WeWork: Or The Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn is a 2021 American documentary film, written and directed by Jed Rothstein. It follows WeWork, a real estate company run by Adam Neumann, who was ultimately forced out of the company.
Prima facie, this WeWork documentary has only one hook – the fact that the subject company went from a $47 billion valuation to the brink of bankruptcy in six weeks. Other than that, why would anyone want to make, let alone watch, a documentary about WeWork?
Sure, the documentary spends time on the cult-like nature of the company and the messianic delusions of its co-founder Adam Neumann and that is satisfying to haters especially to see how a high-flying tech business crashed and burned.
However, we believe that the documentary was rather myopic to simply focus on Neumann and his sheep-like followers. The bigger question to ask is how loss-making companies (like Spotify) are still able to be valued in the billions of dollars, where there is nothing unique (or profitable) about their business model?
In essence, all WeWork does is to provide communal spaces whereby start-up businesses can work in collectively. But the terrifying fact is that Neumann and company were able to sell the ideal of a business community which was basically new age garbage. All of which was ultimately based on the cult of personality – Neumann’s.
What the documentary should have done was to use the example of Neumann and WeWork to highlight a serious flaw in business circles and especially in the sphere of capital investment. Instead, the documentary tries hard to paint WeWork as a cult, with the attendant consequences.
However, all we get is stories about how folks in the WeWork community worked hard and played hard. So what? That’s not interesting at all. In the end, this WeWork documentary is all rather pointless. Avoid.
Now streaming at Hulu.
… still there’s more …