Thursday, August 16, 2018

Bad Blood by John Carreyrou | 3 Things You Should Know Before Buying

3 Things You Should Know Before Buying

BridgeHouse Marketing | Terry Jensen | The BridgeHouse Book Club | Bad Blood by John Carreyrou

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1. About the Author

John Carreyrou is an investigative reporter for the Wall Street Journal, who has won multiple awards for his work including two Pulitzer Prizes. His articles are widely heralded for uncovering corporate scandal and exposing fraud. Suffice to say, the power of his pen has brought the wrath of several dominant people most would run and hide from.

His most recent series of articles spawned a book, Bad Blood, and sparked the spectacular fall from grace for Elizabeth Holmes and her blood testing company Theranos. The author's effort to maintain confidentiality for his sources is challenged repeatedly, and once again showcases the terror of living day-to-day as a corporate whistleblower.

2. My Takeaways from the Book

This is a truly incredible story of narcissism and deception in modern day Silicon Valley where its startup leaders are often treated like gods among mortals. Depending on your standpoint considering venture capital and the billions of dollars dumped into startup companies with wild ideas and disruptive technologies, the Theranos story teeters on both good and evil.

Elizabeth Holmes idolized former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, down to his mannerisms, the clothes he wore, and his oft boorish management style. At 19 years old, the Stanford dropout founded a company with fantastic concepts for blood testing and analysis later known as Theranos. The concept is spellbinding. In fact, while reading the book I regularly found myself rooting for Theranos to substantiate its technology and win the day for the human race. It was not to be.

But along the way, the blinding quest for world altering disruption in the medical industry develops into a deception that snowballs almost uncontrollably. The unbelievable part is how Elizabeth and her #2 (and love interest) are able to dupe some of the most celebrated investors, business people, politicians, and thought leaders in the world into shamelessly promoting the company and its bogus technology

3. Review & Recommendation

I deeply enjoy reading about business, particularly startup companies, and the trials and tribulations of scaling and surviving. In fact, it is the reason I developed and worked for a number of small startup companies and why I founded a marketing agency to support the growth of local businesses in the digital age.

Although not as top-of-mind for teenagers and 20-somethings, the rest of us are keenly aware of our health and the responsibility to monitor it. But no one is excited about needle pricks and giving blood for examination. Elizabeth Holmes' dream was to provide the technology for real-time blood analysis by way of a harmless finger prick. She summoned Steve Jobs' passion in her efforts to encase the technology in sleek, tiny packages. Again and again, I found myself hoping it would become a reality at the turn of each page.

But the line between fantasy and reality is too often shrouded by hope, and hope ultimately doomed Theranos. As hope slowly decreased, paranoia in the company took over. Their efforts to cover tracks, control employees, dupe prospective clients, and shake down whistleblowers is legendary - and frightening. How can someone with such a grand vision for saving humanity be convinced to willingly put it in harm's way?

Buy Bad Blood and draw your own conclusions. Trust me, you will enjoy every page.

About The BridgeHouse Book Club

Terry Jensen is the Founder of BridgeHouse Marketing, a Digital Marketing Agency located in Redding, California. He is an avid reader with specific interest in marketing, advertising, sales, sports, basketball, coaching, consulting, investment, real estate, digital marketing technologies and practices, electronics, business, motivation, and self improvement. All views expressed in The BridgeHouse Book Club are intended for use as you see fit and not necessarily indicative of any beliefs, views, or practices listed within any certain book. In layman's terms, these are Terry's thoughts and words on a book. If you find value, that was his goal!

Terry Jensen | BridgeHouse Marketing | The BridgeHouse Blog

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