There's often been temptations among those running companies to position them as high tech, especially if they aspired to go public. The reason is easy to see, as many in finance have noted in discussions over the years: multiples.

Investors tend to see tech company valuations worth higher numbers of multiples of cash flow, earnings, enterprise value, or whatever metric they use in considering a business. And some companies, like WeWork when it was starting and then initially getting ready for a desired IPO, definitely pushed the tech vibe.

"What does it even mean to be a tech company in 2019?" Recode at Vox asked. "'If you're going to raise capital, it's an easier way to get your foot in the door by saying you're some new kind of disruptive tech company,'" Paul Condra, lead emerging technology analyst at research firm PitchBook, told Recode.

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