A few weeks ago I watched the first episode of Pandemic on Netflix. Like many, the fear of COVID-19 was barely trickling into my nervous system. In the documentary there was a brief mention of Elizabeth Holmes and her fraudulent company Theranos. However, apart from mentions of deceit, not much was delved into. Resolute, I stopped mid episode and did the only sensible thing I could think of: I wikipediad Ms. Holmes.
From there began my descent into the rabbit hole of all things Theranos. I couldn’t believe something so incredibly deceiving, and at such magnitude no less, was able to take place. I became obsessed, researching like a mad woman, and all I could wonder again and again was ”Where the heck had I been during all of this?”
In the midst of my spiral I came across the reason for Holmes’ down fall, which as I’m sure many of you already know, was John Carreyrou’s article for the Journal. As I dug further in, I realized Carreyrou had recently publish a novel accounting all of the secrets and lies with this dangerous startup. I decided right then and there that I had to read the book now.
If you didn’t know, Elizabeth Holmes was a recent Stanford dropout when she decided to start her own health tech company at the age of 19. Rich with connections and ambition, she quickly rose to fame gracing countless covers and raising millions and millions of dollars. All with the promise that she would revolutionize the medical industry by constructing a tiny machine that could prick a patient’s finger for a mere drop of blood, and from there run 200 simultaneous blood tests instantly. With this new advanced technology Holmes could minimize patients’ pain, reduce healthcare costs across the board, and truly advance our bio medical field.
The only problem? The contraption never existed.
Overall, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup is a riveting feat of journalism that exposes the worst of human faults in greed, power, and ambition. If you’re at all intrigued by the premise, scandals, or heck even thrillers, I urge you to give this book a try. It’s truly terrifying how this company was ever able to rise to the top, or how heavily endorsed it was, it makes you question how many other fraudulent businesses we support without knowing.