Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
This book recounts the story of the star Silicon Valley startup Theranos and its titanic collapse as told by Wall Street Journal investigative reporter John Carreyrou. The nascent company Theranos received hundreds of millions of dollars from investors, and Former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Charles Schultz and current Secretary of Defense General James Mattis and other Silicon-Valley heavy-hitters all sat on its board of directors. The reason you probably haven’t heard of Theranos is because the company was revealed to be an utter fraud. It promised a revolutionary blood-testing device that could perform an entire battery of tests using a single finger-prick drop of blood. A device like that could have upended the diagnostic field in the same way Apple revolutionized the smartphone–and a lot of people wanted in. Unfortunately, the device they promised did not, in fact, exist, despite Theranos’s vociferous claims to the contrary. The fall of this favorite Silicon Valley child was, of course, tremendous, and Carreyrou recounts it in thorough detail.
Despite the fact that I’m not particularly interested in business, investing, or blood-testing technology, I found Bad Blood compulsively readable. The intense hubris, greed, and pure folly of so many of the people involved—particularly it’s can’t-make-this-up head, Elizabeth—is so incredible as to make this book, at times, read like satire. Carreyrou is a skilled writer and reporter, and his direct style leads you through the entire saga deftly. Enjoyable, fascinating, and, at times, astounding. Highly recommended.
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