What's in a name? Quite a bit, apparently, according to the folks at WeWork. Nine years after the co-working conglomerate launched with a single location in New York City, they've decided it's time for a subtle makeover.

The new name they've come up with for the privately held company, which was recently valued at $47 billion (even after SoftBank cut back its planned investment big time): the We Company.

Katrina Brooker of Fast Company (Inc.'s sister publication) got the scoop when she interviewed CEO Adam Neumann earlier this week.

As she explains, the name change is part of a hope to move the company beyond renting commercial real estate, and into a mass of things that wind up encompassing "all aspects of people's lives, in both physical and digital worlds."

Look, I'm still getting over the idea of Dunkin' Donuts changing its name to Dunkin'. (Fun fact: I'm literally writing this in an as-yet un-rebranded Dunkin' Donuts.)

But at least that name change makes sense -- like Kentucky Fried Chicken's changing its name to KFC once people started to recoil at the health risks of eating fried foods, the company wants to get away from an image that people generally want less of (doughnuts), and lean toward a brand they can turn into whatever they want.

But turning WeWork into something that sounds like a real-life Skynet (the all-controlling company from the Terminator movies) is about as un-2019 a proposition as I can imagine.

People are recoiling already at how much their lives are entwined with Apple, Alphabet, Facebook and Amazon, and all of that happened over time.

It's hard to see the appetite for a newer entry that rebrands with the specific intent of telling you it hopes to take over your entire life. 

Here's what else I'm reading today:

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Published on: Jan 9, 2019
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