Meet the We Generation with WeWork's Adam Neumann | Summary and Q&A

May 29, 2015
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Meet the We Generation with WeWork's Adam Neumann

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In this video, Adam Neumann, co-founder of WeWork, discusses the growth and success of the company. He explains how they came up with the idea to create co-working spaces and why it is growing so rapidly. Adam also talks about the importance of community and how they foster it within WeWork. He shares his personal background growing up in a kibbutz and how that influenced his beliefs about fairness and individual effort. Adam discusses the unique aspects of WeWork that set it apart from other office rental companies and the technology-driven approach they take in managing their spaces. He also mentions the different membership options offered by WeWork and the benefits they provide. Adam concludes by discussing his vision for the future of WeWork as a global movement.

Questions & Answers

Q: How did Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey come up with the idea for WeWork?

Adam and Miguel both knew the challenges and distractions that come with starting a new business. They wanted to create a simple solution that would allow entrepreneurs to focus on their core business rather than spending a majority of their time on other things. They convinced a landlord to give them a building in May 2008, and within weeks, they realized that they needed a stronger sense of community to truly make a difference in the way people work.

Q: How does Adam Neumann define the "regeneration" and who is a part of it?

Adam describes the "regeneration" as a global movement of individuals who understand the power of the sharing economy, prioritize intention and meaning over material goods, and believe in treating others well. This movement is not limited by age but encompasses anyone who resonates with the values of community and collaboration. In Adam's view, everyone in the world has the potential to be part of the regeneration and contribute to changing the world.

Q: How does WeWork foster community within their spaces?

WeWork believes that community cannot be forced but instead should grow organically. They have perfected event organization, developed a social app for members to connect, and employ Community Managers who are responsible for making connections and fostering a sense of community. These managers are incentivized based on the number of connections they facilitate. However, true community is measured during times of trouble or adversity, when members come together to support one another.

Q: What is the difference between WeWork and other office rental companies like Regus?

WeWork differentiates itself by focusing on intention and meaning behind what they do. Adam and Miguel's intention was to change the world and inspire others to treat each other well. They designed their spaces to promote collaboration and interaction, and they use beacon technology and video cameras to track how spaces are used and design future locations accordingly. The community aspect and the belief in the power of the sharing economy sets WeWork apart from other companies.

Q: How does WeWork decide where to expand next?

WeWork looks for high IQ cities with a vibrant entrepreneurial community that aligns with their values. They pay attention to the demand from virtual members through their Commons membership and prioritize locations where they see a need. They aim to choose cities that have a significant presence of the "regeneration" and where they can make a positive impact.

Q: How does WeWork keep up with the rapid growth of the company?

Adam emphasizes the importance of hiring the right people and trusting them to make decisions. As a CEO, he believes in empowering his team and stepping back from micromanagement. Although mistakes may happen, trusting capable employees allows for scalability and growth without being personally overwhelmed.

Q: How does WeWork use technology in their operations?

WeWork has more engineers than contractors, architects, and designers. They have developed their own systems for choosing buildings, using 3D modeling for design, and managing operations. They also leverage technology for their social app, which allows members to connect and get access to various services and discounts. WeWork actively explores new technologies like drones and internet of things to enhance their members' experiences.

Q: What is the Commons membership offered by WeWork?

The Commons membership is a $45/month option that does not include a physical workspace. Members get one day of access to a desk anywhere in the world, one hour of conference room usage, and the ability to book additional spaces and access the WeWork network. It also provides access to the social app and discounted services. The Commons membership has been their fastest growing product and encourages active engagement with the community.

Q: How does WeWork track and measure the usage of their spaces?

WeWork uses beacon technology and video cameras to track the usage of common spaces. This data helps them understand which areas are most utilized and make informed decisions about designing future locations. For example, they found that Guitar Hero was more popular than ping pong in the evenings. They aim to create spaces that are actively used and leverage this information to enhance member experiences.

Q: Where does Adam Neumann see WeWork in five years?

In five years, Adam envisions WeWork as a global movement where individuals are part of the "regeneration". He sees people working from different WeWork locations around the world, collaborating with their colleagues and friends globally, and having the flexibility to travel and work in different cities. The focus is not on being the biggest or the only one, but on being part of something larger that is changing the world.


Adam Neumann, co-founder of WeWork, shares insights into the growth and success of the company. He emphasizes the importance of community and intention behind their work. WeWork fosters a sense of community through its organic growth, social app, and a dedicated team of Community Managers. They actively leverage technology in various aspects of their business to enhance member experiences. WeWork offers different membership options, including the fast-growing Commons membership, which encourages active engagement with the community. Adam envisions a future where WeWork is part of a global movement called the "regeneration", where people prioritize collaborative work, treat others well, and contribute to changing the world.

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