8 Quirky Facts from WeWork’s Descent into Bankruptcy: A Trivial Pursuit of Office Space

The WeWork Bankruptcy
The WeWork bankruptcy: A balancing act. AI Illustration: HowSmart.net and DALL-E

In the grand chess game of corporate giants, WeWork’s king has been toppled. Welcome to HowSmart.net’s unique spin on WeWork’s journey from coworking darling to Chapter 11 claimant. Grab your metaphorical popcorn, and let’s explore WeWork’s rise, stumble, and stumble again.

1. The Visionary’s Blueprint

Adam Neumann’s dream in 2010 was not just to rent out office spaces; it was to revolutionize the very fabric of workplace culture. WeWork’s initial pitch was like a Silicon Valley startup meets Zen monastery but with more beer taps and fewer silent retreats.

2. The Expansion Extravaganza

WeWork’s growth trajectory was less ‘slow and steady wins the race’ and more ‘Usain Bolt on a caffeine buzz.’ They sprinted from one lease to another, collecting office spaces like a billionaire collects supercars.

3. The IPO Illusion

In 2019, WeWork’s attempt to become public was like throwing a lavish party and forgetting to invite guests. The IPO revealed more than just financials; it was a peek into a corporate governance style that would make even a Las Vegas casino blush.

4. The Pandemic Plot Twist

COVID-19 hit WeWork like a telenovela plot twist – unexpected and dramatic. Office space demand dropped faster than New York Knicks fan morale post-season.

5. The Captain’s Change

Sandeep Mathrani stepping in as CEO was like switching captains on the Titanic – noble, but you’re still dealing with many icebergs. His cost-cutting measures were commendable, but the ship was already underwater.

6. The WeWork Bankruptcy Bombshell

On November 6, 2023, WeWork filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with the kind of debt that would make a small country nervous. They had $15 billion in assets and over $18 billion in debt, which is like filling a swimming pool with cotton balls.

7. The Restructuring Rumba

WeWork’s dance with debt restructuring was less ‘Dancing with the Stars’ elegance and more ‘middle school prom’ awkwardness. They struck a deal with 92% of their note-holders to keep the music playing.

8. The Future’s Fog

Despite the bankruptcy, WeWork’s doors remain open. They’re optimistic about the future, which, in corporate speak, is like saying, “We’ve hit an iceberg, but the band is still playing, and the buffet is open!”

Now that you know everything about the WeWork bankruptcy, how about a news quiz?

2023 Business Fails Quiz

Business and Tech trivia game: 23 multiple-choice questions and answers on business and bank fails from 2023. How smart are you today?

1 / 23

1. According to a leaked memo, only 6 months after its acquisition, what does Elon Musk value Twitter at?

Screenshot: Tesla – YouTube

2 / 23

2. What caused crypto exchange FTX’s bankruptcy in 2022?

Screenshot: Bloomberg Markets and Finance – YouTube

3 / 23

3. According to court filings, why did FTX owner Sam Bankman Fried bribe Chinese officials?

Screenshot: Reuters – YouTube

4 / 23

4. Why did the judge send FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried on an unexpected ‘vacation’ in jail before his trial?

Screenshot: Associated Press – YouTube

5 / 23

5. Who is the billionaire tycoon behind Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume?

Screenshot: Entrepreneur ME – YouTube

6 / 23

6. What was Elizabeth Holmes’ famous scam?

Screenshot: AP Archive – YouTube

7 / 23

7. Silicon Valley Bank went bust in 2023, becoming the second-largest bank failure in US history. Which bank was the largest?

Screenshot: NBC News

8 / 23

8. Which of the following banks is the largest family-owned bank in the US?

Screenshot: YouTube

9 / 23

9. Which financial giant bought First Republic Bank’s assets and deposits?

Screenshot: AP News – YouTube

10 / 23

10. Which of these groups co-bought Vice Media after its bankruptcy?

Screenshot: BBC News – YouTube

11 / 23

11. Why did Bed Bath & Beyond stop accepting coupons on Apr. 26, 2023?

Screenshot: CBS Evening News – YouTube

12 / 23

12. Which of the following is NOT a major US drugstore chain?

Screenshot: Reuters – YouTube

13 / 23

13. WeWork stitched itself as what kind of company before unraveling into bankruptcy?

AI Illustration: HowSmart.net and DALL-E

14 / 23

14. In the latest twist of Silicon Valley’s AI soap opera, where is Sam Altman, the ousted CEO of OpenAI, setting up his new tech fortress?

Screenshot: OpenAI – YouTube

15 / 23

15. Why did M&M indefinitely pause its “spokescandies”?

Screenshot: M&M’s Chocolate  – YouTube

16 / 23

16. Why were images of John Oliver the only pictures uploaded to Reddit’s most popular picture channels in mid-June 2023?

Screenshot: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) – YouTube

17 / 23

17. Which of these happened when Elon Musk tweeted his agreement with a statement accusing Jewish people of “hating white people”?

Screenshot: Lex Fridman Podcast – YouTube

18 / 23

18. Why did Apple rush to release an update for iPhone 15?

Screenshot: Apple – YouTube

19 / 23

19. After his indictment for tax fraud and spilling state secrets, what is the next legal trouble former President Donald Trump faces?

Screenshot: Fox News – YouTube

20 / 23

20. What did Fox owner Rupert Murdoch admit to in his deposition on Dominion Voting System’s defamation suit?

Screenshot: Reuters – YouTube

21 / 23

21. In addition to paying Dominion Voting Systems $787.5 million to settle their defamation suit, what else did Fox News have to do?

Screenshot: Fox News

22 / 23

22. What were Tucker Carlson’s last words on Fox News as a host?

Screenshot: Fox News

23 / 23

23. What caused Kanye West to claim he liked Jewish people again?

Screenshot: The Hollywood Fix – YouTube

Challenge your friends to see if any of them can do any better!

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WeWork Bankruptcy FAQ

Did WeWork file for bankruptcy?

On November 6, 2023, WeWork filed for bankruptcy, listing about $15 billion in assets and over $18 billion in debt. The filing was limited to the company’s locations in the U.S. and Canada, with plans to undergo a “comprehensive reorganization” to position itself for future success.

What’s going to happen to WeWork?

Despite the bankruptcy filing, WeWork’s spaces remain open and operational, and the company continues to serve its existing members, vendors, partners, and stakeholders.

What kind of company was WeWork?

Under founder Adam Neumann, WeWork’s vision was to create environments where people and companies could “come together and do their best work.” The company’s model was providing flexible office spaces for short-term leases on beautifully designed spaces.


Our facts about the WeWork Bankruptcy were cross-checked with the world’s leading news outlets.