Bad Blood

“How to make money at Theranos:

1. Lie to venture capitalists

2. Lie to doctors, patients, FDA, CDC, government. While also committing highly unethical and immoral (and possibly illegal) acts.”

SUMMARY: The book by Wall Street Journal’s John Carreyrou is a fascinating and disturbing account of the fraudulent rise of Silicon Valley’s Elizabeth Holmes and her tech startup called Theranos. It follows the secretive path of her rise to billions and her decline to zero as false claims of medical miracles fell apart.


1. Unfortunately, skilful deception can sometimes lead to wealth – Theranos developed a $9billion valuation based on the false claim that their Edison machines would save lives through incredible medical diagnosis from a drop of blood.

2. Charisma and hype can veil the truth (up to a point) – this was how the young Elizabeth Holmes managed to persuade private investors and massive corporations like Safeway that she was the next super-star entrepreneur who would change the world.

3. Cunning collaboration and bits of truth can hide a huge lie – Theranos worked its way around FDA approvals by framing the device as a tech device – using the logic that they sent tests to a lab. They also misused their limited FDA approval which was given on the basis of (other) limited tests.

READ IF: You are interested in the full story of how this deceptive Silcon Valley fraud fooled the world for a valuation of $9billion.