By reading this koob, you will learn how Elizabeth Holmes’ blood testing start-up, Theranos, duped investors and regulators before crashing out of existence.
You will also learn that:
Storytelling can be more persuasive than data;
Product must come before profit;
Confidence can take you a long way;
Airtight, siloed company culture creates paranoia;
Class status is a major indicator of success in America.
Theranos, a combination of the words therapy and diagnosis, was a company that aimed to harness ground-breaking technology to determine the onset of disease in time for therapy to be effective. The company wanted to revolutionize the healthcare industry by creating a technology that would ensure that individuals had access to actionable health information in a timely fashion, meaning, while disease remained treatable.
Elizabeth Holmes founded the company at just 19 years old. She dropped out of Stanford after briefly training as an engineer, in order to follow her dream of founding a start-up that would change the world.
Holmes’ vision and storytelling enabled Theranos to raise over $400 million. In 2014, Theranos was valued at $9 billion, with Elizabeth owning over 50% of the company.
In just four years, however, the company would completely implode, facing accusations of fraud and deception.