Now Trending: In just days, 30-year-old crypto wunderkind Sam Bankman-Fried went from industry leader to industry villain. And joined the ranks of CEOs who’ve had a very public implosion. Now, with an alleged book, multiple documentaries, and congressional hearings on the way, that’s raising a familiar question: Why do we keep falling for these falls from grace?
If the SBF saga sounds familiar, that’s because it is. See: Adam Neumann, Elizabeth Holmes, and Travis Kalanick. All of whom were young, larger-than-life CEOs who ended up in hot water — and who became the subject of headlines, group chats, and eventually Hollywood. Because, as is the case with stories about grifters and scammers (think: Anna Delvey, the Tinder Swindler, that woman with the hair), real-life drama does translate to on-screen drama. And there’s no shortage of it. Since all of these founders are ultimately people with big dreams, who are willing to do whatever it takes (often, at the very least shady and the very most illegal) to get other people to believe in their vision.
What do you mean?
Maybe you’ve never purchased crypto. But chances are, you’ve taken an Uber. And perhaps you’ve worked from a WeWork. Or you know someone who has. Meaning, part of the obsession may come from the fact that some of these services — and Big Tech, generally — have become part of our daily lives. Then there’s the bigger question: How do they do it? Spoiler, it’s not something magical. The answer, some say, is that they’re daring, super charismatic, and their passion knows no bounds. Which is exactly why these entrepreneurs make compelling characters in TV and film. For more proof, check out these stories:
“Bad Vegan”: In 2015, Sarma Melngailis left NYC — and her vegan hot spot, Pure Food and Wine — behind. And disappeared amid allegations of not paying her employees and defrauding investors. She eventually pled guilty and served time behind bars. Though, there’s a bit more to the story than that.
“Sour Grapes”: For nearly a decade, Rudy Kurniawan dominated the LA wine scene by buying and selling rare wines. That is, until authorities discovered he was a big fraud. Think: He was actually rebottling cheap booze in his kitchen. And pocketing millions doing it.
“Orgasm Inc: The Story of OneTaste”: In the early 2000s, American author and businesswoman Nicole Daedone founded OneTaste, a sexual wellness company that promised “spiritual enlightenment” through 15-minute female orgasms. But allegations of sex trafficking, prostitution, and labor law violations followed — sparking an alleged FBI investigation.
“LuLaRich”: DeAnne and Mark Stidham built a billion-dollar clothing empire, called LuLaRoe, with 60,000 consultants. But lawsuits allege the company was actually a pyramid scheme that misled retailers into investing thousands of dollars.
“Madoff”: As in, Bernie Madoff. The American financier responsible for the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. Think: Cheating tens of thousands of people out of an estimated $65 billion over the course of decades.
“Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room”: In the late ‘90s, the energy giant painted a picture of success. But the company collapsed after mismanagement and fraud. Which led to a wave of new regulation and legislation on accounting standards. And several of its execs going to prison.
Behind the rise and fall of entrepreneurs and CEOs lies real consequences. And real victims. So while we all enjoy the countless hours of entertainment, may we all learn a thing or two on what not to do when reaching for the American Dream.
Downtime doesn’t have to mean doing nothing. Here’s one idea for making the most of your weekend.
There’s only one thing that’s just as good — if not better — than the Thanksgiving feast. And that’s the leftovers. But if you’re struggling with how to turn a fridge full of stuffing, mashed potatoes, and turkey into days of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, don’t worry. We’ve got plenty of suggestions for what to do with it all.
Think beyond the same old sandwich. Yes, the next-day sandwich is delicious. But it never hurts to try something new — especially when that’s a Thanksgiving Crunchwrap dipped in leftover gravy. Another great option is empanadas filled with turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes and served with a side of cranberry sauce.
Get creative with the turkey. If all that’s left is a lot of turkey, give that extra meat a fresh taste. Think: turkey samosas, Thai-inspired turkey curry, turkey croquettes, even turkey ramen. And if you still have turkey bones, don’t toss them. They can make for a soul-warming soup or stock.
Mashed potatoes for every meal? It’s possible. Think: Mashed potato waffles, potato pancakes, or potato cake benedict for breakfast. And shepherd’s pie, steakhouse mashed potato bowls, potato pierogies, or potato gnocchi for lunch and dinner.
Get stuffed on stuffing. Make the most of the signature side with recipes for everything from stuffing muffins and meatballs, to turkey and stuffing dumpling soup, to stuffing hushpuppies. And, as the name suggests, you can also use your leftovers to stuff mushrooms, peppers, and squash.
Get lost in the sauce. You can add some cranberry sauce to a bowl of yogurt or oatmeal. Or you can incorporate it in your favorite pot of chili or your go-to BBQ glaze. And if you still have leftover gravy, consider using it for buttermilk biscuits, turkey pot pie, and polenta.
Here are today’s recs to help you live a smarter life…
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Save the Date
Like ours, your work and personal calendars are probably hectic. So here are some events you should know about...
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Skimm the Holidays
Lots of gifts to browse in our Holiday Shoppes. Grab presents for your mom, brother, nephew, aunt...you get the picture. Looking for something that'll keep on giving past December? Check out our fave subscriptions.
Skimm'd by: Maria del Carmen Corpus, Melissa Goldberg, and Clem Robineau
Design: theSkimm | Photos: Getty Images, Brooklyn Candle Studio