Hulu’s documentary titled “WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn” delves into the history of the coworking company, how it managed to raise billions and what led to its tumultuous attempt to go public.
WeWork, founded in 2010 by Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey, set out to become the go-to hub for innovators and entrepreneurs. In 2019, after investors became skeptical of the company’s business model and realized it was burning through cash, the firm withdrew its IPO and Neumann was soon ousted as chief executive.
One of the main focuses of the documentary was Neumann’s enticing, yet manipulative disposition. He used impassioned speeches, limitless visions of the future and misrepresentation of facts to drive his team, which ultimately led to the business’ downfall.
Many former employees expressed losing their sense of purpose in the shadow of WeWork’s unraveling. On the other hand, some employees discussed how booze-riddled company retreats were mandatory and staff would be tracked by company-issued bracelets.
“They would address the crowd talking about whatever the word of the day was like authenticity,” said one former employee in the documentary. “And as I’m sitting there, I’m thinking you forced me to come to this summer camp and sit in the mud. Nothing about this seems authentic.”