole Foods, 71, 213n3 Wikipedia, 199 Wilson, Fred, 17, 85 With Liberty and Dividends for All (Barnes), 189 Wong, Jamie, 77 Woolard, Caroline, 43 World Bank, 111 World Economic Forum, 162, 205 Woskow, Debbie, 121 Yahoo, 96 Yates, Joanne, 69, 72–74 YCombinator, 23 Yelp, 147, 200–201 Yerdle, 44 Yourdrive, 3 YouTube, 55, 57 Zagat, 147 Zervas, Georgios, 121 Zimmer, John, 10, 11, 12, 187 Zimride, 12 Zipcar, 30, 107 Zluf, Shay, 94 Table of Contents Title page Copyright page Dedication Author’s Note and Acknowledgments Introduction I Cause 1 The Sharing Economy, Market Economies, and Gift Economies 2 Laying the Tracks: Digital and Socioeconomic Foundations 3 Platforms: Under the Hood 4 Blockchain Economies: The Crowd as the Market Maker II Effect 5 The Economic Impacts of Crowd-Based Capitalism 6 The Shifting Landscape of Regulation and Consumer Protection 7 The Future of Work: Challenges and Controversies 8 The Future of Work: What Needs to Be Done 9 Concluding Thoughts Index Table 3.1 Platforms: hierarchies, markets, or hybrids?


pages: 328 words: 90,677

Ludicrous: The Unvarnished Story of Tesla Motors by Edward Niedermeyer

autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bear Stearns, bitcoin, business climate, call centre, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, family office, global supply chain, Google Earth, housing crisis, Hyperloop, Kickstarter, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, new economy, off grid, Paul Graham, peak oil, performance metric, Ponzi scheme, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, tail risk, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, union organizing, WeWork, Zipcar

“The fact that Musk has been able to access billions and billions of dollars to finance his vision is as much the market environment as it is him. If you look at some of the unicorns with business models that I just cannot make work, investors are throwing money at these companies,” he said, naming the commercial real estate company WeWork as another example. Because of this environment, in which it’s easy to raise money without a lot of scrutiny of the fundamentals of your business, “there’s this general sense that if you believe you’re changing the world, you can lie to investors,” he argued. “That’s a bull market phenomenon . . .


pages: 371 words: 108,317

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, bank run, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, connected car, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, game design, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lifelogging, linked data, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, Mitch Kapor, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, placebo effect, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, The future is already here, the scientific method, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WeWork, Whole Earth Review, Yochai Benkler, zero-sum game

Delivery: Let a network of freelancers deliver packages to homes (Uber for FedEx). Design: Let a crowd of designers submit designs, just pay the winner (CrowdSpring). Health care: Coordinate sharing insulin pumps. Real estate: Rent your garage as storage space, or an unused cubicle as office space for a startup (WeWork). Most of these companies won’t make it, even though the idea will thrive. Decentralized businesses are very easy to start, with low cost of entry. If these innovative business models are proven to work, established companies are ready to adapt. There is no reason a rental car company like Hertz can’t rent freelancers cars, and no reason why taxi companies can’t implement aspects of Uber.


pages: 387 words: 106,753

Why Startups Fail: A New Roadmap for Entrepreneurial Success by Tom Eisenmann

Airbnb, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, carbon footprint, Checklist Manifesto, cleantech, conceptual framework, coronavirus, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, Elon Musk, fundamental attribution error, gig economy, Hyperloop, income inequality, inventory management, Iridium satellite, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Network effects, nuclear winter, Oculus Rift, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk/return, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, WeWork, Y Combinator, young professional

For nearly three-quarters of those CEOs, the venture’s board initiated the change; the rest realized on their own that they needed a replacement. Among those who were replaced as CEO (voluntarily or not), about a third left; otherwise, the founder moved into a different executive role. As we’ve seen in the highly publicized cases of Uber and WeWork, the board-initiated replacement of a founder/CEO can be a contentious and divisive affair, with battle lines drawn and invective hurled. The ensuing drama distracts senior management and can paralyze decision-making, putting the venture at risk of losing ground to rivals. However, when assessing the performance of startups that have replaced a founder/CEO, drawing conclusions about cause and effect is tricky.


pages: 334 words: 109,882

Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed With Alcohol by Holly Glenn Whitaker

cognitive dissonance, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, fixed income, impulse control, Mahatma Gandhi, mass incarceration, medical residency, microaggression, microbiome, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, Peter Thiel, Rat Park, rent control, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Torches of Freedom, twin studies, WeWork, white picket fence, young professional, zero-sum game

