Life in Hyper Speed at FalconX

I’m doing my life’s best work. 

I’ve been at FalconX for a year and a half as the VP of Operations. While my background has included years spent with well-known financial giants like JP Morgan and Visa, there’s something about the opportunity to get in on the ground level of a company and be a part of something bigger than yourself.   

How many people are fortunate enough to say they’re giving the best of themselves to their work? How many people can then say they’re at an organization that not only encourages them (and allows them) to do their life’s best work, but also deeply appreciates it? 

This is what makes FalconX unique. 

Something is Different Here 

In just a few short months, I’ve had a front row seat to unheard-of levels of growth. It’s been exciting. Challenging. Demanding.

Since I was hired, the number of employees has increased five-fold. 

Our revenue has grown by 3000%. 

We were founded in 2018 and today are worth over $8 billion. 

We launched a swaps dealer in three months, when every person we encountered told us it would take at least 18 months. 

I can give you example after example to quantify the growth and achievement of FalconX. Clearly something is working here. This kind of success is what startup dreams are made of. 

But how? 

A Pros Not Pirates Mentality 

It is no secret that opportunity abounds in the world of cryptocurrency investing. 

I’ve been at three other startups prior to joining FalconX – one including my own—but none of them have moved so quickly or found this level of extraordinary success. Yes, speed and optimization are important variables in this industry but there’s more to the method of achieving outcomes.  Outcomes are the most important element of our culture. 

Speed must exist without sacrificing service and quality. In a nascent industry it can be tempting to prioritize short term profit and gains by any means possible. This is not how things are done at FalconX. Yes, cryptocurrency is, in a way, the “wild wild west” of our day. However, we are working with some of the world’s largest hedge funds. We’re pros, not pirates – and we operate as such. 

Move fast and break things,” a common mantra in tech startups, is not an option here. 

You might be okay with your social media feed going down for a day, but you won’t be okay without access to your bank account or the ability to make financial transactions. 

Move fast and make sure you’re doing things right the first time. That’s the model we have.

In Search of “Good Operators” 

FalconX is a fast-moving, relatively flat organization. Middle management, hierarchy, and bureaucracy do not exist here. (Neither do C suite titles or micromanagement styles). You won’t find a single superstar attempting to build their empire on the inside because life moves too fast. We are working at a rapid pace to deliver results quickly, and we’re all unified in that effort. Crypto is a 24/7/365 industry unlike traditional markets, and speed and optimization can change the game when it comes to achieving the outcomes our clients depend on. 

We can’t put “five years of crypto experience” on a job posting because, well, there might be five people in the world who have it! Instead, we’re looking for what we call “good operators” – individuals who are brilliant and passionate about what they do. We’re looking for people who have a track record of top performance. Tell me what you did to take your company to the next level, show me how you were innovative or how you demonstrated your expertise. 

The lack of layers in this organization means we all have a great deal of visibility in the process from start to finish. Good operators are willing to get their hands dirty, understand how the business operates, and do whatever they can to deliver the right outcomes. There is no micromanagement. 

The subtle nuances of crypto can be taught, but the inherent qualities that we’re looking for are people who excited about being part of an emerging industry. There is a wealth of knowledge to be gained from working in such a fast-paced, successful-yet-humble organization. We take strong performers and cultivate crypto experts. Out of the over 160 employees, only six or seven people have exited. This is a unique aspect of the organization and something you don’t find very often. 

You Haven’t Missed the Boat 

Where will you do your life’s best work? 

It’s still early in the age of digital assets. No one really knows the future of crypto in its entirety. The current environment is reminiscent of the Internet in the 90s. If we examine the adoption curve of digital assets, somewhere between 5-10% of people have ever interacted with one. This is about the same level of experience the population had with the Internet in about 1996 or 1998. An incredible opportunity lies before us. 

What is this industry going to look like ten years from now? No one knows. Think of how disruptive the Internet was to the entire world. There’s a long way to go for cryptocurrency, and there is still opportunity to be had. 

Choosing this industry just might be the first step of a life-changing decision. It was for me. 

Bob Ruthford
VP of Operations

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