WeWork’s Roller Coaster Ride

Ayelet Baron
4 min readAug 21, 2023

A Meteoric Rise and Fall

WeWork’s story is a roller coaster. It tells a tale of big dreams, rapid growth, and a sharp fall. Maybe it’s also a lesson in how organizations, much like humans, go through cycles of life and death. Some fall and rise again, while others become a brief flash in the pan.

WeWork entered the scene with a fresh, innovative idea of co-working in 2010. Shared workspaces were more than just a place to work; they were a community, a “cool” hot spot for freelancers, startups, and companies.

Co-founders Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey created a buzz, and WeWork’s spaces became synonymous with creativity and collaboration.

Low-interest rates made their business model shine. By 2014, the company was worth over $1 billion, and was heralded a shining star in the business world.

But with the rise came scrutiny. Neumann’s egomaniacal leadership and the company’s financial troubles began to sour the once-appealing brand. The fall of WeWork was not just a decline in valuation but a shift in acceptance.

The allure of working in a trendy, energetic environment drew many to WeWork’s doors. It was a place to network, to innovate, and to be part of something exciting. But as the company’s financial woes became public, and Neumann’s erratic behavior was exposed, the glamour began to fade.

Customers started to see WeWork not as a hot spot but as a cautionary tale. The community that once felt vibrant now seemed unstable. The very concept that had made WeWork appealing was now its Achilles’ heel.

From Cool to Cautionary

WeWork’s rise and fall offer real-life examples of how quickly customer perceptions can change and how fragile trends can be. It’s a lesson in adaptability, in understanding that what’s “cool” today may not be viable tomorrow.

The story of WeWork carries broader implications for the future of work. The shift from the traditional office to flexible workspaces reflected a changing work culture, embracing collaboration, flexibility, and innovation. But WeWork’s crash serves as a…

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Ayelet Baron

Pioneering Futurist. Author. Former Cisco strategist. Thinkers50 author. Forbes 50 Female Futurists #indieauthor