Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Start Up.
I had been following Elizabeth Holmes trial and had ever since wanted to read this book by John Carreyrou, the journalist who exposed Theranos and exposed the truth about the once proclaimed youngest self made female billionaire.
Having worked in Diagnostic industry for past 15 years, I was curious to know how a person without any knowledge of diagnostics/ laboratory medicine and with just a university dropout was invited to be on board of Harvard Medical School, and also invited to deliver a keynote address at AACC General meeting.
Brilliantly written, I couldn’t put the book down and finished it in less than 12 hours. Right from the start, the company had a stellar starcast. However, because of the toxic work culture there was a high rate of attrition. In her obsession with secrecy, the different departments s did not interact with each other which led to more problems. A person working in Biochemistry did not know what microfluidic was trying to solve. In a haste to be billionaire, she would start marketing the prototype without understanding that it was people’s lives she would be playing with.
Still the company tested patient samples for almost 3 – 5 years before the FDA and CMS put an end to the saga. The book is a must read for the budding entrepreneurs. You cannot solve a problem without knowing the science behind it. The book is also an eye opener on what goes inside the Silicon valley.
There are strict regulations for medical professionals. Infact most countries do not accept the qualifications obtained from another. Yet, in Diagnostics the understanding of what impact a report will have on the treatment of patient is always utmost.
I must admire the bravery of the people esp Tyler and Erica who came out and spoke against the practices which ultimately led to the company’s downfall. As long as, we have people with strong ethics, the world would always be in safe hands. The author John Carreyrou didn’t get deterred by Elizabeth’s high political links and hats off to him for the high impact journalism.