Genres: Non-Fiction, True Crime
I saw Rachel’s glowing review of this book on Goodreads and my interest was immediately picked. I wasn’t originally going to read this book because the words “Silicon Valley Startup” kind of threw me off and I wasn’t too keen on reading a “business book”. Boy, was I wrong.
Bad Blood tells the true story of John Carreyrou’s investigation on Silicon Valley’s Theranos, an obscure company led by the brilliant Elizabeth Holmes into overnight success worth 9 billion dollars. Theranos’ product, however, a device that uses a person’s blood to quickly and efficiently perform 200 blood tests with just the prick of a finger – was a fraud, and could be putting people in danger.
Bad Blood is a wild ride from beginning to end – I was audibly gasping several times while listening to this in audiobook format (which has a pretty great narration, by the way!). I did not follow this on the news, but I had to pause sometimes to look for news and interviews with Elizabeth Holmes a lot because this is such an interesting story and the stakes are so high – a medical device that doesn’t work properly and which doctors use to determine a person’s medication dosage, to identify illnesses and so on? That is dangerous.
It is quite shocking to see how far one can go in business by charm and connections alone and no actual scientific background or experience in the product developed, and for how long this went on. And not even having anyone on the company who actually knew blood-testing and was experienced with that? It’s mind-blowing.