Welcome back to Insider Weekly! I’m Matt Turner, the editor-in-chief of business at Insider.
There’s a certain status that comes with being widely known just by your initials.
For Sam Bankman-Fried — or SBF, as he’s known to many — that standing in the crypto and investing community has come about in short order. In just four years, the FTX founder has gone from relative obscurity to the head of a crypto empire with a personal fortune surpassing $20 billion.
Insider spoke to those who were there alongside SBF in the early days — from those who knew him at college to early colleagues to his brother — in order to understand how he operates. Many drew comparisons with Mark Zuckerberg. After all, Bankman-Fried is the only other person besides Zuckerberg to have gotten so rich so quickly, according to Forbes.
The story is a must-read for anyone interested in crypto, finance, and investing, particularly as early movers like FTX try to scale while simultaneously facing growing regulatory pressure. Read on for a Q&A with reporters Vicky Ge Huang and Kari McMahon on their profile.
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Vicky Ge Huang and Kari McMahon take us behind the scenes of their profile of the FTX founder.
Why were you interested in profiling Sam Bankman-Fried?
Vicky: Sam Bankman-Fried is a 29-year-old crypto billionaire who went from relative obscurity just four years ago to the head of a crypto empire. In crypto circles, he is famous for sleeping four hours a night on a beanbag chair next to his desk, multitasking on six screens, and, most importantly, being a skilled trader who banked 10% daily gains on million-dollar trades. We wanted to find out who he really is behind the scenes.
How did you approach this profile?
Vicky: Bankman-Fried has become a go-to talking head for the crypto community, frequently appearing on TV to analyze market dynamics. We tried to speak with all the important people in his life and those who crossed paths with him at important junctures. We spoke with Bankman-Fried himself, his closest friends, colleagues, former and current employees, early and new investors, and even his brother.
What’s one of the most surprising things you learned in your reporting?
Kari: Going into the reporting, we knew that FTX had faced less scrutiny from regulators compared to other exchanges, but it was never clear why. By speaking to Sam, his colleagues, and investors, we got a behind-the-scenes look at how he’s managing those relationships and how much investors value his approach. One of his former colleagues even suggested that Sam might eventually have political ambitions of his own, which took us by surprise!
As more people rethink their careers amid the Great Resignation, we’ve created a list of startups that have all the markings of long-term success. Each met one or more criteria: They’re creating innovative technology, fostering a great workplace, raising funds from marquee investors, or grabbing industry attention.
From Maude, a sexual-wellness company, to NowRx, which offers same-day prescription delivery, these 55 startups offer new hires the opportunity for outsize impact.
Gen Zers, born between 1996 and 2012, are starting their careers with a different perspective than the generations before them. Entering the workforce amid the coronavirus pandemic, rampant school shootings, the Great Resignation, and 2020’s racial reckoning, they’re bringing with them a new set of values.
We spoke with 22 Gen Zers working in tech, law, and finance to get their takes on remote work, their perception of their older counterparts, and what they envision as the future of work.
Insider spoke with more than 30 former Family Dollar employees, some of whom recounted working 80-hour weeks in unsafe and unsanitary conditions. Some said they were held at gunpoint, while others said their bodies broke down from the work. One employee recalled finding snakes in the stockroom. All of the employees said they were denied overtime.
Family Dollar used private arbitration to keep the employees’ claims out of public view — but Insider found them.
More of this week’s top reads:
Compiled with help from Jordan Parker Erb and Phil Rosen.