Mark Zuckerberg, Justin, Larry Ellison discussed on The Great Fail

The Great Fail


Alert. It did not almost three years. After the company imploded. it continues to receive tonnes of coverage articles books podcasts documentaries and movies because the public's tenacious obsession with theranos is failure is just as a live now as when we were enraptured by the young founders promised to revolutionize the health sector at the center of it all was its pioneer the charismatic elizabeth holmes who was a nineteen year old stanford dropout when she started the company back in two thousand and three homes and her power of persuasion promised to disrupt a system of traditional pathology that she deemed archaic unsophisticated and even inhumane. What she came up with was an instrument that would allow people to take single simple blood test and see immediate results a proposition that would make her. The youngest ever self made billionaire. Now what i found so fascinating about fairness was that in interviews with former employees. They all talked about the corporate culture within the company which was based on secrecy paranoia and intimidation all perpetuated by homes at the helm. My name's justin maxwell and my physician at theranos was the needlessly lofty head of user centered design and development which translated to desire. Justin was one of these employees and in this episode. He'll explain why the corporate culture turned out to be the precise type of environment that allowed for a company like theranos to thrive to cover up its intricate labyrinth of lies and for more than a decade full powerful investors leaders and innovation and the entire world as we waited eagerly for homes vision to become a reality. The thoroughness story is a master class. in toxic. corporate culture anyone who's been in a noxious work ecosystem will recognize moves from the theranos playbook to understand how theranos cultivated its culture. Let's go back to the beginning. When elizabeth holmes dropped out of stanford university in two thousand and three she ready had a plan she had conceptualized a state of the our blood testing diagnostic device that would enable people to inexpensively analyzed their blood with a single needle prick the sample testing for around two hundred conditions within minutes and by using the words therapy and diagnosis homes form. The word theranos the company that would raise over nine hundred million dollars over the next decade and become a darling in the tech community by two thousand and thirteen theranos introduced itself to the world and was met with bold headlines celebrating the promise of its invention the inside deal with walgreens the second largest pharmacy chain in the united states to install theranos blood testing boots in forty of its retail chains. They also signed on capital blue. Cross cleveland clinic to offer the testing kits. The also formed a partnership with safeway or three hundred and fifty million dollars at the height in two thousand and fourteen theranos was valley to close to ten billion dollars with homes having more than fifty percent ownership. The young ceo became an overnight sensation rubbing shoulders with high profiled. Movers and shakers rupert murdoch. The oracle founder. Larry ellison she even made friends with bill clinton. The media also went wild for her with features in the new yorker forbes tech crunch the new york times style magazine amongst many others for a while they loved homes her quirkiness and intensity. The press embraced her uncharacteristically peculiar ways. Comparing her to the next steve jobs as she traversed silicon valley in her version of the iconic black turtleneck those who came in contact with homes talked about her like she was ethereal being it attract talent from the biggest companies like apple and people that wanted to be a part of this moment. Well what attracted me about. The position was the hype that had been built up around it. So i had been told about the opportunity while i was still at apple and it was presented to me as as a special squad opportunity where some of us would be taken over from apple. Chew this biotech company. With a steve jobs like figure they were going to change the world and the fact that this person was a woman meant even more after. All of silicon valley breakout stars. Mark zuckerberg sergey brin steve jobs cure. Was this young attractive. Brilliant and charming woman who commanded the respects and even admiration of the oldest man on her board the media was ready for someone like homes and many were happy to place her on a pedestal. That is until the wall street journal article that shattered the illusion on october fifteenth. The wall street journal began publishing an in-depth expose on the company. Journalists john carroll. Roux had received a tip that led him to the ex employees who claim that not only did. The technology never work but the company heavily orchestrated methods to deceive the public. The scandal astounded in paralyzed the entire v. c. and medical world theranos. The company had seized attention with the ultimate promise of how technology could make a great leap forward and change our world for the better was quickly revealed as a sham ex employees described. What a shit show. It really was behind the scenes. And that was that the prototype blood testing machine. The edison actually didn't work like for instance was occurring at walgreens beneath its sophisticated. Blood testing unit was actually lots of broken parts. Exploding centrifuges and machinery coated with sticky blood. Although edison was claimed to be capable of testing two hundred diseases the reality was it was more like twenty diseases former employees admitted that the testing was so off that if one hundred people had syphilis and they were tested only sixty would return with positive test results. The wall street journal article snowballed two weeks after the article came out the fda release a statement that it was performing an investigation of theranos equipment. And the next month the three hundred and fifty million dollar deal with safeway fell apart. Theranos unleashed its team of attorneys. And there were many of them all against the media but that didn't deter the wall street journal in fact that december another article alleged rigged test results from theranos. This time walgreens announced it was suspending. All of the testing at the theranos wellness center until all matters got resolved. Except it never did. By two thousand eighteen things were becoming crystal-clear theranos was charged with massive fraud by the us securities and exchange commission holding homes and bhawani who were actually found to be lovers but hid that from the investors also but for them to be liable for criminal charges in the elaborate scheme that raised more than seven hundred million dollars and for making false statements about their business and technology to its investors and partners. How in the world did so. Many people get.

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