Architecture & Real Estate | August 15, 2022 1:20 pm

WeWork Co-Founder Adam Neumann Sets His Sights on Housing

Flow is set to debut next year

Adam Neumann
Adam Neumann, co-founder of WeWork, during an event on the sidelines of the company's trading debut in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021.
Angus Mordant/Bloomberg via Getty Images

If you’ve been following trends currently affecting the country, you’re probably aware that the United States is in the middle of a housing crisis. Perhaps you’ve read an article or two about it, or perhaps you’ve found yourself dealing with a real estate market that has by all accounts become hyper-competitive — and which has caused prices for renters and buyers alike to increase dramatically in many parts of the country.

Is there anyone out there who can solve this crisis? Well, as of this week we know one thing: WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann sure thinks he can.

This week brought the news of Neumann’s new venture, Flow — which is set to launch next year. As for what it’s all about, Marc Andreessen outlined some of the new company’s reasons for being — as well as why Andreessen Horowitz would be investing in Flow.

“We think it is natural that for his first venture since WeWork, Adam returns to the theme of connecting people through transforming their physical spaces and building communities where people spend the most time: their homes,” wrote Andreessen. “Residential real estate — the world’s largest asset class — is ready for exactly this change.”

Details as to what this could involve were more scarce. Andreessen wrote about the need for “a seismic shift in the way industry relationships are structured and the mechanisms through which value is delivered” and the importance of “rethinking the entire value chain, from the way buildings are purchased and owned to the way residents interact with their buildings to the way value is distributed among stakeholders.” The specifics of what that would look like, however, were not disclosed.

Given the history of WeWork — specifically, the controversies that led Neumann to leave his positions with the company he co-founded — it’s not hard to feel somewhat skeptical about this new venture. It’s certainly tackling an issue that needs addressing, but the stakes are even higher than they were for WeWork. Should Flow’s risks not pay off, people’s homes might be at stake — and there’s no one out there who wants to find themselves disrupted out of the place where they live.