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.
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.
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.
I’m in the bag for Matt Damon and this is a fun interview. It was set up to talk about Rounders (a movie I enjoy very much) but he also spends time talking about his contemporaries and how they came up in the 90’s