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Friday, April 19, 2024

Why WeWork Didn't Work

In the 11 years since its founding, WeWork has had a wild ride. At its core, it's a real estate company that subleases trendy office spaces to other businesses. But the workers at the company, led by their charismatic CEO Adam Neumann and intoxicated by a $47 billion valuation, partied like it was a rebellious tech startup. Behind all the kombucha taps in WeWork’s offices was a culture of extravagant splurging, furious hedonism, and questionable business decisions. The bad behavior persisted for a decade before it all came crashing down.

This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with Eliot Brown and Maureen Farrell, the Wall Street Journal reporters who helped reveal the absurd shenanigans that led to the downfall of WeWork. Their new book, The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion, is a chronicle of the company’s rollicking journey.

Show Notes

The Cult of We comes out July 20. You can order it here. And be sure to follow all of Eliot and Maureen’s reporting at The Wall Street Journal.


Maureen recommends the show Schitt’s Creek. Eliot recommends the podcast Fiasco, specifically season two, which is about the Iran-Contra scandal. Lauren recommends the Listings Project, a community newsletter for people looking for temporary housing. Mike recommends Mixcloud for discovering new music through DJ sets.

Maureen Farrell can be found on Twitter @maureenmfarrell. Eliot Brown is @eliotwb. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.

If you have feedback about the show or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.

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Lauren Goode: Mike.

Michael Calore: Lauren.

LG: Mike, do you ever wish that our office at WIRED had kombucha on tap or that we described it as a physical social network or maybe that we would just remove the I and the R and the D from our name and call it "We"?

MC: I can honestly say that I don't think I have ever desired any of those things.

LG: Well, a lot of people bought into those ideas of what an office should be, and it didn't exactly WeWork out.

MC: Mmm, nope.

[Gadget Lab intro theme music plays]

LG: Hi everyone. Welcome to Gadget Lab. I'm Lauren Goode. I'm a senior writer at WIRED.

MC: And I am Michael Calore, a senior editor at WIRED.

LG: Today we're joined by special guests Wall Street Journal reporters Maureen Farrell and Eliot Brown. Thanks to both of you for joining us.

Maureen Farrell: Thanks for having us.

Eliot Brown: Thanks for having us.

LG: So, the two of you have cowritten a new book called The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Start-Up Delusion. And the book, of course, is about the start-up WeWork. So, if you aren't familiar, WeWork rented out shared office spaces often called coworking spaces and it was once valued at $47 billion. But that all came crashing down when the company tried to go public and had to reveal its truly wild business practices and the risks to its business.

So, Eliot and Maureen, you've both been reporting on WeWork for years. And before we get into the wild WeWork stories, can you first explain what WeWork started as, right? Because I think a lot of people have heard about it as a unicorn with a charismatic leader and with all of the trappings and allure of a modern techish company. But it actually had a business. What made WeWork and its business model different? What was it selling people?

EB: So, depending on how far back you want to go, there was a predecessor company that the same founders started which was called Green Desk. And that was an idea of we want to take some office space and instead of carving it up into a zillion different private offices, we should just have a bunch of cubicles and little offices that people all share together and then they can go to the same coffee pot and go to the same bathroom and water and they can pay by the month instead of paying by the year. So, it was this just pretty basic office space subleasing concept.

And then basically the same thing happened with WeWork when they actually started WeWork, which was an idea of just there's a lot of graphic designers in New York hanging out needing a space to go. There's a lot of one-person lawyers. Why are they each getting their own individual offices? Let's put them together. Let's make the walls out of glass so the place doesn't feel really cramped and light streams in through the windows. And we can have fun together and most of all they pay WeWork rent every month and WeWork pays some landlord rent every year for 10 years.

LG: And so that idea, that WeWork would structure these leasing deals for up to 10 years, was that new in commercial office space?

EB: No. What was new about WeWork … So, there had been companies that had done office space subleasing before, but they usually carved things up with … They didn't have a communal aspect to it. What WeWork did that was new, and they were not the only ones to do it, a lot of people were doing this at the time and they even just lifted this idea from someone else, was to have all these different companies in the same larger office paying by the month together and sharing conference rooms and sharing a kitchen and sharing coffee. The sort of shared common space was the main thing and then WeWork eventually sort of started talking more about the community aspect of it.

