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To many of its employees, WeWork was much more than a job. Adam Neumann, the co-founder and former chief executive officer, kept workers motivated by invoking a higher calling to community-building and promising a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“None of us want to look back and say, ‘I could have done more,’” Neumann said in a 2016 staff meeting, captured in hours of tape obtained by Bloomberg. “That’s not acceptable. You do not get a chance like this again.”
In this episode of Foundering, a former WeWork executive assistant, Cody Quinn, describes the tumultuous experience working inside WeWork’s New York headquarters. According to Quinn, most employees worked until near-burnout, then were rewarded with trips to Summer Camp and Summit, WeWork’s famously raucous companywide parties. And she details the strange things she saw at the office: an executive smashing a printer on the floor, 2 a.m. meetings with Neumann and an elaborate technique designed to lure investors called “activating the space.”
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