The headline reads:
Reports: WeWork Agrees To SoftBank Takeover At $8B Valuation. Source- BISNOW
But what everyone is focused on is this:
“If the current deal framework holds, SoftBank will wind up with at least a 70% stake in WeWork, CNBC reports. Some of its new shares would come from WeWork co-founder and former CEO Adam Neumann, whose erratic management style and outsized ambition were reportedly enabled by SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, who had reportedly been a key force in Neumann’s ouster as CEO.”
“Though the voting rights of Neumann’s ownership shares had already been pared down from 20-to-1 to 10-to-1, he still possesses enough control to be the ultimate decision-maker on a sale deal, Axios reports. To take control over The We Company, SoftBank will buy $1B in stock from Neumann, pay him a $185M consulting fee and extend him $500M in credit to repay a loan led by JPMorgan, the Wall Street Journal reports.” Source -BISNOW
Now let’s just call it what it is. That’s FUCKING GETTING PAID and for what? $1.7 billion is a hell of a pill to take to ease all the ills that have and will come his way in the future. And as I have stated many times over, who if any among the thousands of employees will get even remotely the value for the time and effort they spent building up the WE? You know the answer…ZERO
Let me throw this out, what are the chances ADAM says no to the buyout? What are the chances he shares one little penny if anything at all with the people left at his company or the people who will be washed away and left with nothing because of his “management.” You and I know that answer… FUCKING ZERO! I mean fuck, he had to give the jet back, a man has got to live somehow! It’s a tough cruel world out there. He may have to downgrade to a Honda Jet or something with fewer seats. It costs a lot of money to fly around the world, star fuck (look it up) and save the entire world at the same time.
Look, there will be tomes and tomes written about this until there is not. Let me ask YOU this, can you look me in the eye and tell me you say no to $1.7 billion? Come on seriously, you are that moral and beyond reproach, even if you disagree with it on some basic level you still say no? Lie to yourself all you want and then ask yourself when was the last time you had to make that kind of decision, or better yet when will you ever get that chance? It’s easy to step back and throw the rocks until you are standing up there taking the hits!
For better or worse this is what the world sees as normal for #CRE and #TECH. I personally get asked more and more about this than anything else. My response: “read all the stuff and make up your own mind.” Yes, I know that’s not the best way to address it but then again I’m not the only one with a valued opinion about all things #CRE and #TECH. There should be a better answer and I do have one. It comes from being in this “space” for more than a decade and it’s also what REALLY happens most all the time.
Let’s look at a real scenario for #CRE and #TECH, with BIG $$$$ at the end. Now, I am going to be generic because there are people and $$$$ involved plus there is the more important issue of TRUST. If I don’t have that then I am indeed fucked forever.
This company starts with a founder who spent a few years climbing the ladder at a major owner, operator, developer, and fund manager doing the stuff that no one sees. It’s called work.
This founder had an idea because of that daily exposure to all things #CRE and they went out and got a couple of nerds to help them set up a site. That idea in hind site was way ahead of its time and wasn’t exactly what the market wanted. So what did the founder do? They pivoted to another version of the product and raised a bit more money. BTW this took about two years from the idea to pivot.
A bit of traction started to happen but as with anything in the world of startups it gets harder and harder to grow out. So along came version three of the product which was an advancement of what they were doing. But, the world was not going for it so they decided to come up with a new product that was completely different than anything they had tried previously and it went after a new customer. And lo and behold they found a new sense of purpose and went out and raised a bunch of money. At this point, it was about five or six years from the initial product launch that this “new” product started to take hold. Someway somehow they kept the lights on and started to actually grow a bit, adding people as necessary.
A year or two later they finally hit their stride. If you are counting that seven or eight years from the initial product launch to growing revenue in the marketplace with an entirely different product and customer. Think of all the time and effort it took to get there. Think of the major details and tasks they went through time and time again. Think of all the times they were dead and done. Think of all the times they screwed up almost everything to only decide to say “fuck it” and keep going. What is the ending of this simple #CRE and #TECH story?
They got BOUGHT and they got a big number. Was it in the press? Yes, How many people know the number? I’m not telling. Will the parent company that bought them do a legit IPO at some point? Yes, will you or anyone else pay any attention? No, probably not. Who will get paid? All the employees who stuck it out all of those years. Will the founder get PAID? Hell yes, will the investors and shareholders gain real value. Yes, they will and is that not the way it’s supposed to happen?
It happens in #CRE and #TECH more than you would think. It’s just five, six, seven, ten years of griding away with no end in sight. And it’s a team game, always a team game! But, that’s boring and not headline-worthy. It’s just not as salacious and globally press-worthy as our little #CRE and #TECH shitshow called the WE.
But if you look at #CRE and #TECH Beyond The Headlines, This Is How You Really GET PAID!
+1 It’s the same as its always been.
+1+1 Be realistic, take the check, kiss them on the lips and find a beach. That’s how it’s done!