MC: So, one of the things that helped them stand out obviously, and the main character in your book, is the cofounder, Adam Neumann. Something that we hear again and again in the book is that he is just able to win people over almost immediately with his idea and his vision. He has this insane charisma. How would you describe his presence?

MF: I mean his presence physically he's larger than life in so many ways. He's physically so tall, he's I think 6'5". He really takes up so much space in the room. He's waving his hands, he's walking around. You sort of go into a room with him and he takes over the room. He talks a mile a minute. But he also has this way, I guess two other things, of connecting with people immediately. He can kind of do that thing that many charismatic people can do that make you feel like you're the only person in the room and he's so interested. He can be very warm when you meet him in a kind of surprising way.

And then he has this ability to talk about the future as if it's the present and just sort of he can take the most surprising thing, implausible thing basically, and make people feel as if it's current and it's already happened basically. That's just how he spoke. And he can just take you into his version of reality in a way that's very hard to do. I've rarely seen anyone do that.

EB: He also just oozes fun and especially for these baby boomer landlords who would come meet him in suits. He'd be like, "Hey, let's have a tequila shot." It's 10:00AM. He's like, "I know, come on." So, he really connected especially with older wealthy men, but young people too. He had a real way of livening the office up.

LG: And so it sounds like he was really effective at getting people to buy in both on the investing side and also just the folks he was hiring.

EB: Totally, yeah. People would say that … One former employee who worked with him forever was like, "You know his magic was not only convincing you of his crazy vision and you thinking it's real, but then convincing you so much that you suddenly are able to convince other people." And so, yeah, he would really just draw you in quickly and you'd drink the Kool-Aid.

MC: He was also pretty famous for developing a fast and loose culture at the company. For example, summer camp. Can you tell us about summer camp?

MF: I mean summer camp. He grew up in Israel. He always would say he never went to American summer camp, so he was going to recreate this for all his employees. It started out upstate New York. His wife's family had a summer camp up there, and they ran it. So, it had just anything you could dream of if you were a 12-year-old going to summer camp. Rafting, kayaking, all sorts of things. I never went to summer camp, but that I would imagine being there and they always picked a cool band that often times would break out or multiple ones later that year. They had a way of finding those types of entertainment acts.

But then there was alcohol was flowing from the minute you set foot there and drugs supposedly. The alcohol supplied by the company, I don't think the drugs were. But it was a wild party for multiple days.

LG: Yeah, that sounds just like WIRED. Right, Mike?

MC: Yeah, it sounds just like this place.

LG: Yeah, exactly.

EB: And these people, they would fly the whole company in for this and this wasn't just New York. When they were larger they had it in the UK on this giant estate where some 12th century nobles would go elk hunting or deer hunting. And they flew 6,000 people from around the world there just for this long weekend, to give them large bottles of rosé and some EDM concerts.

MC: Did they also just burn money at night? Because that's what it sounds like.

EB: Probably would have been more efficient to do it that way. Yeah, these things were not cheap. I think the last one was $10 to $15 million, and yeah, it was everything totally under the sun. And then Adam's personal compound was above all the rest of the employees and attendees, so he was on sort of the top of this hill looking down, and he had just case after case of booze. It was pretty intense.

LG: Give us a little bit of context though for how WeWork fit into this group of unicorns at this time, right? Because we're going back more than 10 years at this point. The early 2010s were known for sort of frothiness in the tech industry, if you want to call WeWork a tech company. So, how different was this? How much more outrageous was this from other stories we would hear about tech companies at the time?

EB: I think WeWork was like the stereotypical start-up but with an exponent, multiplied by an exponent. It was just almost as though you watched the HBO show, Silicon Valley, and were like, "Oh, we should do that times five." And so there's just unreal stuff that you see in Silicon Valley, like Adam had a spiritual adviser who would trail him around and the executive staff would have weekly meetings with him to learn about kabbalah. So, it was sort of the stuff that a lot of people make fun of about Silicon Valley culture, and then they would do it many times that and then all have a lot of fun while doing it.

MC: Maureen, you briefly mentioned a couple of questions ago Adam's wife Rebecca. She's a big part of the WeWork story. Can you tell us about her?

MF: Sure. She is a big part of the WeWork story. And it's interesting in a few different ways. They met before he founded WeWork. She was sort of retroactively dubbed a cofounder. Some of the things we've heard from the very early days, she was around but not really … At that time she was pursuing an acting career, a directing career, and I don't know, we heard that she would give tours of the office and say she picked out the coffee, and that it gave the right vibe for the office. It didn't seem like she had a real big role. But a few years later she was made a cofounder, and some of the investors were like, "Huh? We missed this, but fine, whatever."

