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Shira Ovide

We’ve Seen the WeWork Saga Before. It’s Called Domo.

An IPO is not a magic bullet that will fix a private company’s shortcomings.

An initial public offering won’t fix this by itself.

An initial public offering won’t fix this by itself.

Photographer: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The company badly needs an initial public offering to fund its cash-burning business. The chief executive is brilliant at pitching investors but also has ironclad power and milks his company to the benefit of himself and family members. Early financial backers are taking a bath on their investments.

That description fits WeWork, the controversial office-leasing startup that is having a hard time with its planned IPO and may now face a boardroom fight to potentially remove its CEO. It also applied — minus the possible coup — to Domo Inc., a software company that held up in the first six months after its rocky 2018 market debut and then crashed. If those who owned shares of Domo before the IPO still have them, their investment has shriveled by as much as 86%.