It’s Not Ted Lasso, but it is Compelling TV.
One of my first Wisdom Well posts from two and a half years ago was called “WeWork, Uber, and Theranos.” The post touched a nerve and went crazy viral in the social media world.
I’ve just finished watching the “WeCrashed” series on AppleTV about Adam and Rebekah Neumann’s utopian vision for WeWork. I had to chuckle because, when I moved from my four years of full-time leadership at Airbnb to becoming a strategic advisor to the founders, Adam’s name came up more than a few times as he desperately wanted to develop an Airbnb-WeWork partnership. I kept saying to the Airbnb founders that it’s impossible to have a fair and logical partnership with someone who believes they’re a Messiah.
Just like it’s hard to avert your eyes from a roadside crash, these three companies with over-the-top young CEOs make for great TV. While I haven’t watched “Super Pumped” (Travis Kalanick at Uber) or “The Dropout” (Elizabeth Holmes at Theranos), I’m heartened by the fact that there’s been no TV series sensationalizing the founding and growth of Airbnb’s founders and their leadership team. In fact, there’s never been a company with a market value of over $100 billion where the three founders are still active and harmonious operators. It may not make for great TV, but it does make for happy investors.
Airbnb also makes a compelling case study for how fast-growing tech companies can use Modern Elders as a wise insurance policy to ensure their rocket ship doesn’t crash.