Imagine you are the richest person in the world under the age of 30. You have catapulted onto the Forbes billionaires list. CEOs, celebrities, and leaders of small countries are all vying for your time and your money. And then, you lose it all—almost overnight.
This is the story of Sam Bankman-Fried as told in best-selling author Michael Lewis’s new book Going Infinite. Bankman’s financial goal was to reach “infinity dollars”. He wanted to solve the earth’s biggest existential risks like nuclear war, pandemics, and artificial intelligence. Right before his fall, he was working on wiping out the national debt of the Bahamas. And then, starting in the Fall of 2022, his company FTX crumbled, his employees fled the company headquarters in the Bahamas, and shortly after the U.S. Justice Department swooped in and charged him with multiple counts of fraud. The courts convicted him of the charges this past month.
Michael Lewis originally met Bankman-Fried as a favor to a friend. He then spent almost an entire year with unparalleled access to his frenetic rise and his ultimate downfall. In the book, Lewis takes his readers on a wild ride through the crypto gold rush, offering an education in high-frequency trading, philanthropy, bankruptcy, and the justice system.
There are important lessons in this book for any small business owner on the risk of growing the business too fast, having proper systems and design in the business, and having the right people in the right seats. Bankman-Fried failed in each of these areas, which ultimately led to the company’s failure.
As a big fan of the author Michael Lewis, I highly enjoyed the book and strongly recommend it to any small business operator.