Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Theranos And The Silicon Valley Bubble

The Silicon Valley Bubble

Theranos, a new startup tech company with a 'female' CEO which was going to revolutionize the lab testing industry.  Elizabeth Holmes, the company's founder and CEO was hailed as the next steve jobs, she even wore full black turtlenecks everywhere.

She was on the cover of every magazine, had done hundreds of interviews and with random 'women in tech' prizes, she was a superstar, a darling child of Silicon Valley.

Investors lined up at the door, begging for her to take their money, but soon they would all be at the doors of Theranos demanding their money back.

John Carreyrou, Author of 'Bad Blood', exposed Theranos for what it really was and showed the world the deceptions of Elizabeth Holmes.

The claim was, Theranos could do a full blood test for a large range of requirements and do it for a fraction of the cost with just a drop of blood, which had never been done before. Usually you need lots of blood and usually, a nurse has to draw it from you and you can't do it by yourself. Theranos presented a futuristic method of blood testing, like something from Star Trek.

Usually, you have to peer review new medical technologies, but none of that was done by Theranos. Some people wrote in the medical journals about the secrecy and presented doubts about all the hush-hush of the company.

The unethical behaviours became apparent when she fired her CFO, for speaking out about disingenuous demo-testings being done.

Soon, people realized that none of the claims of Holmes was accurate and some claims were just outright lies.

The company was very secretive, investors couldn't even be allowed to see what the company was actually doing in the labs.

Now, she is being investigated for massive fraud.

People wanted to believe that finally they got one, they finally have a self-made young female billionaire. All the media jumped on the feminist bandwagons and thousands of articles of praise was written. In 2015, Forbes named Holmes as the youngest self-made female billionaire. She won an award at the 2015 Glamour Women Of The Year. All the tech conferences had her on to speak and threw a few awards at her.

What's happened with Theranos was classic Silicon Valley madness. Impressed with claims, charts, financial data, a 'dropout CEO' and a very prestigious Board, Silicon Valley hoped on the party bus.

The next year Forbes revised her net value to zero dollars.

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