Bad Blood by John Carreyrou

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup is the fascinating , and infuriating, story of Theranos, a Silicon Valley startup that promised a host of common blood tests performed from a single drop of finger-pricked blood on a machine that you could have in your home. It is exactly the kind of pie-in-the sky idea that gets a startup funded with piles and piles of money, and Theranos definitely got piles of money. John Carreyrou is a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and his work covering this company led to the discovery of massive fraud and general bad practices that eventually led to the dissolution of Theranos, altogether.

Elizabeth Holmes, the founder and CEO, is obvs. a bad person lacking any kind of moral compass. An impossibly self-obsessed, and weirdly Steve Jobs-obsessed, monster who cast aside the concepts of patient safety and fiduciary honesty to pump up the profile and funding of her company. I’m not spoiling anything when I tell you not to worry, she gets her just desserts in the end.

The story is very well-told and Carreyrou keeps up the journalistic tone even when he becomes a part of the story, as Theranos starts suing him for his reporting. Startup culture seems miserable. The fake-it-til-you-make-it mindset that was foundational to so many successful companies just doesn’t work when you’re trying to “disrupt healthcare”. “Fudging some numbers” when people’s lives are potentially at stake is fucking monstrous, no matter your valuation.

It is important to remember that there are lots of stories where the Bad Guys lose. This is one of them. It’s an an idea that could use more play nowadays, IMO.

SaMcast 95: No Thank You Bites

Adam and I keep on having fun with these. 95 is a big number.

Followup and Footnotes

Pink Floyd “Echoes” in Pompeii

I’m on the record as anti-Pink Floyd. I find the songs that make heavy rotation on the radio to be insufferable and interminable. People I trust keep insisting that there is a lot of good music in that catalog and that I’m an ass for not checking it out. I’ve done some work on it and I came across this video from a 1971 recording they did of their song “Echoes”. It’s really good.

I’m still not a fan (and I’m damn-sure not getting any on my Classic Rock Playlist), but I’m willing to admit that I enjoy this performance of this song. There may be more to come.

The Cure “A Forest” from 1979

Holy mackerel this is great.

Pre-hair-and-makeup Robert Smith is a damn handsome man and the band just *kills* this. I have to agree with the comments there at the bass line is the standout winner.

And, in a broader sense, I think people underrate The Cure as a band name. It’s gotta be top 50 All Time. And then that they had so many great songs? Damn.

Q2 and Q3 catchup playlist

Here’s another occasional “bucket of songs that caught Mike’s fancy” playlist. This was a fun 6 months of listening. Putting it together I got to relive my little trip from ambient music and fuzzed out drone to hip hop and 20th century country music.

There can be some jarring transitions from song to song but I am way into all of the songs on this list. Give it a listen, I hope you enjoy it.

Safe As Milk Podcast 93 – Adam Broke His Edge

Good times and a couple of chuckles while we talk about some shows and podcasts we’ve been enjoying and then Mike closes us out with a Public Service Announcement.

Followup and Footnotes

Safe As Milk Podcast 92 – Mike Played a Game

No, seriously, Adam put a game into the outline and Mike played it all the way through. This has only happened twice in the storied history of our humble podcast.

Followup and Footnotes