Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

John Carreyrou
Dec 17, 2018

Do you ever wonder how corporate fraud starts, gets exposed, and in the aftermath how the all the players lives are affected? Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou offers such a glimpse into corporate fraud and all its ugliness.

Wall Street Journal investigative reporter, Carreyrou, exposes the wrong doings of Theranos, a medical blood-testing Silicon Valley startup company that had its beginnings in 2004 and came to an abrupt end in 2017. After receiving his first tip in February 2015, Carreyrou worked diligently to uncover the players, backgrounds, and legal intimidations that contributed to the conning of investors, employees, and patients as it related to Theranos and what their devices were and were not capable of providing in blood-testing devices. Theranos was fully exposed to the public on October 15, 2015, with the publication of Carreyrou’s first of many front page exposes in the Wall Street Journal.

This book takes the reader through a comprehensive journey starting with the idea and creation of Theranos by Elizabeth Holmes, a 19 year-old Stanford dropout. Holmes started with a great idea and tricked some of the most powerful investors in the US into investing in her company despite the blood-testing devices never accurately working. When she brings her lover, Sunny Balwani, on board as second in command, things go from bad to worse. 

This book chronologically tells the entire story of Theranos from start to finish and how the company went from being worth $9 billion to $0. Carreyrou’s writing is factual and riveting. I enjoyed how by simply stating the facts and not analyzing the psyche of Holmes and Balwani, Carreyrou allows the reader to be amazed and dumbfounded on how the two top executives were able to keep this charade going for as a long as it did. I found this book to be a truly captivating read.

Written by Lisa H


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