Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

John Carreyrou     Pages: 303    Published: 2018

The book: Elizabeth Holmes founded Theranos in 2003. She claimed to have a blood testing machine that would make blood tests faster and less painful for patients: only a pin prick of blood was required, instead of a traditional needle draw.
By 2015 Holmes was the new darling of the tech world. Her company was valued at $9 billion. Holmes net worth was estimated to be $4.5 billion.
But there was a problem. It was all a lie. Her machine did not work.
Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter John Carreyrou got a tip about the scam, so he investigated. This is the story of his investigation into Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos.

You might like it because: It’s gripping. You’ll be astonished by Holmes’ behavior and shocked by the threats and intimidation visited on whistleblowers. You’re likely to keep turning the pages in disbelief and shock.

What did other people say?
“The story is even crazier than I expected, and I found myself unable to put it down once I started. This book has everything: elaborate scams, corporate intrigue, magazine cover stories, ruined family relationships, and the demise of a company once valued at nearly $10 billion.” – Bill Gates

“Dazzling…a story of jaw-dropping lying and greed so immense that billions of dollars fly by with every turn of the page…Carreyrou [is] an astonishingly indominable investigative reporter.” – The Washington Post

Awards & Recognition:
Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award: WINNER 2018
A Notable Book of the Year- The Washington Post, and The New York Times

How quickly will you get into the book? By page eight it was clear there was some lying going on at Theranos, and I was intrigued to understand how this had all played out.

You might not like it because: Carreyrou, an excellent journalist, carried out a very thorough investigation. In order to explain to the reader how he got to the truth, he goes into a lot of detail. Some readers might prefer not to get into the nitty gritty of his investigation.

What might you read next?
Holmes seems to have been obsessed with Steve Jobs, and appeared to attempt to emulate him in multiple ways. You could read Steve Jobs: A Biography, by Walter Isaacson.

Or if you’d like some fantasy fiction featuring blood and lots of it; pick up George R.Martin’s A Game of Thrones.

© 2019

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