Sunday, June 10, 2018

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou

Author: John Carreyrou
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday
Date of publication: May 2018

The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech startup, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end, despite pressure from its charismatic CEO and threats by her lawyers. 

In 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 would make blood testing 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 more than $9 billion, putting Holmes's worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn't work.

A riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley.

I worked for many years in the biotech industry, so I was immediately drawn to the synopsis of this book.  Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup  is the true story behind the rise and fall of the biotech company, Theranos.  Headed by Stanford dropout, Elizabeth Holmes, the company made big claims that they could revolutionize the blood testing industry.  The only problem was they never were able to get the technology to work.

I really enjoyed this accounting.  The author is an investigative reporter for the Wall Street Journal.  He did a great job of describing who Holmes is and how she was able to facilitate this huge fraud.  The timeline was easy to follow and I was sucked right into the book.   It was hard to believe how many people were duped by this woman and her company.  I was also astonished at the number of influential people who invested millions in this company without looking at the science or making sure they could deliver what they promised.

 Because the investigation is still ongoing, there isn't really a lot of closure on the story.  I know lawsuits are ongoing and criminal charges may be coming.  The website for the company is still up and running. (I checked).  Just be warned, if you see anything in a blood draw lab with Theraos on it, run away! I will be keeping my eye out for updates to the story.  I highly recommend this book.  

1 comment:

SavingsInSeconds said...

I saw this book on Goodreads and didn't give it a second glance. After reading your review, though, it sounds very interesting!