An incomplete list of why Marc Andreessen and Adam Neumann got it wrong about America’s housing problems
When Marc Andreessen announced that he had sunk 350 million dollars a16z investors’ money in a new venture by WeWork co-founder and former CEO Adam Neumann, a lot jaw dropped. First, there is a hefty sum and an equally large valuation for a company that, as of today, owns several thousand rental units.
Then there are claims that Flow can help with inequality, anxiety, loneliness, and a number of other social ills. Andreessen says Neumann’s idea of Flow is “no lack of vision or ambition, but only projects with such lofty goals have a chance to change the world.”
That’s idealistic, even by Silicon Valley standards.
Something is wrong with us. Yes, there is the Neumann factor. But there is something more than that. Neumann and Andreessen are trying to privatize the neighborhood. Here’s why we think it’s not a great idea.
There are a number of problems that venture capital can solve. For example, I find it great that I can get a ride home from a tech-tested stranger if I’m out late at night and don’t feel comfortable taking the subway, then transfer to the bus. to go home.
But the crux of the matter is: What if public transport were simply better? What if I didn’t have to decide between paying $25 for an Uber and walking 15 minutes to the subway, standing alone underground, taking the subway, getting out, waiting for the bus outside alone, then catch the bus home at midnight?
With the same concept, Adam Neumann’s Flow wants to solve what investor Marc Andreessen calls the housing crisis.