March 5, 2018
Ask someone to list innovative companies which have become notable disruptors in their market and they invariably respond with two names – Uber and Airbnb. That is because both brands are positioned squarely and successfully at the retail consumer: for people who use a taxi or take an occasional short break in a foreign city, they have become the automatic default options. But there is another equally successful business targeting the corporate space, aimed particularly at small businesses and millennial tech start-ups: WeWork. Just like Uber and Airbnb, it is less than a decade old. In that time, WeWork’s ambition of being the world’s leading coworking company has been realised. Championing itself as a disruption revolutionary, it has succeeded more prosaically by ‘creating environments that increase productivity, innovation, and collaboration,’ according to its website. WeWork’s model involves renting office space cheaply via long-term lease contracts. Small units are then re-rented at higher rates to start up companies which are happy to pay a premium because they need very little space.