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WeWork co-founder talks about community at TechCrunch Disrupt

The company has turned an office-sharing business into a co-working powerhouse.

Adam NeumannAdam NeumannWeWork co-founder and CEO Adam Neumann talks about his company at the TechCrunch Disrupt 2015 conference. (Photo: Noam Galai / Getty Images for TechCrunch)

WeWork is a co-working company that provides more than just a desk and some WiFi – it's become a corporate real-estate powerhouse that currently rents out more space around the world than is available in the Empire State Building.

And Adam Neumann, the company's co-founder and CEO, announced at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference this week that WeWork is opening new offices in Miami, Chicago and Austin, and is looking for space in Berlin and more space in its home city of New York.

Neumann, a native of Israel, explained he is proud of the communities WeWork has sparked in the five short years since the company started with a single office in New York City.

"You can’t force community,” he told the audience, saying that the way things have come together "has been organic."

Whether someone has a "Commons" membership or actually rents space, the other members are available to offer advice or provide services, and all members are able to organize and participate in social events. All members can also use a number of services WeWork makes available to them, from accounting services to health insurance to payment processing, a new service he discussed at the conference.

WeWork Central Park SouthA view of the lounge at WeWork's location at Central Park South in New York City. (Photo: Courtesy of WeWork)

But WeWork does tweak its "organic" approach sometimes, for instance, installing cameras in offices and examining the footage to see where people congregate. Subsequent offices are designed with those results in mind.

It seems like building communities of like-minded entrepreneurs has been good for WeWork, which is in the wheelhouse of the people at TechCrunch and its audience.

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