Let’s officially stop comparing Adam Neumann and Elizabeth Holmes

Hello and welcome back to Equity, a podcast about the business of startups, where we unpack the numbers and nuance behind the headlines.

This is our Wednesday show, where we niche down to a single topic, think about a question and unpack the rest. And, I mean, are you surprised what we’re working with this week? Of course we’re talking about Flow, Adam Neumann’s a16z-fueled return to real estate that is already reportedly valued above $1 billion.

This week, Natasha asked: Is the return a result of vision, track record or Adam Neumann-privilege? She’s joined by Anita Ramaswamy, the co-host of TechCrunch’s crypto-focused podcast Chain Reaction. The duo wrote a piece about the tech community’s reaction to Neumann’s new startup, so consider this episode a mic’d up follow-up:

  •  The news, what we know, and what we still don’t — including how much of that $350 million check is cash
  •  The reporter’s notebook take on how to cover news that is sensationalist in nature. Do we give oxygen to something that is meant for a reaction? And when is something worth capturing versus worth waiting to see materialize?
  •  Why folks get checks, and Neumann’s background in vision, track record and ability to raise money. After all, to succeed in becoming a venture-backed founder, all you need to be able to do is be good at getting venture-backed.
  • How this fits into the female founder takedown story — and why people need to stop comparing Neumann to Elizabeth Holmes. Fraud, my friend, is complicated.


Equity drops every Monday at 7 a.m. PDT and Wednesday and Friday at 6 a.m. PDT, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts.