Bad Blood Audiobook Summary
NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY: NPR, The New York Times Book Review, Time, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post • The McKinsey Business Book of the Year
The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the one-time multibillion-dollar biotech startup founded by Elizabeth Holmes—now the subject of the HBO documentary The Inventor—by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end.
“The story is even crazier than I expected, and I found myself unable to put it down once I started. This book has everything: elaborate scams, corporate intrigue, magazine cover stories, ruined family relationships, and the demise of a company once valued at nearly $10 billion.” —Bill Gates
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.
Bad Blood Audiobook Reviews
This is an impeccably researched and referenced account of the Theranos saga. As a long-time observer and sometime competitor of Theranos I watched this tale unfold whilst working at a couple of established IVD companies. Everyone I knew who had ever developed an assay or instrument knew this was smoke and mirrors, impossibly too good to be true. What I never suspected was just how personally dishonest EH had been, and for how long the complex deception was maintained. Whilst I’ve met a few egregious individuals working for big companies, there are enough checks and balances (QA/RA, Med/Sci Affairs, CLSs and other professionals etc) in place to stop harmful devices getting out the door.
The subject matter – developing devices and assays – is a complex dry topic, difficult to write engagingly about. But JC does a workmanlike job and I read this in one go after its midnight Kindle release. My only nit to pick is the poor editing: there are so many uses of ‘….named….’ as in ‘an engineer named John Smith’ or ‘a restaurant named Joe’s Bar’ that it got irritating. Find/replace ‘named’ with a comma would have worked fine in most cases. The text was also repetitive – eg ‘…an award named after Channing…’ gets at least 2 mentions. But not enough to lose a star.
Kudos to the good people at Theranos who had the courage to get the story out and for JCs persistence into a headwind of legalistic intimidation. I’ve heard Theranos is now a case-study for MBA students: this book should be required reading for anyone thinking about ‘disrupting’ the medical devices industry. There are lives at stake.
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