Summary from Goodreads:
The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech startup, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end, despite pressure from its charismatic CEO and threats by her lawyers.
In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup “unicorn” promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes’s worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn’t work.
A riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley.
I remember reading the initial WSJ story with my jaw on the floor and I read Carreyrou’s book-length expansion in almost the same position.
Bad Blood makes my scientist blood boil (I mean, I was drawing “angry epidemiologist face” in the margins – it’s on IG). This is why we need better whistleblower protection. Elizabeth Homes deserves to be in jail and/or living in a box under a bridge. The only reason she and Theranos didn’t kill patients is that some scientists and doctors stood firm against major legal and personal threats. They managed to find a journalist who could keep confidential sources confidential to air the science that proved Theranos was making vaporware and then lying about it to the very agencies tasked with keeping us safe. Carreyrou has written a compelling and compulsively readable account of Theranos and it’s clear this mess isn’t over yet.
(Generous read: ok, so maybe in the beginning Holmes actually invented a device that really could have helped people and actually started her company in good faith. But somewhere between that first funding round and over a billion dollars down the drain she went really off the rails and I’m not going to be generous about that.)
Dear FTC: I bought my copy of this book and proceeded to mark the shit up out of it.