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Loyee and started asking uestions both Carreyrou and the Journal were threatened with lawsuits Undaunted the newspaper ran the first of dozens of Theranos articles in late 2015 By early 2017 the company's value was zero and Holmes faced potential legal action from the government and her investors Here is the riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron a disturbing cautionary tale set amid the bold promises and gold rush frenzy of Silicon Valley. Early in my career I worked at a next generation seuencing startup with Theranos level ambitions In fact it went further The founders mission was to cure aging Literally the goal was immortalityThere were other similarities The company was founded by wunderkinds they won the attention and support of a prominent professor in the field they dropped out and raised millions of dollars from non hard tech investors off the back of a concept then tens of millions of dollars off the back of a glued together prototype all while pursuing a fantastical goalThe company was wild but not fraudulent uite the contrary When the founders realized that the technology was not going to work or would take many years to validate they decided to fold the company All of the scientists even the skeptics were shocked and disappointed We were on the verge of breaking through in key areas But it was overAnd the irony Many of those scientists went on to work at Theranos It was just down the streetBy 2012 they had all left Theranos It s too crazy It s way worse Way worse than an immature company that blew up on a whim I started following Theranos the Glassdoor reviews the funding announcements the glowing press coverage It was surreal to know that the company was a fraud and yet to see it riseCarreyrou exposed it all How Holmes and Balwani drove an employee to suicide how they strong armed employees investors even generals and statesmen how they lied to win multi million dollar deals from credulous partners The pulp in Bad Blood is juicy I read the book on one overseas flightTheranos is extreme but not singular Silicon Valley lionizes founders and overnight 100X successes Investors are pushed pulled toward a hands off approach Founders retain board control and investors don t meddle This environment is prime for fraud My management philosophy In a vacuum everyone cuts corners Everyone gets lazy And unscrupulous people do worseA couple years ago I tweeted At what point do high profile unicorn frauds irreparably damage the philosophy and practice of founder friendly investors That was about Hampton Creek It could have been about Zenefits or Uber in a sense or of course Theranos Who will be next The odds on favorite is WeWork Does Tesla a public company count The whisper consensus has many candidatesThere are many frauds left to be exposed But none as big as Theranos Well maybe one or two

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Bad Blood

The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of a multibillion dollar startup by the prize winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end in the face of pressure and threats from the CEO and her lawyersIn 2014 Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup unicorn promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that wou. I don t read a lot of page turners I often find myself unable to put a book down but they re not the kinds of books that would keep most people glued to their chairs Still I recently found myself reading a book so compelling that I couldn t turn away Bad Blood Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou details the rise and fall of Theranos If you aren t familiar with the Theranos story here s the short version the company promised to uickly give you a complete picture of your health using only a small amount of blood Elizabeth Holmes founded it when she was just 19 years old and both she and Theranos uickly became the darlings of Silicon Valley She gave massively popular TED talks and appeared on the covers of Forbes and FortuneBy 2013 Theranos was valued at nearly 10 billion and even partnered with Walgreens to put their blood tests in stores around the country The problem Their technology never worked It never came close to working But Holmes was so good at selling her vision that she wasn t stopped until after real patients were using the company s tests to make decisions about their health She and her former business partner are now facing potential jail time on fraud charges and Theranos officially shut down in AugustThe public didn t know about Theranos deception until Carreyrou broke the story as a reporter at the Wall Street Journal Because he was so integral to the company s demise Bad Blood offers a remarkable inside lookSome of the details he shares are for lack of a better word insane Holmes would invite prospective investors to the lab so they could get their blood tested on a Theranos machine The device had been programmed to show a really slow progress bar instead of an error message When results didn t come back right away Holmes sent the investors home and promised to follow up with resultsAs soon as they left an employee would remove the blood sample from the device and transfer it to a commercial blood analyzer Her investors got their blood tested by the same machines available in any lab in the country and they had no ideaThere s a lot Silicon Valley can learn from the Theranos mess To start a company needs relevant experts on its board of directors The Theranos board had some heavy hitters including several former Cabinet secretaries and senators but for most of the company s existence none of them had any expertise in diagnostics If they had they might have noticed the red flags a lot soonerHealth technology reuires a different approach than other kinds of technology because human lives are on the line Carreyrou writes a lot about how Holmes idolized Steve Jobs and his unwillingness to compromise on his vision That approach is okay for consumer electronics if a new phone doesn t work as promised no one gets hurt but it s irresponsible for a health company Holmes pushed a vision of what Theranos could be not what it actually was and people suffered as a result Bad Blood is also a cautionary tale about the virtues of celebrity On the surface Holmes was everything Silicon Valley loves in a CEO charismatic and convincing with a memorable personal story made for magazine profiles There s nothing wrong with that on its own A rock star CEO can be a huge boon for a startup But you can t let fame become the most important thingTheranos is the worst case scenario of what happens when a CEO prioritizes personal legacy above all else but I hope that people don t use it as an excuse to write off the next young woman with a big idea I also don t want Bad Blood to scare people away from next gen diagnostics Theranos went to extraordinary lengths to get around uality standards The industry is highly regulated and new diagnostics undergo rigorous testing Bad Blood tackles some serious ethical uestions but it is ultimately a thriller with a tragic ending It s a fun read full of bizarre details that will make you gasp out loud The story almost feels too ridiculous to be real at points no wonder Hollywood is already planning to turn it into a movie I think it s the perfect book to read by the fire this winter

