The Theranos Saga Continues……

“The message will be that you can’t really do anything you want, you can’t completely ignore rules and regulations.”

John Carreyrou, Author of “Bad Blood”
Image credit: CNBC.com

The author of “Bad Blood” isn’t finished telling the Theranos story. In an interview with CNBC on July 9th, John Carreyrou announced that he is debuting a new podcast to uncover the final chapter of former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes. “Bad Blood: The Final Chapter” will follow the upcoming trial of Holmes.

CNBC’s Yasmin Khorram sat down with Carreyrou to discuss the criminal fraud trial of former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, which is scheduled to begin at the end of August, and his new podcast. You can view the entire interview here.

Despite the postponements (caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and Holmes’ pregnancy), Carreyrou predicts Holmes will be convicted of wire fraud and said that a guilty verdict in her trial would be a “major shot across the bow to entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley.”

Carreyrou departed the Wall Street Journal in 2019 following the smash success of his book that chronicled the rise and fall of Silicon Valley sweetheart Elizabeth Holmes. Carreyrou exposed her blood-testing company Theranos as an apparent fraud before going on to write the book based on his work.

His biggest story started in 2015 when he began chipping away at the glittering facade of Theranos and its charismatic young founder Holmes, who lured billions of dollars from investors with the promise of technology that could diagnose everything from cholesterol to HIV with one test of a small drop of blood.

Many journalists uncritically reported on the fantastic claims until Carreyrou discovered that Theranos had cheated on tests, provided false data to patients and that CEO Holmes allegedly lied to the company and its board.

My reason for writing this post is that I was one of those individuals who succumbed to the media frenzy and bought into the hype that Theranos was promoting. I thought I had done my due diligence in my research of the company, the composition of the Board of Directors, the VC investors who were pouring billions into the company – thereby inflating its value, and the corporate partnerships developed with companies like Walgreens. I even included a discussion on Theranos in my presentations on potential disruptors in healthcare in front of hundreds of healthcare executives at our conferences. Yep, I blew it big time. In fact, after Carreyrou’s expose in the Wall Street Journal hit the newsstands, I was called out by an audience member at the next conference I spoke at for my error.

So, I learned (or maybe re-learned) a valuable lesson in all of this. Don’t get so blinded by “the shiny new technology/object” that you take things at face value, and don’t ask the critical questions you should be asking.

“Once you accept that perfection is just a goal, screwing up isn’t so hard to handle. Each misstep is still a step, another lesson learned, another opportunity to get it right the next time.”

Nick Vujicic

So, the posts you’ll read on this blog will reflect those lessons learned. That’s why each technology discussion is titled “Straight Talk.” Hopefully, each will be a balanced view of the potential benefits of technology versus what actually exists today. Now, onward!

4 thoughts on “The Theranos Saga Continues……

  1. I use this case in my Healthcare Strategy and Innovation Class at the University. I am always amazed how very smart, very wealthy investors were deceived. It is also baffling that the various regulatory agencies did not pick up earlier on this. And the saga continues even to this day to taker twists and turns. It is a great lesson than Innovation when used ethically can change things for the better but when used unethically can reap a lot of damage.

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    • The upcoming trial outcome will certainly send a message to Silicon Valley about whether the “fake it until you make it” business model will stand in health care.

      Like

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