Bad Blood by John Carreyrou
Wow. Just wow. Bad Blood by Wall Street Journal investigative reporter John Carreyrou is almost unbelievable. Carreyrou fills in the history of the start up Theranos and its key players.
Carreyrou lays out the narrative and provides insight into the founders and key people at the company. And he details the deception, lies, and outright fraud that he company perpetrated. The book reads fast and details what happens when the valley's fake it to you make it attitude goes wrong. Way wrong. The way Elizabeth Holmes (the founder and now ex-CEO) decieved so many old powerful men and duped large companies such as Safeway and Walgreens shows how powerful slick salesmanship and playing to people's fears and dreams can be. She had James Mattis and the parts of the DoD fooled as well.
If you've been following the story of Theranos in the news this book is a must read. The details and history are fascinating. How did criminal Henry Kissinger end up on the board? How did USMC General James Mattis end up there? How in the world did the DOD get into a fight with itself over how to test medical devices and skirt the FDA?
How did Walgreens and Safeway get duped? The Fear of missing out.
The characters are strange and well characterized. The sources for the book are brought to life and their motivations and accusations are made clear.
There are important lessons about faking it til you make it and the power of confidence. These are ammoral principles, not guiding lights we should follow trailing behind Jobs, Gates, and Holmes (if she had her way). Lessons about greed. Fear of missing out. And warnings about companies trying to end run regulators. Incentives are powerful. When your only incentive is getting rich and being like Steve Jobs, you risk becoming Elizabeth Holmes.