This book demands a quick read, it is exactly like a Netflix series  except for the fact that it is not fiction. Bad Blood is not about blood  sucking vampires or dangerous pathogens, it is really about delusional  people who are ready to go to any lengths to protect their ego.

It  tells the story of Elizabeth Holmes. She founded a revolutionary  bio-tech startup that hoped to change how blood tests worked. With a  small drop of blood, she claimed to have developed a technology that can  do most of the tests that big labs can do at a fraction of price in  almost real time. At it’s peak, “Theranos” is evaluated at a whooping $9  billion dollars making Holmes one of the richest female entrepreneurs  in the world.



The sad fact about Theranos (I accidentally typed  Thanos) is that it had a promising technology that would have worked if  Holmes was not stubborn, and would have pulled off some of the tests  realistically if she listened to scientists around her. Her extreme  defensiveness of the product compounded by bad company of Sunny, her  partner in crime never allowed her to see the light. She might have had  good intentions when starting the company but she is unable to accept  loss. Extreme loss aversion with cognitive dissonance made her cheat,  lie, fire her employees and play with the board members.

It is a  known fact that tech-companies overstate their capabilities and  investors are aware of this fact. But, it is very rare for a health care  startup to overstate their accuracy of tests and project billions of  dollars of revenue putting lives of people at risk. It is extremely  irresponsible and devastating. I hope that Theranos does not stop VC’s  from investing in health care. There is a lot of scope that technology  can bring to healthcare, we should learn our lesson from Theranos. We  should proceed with caution whenever a company claims to do something  outlandish and never publishes a single article in a peer reviewed  journal. I would strongly recommend reading this book for touching a  spectrum of moral issues around startups and technology.