I work, you work, we all all work at WeWork. That’s what The We Company, formerly known as WeWork (that was a fun phrase to write), hopes will one day be the truth.
I admit, I’ve got a weird soft spot for WeWork. For one thing, it’s become my personal shorthand for an underfunded startup: “just a group at a table at a WeWork with a dream.”
It’s also my story from about five years ago — second or third employee, maybe fourth depending on how you count, at a startup at a WeWork in New York City. We worked hard, and it worked out. Fast forward to 2019, and it’s now a successful digital media company, right at the top of the market in its industry.
I moved on last year, and where else would I wind up? Right back at WeWork. Quite a few of them, actually. A former colleague and I from that last startup are now trying to make an even more ambitious dream a reality.
Sentimentality aside, however, I’m writing about this because The We Company filed confidentially for an IPO on Monday. We know about this confidential filing because they issued a press release, which is kind of ironic, but let’s move on.
There are no financial details in the filing. But, we know previously that WeWork lost a reported $2 billion last year. And it’s changed its name, its focus, and its business model. (We talk about it here — along with a way to get a free one-year membership.)
So, is this the future? Will I be writing again about starting yet another company from a WeWork? Time will tell.
Allow me one more WeWork anecdote. My wife and I were in New Hampshire, visiting her grandmother, Betty, who was frail then — but still beautiful, living in a nursing home.
Her eyes brightened at one point, and she belted out: “Do what you love!”
It took a second, but we soon realized she wasn’t doling out sage advice; instead, she was reading the slogan on my WeWork souvenir T-shirt. We laughed, but it’s pretty good counsel.
And when Nan Elizabeth “Betty” Rodino passed away last year at the age of 97, I told that story more than a few times.
Work hard, dream big, and do what you love. Regardless of what happens with WeWork, it’s a phrase I’ll remember.