The Cult of We

The Cult of We : Wework and the Great Start-Up Delusion

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Description

'An amazing portrait of how grifters came to be called visionaries and high finance lost its mind.' Charles Duhigg, bestselling author of The Power of Habit




The definitive inside story of WeWork, its audacious founder, and the company's epic unravelling from the journalists who first broke the story wide open.



In 2001, Adam Neumann arrived in New York after five years as a conscript in the Israeli navy. Just over fifteen years later, he had transformed himself into the charismatic CEO of a company worth $47 billion. With his long hair and feel-good mantras, the six-foot-five Neumann looked the part of a messianic Silicon Valley entrepreneur. The vision he offered was mesmerizing: a radical reimagining of work space for a new generation. He called it WeWork.


As billions of funding dollars poured in, Neumann's ambitions grew limitless. WeWork wasn't just an office space provider; it would build schools, create cities, even colonize Mars. In pursuit of its founder's vision, the company spent money faster than it could bring it in. From his private jet, sometimes clouded with marijuana smoke, the CEO scoured the globe for more capital but in late 2019, just weeks before WeWork's highly publicized IPO, everything fell apart. Neumann was ousted from his company, but still was poised to walk away a billionaire.


Calling to mind the recent demise of Theranos and the hubris of the dotcom era bust, WeWork's extraordinary rise and staggering implosion were fueled by disparate characters in a financial system blind to its risks. Why did some of the biggest names in banking and venture capital buy the hype? And what does the future hold for Silicon Valley 'unicorns'? Wall Street Journal reporters Eliot Brown and Maureen Farrell explore these questions in this definitive, rollicking account of WeWork's boom and bust.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 464 pages
  • 159 x 240 x 41mm | 690g
  • Mudlark
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0008389381
  • 9780008389383
  • 20,608

Review quote

"Only a handful of books capture the zeitgeist of a business era. Add this one, a wild saga that caps a decade when founder-worshiping investors threw billions at well-spun visions-even those of a megalomaniac whose new-age real estate enterprise's losses piled up as fast as its valuation climbed. The duo who broke the story of WeWork's rise and fall have now artfully fleshed it out in a book whose colourful narrative is undergirded by deep context about the times, and enablers, that made Adam Neumann possible. John Helyar, #1 New York Times-bestselling co-author of Barbarians at the Gate


"Eliot Brown and Maureen Farrell owned the WeWork story as it was unfolding. And now, with The Cult of We, we finally get the chronicle we deserve of a madness that consumed venture capital, corporate America and the world. It's an amazing portrait of how grifters came to be called visionaries, billions of dollars were bestowed on bong-hit ideas and high finance lost its mind." -Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit


"Whether you know a lot or a little about the fall of WeWork, you won't be able to put down The Cult of We by Wall Street Journal reporters Eliot Brown and Maureen Farrell. Their book is teeming with incredible details. While heroes are in short supply, the schadenfreude you'll feel about the spectacular downfall of those who deserve it is delightful.' Bethany McLean, bestselling co-author of The Smartest Guys in the Room


'The lines between vision, bullshit, and fraud are narrow, and if you tell a thirty-year-old male that he is Jesus Christ, he's inclined to believe you. The idolatry of founders in Silicon Valley will rage until the music stops playing. The Cult of We is a cautionary tale and a crisp page-turner.' Scott Galloway, New York Times bestselling author of The Four
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About Eliot Brown

Eliot Brown covers startups and venture capital for The Wall Street Journal. He joined the Journal in 2010, when he was hired to cover commercial real estate in the wake of the financial crisis. He previously worked at the New York Observer, where he covered economic development and local politics, and is a graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.


Maureen Farrell has been a reporter at The Wall Street Journal since 2013. A recipient of the Newswomen's Club of New York's Nellie Bly Award, Farrell previously worked at Forbes, Debtwire, and Mergermarket, where she covered deals, bankruptcy, and startups. She is a graduate of Duke University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and is based in New York.
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