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Saying that WeWork is just another coworking space is like saying Starbucks was just another coffeehouse. The environment is more hip hotel lobby than ho-hum open plan, and it offers its members favorable rates on ­services such as payroll and health insurance. WeWork rents office space from real estate companies, gives it a makeover with business-focused services, and subleases it to other companies and mobile workers at a profit. In 2016, WeWork doubled its membership and revenue run rate. It also expanded aggressively both in the U.S. and internationally, with new offices in Berlin, Be’er Sheva, Seoul, Mexico City, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Montreal, and Sydney. The company, which holds close to 10 million rentable square feet, has also invested in machine learning and data analysis to track how its spaces are being used, which has helped it lower costs of new office fabrications.

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