So, she played a really important role with him, more than just a spouse. In the beginning, in the early days, she sort of … They met and she introduced him to a lot of people. She had all these Hollywood connections. She was Gwyneth Paltrow's cousin. She grew up very wealthy. I think she sort of opened doors for him and sort of pushed him to think even bigger about what he might do and the wealth that he even wanted. I think he just saw new things with her.

And then as time went on, as the company … She did get more involved. It was very much kind of jumping around in some ways, but she jumped into marketing roles and branding and eventually she started a school that was a school for their children done under the WeWork umbrella that they very much paid for. So, she just had such an interesting role throughout, not a traditional cofounder role or even a traditional spouse role. She played an interesting part in the company.

MC: So, at what point was WeWork at its peak? What years are we talking about and how many office spaces did they manage at their peak?

EB: Yeah, sure. So, they started out in 2010 with one office, and 2018, 2019 was where they really hit the peak. And basically they went from having 17 people on the first floor when they opened to having 400, 500,000 people paying them monthly rent by the time everything fell down. So, that's the population of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. It's nearly the population of San Francisco. So, it's pretty astounding and that was obviously fueled by a lot of money. But, yeah, it became this massive business at least when you talk about something that grows over 10 years. It's hard to do that, and that was one of the more astounding things was just how quickly they were able to grow and just put these WeWork flags and WeWork signs on buildings and skylines from on the tops of towards in Seoul and Hong Kong and New York, Boston, et cetera.

MF: And as we saw, his ambitions just grew bigger and bigger and bigger and it just kind of took on a life of its own this company. He saw himself as a world leader and sort of … He was starting to keep the company of world leaders. But he was meeting people all over the world, thinking of himself … He almost started to talk about WeWork by the end of 2018, before things would start to crash and burn, in the past tense. He was like, "We built this thing. Now we're going to solve world peace." At the final summer camp he was saying, "Children without parents, we will solve that problem. We will cure all the world's ills." And it was just getting almost manic over the years.

He had a very manic personality, but it was let's go buy a wave pool company. We have endless capital. We'll go make all these kind of crazy acquisitions and we know of a lot of them, they actually executed a lot. We would up hearing that he was going after Sweetgreen. They were going to buy Sweetgreen and many others. It was like everything was possible for him and he was trying to do a little bit of everything, and no one was really stopping him.

EB: He wanted to buy Lyft.

MF: Oh yeah.

MC: I mean sure.

EB: Why not?

LG: All right, we're going to take a quick break. And when we come back we're going to talk more about WeWork, ultimately what led to the ousting of Adam Neumann, the fall of WeWork, and what ended up being a prolonged legal battle between Adam Neumann and SoftBank. So, stay tuned.


LG: Welcome back. Mike, do you want to kick us off in this one?

MC: Sure. So, one big turning point in the WeWork story is Adam Neumann's relationship with the Japanese firm SoftBank, and its CEO, Masayoshi Son. How did that relationship form?

MF: So, they met in India. Adam happened to be asked to go to India to speak at this conference called Startup India, and he did sort of a tour. Masa happened to be also at this conference. They were two of the headliners along with Travis Kalanick in 2016. So, they met very briefly there. They kind of hit it off quickly.

But nothing came of it until later that year Masa was coming … It's kind of a crazy story. He was coming to New York to meet with Trump, I don't know if you remember right after Trump's election he had this parade of visitors come into meet him at Trump Tower and Masa was one of those. There was a news conference. He pledged $50 billion to invest in America, and Trump said, "It's all because of me."

And basically on the way there he made a pit stop, which was a 12-minute pit stop, he got a whole tour of WeWork's headquarters downtown. Adam prepped for it, was really hoping he would land an investment from Masa. 12-minute tour, Masa was late, said he had to go. He invites Adam to join him in the car to go uptown to meet Trump. Over the course of a 30- to 45-minute traffic snarled ride to Trump Tower, they sketch out a plan and Adam gets out of the car in midtown and he lands a $4.4 billion investment.

And by all accounts it was just as spontaneous as it sounds. They sketched out on a piece of paper, an iPad, what the world would look like if WeWork grew and what this $4.4 billion investment would go towards. And, yeah, Masa leaves. Adam runs back to the office showing this paper and freaking out. No one knows what he's talking about. And that was the genesis of their union.

