This piece was written by certified schmuck Adam Fisher, who was sent by, I’m guessing here, Sequoia Capital to fluff FTX to help assure Sequoia investors that FTX was a great place to put their money. They ended up losing over $200 million. The article though is an amazing resource of someone who was there at FTX before the meltdown outlining what he saw. For that, he did great.
It was published on Sept. 22, 2022. On Nov. 9th, 2022, FTX collapsed and it turned out that the entire billion dollar platform was funded by customers. Clearly the author was bamboozled like everyone else. Read this gem:
After my interview with SBF, I was convinced: I was talking to a future trillionaire. Whatever mojo he worked on the partners at Sequoia—who fell for him after one Zoom—had worked on me, too. For me, it was simply a gut feeling. I’ve been talking to founders and doing deep dives into technology companies for decades. It’s been my entire professional life as a writer. And because of that experience, there must be a pattern-matching algorithm churning away somewhere in my subconscious. I don’t know how I know, I just do. SBF is a winner.
It’s a long article so I’ll outline the best parts.
On Deals Sam Makes
- “Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, Sun says, the terms favor the other side.” – Can Sun, FTX’s in house legal counsel
Sequoia Capital’s Response After Meeting SBF
“I LOVE THIS FOUNDER,” typed one partner.
“I am a 10 out of 10,” pinged another.
“YES!!!” exclaimed a third.
“Of the exchanges that we had met and looked at, some of them had regulatory issues, some of them were already public,” Bailhe says. “And then there was Sam.” The exchange that SBF had started to build, FTX, was Goldilocks-perfect. There was no concerted effort to skirt the law, no Zuckerbergian diktat demanding that things be broken. And, yet, FTX wasn’t waiting to get permission to innovate. The company had based itself offshore precisely because it aspired to build an advanced risk engine that would support all sorts of hedging strategies. SBF himself seemed to be bred for the role of crypto exchange founder and CEO. Not only had he been a top trader at a top firm—and, thus, the ideal customer—but both his parents were lawyers. “And, so, he is committed to making the right chess moves for FTX to eventually be able to legally do everything they want to do in the U.S.,” Bailhe says—“not by asking forgiveness, but by asking permission.”
- FTX did need money, after all. And it needed that money from credible sources so it could continue to distinguish itself from the bottom-feeders who came to crypto to fleece the suckers.
- That’s when SBF told Sequoia about the so-called super-app: “I want FTX to be a place where you can do anything you want with your next dollar. You can buy bitcoin. You can send money in whatever currency to any friend anywhere in the world. You can buy a banana. You can do anything you want with your money from inside FTX.”
- The next order of business is a round of belt-tightening. “In general, money is going to be tighter for everyone in our industry and other industries too—it’s not super-crypto-specific,” SBF says. “So, if you are thinking about expenses that are, say, above $100 million, we should have a chat about that,” he continues.
Living In Luxury
- And what a campus! Albany is one of the most stunningly gorgeous places I’ve ever set foot in. The community markets itself as a second-home destination for wealthy young people—in other words, for pro athletes and pop stars. Cardi B has a place here, as does Steph Curry. Justin Timberlake and Tiger Woods are, nominally, the developers of the property.
- V is palatial—11,500 square feet—with six bedrooms and spectacular views out every window. Two elevators service the apartment, opening directly into the space. Every bedroom has an en suite bath and opens directly onto the veranda. The common areas include the lobby, media room, dining room and a party room at the tip of the building: Curved glass walls slide away, opening up the entire space to the world outside.
Boy Genius or Asperger’s?
- “I sit ten feet from him, and I walked over, thinking, Oh, shit, that was really good,” remembers Arora. “And it turns out that that fucker was playing League of Legends through the entire meeting.”
- Though we’re face-to-face, SBF makes no eye contact at all—zero, not even a glance. His eyes are glued to his screen. His fingers are tapping on the keys, sometimes furiously, sometimes hardly at all. His right knee is bouncing at 100 bpm: a nervous tic, the result of a forgotten fidget spinner.
- But then I hear the tap-tap-tapping from his fingers start to accelerate, and I realize he’s not slowing down under the load at all. Just the opposite, in fact: This guy is in the Storybook Brawl equivalent of a gank!
- And SBF was the second-largest donor—behind only Mike Bloomberg—for Biden’s successful attempt to dethrone Trump.
Not a Book Reader?
- “Oh, yeah?” says SBF. “I would never read a book.”
- “I’m very skeptical of books. I don’t want to say no book is ever worth reading, but I actually do believe something pretty close to that,” explains SBF. “I think, if you wrote a book, you fucked up, and it should have been a six-paragraph blog post.”
This guy played League of Legends, addicted to Adderall (I’m surmising), while stealing customers money. He spent it recklessly never thinking he would get caught under the guise of effective altruism. He hoped that the money he donated would provide him a shield, which it has, but I’m not sure the people are ok with this one. When you read the entire article that Adam Fisher put out, and how he tricked people into thinking he was a financial god, he deserves the stake. I’m sorry, but this is billions of dollars, punishment should fit the crime. To the media who supports him, you should know instantly they are untrustworthy. This man is a scumbag. My prediction is Binance is next.