Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou: 5*****

This is the explosive book by Wall Street Journal reporter, John Carreyrou, that blew the lid off of Silicon Valley dreamgirl Elizabeth Holmes and her blood lab company Theranos. Elizabeth Holmes conned many different people on her dream of being able to perfect a machine that could run over 200 different blood tests, all from a single fingertip draw of blood.

            From old politicians, to venture capitalists, to scientists, and major companies, Holmes used her personal dynamism and fudged test results to persuade many people to invest up to $1 Billion in her company. But despite all the money that came in, the results never came close to what she promised. The examples of her bad faith are myriad in the book, and is a wakeup call for all of us to look before we leap, because in reality Elizabeth and her boyfriend Sunny were nothing more than used car salesmen. Promise the moon, fudge the results, lie as to the Theranos machines abilities and hire a high-priced lawyer, who had an obvious conflict of interest to scare away any whistleblowers out there. This is a cautionary tale of greed and avarice, about a young girl who tried to become the belle of the ball, who knew her company’s machines did not work and yet put the lives of patients at risk.

            This is also a book about some braves scientists who dared to expose the problems at Theranos, and the reporter who continued to dig until enough sources were “on the record” to expose this company. It also is about a bunch of old white men, who fell for a somewhat pretty blond-haired, blue-eyed girl, who played to their vanity to the point where some treated her as part of their family and where one powerful man lost his entire relationship with his grandson who was trying to expose the problems at Theranos. Nope, granddad drank the Kool-Aid along with everyone else.

            This short (under 300 pages) book lays it all out there and by the end you just shake your head at the madness of everyone who believed in the unbelievable vision of Holmes, and the people who lost lives and careers just so she could parade the myth that she was the next Steve Jobs.

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