‘The Cult of We’: A New Book Reveals Why WeWork Didn’t Work

In the 11 years since its founding, WeWork has had a wild ride. At its core, it’s a real estate company that subleases trendy office spaces to other businesses. But the workers at the company, lead by their charismatic CEO Adam Neumann and intoxicated by a $47 billion valuation, partied like it was a rebellious tech startup. Behind all the kombucha taps in WeWork’s offices was a culture of extravagant splurging, furious hedonism, and questionable business decisions. The bad behavior persisted for a decade before it all came crashing down.

This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with Eliot Brown and Maureen Farrell, the Wall Street Journal reporters who helped reveal the absurd shenanigans that led to the downfall of WeWork. Their new book, The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion, is a chronicle of the company’s rollicking journey.

Show Notes

The Cult of We comes out July 20. You can preorder it here. And be sure to follow all of Eliot and Maureen’s reporting at The Wall Street Journal.


Maureen recommends the show Schitt’s Creek. Eliot recommends the podcast Fiasco, specifically season two, which is about the Iran Contra Scandal. Lauren recommends the Listings Project, a community newsletter for people looking for temporary housing. Mike recommends Mixcloud for discovering new music through DJ sets.

Maureen Farrell can be found on Twitter @maureenmfarrell. Eliot Brown is @eliotwb. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.

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