“We open 15 to 20 buildings a month,” says WeWork CTO Shiva Rajaraman. “Anything we can use to automate or augment a person through machine learning we’re taking all that data in one central place and starting to create an engine around that. That’s key to successful scaling today. When we think about enterprise we sort of step back and say what’s our Google Analytics for commercial space?”
Shiva Rajaraman, Chief Technology Officer of WeWork, discusses how WeWork is using technology to revolutionize office space worldwide in an interview on Bloomberg:
How Do We Offer Space As a Service?
There are three capabilities when we think about WeWork. One is how do we offer space as a service? If you just think about it’s really basic. Are you looking for what location do you need? Where do you need it? How long do you need it? Are there different pricing models for it? One of the things we’ve done is effectively taken all of this space and put it into a big database and we start to shape it based on what we see out there in the market. Some of that is just pricing automation at the end of the day. Some of it is how do we automate that supply chain of delivering a building?
We open 15 to 20 buildings a month. Anything we can use to automate or augment a person through machine learning we’re taking all that data in one central place and starting to create an engine around that. That’s key to successful scaling today. The biggest technically challenging thing is operational scale. If you step back you don’t want a lot of variability. You want to step back and say, “Hey, can I deliver this building on time at quality as people need it?” That’s where you need operational technology that really works in a way that normally construction has not worked in the past.
What’s Our Google Analytics for Commercial Space?
One of the key things on the strategy side is that as we see this demand and we start to get critical mass in different areas can we disrupt the business model a little bit? Let me give you an example. If you take someone like GE Health in Seoul, South Korea, they had underutilized real estate. We redesigned that so they can use it in a more flexible way. We also created a new membership called the City Pass which gives all of their employee’s access to WeWork throughout Seoul. Now they can go where they’re more productive. One of the key things we’re looking at right now is what’s a density that translates to interesting memberships that allow people to be more productive?
Let’s talk about the M&A that’s created a fabric that we can start to offer to enterprises. When we think about enterprise we sort of step back and say, “What’s our Google Analytics for commercial space?” Can we help these enterprises create a good workplace experience through things like room booking (service) all the way to understand how they use space so they can come and use WeWork on demand if they need it. We can also help them grow in the future if they’re looking at new markets to expand into.