Week in Review: You break it, you buy it

Hey everyone. Thank you for welcoming me into you inbox yet again.
Last week, I talked about Zuckerberg’s quest to tell us that Facebook has governing principles when he’s really just building the stairs one step at a time.
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The big story

Plenty of ink has been spilled on WeWork and SoftBank and WeWork’s Adam Neumann, and yet it still feels like not nearly enough people are talking about it.
The startup’s post-S1 saga has just been just so messy that it’s understandable one could only grab a sneaking glance of headlines before having to look way.
One reason everyone is talking about it because Neumann’s maneuverings have created an anthology of sketchy founder dealings that’s nearly cartoon villain worthy. He’s got the eccentricities of Jack Dorsey, the frattiness of Evan Spiegel and the “change the world” delusions of Elizabeth Holmes. Critiques of WeWork weren’t all that sparse preceding its S-1, and yet many of venture capital’s talking heads had some kind of founder-friendly admiration for someone that seemed to had bent the world’s heftiest venture capital fund to his will.
It’s far beyond the pleasantries now, what happens to WeWork could deeply shape how late-stage venture capital operates. SoftBank was raising the second vision fund just as WeWork’s shit hit the fan and now it’s the fund’s deepest embarrassment and a financial commitment they’ve poured $18.5 billion into. If WeWork craters, that second vision could fall far short of its aspirations. Plenty of Silicon Valley’s investors would be happy to see control shift to more even-handed institutional forces who did not have capital commands that could set terms with a glance. Nevertheless, there are an awful lot of unicorns that have depended on SoftBank’s growth capital up to this point who would be in danger of being left high and dry.
At this point, SoftBank’s sunk costs have led the desperate fund to go all-in on a sans-Neumann WeWork. They will have to shape the business on their own. They enabled Neumann and now they are left with the task of reverse engineering a disaster into a great turnaround story.

SoftBank says it has now invested $18.5 billion in WeWork, ‘more than the GDP’ of Bolivia, which has 11.5 million people
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