Bad Blood: Secrets and lies in the Silicon Valley Startup. Book review
Long time no see..what have you been up to, twifters? Happy to introduce you to my latest book review. Haven’t written for quite long, because the last months were a bit intense, but now I’m back on track! So in near future, there will be more reviews. Stay tuned!
Bad Blood: Secrets and lies in the Silicon Valley Startup
Today, I’ll share my perception on the sensational book “Bad Blood”, written by the journalist John Carreiro. The book is exposing the Theranos startup. And yes, it’s based on a true story. Many newspapers had it on their pages, endless lawsuits were shown on tabloids. And after all, without the courage of some company workers and the true professionalism of John, the biotechnological startup could have killed a lot of people. But let’s get back to the start.
Who were Theranos?
Theranos – a company that was about to introduce a revolutionary blood sampling and analysis system to the market. By deceiving partners, investors and the press’s attention, blackmailing and intimidating employees, including former ones, the founder of the startup, Elizabeth, was able to create a myth around her creation, attract considerable capital, but not produce a single revolutionary or at least innovative technology using Theranos analysis equipment . Elizabeth Holmes founded it when she was just 19 years old, and both she and Theranos quickly became the darlings of Silicon Valley. She gave massively popular TED talks and appeared on the covers of Forbes and Fortune.
Theranos was estimated at almost $10 billion by 2013, and also collaborated with Walgreens to bring their blood tests into stores around the country. The Issue? 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.
The moment of eye-opening
The Wall Street Journal journalist John Carreiro in his book talks about the rise and fall of a startup, addressing first of all to a wide circle of those who are interested in how not only Silicon Valley, but also modernity in the broad sense of the word, “works”.
Having collected dozens of interviews with former Theranos employees (who, by the way, took great risks due to mandatory non-disclosure agreements), armed with expert opinions, constantly repulsing the brutal and aggressive attacks of startup lawyers, Carreira prepared and published a series of materials exposing Theranos fraud . This material formed the basis of a full-fledged book.
Fake it till you make it
In addition to many ethical issues, John raises the issue of the popular principle of “fake it till you make it,” which translates into a triumph of imitation culture, behind which there is nothing. The decline in the system of expertise and credibility carries the risk of situations where fake replaces the original on an ongoing basis without offering anything in return. You can close your eyes to such things, but not when it comes to people’s health and the threat to their lives.
Why did it work for so long?
Want to know more about Theranos startups and why the company managed to stay afloat for so long every year, greatly increasing its value? How do cognitive perception traps help with this? How does myth replace reality? What miracles can media support do, and how does paranoia and fear of losing profits break people’s lives? Then just read this book.