Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

Author: John Carreyrou

Written by the Wall Street Journal reporter who broke the story, this book chronicles the relentless rise and subsequent demise of Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, who founded the company on false claims of having devised a system for performing blood tests using only a small droplet extracted from a subject’s finger.

While I generally review business books that directly impact the outsourcing profession, I couldn’t resist reviewing this book since it has many implications on the outsourcing – albeit indirectly.  Although this book reads like a “fiction,” it is the truth about a company spearheaded by unethical leaders and gullible investors who bought into it.  As pointed out often in this book, taking a “vision” and overpromising its effectiveness is akin to what many software companies have done by announcing features and results long before they can be delivered bug-free



“This book is a wakeup call for many service providers who have overpromised and underdelivered. It also reflects on a small number of unethical service providers in the outsourcing industry that have mirrored what this book documents – greed, lies and manic leaders. It also well documents the need for independent and strong governance (by the Board in this case).  As we begin to buy into the hype of RPA and AI affecting the outsourcing industry, this book provides a manual on what to look out for from unethical providers.” – Jag Dalal, COP, Chief Advisor, Thought Leadership IAOP

“You will not want to put this riveting masterfully reported book down. No matter how bad you think Theranos story was, you’ll learn that the reality was actually far worse.” - Bethany McLean, Best-selling author

Bad Blood tackles some serious ethical questions, but it is ultimately a thriller with a tragic ending. It’s a fun read full of bizarre details that will make you gasp out loud.” – Bill Gates (Bill Gates Blog review)

What’s Inside:

The book chapters take us through the initiation and evolution of Theranos as a company started with Elizabeth Holmes’ vision of providing blood testing in a radically different way. It also details the culture and environment of the company that allowed the two senior executives (who are now under indictment for fraud) to control the narrative and hoodwink not just the investment houses but their board as well as federal regulators.


Available formats: Print and digital versions.


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