I wanted the fat-jean-skinny-person scenario. We all want this scenario, with everything. We love a good “before” story, we love a good “after” story. Don’t show us incremental or barely visible change. Don’t show us the part where we can’t really tell the difference between who you were then and where you are now. Not long ago, at a WeWork in Brooklyn, I walked up to the counter to meet the community team. A woman behind the front desk asked me what I did, and I explained that I ran a company that helps people stop drinking. I was waiting for the typical response, which is usually something like Oh, I thought something like that already existed and it was free, or a really intense conversation about the inquiring party’s Uncle Fred and his liver, but hers was different.


Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced, and Stumbled Our Way to Civilization by Edward Slingerland

agricultural Revolution, Alexander Shulgin, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Burning Man, collective bargaining, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Drosophila, experimental economics, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, Google Hangouts, hive mind, invention of agriculture, John Markoff, knowledge worker, land reform, lateral thinking, lone genius, meta-analysis, Picturephone, placebo effect, post-work, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley, Skype, social intelligence, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Tragedy of the Commons, WeWork, women in the workforce

“Modernity, Tradition, and Intoxication: Comparative Lessons from South Africa and West Africa.” In Phil Withington and Angela McShane (Eds.), Cultures of Intoxication, Past and Present (Vol. 222, pp. 126–145). Oxford: Oxford University Press. O’Brien, Sara Ashley. (2016, February 26). “Zenefits Lays Off 250 Employees.” CNN. O’Brien, Sara Ashley. (2018, October 31). “WeWork to Limit Free Beer All-Day Perk to Four Glasses.” CNN. O’Connor, Anahad. (2020, July 10). “Should We Be Drinking Less? Scientists Helping to Update the Latest Edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Are Taking a Harder Stance on Alcohol.” New York Times. Olive, M. Foster, Heather N. Koenig, Michelle A.


pages: 521 words: 110,286

Them and Us: How Immigrants and Locals Can Thrive Together by Philippe Legrain

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, centre right, Chelsea Manning, coronavirus, corporate social responsibility, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, demographic dividend, discovery of DNA, Donald Trump, double helix, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, future of work, illegal immigration, immigration reform, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, job automation, Jony Ive, labour market flexibility, low cost airline, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, open borders, postnationalism / post nation state, purchasing power parity, remote working, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The future is already here, The Future of Employment, Tim Cook: Apple, urban sprawl, WeWork, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, working-age population

International Airlines Group, British Airways’ parent company, is piloted by an Irish executive; easyJet by a Swedish one. Dara Khosrowshahi, who leads Uber, arrived in the US as a refugee from Iran. French carmaker Peugeot has a Portuguese chief executive. German sportswear firm Adidas is run by a Danish boss. Migrants from India are particularly successful: they lead Google, Microsoft, Adobe, IBM, WeWork and many other US technology companies, as well as Mastercard, a card payments firm.9 Prominent politicians Migrants are succeeding even in that most parochial of professions: politics. With their different backgrounds and perspectives, they bring something extra to the mix. Austrian-born Arnold Schwarzenegger muscled his way to being governor of California.


pages: 402 words: 126,835

The Job: The Future of Work in the Modern Era by Ellen Ruppel Shell

3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, big-box store, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, follow your passion, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, game design, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, immigration reform, income inequality, independent contractor, industrial robot, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, precariat, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban renewal, WeWork, white picket fence, working poor, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game

he’s not technically a free agent Bigelow is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR)—with more than 1.2 million members, America’s largest trade organization and an extraordinarily powerful lobbying group. formal coworking establishments have since caught on At this writing, a single coworking franchise, WeWork, has 212 locations and 200,000 members. very large institutions See Justin Fox, “Big Companies Still Employ Lots of People,” Bloomberg.com, April 20, 2016, https://www.bloomberg.com/​view/​articles/​2016-04-20/​big-companies-still-employ-lots-of-people. derelict in their duty to provide investors with income See Milton Friedman, “The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Profits,” New York Times Magazine, September 13, 1970.


pages: 391 words: 123,597

Targeted: The Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower's Inside Story of How Big Data, Trump, and Facebook Broke Democracy and How It Can Happen Again by Brittany Kaiser

Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, Burning Man, call centre, centre right, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cognitive dissonance, crony capitalism, disinformation, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Etonian, haute couture, illegal immigration, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Nelson Mandela, off grid, open borders, Renaissance Technologies, Robert Mercer, rolodex, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, statistical model, Steve Bannon, the High Line, the scientific method, WeWork, WikiLeaks, you are the product, young professional

It was a place packed with small companies and independent tech consultancies, somewhere we could be anonymous and go about our business undisturbed for as long as we wanted. Eerily enough, I had recently been invited to Facebook HQ by Morgan Beller, the woman who was building Facebook’s blockchain now known as Libra. That I ended up in a WeWork nearby instead, about to change their narrative forever, is an irony in itself. Once we got into a room of our own and shut the door, we both took a seat at a table. The room resembled the old Sweat Box at SCL in Mayfair. Lewis took out his laptop; I did the same. For more than a year, Alexander had forbidden me from speaking with reporters, and now there was more to say than ever.


pages: 499 words: 144,278

Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World by Clive Thompson

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 4chan, 8-hour work day, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, algorithmic bias, Amazon Web Services, Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, backpropagation, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, call centre, cellular automata, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, disinformation, don't be evil, don't repeat yourself, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, hockey-stick growth, HyperCard, Ian Bogost, illegal immigration, ImageNet competition, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Larry Wall, lone genius, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, microservices, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, neurotypical, Nicholas Carr, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, planetary scale, profit motive, ransomware, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, sorting algorithm, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, the High Line, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WeWork, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zimmermann PGP, éminence grise

On the far wall is a mural of nerdly dimensions: a huge looming head of Grace Hopper, an ’80s-era PC, the phrase “LEARN LOVE CODE” in a spray of curved graffiti. Flombaum is a 34-year-old who wears his hair swept in a thick mop back across his head; on his right shoulder is a tattoo of the logo of the Flatiron School, and on his chest is one for WeWork, the firm that bought his company. “I’m like a race car,” he jokes. Flombaum is a self-taught coder who, after working for a hedge fund and running his own start-up for four years, started teaching five-week programming classes “for fun.” He wound up getting a bunch of his students jobs, and thought, hmm, maybe he could scale this up.


pages: 706 words: 202,591

Facebook: The Inside Story by Steven Levy

active measures, Airbnb, Airbus A320, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, Ben Horowitz, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, cloud computing, computer vision, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disinformation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, East Village, Edward Snowden, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Firefox, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, indoor plumbing, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, MITM: man-in-the-middle, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, Oculus Rift, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, post-work, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Robert Mercer, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, sexual politics, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social software, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Ballmer, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, surveillance capitalism, Tim Cook: Apple, Tragedy of the Commons, web application, WeWork, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Y2K, you are the product

I wonder what it would have been like if Weinreich, and not Zuckerberg, had fulfilled that vision. Certainly my talk with the founder of the defunct sixdegrees would have been conducted in a vast headquarters building. As it was, I’d met with Weinreich in a small conference room he’d reserved in a noisy WeWork office. As he described how sixdegrees was ahead of its time, through glass walls we could see a bustling pageant of Millennials and Gen Zs striving to be the next Mark Zuckerberg. Weinreich, fit at fifty, had a quick answer for my question as to whether he’s haunted by what someone else accomplished with his idea: No.


pages: 788 words: 223,004

Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts by Jill Abramson

23andMe, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Alexander Shulgin, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Charles Lindbergh, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, commoditize, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, digital twin, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, East Village, Edward Snowden, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, future of journalism, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, haute couture, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Khyber Pass, late capitalism, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, performance metric, Peter Thiel, phenotype, pre–internet, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, social intelligence, social web, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, telemarketer, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, WeWork, WikiLeaks, Yochai Benkler, you are the product

He then became a star at Politico, where he landed with another blog of his own. Politico’s posture as “a running conversation about politics” was reminiscent of the one he’d left behind, but national instead of local. He worked remotely, at a desk he rented for $350 a month in a Victorian mansion that had been converted into a communal office for freelancers, a precursor to WeWork. Operating as a one-man news bureau, Smith broke stories that got people talking, such as the $400 haircuts John Edwards’s campaign footed, and the fact that Mayor Rudy Giuliani had tapped taxpayer funds to cover visits to his mistress. He thrived on the speedy, digital-first pace at Politico and he took pride in winning the daily sprint races.