The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion

In The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion, Wall Street Journal correspondents Eliot Brown and Maureen Farrell provide the definitive account of how an office space subleasing company disguised as a tech startup rocketed to a $47 billion valuation before the company's dramatic downfall. Brown and Farrell, whose contemporary reporting on WeWork helped expose the rot underneath the company's trendy façade, find timeless themes of greed, wishful thinking and mass delusion in the saga of WeWork and its founder, Adam Neumann. The excesses on display in The Cult of We rival anything seen in John Carreyrou's Bad Blood. Neumann spoke about making peace in the Middle East, becoming a trillionaire and colonizing other planets while WeWork made ill-advised forays into education and AI and held gigantic Burning Man-like retreats for its employees.

Far from laying all of this at the feet of Neumann, The Cult of We makes a thorough accounting of the many supposed financial wizards who became his enablers, each signing on to a dangerous philosophy of explosive growth above all else. Neumann resembled a cult leader with his imposing stature and his abundant charisma, which he used to convince a variety of funders to pour money into his business in a seemingly endless stream. The Cult of We is not only about the dysfunctions of WeWork as a company, but about the vulnerabilities of a global financial system where wealthy and powerful people make billion-dollar decisions based on little more than gut instinct. --Hank Stephenson, the Sun magazine, manuscript reader

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