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Publisher's Summary

With incredible access and piercing insight, New York magazine contributing editor Reeves Wiedeman tells the full inside story of WeWork and its CEO, Adam Neumann, who together came to represent one of the most audacious, and improbable, rise and falls in American business.

In its earliest days, WeWork promised the impossible: to make the American work place cool. Adam Neumann, an Israeli immigrant determined to make his fortune in the United States, landed on the idea of repurposing surplus Brooklyn office spaces for the burgeoning freelance class. Over the course of 10 years, WeWork attracted billions of some of the most sought-after investment capital in the world, while spending it to build a global real estate empire.

Moving between the worlds of New York real estate, Silicon Valley venture capital, and the very specific spiritual and intellectual force field erected by Adam Neumann himself, Billion Dollar Loser lays bare the internal drama inside WeWork, beginning with the breakneck speed at which its CEO built and grew his company.

Culminating in a day-by-day account of the five weeks leading up to WeWork’s botched IPO, Wiedeman exposes - thanks to more than 200 interviews - the story of the company’s Hail Mary pass to finally secure the funding that would make its business model work. Billion Dollar Loser is the first book to indelibly capture the highly leveraged, all-blue-sky world of American business in President Trump’s first term, and also offers a sober reckoning with its fallout.

©2020 Reeves Wiedeman (P)2020 Little, Brown & Company

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What listeners say about Billion Dollar Loser

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Engrossing and we’ll researches but narration is annoying

I liked the book- it’s a well researched bio, though it’s clearly one-sided and not exactly a fair exploration of Neumann’s redeeming qualities (I have to assume there are a few). The narration is odd. The narrator chooses this strange mocking tone when he reads quotes. Especially when quoting Neumann, he uses this frat boy/California surfer voice which is negative and mocking and makes everything sound pompous or stupid, or both. It gets very annoying.

35 people found this helpful

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decent journalism, distracting narrator

the narrator's surfer dude accent for Adam the entire book is so grating. Im quite forgiving of most narration but this was incessant and detracting.

29 people found this helpful

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A little too negative

I get things didn’t go great for WeWork but when a book is entirely negatively skewed, you have to view it with pessimism. Would be great to at least see some positive elements about WeWork’s rise.

24 people found this helpful

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Mostly collection of notes

Narration filled with uptalk once you get mid-book. But you have to sympathize with narrator, because content lacked cohesion in mid after strong beginning. Maybe would have worked if author had found a storyline to connect disparate facts and reports.

14 people found this helpful

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Just ok

Nothing special about the story. well written/ told.... filled with details which are important to the story.... but quite forgettable/ boring. No fraud here.... but a look under the hood at a "unicorn" company, how a charismatic leader can blind observers....how the unicorns get valued by investors/ wall street.

12 people found this helpful

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Master Conman

I followed this story through the news and it always amazed me that their guy was not spotted as a con artist. Same as the woman from Theranos, all these skilled people that would throw out all logic and keep investing in these people. Absolutely mind boggling

9 people found this helpful

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The danger of unchecked charismatic leaders

Great story, outstanding performance by Will Collyer. Captivating presentation about Adam Neumann and the development of WeWorks. It was one of those, "can't put it down" stories. However, I found the collapse and discussion of the aftermath rushed and incomplete. I would have loved another hour or so of what the real inside story of Adam's departure and the law suits that are pending. Nevertheless, I would highly recommend this story.

5 people found this helpful

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Fast excellent read

I had trouble stopping .. great story and so well told. I’ll read this one twice.

5 people found this helpful

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Gripping storyline

Excellent narration and interesting story. Quite similar to Bad Blood or American Kingpin in its ability to tell an accurate account while ensuring the story is gripping and entertaining.

3 people found this helpful

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Very Good

Great and interesting listen. As someone who knew the story well already, I still found it interesting with many details I wasn’t familiar with. Good for a light and quick listen.

2 people found this helpful