LG: And in many ways, I mean, funding like that just begets more funding, right? Because people start feeling a sense of FOMO and by people I mean investors. It's actually kind of astonishing how companies like WeWork or Uber or Lyft can spend billions of dollars and yet continue to attract new investors. So, you've both covered capital markets for the Journal. So, I wanted to ask, can you explain how that funding perpetuates more funding?

MF: We've been living in this age, and now it seems like it's starting to turn, where there was just so much private capital. The FOMO aspect is that people saw Facebook, previously if you invested in Amazon you could make a return once it went public, some huge gigantic return. Companies were going public later and later and later. So, there was this sense that you have to get in early and you have to get in in the private markets. This unleashed a flood of capital whether it was venture investments started to increase, the mutual funds going in to these companies. You had sovereign wealth funds. That's where Masa got part of his money. He got almost $50 billion from Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern nations. So, yeah, this flood happened and it just kind of fed off of itself.

And the weird thing about when Masa and SoftBank came in was the world was starting to get small. He had tapped almost every pocket of capital he could find and he was sort of running out of checks to find. He was about to have to go public, and then Masa came and took his 12-minute tour and suddenly he had $4.4 billion.

EB: Yeah, we like to say that WeWork, in addition to being a caricature on the cultural sense of start-ups, it's a caricature on the fundraising front. Every loose chunk of money in every given year they hit it on the head and raised a ton. This is the same of that class of 2010-ish of unicorns, like Uber and Lyft, that just hemorrhaged money.

With WeWork it was always sort of the same game plan. You go to funders, ask for money, say, "I'm going to do something new. My business is great, it's going to be profitable, but now I need to do apartments so I need new money for that. I need to do China, I need new money for that. I need to elevate consciousness, I need to raise money for that." And so each time the money got bigger and no one was really noticing that with WeWork every time it doubles in size, it doubles its losses. And so if you suddenly need $4 billion and you burn through that in two years, then you're bigger and you're going to need $8 billion the next time. And so, yeah, I think WeWork would always come back to the well. And I don't think people were really … They just kept thinking that the ambitions were getting bigger, which they were, but they weren't realizing the central business was also this real hot mess.

MC: Yeah, and one thread in the book is that Adam always wanted to take really big swings, right? The very, very beginning of the company he would brag and tell his friends, "My company's going to be worth a billion dollars someday." And everything had to be as big as possible. He once turned down an early funding offer from Goldman Sachs that would have placed WeWork's value at $200 million simply because he thought that particular valuation was too low. So, he was just collecting all these checks for years and years, and then what ultimately happened?

EB: So, ultimately the music stopped or he flew too close to the sun or the emperor had no clothes. There's a number of good metaphors. But basically the story with WeWork was one of a mirage where he was able to, and the private markets were able to, convince themselves for nine years that this real estate company was a tech company and had the properties of a disruptive fast growth tech company even though it had the properties of a poorly run real estate company.

And then it kind of went too far and they … In the summer of 2019, they tried to IPO because they ran out of money and they needed more and they made everything public and the world took a look at that document that you do when you go public and they were like, "WTF? What is this thing?"

MF: The other part of this I think is that every player around Adam up until that point had very little incentive to push back. There was a disincentive. They were all just hoping to get to that finish line and cash out. Whether it's Benchmark, one of the early funders, they stood to make so much money in the IPO. You had SoftBank and you had the banks who were his advisors, they had fees that they stood to get. If they were leading the IPO as advisors that's huge for their branding. Plus there's fees. So, it's like all these people who could have checked him along the way didn't stand up. His board of directors, they let him go and they let this company … Adam pushed the envelope way too far clearly and the guardrails that could have been there weren't there.

MC: So, what happened to Adam? He got booted, right?

MF: Eventually those incentives changed and they changed very quickly and very dramatically. They were on the precipice of an IPO and Adam was going out and doing … This document came out, the world was sort of aghast looking at all these conflicts of interests, all the money that they were losing, and everyone just … The questions sort of piled up. Adam was doing his typical pitch to investors and it just wasn't working. They were asking real questions, like why are you losing so much money? And he was doing his routine of look here, buy the company anyway. And it became very clear that investors weren't going to buy in as it got closer and closer to the IPO.

