Talking Brook: 'Yaron Brook Show: WeWork Fiasco & Silicon Valley Culture'
How does Dr. Brook view WeWork, Henry Paulson, and toy soldiers?
Dr. Yaron Brook may have a PhD in finance, but he works like a chemist. One day, he’s waxing poetic about the beauties of an opera. A few days later, he’s discussing the beauty of markets with the same passion and thorough delivery as in the previous episode. This experimentation with different branches (aesthetics and politics and economics, respectively) allows him to convey a message of rationality and substance. Here, he explores the inner-workings of one of the nation’s most treasured regions: Silicon Valley.
What’s Wrong with WeWork?
One of his first questions about the company WeWork is how can this firm be regarded as a technological company when it concerns real estate? He points out that this is a company that loses huge amounts of money. He holds that “for every dollar it brought in, it spent two dollars. That is unsustainable.” The doctor drops some gems with explaining that a Form-S1 is essentially a set of documents to allow you to go public. This includes information on the CEO, financials, governance, and corporate structure. How Dr. Brook shows with clarity normally esoteric language is not only enlightening but welcoming.
The Great 'We' Hype
In connection with WeWork, stock being sold while it was still private was “unthinkable.” Next, Dr. Brook discusses how the CEO Andy Neumann just seems nutty. The top executive at the company walked around the office smoking marijuana, exhibiting behavior that might’ve rattled some investors. Dr. Brook breaks down how six ventures in Silicon Valley will fail, three will be mediocre, and one will be a “home run” to investors. He considers WeWork to be hype “not based on reality.”
Where’s the Valley headed?
He also describes how real, massive fraudsters like Elizabeth Holmes differ from eccentric CEOs like Neumann. Dr. Brook doesn’t care that he walked barefoot in the offices. Steve Jobs once walked around without bathing for days. The focus should be on the fact that Neumann is not a fraud like Holmes but a prodigal detriment to the company. The good doctor then goes onto admonish Amazon for “appeasing critics.” They didn’t raise the minimum wage at the company to increase productivity or any legitimate cause. They did it to show to the left and the right that they can be altruistic, too. Uber then becomes part of the topic. Dr. Brook finds that the former CEO, Travis Kalanick, may have been a “jerk... and did things that were inappropriate,” he still fought municipalities and made his company a viable presence in the marketplace. Dr. Brook then poses the question why the venture capital firm Benchmark is still a part of the WeWork deal? Additionally, he emphasizes the necessity for observing the numbers. He says that “self-regulation is out,” now. He hopes that he is wrong about Silicon Valley taking a terrible turn. An article that the doctor read proclaims that the giant tech center has “gone soft.”
It comes down to thought
Aside from whether the Valley has become a place for stooges and wimps, Dr. Brook explains how Softbank has preference. They get the first $10 billion from WeWork valuation. He challenges those in the Valley to “not accept the status quo, the regulations, or the current state of the world.” Furthermore, he takes umbrage with the fact that Neumann owned multi-million-dollar mansions (five to be exact) before the company ever reached any levels of real profitability. In a talk with a leading venture capitalist, Dr. Brook discovered that Silicon Valley has become conventional. It appears that there is little to no room for the great innovators like Apple, eBay, and Google to take root in this sector. Gravely, Dr. Brook states that “bad ideas, bad philosophy... are crippling the place.”
Super Chat time
One questioner asks if Dr. Brook is in the Mossad. He handles this query brilliantly. He neither confirms nor denies his ties to the Israeli intelligence agency. He holds firm with an essential maybe, maybe not as an answer to continue his sense of mystery. Dr. Brook marches on with more queries including one about President Obama. He says that there are many “reasons to criticize and hate Obama,” but those who “damaged the economy” remained to be Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke.
With a quick switch back to technology, Dr. Brook maintains that humanity with all of its advancements would be able to survive in a world where everyone is blind. “It wouldn’t be as ''stimulating” or ''interesting” but humanity would continue. In a governmental question, Dr. Brook offers an answer to the thought of a coup against the State. He weighs whether citizens should go up against the bullets of the government because it will not be “passive.”
In answer to a question about a “truly free market, you would have the ability to fire whomever they wanted... including union workers.”
And Dr. Brook goes into a bit about his childhood in regarding toy soldiers and within this question unpacks the difference between the Chinese army and the United States military. He illustrates that the former is a compulsive organization while the latter depends upon volunteers. To wrap up the show, Dr. Brook says that the nice thing about public companies is to expect them to be more profitable. His candor in taking these questions and the patience that he shows certainly are profits for the soul.