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Ld make blood tests significantly faster and easier Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at 9 billion putting Holmes's worth at an estimated 47 billion There was just one problem The technology didn't workFor years Holmes had been misleading investors FDA officials and her own employees When Carreyrou working at The Wall Street Journal got a tip from a former Theranos emp. Last night when I finished this I just wanted to write a review that was haha repeated like four hundred times I ve gotten some sleep since then and calmed down though This was really good like I stayed up until 3 am reading because I didn t want to put it down good Most I m just befuddled that this happened at all and at the fact that most of the people implicated in this are just probably never going to face any repercussions I don t even necessarily mean legal repercussions but like just there seems like there s zero contrition or embarrassment on the part of people like George Shultz Henry Kissinger James N Mattis or Channing Robertson Like just their instance until even recently that Theranos has proprietary technology that was novel and that there wasn t merit to anything being said or the way Mattis was even confirmed as Secretary of Defense not too long ago I m just baffled and I think the book shouldn t have said Holmes was solely responsible for the mess that was Theranos when so many people who we re supposed to think as credible couldn t be bothered to do any due diligence When Schultz s own grandson came to him to tell him that things weren t right at Theranos and he just disregarded him I honestly couldn t even comprehend how someone could be like that but I guess what else can you expect from someone involved in something like the Iran Contra affair Really good book would totally recommend personally could not look away from this god damn train wreck of a situation that was entirely preventable


10 thoughts on “Bad Blood

  1. says:

    I don’t read a lot of page turners I often find myself unable to put a book down—but they’re not the kinds of books that would keep most people glued to their chairs Still I recently found myself reading a book so compelling that I couldn’t turn away Bad Blood Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John C

  2. says:

    Fascinating accounting of the Theranos scam and I do mean SCAM Exhaustively reported I do wish there had been analysis of how a scam of this magnitude was made possible and enabled This girl dropped out of college and convinced Henry Kissinger George Schulz Rupert Murdoch and a bunch of other famous andor incredibly talented people to give her money or work with her even though there was no there there WHAT? There are so many incredible W

  3. says:

    The resignations infuriated Elizabeth and Sunny The following day they summoned the staff for an all hands meeting in the cafeteria Copies of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho had been placed on every chair Elizabeth told the gathered employees that she was building a religion If there was anyone not prepared to show complete devotion and unmitig

  4. says:

    Last night when I finished this I just wanted to write a review that was haha repeated like four hundred times I've gotten some sleep since t

  5. says:

    Tips on how to make an unicorn Be a sociopath Excel at salesmarketing Get some cool people on your BoardTips to how to fake

  6. says:

    Bad Blood Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou is a 2018 Knopf Publishing Group publication ‘Super high turnover rate means you’re never bored at work Also good if you’re an introvert because each shift is short staffed Especially if you’re swing or graveyard You essentially don’t exist to the companyWhy be

  7. says:

    This was fucking BANANAS

  8. says:

    Early in my career I worked at a next generation seuencing startup with Theranos level ambitions In fact it went further The founders’ mission was to cure aging Literally the goal was immortalityThere were other similarities The company was founded by wunderkinds they won the attention and support of a prominent professor in the field they dropped out and raised millions of dollars from non hard tech inves

  9. says:

    The True Cost of IdealismI have been guilty of the grave fault of idealism in much of my professional life Conseuently I cringe when I read of the young Elizabeth Holmes and her idealistic trajectory from the thrilling em

  10. says:

    Lessons learned1 Elizabeth Holmes speaks in an unusually deep voice2 What matters is who you know If you look good and have the right connections you can get millions of dollars for your imaginary device particularly if you model it on the iPhone and dress like Steve Jobs3 Even very rich people can be stupid with money4 Sometimes the people that aren’t stupid are only supporting you for the moneyRather outs