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WeCrashed - Episode 1.07 - The Power of We - Review

Whether or not to go public, is the whole theme of this episode. Pros? Well, gaining prestige, and helping to ensure future funding, also: residuals from the valuation. Cons? Everything else, when you're WeWork and your business model is a complete failure.

To say Adam is reluctant to take WeWork to the next level isn't quite accurate. He wants to, but even he realizes some fallout is to be feared. At the very least, this means no more crazy decisions being validated by the board, Adam! However, WeWork is losing so much money now (58 million... a week), and Adam can't seem to convince any more investors. So, finally, surrendering to pressure from just about everyone else (including my personal fav, Bruce from Benchmark), it's decided, and announced, on CNBC: WeWork will go public. Cue a montage of various investment banks including all the most prestigious ones, tripping over themselves in order to value WeWork as quickly as possible. Based on what, might you ask? Well, WeWork's shiny façade, it seems, and not much else. In the end, it's akin to who will bid value the highest, and in the end, the final number settles on 47 billion. Adam celebrates as only he knows how: with excess. All the employees get a day and a half off! Although, considering the hours they seemed to be doing, this seems like far too little, far too late.

Meanwhile, Rebekah is still angry about Adam (rightly) telling her WeWork's success wasn't her doing, and she is giving him the coldest of shoulders. I.e.: deleting his texts. Or rather, text. Singular. Maybe Rebekah is too removed from reality to understand how phones work, but I digress. In order to prove that her role at WeWork isn't just to offboard people who "don't have the right energy", Rebekah goes full steam ahead with WeGrow, her special snowflake school. But alas, even this isn't quite working as it should be (in her opinion) since, ah, *checks notes*: uniforms, voice pitch, tambourine playing, and the website font (?) are not to her standards, and Rebekah will NOT accept such subpar work! Her poor assistant looks just about ready to quit, the glassy look in her eyes as she acquiesces to Rebekah's increasingly insane demands just screams "path of least resistance" point to me, i.e. it's better to just go with it for now, and quit when you can.

Aside from freezing Adam out for telling her the truth, Rebekah is also jealous of the reach he has, thanks to high profile interviews. The best Rebekah can get is a podcast guest spot, which she acts offended about. Now, I personnally would never watch a CNBC interview, but I definitely would listen to a podcast episode (not, however, about WeGrow). Then again, I (surprisingly enough) am not Rebekah's audience, so I guess her disappointment made sense. She's trying to get more wealthy families to sign up for her sham of a school, and I doubt those parents listen to podcasts. That said, what Rebekah does end up talking about on the podcast, isn't fit for any audience.

"Something people don't know about me...? I'm flexible." "Emotionally?" "Physically."
Ugh. If this is her way of trying to get back at Adam and remind him of what he's missing, it might succeed, but it definitely won't bring new leads for WeGrow. Adam, in fact, finally convenes Rebekah for a meeting with him, as CEO, in order to get her to talk to him, because nothing else is working. Sidenote: I feel a bit personnally attacked by this because while I've never acted like Rebekah has, dating (or worse, being married to) a coworker is not a good idea, especially when they rank higher than you, and I'll admit some of Rebekah's pettiness felt... relatable. Still. Don't date your supervisor, folks, it rarely works out, and worst case scenario you'll have to quit them AND your job. Still, Rebekah isn't in that position and when Adam finally, in desperation, offers to make her co-founder, she seems slightly mollified. Since she's still on her "WeWork needs me!" kick, she's actually decided to read other S-1 proposals to get an idea of what WeWork should be preparing. In case you were wondering, Rebekah has all of three weeks' experience at Wallstreet, and thinks she's an IPO expert. So dream big and put that on your résumés, kids, you really can do anything with nothing! Finally, she seems struck by (no, not lightning, but I wish), a revelation as to what her role is.
"I've evolved beyond all that. I am the soul of the company."
At this point, I had to take a short break and regroup, because I can't imagine saying that with a straight face, and yet amazingly, she does! As she and Adam set to work on "The power of We" IPO, showing not facts, figures, and key performance indicators, but some sort of holistic approach, and the We state of mind, a couple of employees sneak back into the offices to celebrate the company going public and their upcoming, sure to be huge, residual income. What'll it be? Overpriced Don Julio tequila for one? A Birkin bag for another? Sky's the limit as each of them imagines what life'll be like once the millions start coming in. They also imagine what Adam and Rebekah's sex life must be like.
"They don't have sex. They just levitate and their souls meld."
Because when WeWork does go public and falls on its face, Adam and Rebekah won't be the ones who suffer the most. Sure, they'll be humiliated, and the WeGrow school will shut its leafy doors, but they actually already have millions to fall back on. These employees gave everything to WeWork: their free time, their personal lives, their trust, for almost no payback and a meager salary. And all of it is about to come crashing (ha) down. If the look on the people's faces (and Miguel) reading the S-1 filing is anything to go by, shit is about to hit the proverbial fan. "What the fuck was that?" And now we need to tune in next week to discover just how bad it's going to get. I maintain that it's kind of insane to see how far things actually need to go before these kinds of companies are stopped. As usual, sound off in the comments with your thoughts on the show so far, and your hope for next week's finale!

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