Theranos This Is How This Entrepreneur Deceived The Whole World

He promised to lead a technological revolution in the healthcare sector, but it was a scam that managed to raise millions of dollars. He was only 19 years old and the biggest promise in the entrepreneurial paradise of Silicon Valley. Elizabeth Holmes was the founder of Theranos, a startup that wanted to revolutionize the health sector with a technological tool that allowed blood tests to be carried out from home with just one drop. And, although lies tend to have very short legs, in his case the fraud lasted longer than normal. 

Therano's revolutionary technology caught the attention of leading businessmen, such as Carlos Slim and Henry Kissinger, and secured funding of € 1.4 billion before launching the product on the market. The expectation was such that the company got a valuation of more than 9,000 million dollars, a spectacular figure for a project led by such a young entrepreneur. Thus, everyone saw Elizabeth Holmes as the natural successor to Steve Jobs at the top of entrepreneurs. 

However, the reality is that behind Theranos, Holmes was hiding a real scam. Finally, the cake was discovered in 2015, when The Wall Street Journal journalist John Carreyrou managed to uncover the truth, thanks to the testimony of some former employees of the company who could not stand any longer in silence. Now, Carreyrou himself publishes Bad Blood in Spanish, a book that tells more details about the history of the scammer, with the testimonies of more than 150 people. 

One of them is that of the former CFO of Theranos, who was fired outright when Holmes found out he knew the secret. “Theranos 1.0 was actually a kind of game of chance. Sometimes I could get a result and sometimes not. The image on the computer screen, showing how the blood was flowing through the cartridge, was real. But you never knew if you were going to get a result or not. Mosley was dumbfounded. I thought the results were drawn in real time from the blood inside the cartridge. That was certainly what investors were led to believe,”he says. 

Furthermore, the absence of protocols was a recurring situation in the company. “Most companies went through three prototyping cycles before going to market with a product. But Theranos was already placing orders based on an untested first model. It was as if Boeing built an airplane and without doing a single flight test told the airline's passengers: 'Get on board,' ”the journalist writes. 

With this dubious model, Theranos managed to continue to grow and have 800 employees. However, the constant occultism and pressure that Holmes put on the workers - eavesdropping on their emails and firing someone every week without warning - ended up blowing the bubble. Almost six years later, the case is still in court, where things are not looking good for the scammer. 

The Theranos case is not the first ... Not the last 

Although the Theranos case is one of the best known scams in Silicon Valley - the company's large numbers have a lot to do with it - Holmes is not the first “entrepreneur” to try to become Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg by scamming big investors. from the United States. 

Although with much lower figures, another example is the case of Juicero, a startup dubbed "the nesspreso de los juices" and which raised 120 million dollars to make a juicer that they sold for 600 Euros. In fact, the preparation with which the juices were made could be extracted with one's own hands, which made the device a scam. 

Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva from Pexels

And, unfortunately, it won't be the last case either. Although it has not yet been proven, there are many doubts about Nikola, a company dedicated to the manufacture of an electric truck - in this case, its founder wants to imitate Elon Musk - which is already being investigated by the SEC and the American Department of Justice for his suspicions about an "intricate fraud". Although the company denies any scam, this could be the most similar deception case in numbers to that of Theranos, since it has large investors behind it. So much so, that General Motors has bought 11% of the company for 2 billion dollars.

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