Season 1 Episode 4 of Apple TV+ corporate drama series ‘WeCrashed’ is based on Adam Neumann’s search for additional investment due to the threat of current funds running out in a matter of months.
It’s 2016, and WeWork has grown substantially from being just an idea that needs investment, as seen in the previous episodes. However, Adam’s tactics feel far from sustainable.
The company is rapidly losing money, $1.2 million per day to be exact. Investors are left worried about where this is going, but the founder remains adamant that in order to grow, money needs to be burned.
Despite the loss, Adam wants to open even more new locations. His staff is unequivocally against the idea, but, Adam being Adam, woos them and ends up opening more branches of WeWork.
All the while, feeling neglected by Adam, Rebekah finds a friend in Elishia, whose husband had cheated on him. The two hit it off and spend time together.
When Adam contacts his investors for even more money, they respond that his model is not sustainable and that he is just blitzscaling. An investor accidentally gives him an idea when he says that he is not Masayoshi Son, the head of The SoftBank Vision Fund, known for helping companies grow rapidly. Adam finds a new target.
One small issue, Masayoshi is not in New York. He is currently listening to pitches during the Startup India event in Mumbai.
He quickly flies there and pitches WeWork, capturing Masayoshi’s attention. After the event, Masayoshi tells him he’s interested, but the Vision Fund only invests in tech companies.
Adam claims that his company is eligible to be called a tech company and he can show him how. Masayoshi schedules a meeting, and Adam choreographs the actions of those working at WeWork to paint the image of a happy company and hires engineers without clear roles just to prove that it’s a tech company.
But Masayoshi keeps delaying the meeting, and WeWork starts to lose even more money. Not willing to let locations shut down or allow the closing of non-essential services, Adam ends up firing a number of employees.
Masayoshi finally has a good look at WeWork, but more than the company and business model, he is charmed by the eccentric nature of Adam. Telling him that he invests in founders and not companies, he agrees to fund WeWork.
Adam manages to lure Elishia into quitting her job and joining the WeWork staff, taking her away from Rebekah as well.
Unable to hold it in any longer, she lets him know that he has been missing from the marriage for a while now. In response, he tells her that Masayoshi is investing in WeWork and he did it all for her.
- The episode successfully captures the well-known story of how the WeWork founder managed to charm the SoftBank CEO.
- The script is quite engaging, as the conflict of the business running out of money keeps creeping up, leaving the fate of the company in the balance.
- Jared Leto is the star of the episode, and the way he portrays the character is reason enough to keep tuning in every week.
- Rebekah’s storyline in the episode doesn’t feel as strong as the previous episodes.