Alphabet in AI. Candy gets disrupted. Big tech’s health investments.
Fraud & virtue
I know the carnival has already moved on, but here are some final ramblings on WeWork.
Whenever we mention WeWork’s former CEO, Adam Neumann, in the newsletter, some folks quickly draw a comparison to Elizabeth Holmes and call him a fraud.
After his ridiculously large platinum parachute (a reported $1.7B exit package), that comparison intensified.
TBH, I’m not sure why folks feel compelled to draw the comparison. But since folks are, let me say that it doesn’t really work.
Elizabeth Holmes committed fraud. Remember: she sold a technology that claimed to have revolutionized blood testing and flat out lied about results to journalists and regulators.
Neumann on the other hand, as he said in an employee communication prior to his dismissal, “played the private-market game to perfection.”
You can argue that the self-dealing was horrible, unethical, selfish, etc.
But it wasn’t fraud. He controlled the company. And he was one heck of a salesman/negotiator.
I know it’s fun to virtue signal on Twitter about how unjustly things played out, but these were terms he negotiated with savvy counterparts across the table. I suspect most founders would probably love to have the amount of control he had (hopefully/perhaps they’d have wielded the power differently).
I suspect most wouldn’t be upset about a $1.7B exit package either. #failingup
Of course, The Onion nailed the whole WeWork debacle with this headline.
AND NOW, THE RESEARCH
Big tech’s big bets
The biggest tech companies are placing bets on healthcare startups across clinical research, genetics, drug delivery, and more.