Adam Neumann stepping down as CEO of WeWork has been sobering for many, particularly those who bought that the firm could pass as a technology company.
In WeWork’s S-1 filing, it used the word “technology” 93 times and even leased space in San Francisco’s Salesforce Tower for its West Coast headquarters, where it houses its software engineers and designers.
While WeWork has appealed to the startup audience for years now, it is very debatable whether that makes it a tech company.
The company’s main business model simply leases offices, then subleases these spaces to various-sized companies. Would this not make it a real estate company?
It is no surprise that WeWork and other companies have tried to spin themselves as tech. The tech industry is a magnet for investors and the numbers prove it: Google raised $36 million privately, is now worth $845 billion and is truly the epitome of a tech company.
“Fauxtech” is best used to describe firms like WeWork. It begs the question: where would WeWork be today had it not showcased itself as a technology company? Smaller, sure, but could be that be worse than the tumultuous headline-grabbing circus we have seen thus far?