17 july 2021

today i learned about the origin story of wework, which the founder adam neumann described as a "capitalistic kibbutz." i didn't realize that both founders grew up in communes (oregon, israel), and i also didn't know there was a welive at one point ... which is essentially a co-op for single millennial Wework members. that was fascinating to me, and i wish the documentary i watched went into further details about the communities at welive.

but anyway, the story goes that wework took off and adam...

which led to a hot mess of an S1 for Wework that they eventually called off. adam stepped down as CEO, and even before the pandemic begin, wework's valuation began to plummet.

this reminded me of a conversation i had earlier in the day with peter and david: traditionally so much of public life has centered around religious institutions and the social networks that come with them. town squares in the U.S. were built with churches in the middle. but today, as people leave organized religion en masse, will we ever feel fulfilled without faith/spirituality in our lives, and if so, what would replace it as community hub? for adam, the answer was yes, in work. but in many ways, the "we" philosophy was a work-centric religion of its own with all the problems that come with any organized religion. and so, even if you believed in everything the we company said about its potential to transform the world, what adam did was nothing new; it was just another in the legacy of failed utopian communities, except this time with exceptional interior design and the backing of the saudis/softbank at one point. and for scott galloway and the other folks seeing through the smoke and mirrors, wework was just 'renting f*cking desks.'

overall this was a neat documentary! it was enjoyable to watch, and the commentators/interviews were interesting. some of the scenes/stock videos were a little over-the-top, but it wasn't too bothersome, kylie and i just chuckled.