John Carreyrou: Theranos scandal is a cautionary tale

John Carreyrou broke the Theranos story in the Wall Street Journal and wrote “Bad Blood,” a book about the scandal. He talks with CNN’s Julia Chatterley about the rise and fall of the biotech startup.


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Comment (42)

  1. I think the investigation here is what had led Elizabeth Holmes to fake her voice and those giant bulging eyes more than the fraud of Theranos, like what would influence a person to think that a deeper voice would make them seem more authoritative to men; if men that are in power measure a person's ability of success by their deep voice, then it really raises a lot of questions about their minds.

  2. 5/4/19…..Steve Jobs wannabe SJW who dropped out of prestigious liberal CA college & scammed rich ppl out of hundreds of millions to promote her "blood test revolution".
    Her dad was VP of Enron—& so she was neighbors with lots of
    top notch rich ppl.
    WONDER what the trial results were? Need to Google I guess.

  3. I don't think she was charismatic at all. I think she had mental issues which prevented her to map on to reality but the fact she came from a very important family, her first network, the field she chose and the need for investors to find successful project in the e-health sector (e-health predictions by Gartner were super optimistic at that time and still are), her determination (ability) to appear someone fully dedicated to her project and her strange appearance probably helped her a lot. I mean there are a lot of startuppers with ideas like her but they didn't get funded. In addition to this you need to consider that she filed more than 200 patents for inoperable inventions but but at that time for investors was not common to see a startup with such a rich patent portfolio.

  4. The lesson of this story is the same as all lessons from all stories of fraud (Enron included): If it's too good to be true, it probably is. Rupert Murdoch could have killed this article but he didn't, which shows that he really knows the business of journalism, and he knows when and where he should cut his losses as a businessman.

  5. The interviewer interrupts, and also doesn't seem to really pay attention to his response…why does she keep looking back at the camera while the dude is looking at her trying to answer her question…

  6. The #metoo movement has created a monster. A narcissist, privileged woman that got dangerously close to getting access to all over our blood because billionaires and millionaires decided to look at dollars and possible profits instead of if the technology actually worked. They could’ve taken those hundreds of millions of dollars and invested in other actual research or even water filtration technology so that the flint water crisis never occurs in our country ever again. But then again that probably wouldn’t have made as much money. We all know healthcare is the only industry to provide a service and you never see the cost or how the cost was determined until after the service. Pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies and the politicians that get money to not care that their policies and protocols are unethical to the American people who don’t have any other options.

  7. I don't have a problem with getting money for a start up to invent a machine for blood testing. It's when she started to acquire funds for a machine that didn't work and telling people it did work.

  8. She needs to be jailed! If this was a young man doing this scam guaranteed he be going to jail for 20 years!!! Her crazy ass needs to pay the piper for being a phony and stealing from people!

  9. That female reporter's annoying lock bracelet won't stop moving around – talk about distracting. It's interfering with the freaking interview and it's clanking around – WHY would they let her wear this thing on the air ??? WTH?!!! More to the point – the Theranos leader and her old man creepy boyfriend CEO were both sociopaths. This author should have simply said she is a sociopath. Rather than her "convincing appeal".🤔

  10. Long ago I worked in a blood lab, as a lowly tech, so I'm not some PhD on the subject. I use to draw several tubes of blood from patients. Here's the thing. Most of the time you only have one needle puncture and the equipment is designed so you can easily fill the tubes without any change in the needle. The location of most needle punctures are in the crook of the arm which isn't sensitive, it's also less "dirty" generally speaking and you don't need to use that punctured spot later to do your daily business. A finger puncture is going to hurt more, you can't get it as clean, and a puncture is a puncture, it is now an open wound on your digit that you use to wipe your butt with, get the picture? The blood flow is lousy in a finger prick too. It made little sense to me to go around praising the finger prick as some sort of scientific improvement. You can lose a lot of blood and not be bothered by it, it's silly to make a big deal out of a few ml of blood. I'd much rather go to a competent lab and have a puncture in my elbow crook than poke holes in myself at some random piece of machinery the general public is sneezing all over.

  11. I think what she has done wrong is she keep on piling up her business problems and solved it with lies and excuses to buy time instead of being transparent. In the end, the mountain of piled problem burst and she has run out of answers and excuses to buy more time. This is a classical sci-fi movies storyline. I think her story is the best lesson for people that want to dive into startup. Solve your problem one by one as fast as possible. Don't create new problem to cover up your previous problem. Be transparent with your investors. Hire the best genius people in the field that you can afford. When things not working out the way you originally plan, take a pivot and adjust your product. Lastly, do not go too big too soon. I think that's the moral of the story.

  12. Everyone in comments after a huge thing like this break are always saying they wouldn't have been fooled, or they found the person creepy. Had you been there at the time you would have been fooled. This woman was a narcissist, she was exceptionally manipulative and the only people who really saw past this had inside information. She is creepy now, and she seems incredibly fake now, but at that time, before knowing anything about her, everyone was sucked in. That doesn't make you gullible, or less intelligent. She found a way to make her company seem legit, and the more people bought into this, the more believable and concrete it became. It's so easy to say ' I knew it' after the fact

  13. Just a comment about the "I hate needles" part of the whole Theranos pitch. I personally have only one bad memory from childhood of a blood test. It involved a finger prick. I assumed it was just a finger prick so it wouldn't hurt, but it hurt like hell. The ones in my arm never bothered me. Did Holmes manage even to dupe us about that?!?

  14. Once, for a year, I worked under a woman that behaved just like Holmes. She too had the fake "brightface," the faked little to no blinking eyes, and affected deep voice. She was a conniving psychopath. So I knew the first time I saw Holmes' TedMed talk in 2014 that she was a conniving psychopath. It was "elementary, my dear Watson."

    "Ignorance is Strength." I'm weak.


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