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This book has 8 recommendations

Brad Feld (Co-Founder/Foundry Group)

Every entrepreneur and VC should read this book. John Carreyrou has done something important here. Maybe this book will finally put a nail in the phrase “fake it till you make it”, but I doubt it. The amount of lying, disingenuousness, blatant and unjustified self-promotion, and downright deceit that exists in entrepreneurship right now is at a local maximum. This always happens when entrepreneurship gets trendy. Carreyrou just wrote a long warning for entrepreneurs and VCs.

Bill Gates (Founder/Microsoft)

A bunch of my friends recommended this one to me. Carreyrou gives you the definitive insider’s look at the rise and fall of Theranos. The story is even crazier than I expected, and I found myself unable to put it down once I started. This book has everything: elaborate scams, corporate intrigue, magazine cover stories, ruined family relationships, and the demise of a company once valued at nearly $10 billion.

David Heinemeier Hansson (Co-Founder/Basecamp)

A gripping tale of a fake-it-till-you-make-it bet that did not pay off, resulted in hundreds of millions in dollars defrauded from investors and partners, and, most crucially, tons of patients who got the wrong answers on their blood tests. Some times to disastrous effects, financially or medically.

It’s also a fascinating study of human nature and how much we at times want to believe. Elizabeth Holmes was a character that so many people wanted to believe. Her story about disrupting moribund medical technology (with its stale insistence on “scientific rigor” and “verifiable results”) was too good to check. So good that a long list of Valley dignitaries all got suckered in.

Finally, there’s a rich vein of anecdotes on how destructive excessive loyalty, workaholism, investor pressures, and sleep deprivation can be to your morals, sanity, and manners.

Alexis Ohanian (Co-founder/Reddit)

The book, Bad Blood, was one of the best I read in 2018.

Andrew Chen (General Partner/Andreessen Horowitz)

Finished “bad blood” on the Theranos scandal. Wow. Just wow. It’s a must read for everyone in tech and startups. Amazing how far charisma and social proof got them. [...] Was one of my favorite reads of 2018.

John Collison (Co-founder/Stripe)

Looking for some Thanksgiving reading? Some recent reads I thought were great: [...] “Bad Blood” on Theranos.

Mikhail Dubov (Founder & CEO/Chattermill)

Other [books] are very useful stories that put your experience in context [...] Bad Blood.

Aidan Connolly (CEO/Caithus)

Bad Blood has become the book on what not to do in a startup.

Amazon description

The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech startup, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end, despite pressure from its charismatic CEO and threats by her lawyers.

In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup "unicorn" promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier.

Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes's worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn't work. A riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley.

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See more books recommended by

Brad Feld, Bill Gates, David Heinemeier Hansson, Alexis Ohanian, Andrew Chen, John Collison, Mikhail Dubov, Aidan Connolly

See more books written by

John Carreyrou


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