Sep 30, 2019

WeWork — the book

Illustration of a wework building as a Jenga tower with a hand removing a piece.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

WeWork’s roller coaster over the last two weeks has monopolized headlines, and now the story of the office coworking company and its high-flying CEO will be subjects of an upcoming book by Wall Street Journal reporters Eliot Brown and Maureen Farrell, they tell Axios.

The big picture: The growing influence of technology companies on the world has made them not only the subjects of regulatory and investor scrutiny, but now also the focus of grand business narratives.

The intrigue: There’s already been a string of books about tech companies’ troubles and tensions, from John Carreyrou’s “Bad Blood” (about Theranos) to Mike Isaac’s “Super Pumped” (about Uber). Brown tells Axios there’s room for more.

  • “[The story of WeWork] tells us a lot about Silicon Valley in the past decade, as well as a chunk of global finance,” says Brown, adding that he views the company as part of Silicon Valley even though it's based in New York because “its funding sources and the way it marketed itself were all in line with Silicon Valley startups."
  • "Everything about WeWork — its fundraising, its founders and its losses — has seemed bigger and more dramatic than any of the other companies I've followed, including Uber," says Farrell.
  • And the story is full of surprises even for a reporter covering the company’s every move for months—“two weeks ago I would NOT have predicted [CEO Adam Neumann] would resign,” says Brown. Farrell, who also says Neumann's resignation has been the most surprising, adds that he "is by nearly all accounts one of the most successful fundraisers who convinced global investors to give him billions for a business model that was a pretty old one."

The book will be published by Crown, an imprint of Random House. There’s no release date yet.

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