Whyte has worked as a management consultant, as a foreign currency trader and as a philosophy lecturer at Cambridge University.[dubious– discuss] In 1991 he won the Analysis Journal prize for the best article by a philosopher under the age of 30.
Since 2004, Whyte has written for general audiences, and his books and articles typically attempt to expose shoddy reasoning, especially by politicians. In 2006 he won the Reason Foundation Bastiat Prize for journalism (jointly with Tim Harford of the Financial Times) and in 2010 he was named runner up. In June 2014, Whyte won the Institute of Economic Affairs Arthur Seldon Memorial Award for Excellence for Quack Policy.
Despite no prior experience in politics, at a board meeting in February 2014, Whyte was elected to the ACT party's leadership, beating former MP, John Boscawen. At the same meeting, David Seymour was chosen as ACT's candidate for the Epsom electorate and Kenneth Wang was later elected as Whyte's deputy leader in April 2014.