A couple weeks ago, it seemed that WeWork was going to have no problem going public. It was all good. Questions were asked and now the company is looking at the very least a considerable cut in its IPO price. At worst, who knows?
This incident illustrates just how quickly things can change. Nothing about WeWork has changed in the past week, except how people perceive it. But that change is worth tens of billions of dollars in valuation. No matter what you think of WeWork, Adam Neumann has built something.
Building SOMETHING is hard.
Building ANYTHING is hard.
No bets here on how the WeWork story will play out over the new few weeks, but it prompted me to highlight three recent take on taking risks and the miracle of successful businesses.
Josh Brown tweeting about this Colson Whitehead quote: “Sometimes a useful delusion is better than a useless truth.”:
Anyone who’s ever volunteered for a task they weren’t prepared for or attempted to try something beyond their experience or started a new company or changed careers or took the risk of a lifetime knows this in their bones.
— Downtown Josh Brown (@ReformedBroker) September 6, 2019
From Brent Beshore at adventur.es:
ALL BUSINESSES ARE LOOSELY FUNCTIONING DISASTERS, AND SOME ARE PROFITABLE DESPITE IT.
At 30,000 feet, the world is beautiful and orderly. On the ground, it’s chaotic and confusing. Nothing ever goes to plan. Surprises lurk around every corner. Things are constantly breaking. Someone is always upset. Mistakes are made daily. Expecting anything less is being out of touch with reality. And remember, just because you’re now aware of it doesn’t change reality. It was that way before, you just didn’t realize it.
Corey Hoffstein at NewFound Research posted a number of lessons learned on Twitter on the 11th anniversary of his firm:
6/ Don’t let the shiny veneer fool you: behind the curtains, just about every business is duct taped together and everybody is struggling in some form.
— Corey Hoffstein (@choffstein) September 5, 2019
You may be struggling with something at work. It’s okay. Everyone is struggling with something. Don’t let the struggle define who you are or how you treat others.
*This Ben Thompson piece at Stratechery lays out the bull and bear case for WeWork most effectively.
**My colleague Ben Carlson at A Wealth of Common Sense tackled ‘the struggle’ from the perspective of the most famous actor on the planet.