had been negotiating a potential $20 billion test when Mr. Son pulled up a picture of Yoda on his iPad.
It was summer time 2018 and Mr. Son’s tech conglomerate,
SoftBank Group Corp.
, had already pumped over $4 billion into WeWork, the shared workplace area startup Mr. Neumann co-founded eight years earlier. Now Mr. Neumann was attempting to get Mr. Son to purchase a majority stake in WeWork. It might have been the most important acquisition ever of a startup, a part of a bid to turbocharge a three-pronged technique to dominate …