Then Eliot also wrote an article detailing a lot of questionable behaviors that Adam had, including probably the most extreme being the lede of this article that he wrote which was about him taking marijuana to Israel and leaving it in a cereal box. And that was published right before they were supposed to go public. We've heard this now during our reporting, we saw it at the time, that advisors, his board and others said, "That was a felony potentially bringing drugs on an international flight." That alone they couldn't take the company public after that was revealed.

So, yeah, then the incentives changed and people just turned on him very quickly. His board, his bankers, Jamie Diamond. They just to varying degrees sort of started to tell him maybe you shouldn't … If you try to stay at the helm of this company, this company might not exist because you're going to run out of money. You need money and the public markets will never accept WeWork if you lead the company.

EB: I think the tale of Adam is one of founder control and he initially had and then fought to maintain his full control over the company even though he owned a fraction of it. And that's why he was able to do all this crazy stuff on the way up. They were giving him billions. Investors were giving him billions of dollars and also the keys to the car. And he's a kind of crazy guy, so he's going to do crazy things. The only time that that really … You lose that control, can lose that control, is when you run out of money. And so he needed more money to keep the train running, and when the IPO didn't work out WeWork was going to run out of cash. And so that gave suddenly … That's why the power flipped and suddenly the board was empowered to actually do something.

MC: So, where is Adam Neumann now and how rich is he?

MF: It's a great question because when you look at the power dynamics, he's backed into a corner, he's essentially pushed out of this company he cofounded, yet the company comes close to imploding, thousands of people are laid off, yet he negotiates this exit package for himself and he is more than a paper billionaire now. I think it's fair to say he's a true billionaire. He was able to sell a lot of his shares. They gave SoftBank, when they took full control of the company, kind of rescued it, they gave him $185 million consulting contract. So, he walked away with a nice tidy, what is it, 10-figure sum?

MC: Nice work if you can get it.

LG: Yeah. Is he now launching a festival called Fyre Festival Part 2? Is that the next thing he's doing with that money?

EB: He's definitely investing in things. He's sort of trying to get into real estate stuff. But, yeah, unclear how exactly he's going to spend it. He clearly wants to be involved in start-ups if not running a new one. He's sort of batted around ideas around apartments. But, yes, he is not short on money.

LG: And what happened to WeWork as a business? It still exists, right? Before this podcast I looked up on Google Maps is there a WeWork near where I live, and at least a couple came up in results. So, what's its status now?

EB: Yeah, so WeWork is quite large by desk count because of this $10 billion-plus investment that went into it that actually even when you spend a lot of it on buying wave pools and wasting money on beer kegs, it turns out you build a lot of offices. So, they have a ton of offices. Thanks to the pandemic they don't have that many tenants. But they are going to be this early indicator as to how many people go back to the office. I think their occupancy is a little over 50 percent now, it really needs to be in the 80 percent range to be really healthy. And they say they're going to get there quickly, but I don't think anyone really knows the future. But it will sort of be this interesting test.

More broadly I don't think we're going to be talking about them much as sort of tech reporters in coming years because it's become a real estate company, which is what it was always. And how many episodes have you devoted to IWG, International Work Group, its competitor? And forgive me if you've done a lot.

LG: Putting a pin in that one. That's a great idea. Thanks, Eliot.

EB: Right. So, yeah, I imagine they'll make some noise because it's a brand we all sort of know, but going forward it's going to be a more stayed office space subleasing company, at least that's what I would expect.

MF: But it remains very on trend because it is set to go public later this summer through a SPAC. SPACs are the trendy thing of 2021. So, presumably if all goes according to plan and we don't see any reason not to, it will be a publicly traded company within a month or two.

LG: And very quickly explain for our listeners, those who have not been following special purpose acquisition companies, what a SPAC is?

EB: You're missing out.

MF: So, a SPAC is basically a pool of capital that a group of investors go out and raise on the public markets. And that pool of capital is … You don't know it's blank check essentially to go out and acquire a private company and take it public through this vehicle. And it's been a super trendy thing on Wall Street, and we've seen a lot of crazy companies go public through these vehicles. And a lot of normal good companies, but there's just been a tremendous amount of money devoted to these SPACs. And may be yet a different sign of frothiness in the market right now.

EB: SPACs are the new SoftBank.

LG: Yes. And I also look forward to seeing WeWork at some point put on the blockchain as an NFT or something like that. All right, thank you so much for that recap. Let's take another quick break and then we'll come back with recommendations.


LG: Maureen, let's start with you. What is your recommendation for our Gadget Lab listeners?

