”Bad Blood” the book I just couldn't stop listening to
I was glad to finish listening to “Bad Blood”. Normal life could resume. Yes, I was that gripped by the audiobook, sneaking out for long solitary walks so I couldn't be interrupted. I thought I was the last person on earth to read this book; however, I learned that several friends were unfamiliar with Elizabeth Holmes. They also only vaguely knew about Theranos, which claimed to have the technology to analyse a tiny amount of blood sample for a multitude of things. I had the pleasure of repeating the factoid that at its peak, Theranos was valued at USD 9 billion and received c. USD 700m from investors.
A few thoughts on Bad Blood:
(1) It is in some ways, similar to the story of “Billion Dollar Whale” (BDW) although the embezzlement in the latter amounted to a staggering USD 5 billion. It’s incredible that despite believing themselves to be invincible - both Jho Low (BDW) and Elizabeth Holmes (Theranos) were eventually exposed. Truth prevailed and its largely thanks to the journalists and whistleblowers.
(2) Elizabeth Holmes had no qualms in fabricating lies. Did she believe her team could catch up and generate what she claimed Theranos already possessed? At what age did most of us learn the penalty of lying or over-promising and under-delivering? How and why did Elizabeth Holmes not infer this lesson before? My theory is that she has psychopath or sociopath tendencies or a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Yes, that’s me offering diagnosis using Google. 😂
(3) Elizabeth Holmes pulled heartstrings by falsifying stories of love and death to illustrate how she intended to make a difference. Her non-blinking stare, a deep artificial voice and black turtle neck uniform brought comparisons to Apple’s Steve Jobs and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Several of her supporters joined Theranos’ Board of Directors, became business partners and invested millions. Their support did not waver even with adverse due diligence results. Why didn’t they doubt Elizabeth Holmes? Some late relatives of mine in Malaysia would have insisted that black magic prevailed😳. I would disagree and put it to being in denial: Not wanting to believe that they had misjudged Elizabeth Holmes and to take messy corrective actions.
What do you think of the whole mess? And the book. It's a fascinating subject!