Book Summary: Bad Blood by John Carreyrou

Bad Blood by John Carreyrou Book Cover

Bad Blood is a non-fiction book written by John Carreyrou, an investigative journalist who worked for The Wall Street Journal. The book was published in May 2018 and it tells the story of the rise and fall of Theranos, a Silicon Valley startup founded by Elizabeth Holmes. Theranos claimed to have developed a revolutionary blood testing technology that could perform hundreds of tests with just a few drops of blood. The company was valued at $9 billion and was once considered the most valuable private tech company in the US. However, in 2016, the company was exposed as a fraud and its founder, Elizabeth Holmes, was indicted on criminal charges.

Chapter 1: The Founder

The first chapter of Bad Blood introduces the reader to Elizabeth Holmes, the founder and CEO of Theranos. Holmes was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in Houston, Texas. She was always interested in science and technology and was determined to become a billionaire entrepreneur. When she was 19 years old, she dropped out of Stanford University to pursue her dream of starting a tech company. She founded Theranos in 2003 and quickly gained attention for her vision of revolutionizing the blood testing industry.

Chapter 2: The Technology

In this chapter, Carreyrou explains how Theranos claimed to have developed a new blood testing technology called Edison. The Edison machine was supposed to be able to perform hundreds of tests with just a few drops of blood, making it faster, cheaper, and more accurate than traditional blood testing methods. However, Carreyrou soon discovered that the Edison machine was a sham and that Theranos was actually using traditional blood testing machines purchased from other companies.

Chapter 3: The Deception

This chapter reveals how Theranos was able to deceive investors, patients, and regulators for years. The company used misleading marketing materials and faked demonstrations to convince people that the Edison machine was real. They also used their connections in the media and politics to silence dissenters and avoid scrutiny. Carreyrou describes how he first became suspicious of Theranos and how he started investigating the company.

Chapter 4: The Fallout

In this chapter, Carreyrou describes how the wheels started to fall off Theranos. In 2015, the company was exposed by a series of articles in The Wall Street Journal. After that, the company was investigated by regulators and investors started to pull out. Eventually, Theranos was forced to shut down and Elizabeth Holmes was indicted on criminal charges.

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Bad Blood is a cautionary tale about the dangers of blindly believing in Silicon Valley hype. The book shows how a charismatic founder and a few impressive-sounding technologies can convince people to invest millions of dollars in a fraudulent company. It also highlights the importance of skepticism and scrutiny in the world of technology and business. Overall, Bad Blood is a gripping read that will keep you engaged from beginning to end.

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