This isn’t my usual go-to for non-fiction, but it was bloody brilliant. It read like a thriller, yet the events were entirely true. I hadn’t even heard of the Theranos unicorn start-up scandal prior to reading, which is not a great show of my general grasp on current events but made it all the more horrifyingly juicy!
Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of Stanford and started up Theranos when she was 19, a blood-testing device that claimed to be able to do hundreds of blood tests with just a finger prick of blood. Because she was afraid of nothing. Except needles. The trouble was it wasn’t working, they were flying ahead with investors, she wasn’t listening to her employees when they told her their concerns and consequently leaving the company – some for fear they were contradicting their Hippocratic Oath with their work – and Holmes’ net worth was 4.5 billion dollars by 2015 (for a product that didn’t, as yet, do anything).
Was she the world’s smartest optimist? Manipulated by her COO who was 20 years her senior? The powerful female CEO the world was craving and willing to turn a blind eye to and hope for success? A very charming and convincing saleswoman to investors? Or a sociopath? She declined to interview, so you’ve only got this thorough and well-composed compilation of opinions from others to decide. I plan on watching the documentary ASAP – review to come!