Reading: Bad Blood

> 2021-01-07

This piece is on Bad Blood [1] by John Carreyrou [2].

I was familiar with the story of Elizabeth Holmes [3] and her company Theranos [4] but the book provided greater insight into how she interacted with people regarding her work.

It is unclear whether her extreme focus on “her mission” was a manipulative effort or actual self-denial; her actions could support both positions.

There are many instances of Holmes legally pursuing whistleblowers and publicly attacking external detractors - essentially anyone threatening the positive perception of Theranos. This seems to support a more manipulative scenario.

Within the company, parallels are found where Holmes would physically give employees a cold shoulder for lack of enthusiasm or lambasting them for perceived lapses in loyalty. These internal episodes point towards self-denial - shutting out anything that conflicts with her perception of reality.

To me, it’s inconclusive but the latter would be a more interesting situation.

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