WeWork’s chief product officer said they’re aiming for a “Google analytics for space,” but their new tech acquisition raises questions about privacy i
The WeWork model offers a rich source of data about what people like and dislike about a space. It also affords them insights about how and when people use various types of spaces. With the purchase of Euclid, they will now have the ability to track even more about how people utilize and move between spaces.
While the media response points to privacy issues, Euclid's technology is one of many that allows for people tracking. Smart phones, smart watches, sound and heat-sensing lightbulbs, programs that can 'watch' what employees are doing, and many more technologies are becoming commonplace.
Working along side HR, IT, and Risk Management, organizations, particularly those in the U.S. who are not governed by GDPR, would be wise to take a deliberate stand on privacy now, before it is too late.
"At $20 billion, WeWork is the most valuable startup in America outside Uber and Airbnb. The bet: rather than just building co-working spaces, it's going to change everyone's office experience.
Softbank would invest $3 billion directly into WeWork. Neumann's team would build and manage the offices, and Softbank would handle the local relationships. Valuation: $20 billion. WeWork, which straddles real estate, hospitality and technology, was now worth about the same as hotel operator Hilton Worldwide."
Business deals are breaking boundaries too. At the end of their taxicab meeting, Son emailed a photo of their “digital cocktail-napkin contract” to Neumann and their business relationship was sealed.
Coworking industry tracker cites concern over increased competition, overvaluation, and Regus’ plunge in value
The coworking industry is getting more competitive. Recent examples include stories about coworking spaces offering of a year's free rent to prospective tenants, reports of coworking spaces spying on competitors and coworking spaces closing down due to growing competition.
Some are questioning the sustainability of co-working with Regus’ reporting a loss of 1/3rd their marketing value, a WSJ article likening WeWork's $20 Billion valuation to "pixie dust," and increased competition traditional office buildings, libraries, and coffee shops.
"The $16 billion company is looking to gather a slew of data on its members to guide how it designs its spaces."
Think of it as a living lab except the, um, rats are humans. That sounds snarky but I really think the idea is a good one. This kind of thing has been used for decades in retail.