Mercy, what a last few days. Just one thing after another. The small dinner party was a success, and I’m about to grill myself a hot dog, because why the hell not.
I think I had some ideas about blogs, but at the moment they have fled my brain. I should write these down. My to-do list routine is holding out, long past when I generally abandon them. But there’s something, what’s the word, centering about sitting down Sunday night or first thing Monday, turning to a fresh page in the diary, and making the list: Job 1, Job 2, personal. Maybe one of these days I’ll learn: Write it all down.
In the meantime, a question for you Californians: Where is the mine in California from which these guys are dug? Lay-deez and gennlemen, the CEO of WeWork:
Neumann is the kind of chief executive who sees pies in every sky, so it’s not surprising that even after a $14 billion step back, he calls the relationship with SoftBank “very, very, very, very positive.” While he’s known as a fierce and unpredictable negotiator whose bargaining tactics include tequila shots, he’s also always ready with a pep talk about finding your purpose, doing what you love, and making people feel less alone. Neon slogans on WeWork office walls implore you to “Hustle Harder” and “Get S#!t Done.” (More of the slogans, found in photos on the company’s website, are cycling below.) Neumann told a reporter in 2017 that WeWork’s 11-figure valuation had less to do with its revenue than its “energy and spirituality.” In a recent promotional video, he intoned, “The single most powerful word is the word ‘we.’”
…“Everyone wants to know what ARK is. I think it’s going to be amazing,” Neumann says one morning last month at WeWork’s headquarters in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. Throughout our conversation, he’s at ease making grand statements, as if the dreary details will fall in line later as long as the vision is bold enough. He’s also hungry. It’s just past 11:30 a.m. when a male assistant in a black baseball cap delivers a shallow gray ceramic bowl with brown grains and a spoon. “I haven’t broken my fast yet,” the 40-year-old CEO says apologetically, instead of using the word “breakfast.” He’s clearly a big fan of the oats, sourced from Dan Barber, an “amazingly interesting” farm-to-table chef developing grains with “amazing qualities.” (These are high in fat.) Neumann invested in Barber’s seed company, Row 7, last year.
My editor and I looked at one of the Detroit WeWork spaces when we were expanding last year. It was as advertised above — very slogan-y, very go-team-y, and there’s free beer. It was also pretty expensive for what we wanted. The space was tight, and the walls were glass. There was a therapist in one of them; when I expressed amazement, the guide said, “she has curtains.”
So I’m not surprised to hear that the CEO appears to think that dreary details will fall into line later as long as the vision is bold enough.
We stayed in our cruddy suite of offices, and it’s fine.
I hope this week is easier than the last. I expect it will.