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Dingus of the Week: Adam Neumann
Everyone, invest in my start up I'm calling it GYLLYTYNE.
“I am entering my slut era,” I whisper to myself as I wake up in the same pair of black leggings and “What Would Dolly Parton Do” t-shirt I’ve been wearing the past three days, my hair unwashed. My dog sniffs me in concern. My cat eyes me wondering if today is the day he finally gets to nibble my necrotic corpse. My kids have taken to begging me to shower. There is no soup I have not slurped. No hot mug of liquid I have not cradled. No Nora Ephron movie I have not sobbed too. It’s the doldrums of winter. The light is just begging to return. But not fast enough or soon enough. It’s that time of year, as the great comedianwrote,
...days are getting longer, but they’re still pretty short. The weather is getting warmer but it’s still pretty cold. We’re right on the cusp of “how is winter so long?” and “spring may be coming soon.” It’s not time for hope things will get more pleasant soon, but maybe it’s time to have some hope for some hope in the near future.
And if that weren’t enough of a poke to the eye socket, Valentine’s Day is next week.
But the dingus crop is ripe for the harvest. And so, I rouse myself. THE WORK IS NEVER OVER.
This week, Fortune, reported on Flow, the new venture headed by the former CEO of WeWork, Adam Neumann. Flow is a start-up that plans to shake up homeownership and the rental market. And Marc Andreesen’s Andreesen Horowitz company gave Flow $350 million to do all the housing market disrupting it’s gonna do.
Sorry. What was that? Are you, a plebian, questioning the wisdom of the ousted CEO of a shady start-up? Are you questioning the business sense of a man whose business dealings and corporate management were so allegedly chaotic that he got ousted? Are you questioning the abilities of a man who allegedly fostered a toxic corporate environment and didn’t hire women? Are you, an unwashed troglodyte, daring to question the sense of a man who bought land with corporate money and then leased it to himself and then had to be like lol oops sorry? I didn't think so. If you had dared to question him, may I remind you the first rule of American business (which you wouldn’t know, because you are poor): If it’s not technically illegal, it’s just good business.
I also know you’d never question Marc Andreesen’s wisdom in investing in a housing start-up — not the man who famously opposed the building of multifamily homes near his mansion. You see, Andreesen, understands the housing market and the common man. He just doesn't want to live near the common man. And Andreesen, he understands what you, the impoverished masses need. He wrote about it in a blog post, asserting that houses are too expensive to buy and that the problems with the rental market are unaffordable rates, price gouging, and exploitative landlords. Wait sorry. I read that incorrectly. What Andreesen actually wrote is that the problem with the rental market is that the buildings are “souless” and people don’t know their neighbors.1
Enter Flow. A start-up that is basically an apartment complex, but an apartment complex where you do all the work. See, you get to pay rent and do the work of the landlord because it builds a sense of ownership.
Fortune quotes Neumann explaining the business model thusly:
The founder turned to a toilet metaphor to explain one aspect of his idea of ownership. “If you’re in an apartment building, and you’re a renter, and your toilet gets clogged, you call the super,” he said. In contrast, “if you’re in your own apartment, and you bought it and you own it and your toilet gets clogged, you take the plunger.” For Neumann, fixing up your own apartment means shifting from “being transactional to actually being part of a community” and “feeling like you own something.”
So, you get to unclog your own toilet so you can feel like you own it. But you don’t actually own it. And also there will be parties. Parties run by the man whose corporate parties allegedly led to sexual assault. Sounds great, right?
Congratulations, Adam, you just invented a cult.
It’s giving Make Your Own Pizza.
Basically, Neumann looked at the mess of American housing and said, “Let them plunge their own toilets.”
I too have an idea for a start-up. It’s gonna disrupt corporate America. Ready? The idea is for a incisive and motivating tool for executives. I call it GYLLYTYNE.
I personally find it hilarious that the titans of American industry can look at the problems of poverty, homelessness, rising inflation, and stagnant wages, and think, “I know what will fix this! A co-op, but worse.”
It’s also worth pointing out that actually renters usually plunge their own toilets. But shhhh no one tell these guys. It will be fun to watch them burn up some American currency and do some lite crimes™️. It’s what makes America great.
BTW if you are considering applying for a job at Flow, that industry-leading, world-changing firm, all their jobs are on-site. Not even one little hybrid job.
Also, after all that, it’s possible, I misunderstood and it’s something worse than a rebranded cult co-op.
And Now For Something Good:
Chrissy Teigen calling Donald Trump a “pussy ass bitch” is now a matter of Congressional record. God bless this great country. 🦅🇺🇲🇺🇸🎇
House Democrats are trying to kick George Santos out of office. And Mitt Romney told Santos he doesn’t belong in the House. (Which, given the current crop of congresspeople in that party, I have to say, he actually does belong there.) But I enjoy the fight.
The State of the Union had some good zingers.
A small reminder that the weekly reads and links are now in a subscriber-only email that is sent out early on Sunday morning. And I am running a subscription sale of 20 percent off for one year to ease the pain.
What I Am Drinking:
I have been influenced by Gen Z to get better at hydration. Over Christmas, I gifted myself a Yeti-insulated tumbler. (I have since been informed it should have been a Stanley, but Home Depot had Yetis on sale in November. I’m sorry to my young fans and I promise to take a step back and contemplate the absolute cheugy of my choices.) And I’ve been dutifully filling it with ice water multiple times a day and experimenting with various hydration solutions. And I’ve decided that Liquid IV is indeed the best. And the youth are correct.
I wish you could see my growing collection of hydration tablets. Each of which vow to make my water super water — more watery than normal water. And I, an absolute infant who doesn’t like normal water, has spent actual American currency to enhance my water experience. I’d say “I imagine my pioneer forefathers looking upon me in shame.” But I’m gonna be real honest, I’m not descended from pioneer stock. I’m descended from a man who literally set fire to his home with his janky bootlegging operation in 1930. Per my DNA, I will be the first to die in the coming apocalypse. I should have been weeded out of the gene pool a long time ago. But you are all stuck with me.
But if you are looking for something that will put hair on your chest. Community member Lisa is a hero and made the most amazing drink, combining Hot Tang with Cedar Ridge wheat whiskey plus Crown Royal vanilla. I am assuming the proportions are very much up to user discretion.
I didn’t know what Hot Tang was until two weeks ago when it was mentioned in a discussion thread and now I am very much going to mix some up this weekend.
Insight must run in the family because Andreesen’s partner, Kathryn Boyle, wrote a really out-of-touch newsletter claiming that the problems of the American mother can be solved not by paid maternity leave or even, you know, universal healthcare, affordable childcare, or reducing the maternal mortality rate, but by satellite internet. Great work, team.