MF: OK, this is not at all new, but I was just … Schitt's Creek kind of got me through the pandemic. I was late to it, it took a little while to get into it, but it just is the greatest show ever. It's so funny. It made me so happy and I wish I had never watched it so I could start at the beginning and rewatch it again, and I'm so envious of people who have not watched it yet and can just jump in.

LG: Yes. Hard endorse. Also I'm liking that we're keeping on theme here with real estate because they lose their home and then they're in the motel. Did you watch this Netflix special where they went behind the scenes at the end of season six?

MF: No, I haven't. Oh, I still have something left to watch.

LG: Yes. It is so good. Tears, yes. You have to watch that.

MF: All right, that's awesome.

LG: Eliot, what's your recommendation?

EB: Also not terribly new but I recently listened to the podcast Fiasco, which is by a friend, the season on Iran Contra, which I knew nothing about and is totally fascinating. Where essentially we were … I'm already going to mess this up. We were trading money for arms involving Iran and contras in Latin America, and Oliver North and Reagan and a whole bunch of fun Senate hearings that … This huge scandal but really sort of slipped through without too much damage.

LG: And what's the name of that podcast again? Fiasco you said?

EB: Fiasco. Yeah, disclosure it's by a friend, Leon Neyfakh, who did Slow Burn at Slate.

LG: Oh, Slow Burn's really good. Must be really good.

MC: Somewhere in a closet I have a Shred 'Em Ollie bumper sticker. If you remember everything was shredded.

LG: Mike, what's your recommendation?

MC: So, I want to recommend a streaming music platform, it's called Mixcloud. I thought that everybody had heard of this but I've been telling people about it and I've discovered that a lot of my friends have not heard of it. So, I'm going to recommend it here on the show. You may know SoundCloud as a place where DJs were putting their mixes up for a lot of years, so if you're into electronic music or you listen to DJs who post a lot of jazz and hip hop and reggae and stuff, you would for a long time find a lot of that on SoundCloud. In recent years, SoundCloud has shifted its business model to be more about people who create original work and less about people who post mixes and DJs and stuff like that. So, a lot of DJs have moved over to Mixcloud.

Mixcloud has been around almost as long as SoundCloud, but its platform is geared towards people who make mixes. And there's just a wealth of amazing stuff on there. If you like hip hop, if you like acid jazz, if you like 1960s soul, if you like rock steady, if you like psy trance Burning Man music, it's all on there. You can follow the tags to find people that you like, you follow them, you see what they're listening to. You get new recommendations. It's a global community so there's a lot of stuff from Europe and Latin America and Asia. It's really wonderful.

It's a platform, it's free to listen. There are paid tiers, but you get a lot of out of it for free. So, that's my recommendation. If you're looking for some adventures in sonic hour long journeys, check out Mixcloud. Lauren, what is your recommendation?

LG: I'm going to stick with the real estate theme this week and I'm going to recommend a website called The Listings Project, it's actually a newsletter. And it's run by Stephanie Diamond, who is an artist and an entrepreneur and a community builder. And it's this inclusive artist-focused newsletter for residential rentals and sublets, often temporary, and in some cases you can find an artist studio or a workspace on there as well. And it's in a bunch of cities around the US, some cities in Europe, and it's just a nice way to check out select pre-vetted listings for people who are looking for temporary solutions to their living situations.

So, I imagine during the pandemic it was probably pretty popular because people became a little bit more mobile with remote work and sometimes were looking for … I want to stay in a city for four months because it's a good amount of time to work remotely and maybe settle in and quarantine is needed and then maybe move somewhere else. People were looking for apartment swaps and shares that would work for them.

And yeah, I get this newsletter every Wednesday in my inbox. I always enjoy clicking on the links and seeing what people are offering in this nifty website. And so I recommend the Listings Project if you are looking for temporary housing or temporary apartments as part of sort of an inclusive, artist-focused community.

MC: Very nice.

LG: Yeah. All right, that's our show this week. Thanks so much to Eliot Brown and Maureen Farrell for joining us. As a reminder their new book is called The Cult of We. We really enjoyed having you both on the show.

MF: Thank you.

EB: Thanks for having us.

LG: And thanks to all of you for listening. As always if you have feedback you can find all of us on Twitter. Just check the show notes and we'll include our Twitter handles. The show is produced by the excellent Boone Ashworth, and we'll be back next week. Thanks again for listening.

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