At 7:12 on a mild late-summer morning in New York City, WeWork's registration papers hit the Securities and Exchange Commission's website.
So starts Dakin Campbell's excellent read on how WeWork spiraled from a $47 billion valuation to talk of bankruptcy in just six weeks. Dakin writes:
Almost immediately, all hell broke loose. A steady stream of rapid-fire headlines detailed Neumann's self-dealing, mismanagement, and bizarre behavior. Within 33 days the offering was scuttled, WeWork's valuation plummeted 70% or more, and Adam Neumann, who believed he would become the world's first trillionaire, was ousted as CEO. What was supposed to be Neumann's coronation as a visionary became one of the most catastrophically bungled attempted debuts in business history.
It's a startling story. We'll have lots more reporting on WeWork in the coming days, so keep an eye out for that. For now, here's what we're keeping an eye on.
- WeWork could face a cash crunch as soon as February, according to Troy Wolverton. He spoke to industry watchers who said SoftBank, its lenders, and the entire industry has too much at stake to let it go under.
- Neumann is the latest high profile case of the visionary startup CEO who gets into trouble as the company scales, goes public, or otherwise matures. Drake Baer talked to experts who explained an all-too familiar dynamic: a leader who is glorified to the point of excess, and their startup becomes something of a "new religious movement" — a cult.
- Alex Nicoll spoke to VCs and proptech experts who said ousting Adam Neumann is no "silver bullet." Instead, it will take cutting passion projects and cleaning house to right the ship.
- Key executives who supported Neumann for years have been terminated or have resigned, and more exits are said to be coming, according to Meghan Morris and Julie Bort. They broke down who's out, and who's still there.
- In 2018, the senior SoftBank executive Rajeev Misra loftily predicted WeWork could one day be worth as much as $100 billion. Footage of the executive's remarks subsequently disappeared from YouTube. Shona Ghosh this week published the full audio.
- WeWork's unraveling will have a chilling effect on direct-to-consumer companies, according to former AOL and Google exec and DTX Company CEO Tim Armstrong.
What did we miss? Let me know.
The future of transportation
I'm excited to announce that Business Insider is hosting an event focused on the future of transportation in San Francisco on Tuesday, October 22. IGNITION: Transportation will feature speakers like Zoox cofounder Jesse Levinson, Waymo chief external officer Tekedra N. Mawakana, and JetBlue Technology Ventures president Bonny Simi.
The event is complimentary. You can get more information on the event and apply to attend right here.
The business world's 'show-and-tell' on sustainability
One of the main topics discussed at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week was the urgency required for completing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
Rich Feloni caught up with Andrew Wilson, the International Chamber of Commerce's permanent observer to the United Nations. He told us why he's angry at the business world's "show-and-tell" approach to sustainability, and he shared an advance copy of his plan to fix that
Finance and Investing
Citadel has liquidated a portfolio with more than $1 billion in energy investments run out of Texas after the analyst Josh Lingsch and the data scientist Derek Allums were fired from the firm this week for violating the firm's rules around trading in personal accounts.
Take a quick scan of the headlines on any given day, and it might seem as if startups are driving the most interesting tech developments on Wall Street.
The constant headlines surrounding the trade war with China have temporarily overshadowed another danger that's brewing on home soil.
Tech, Media, Telecoms
The first wave of cloud-computing startups focused on helping companies simply figure out how to operate in this new world of servers, rented from megaplayers like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure.
At this year's Oculus Connect — Facebook's annual developer's conference for its virtual reality products— it's impossible to escape the event's tagline: "The time is now."
Ad-supported streaming services are taking flight in 2019, as more tech companies, digital startups, and legacy-media brands clamor to capture the billions in advertising dollars that are moving away from traditional TV.
Healthcare, Retail, Transportation
We just got a clearer picture of how Best Buy plans to push into the $3.5 trillion US healthcare market.
Uber Freight is a freight-brokerage technology for truck drivers and shippers from Uber. The tech giant is investing more and more into Uber Freight.