Wednesday, January 05, 2022

What I'm Listening To...


There's a lot of really important stuff going on in the world these days, so it is entirely possible that this might have escaped your attention (or, alternatively, just slid right on past it)...
Just six years ago Forbes magazine declared her the “the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire” and the “next Steve Jobs”. Now, Elizabeth Holmes, 37, founder of the collapsed blood testing company Theranos, is facing decades in prison after being found guilty of conspiring to defraud her investors out of billions.

Holmes, a university dropout with no medical training, had fooled regulators and some of the world’s richest people, including Rupert Murdoch, Henry Kissinger and Larry Ellison, into believing she had figured out a way to test for a range of health conditions with just a pinprick of blood.

But the tests did not work, and the company was accused of often faking the results. One patient testified that a blood test revealed they were miscarrying when they were pregnant; another said they were given false-positive results for HIV...

In my opinion, the stakes here were much higher than the usual 'fake it till you make it' Silicon Valley blather and media babble given that faked/bad medical diagnoses are way worse than a cute app gone wrong.

If you would like to hear the story from the beginning and how it is a tale of more than just a bright young kid bamboozling a bunch of rich old guys with Hoover Institute ties into giving her buckets and buckets of money, ABC News actually has a pretty good podcast up called the 'Drop Out', especially the first six episodes that were done before the trials started. 

And if you want the real meat and potatoes of the thing, and the straight scoop on the heroes of the piece, two much brighter and  much sharper, not to mention much, much, much more principled, young kids named Erika Cheung and Kyle Shultz, check out this talk by John Carreyrou, the guy who first broke the story in the Wall Street Journal and finally put a stop to the media hagiography, not to mention the legal threats against any and all whistleblowers, that were helping to drive the dangerous bamboozlement (i.e. the company was already in Walgreen pharmacies when they knew their boxes, shown at the top of the post, did not work before the axe fell)...



e.a.f. said...

because it concerned people's health this was so wrong. People could have died. However, some people don't care, they just want to make money. Hello the coal industry.

For those who invested in this company, as I think it was Barnum of the Barnum and Bailey circus fame, who said, there is a sucker born every minute. In their quest to become rich, they didn't do their home work.

Beware of shiny things, thank you for the article.

Rev.Paperboy said...

"including Rupert Murdoch, Henry Kissinger and Larry Ellison"
Three guys who, while being evil "geniuses", have never been right about anything, ever.

NVG said...


Attribution to Barnum and Bailey not true.

There were, still are, plenty of hucksters