Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Theranos was not representative but it was indicative

Yet another example of how dysfunctional Silicon Valley venture capital culture has become. To be ball-peen hammer blunt, the combination of huge piles of money with credulity, hype, a flawed narrative, and magical heuristics has caused us to waste billions of dollars on incredibly stupid ideas and outright fraud.
Holmes and Balwani never allowed investors or anyone else from the outside to scrutinize the Theranos technology. Even staff who asked questions were ostracized, fired, and/or threatened. Investors were told they wouldn’t receive regular reports about the status of the company and that Theranos wasn’t going public anytime soon. And because nobody wanted to miss the opportunity to have a stake in the next Uber or Facebook, the questions always stopped. “In Silicon Valley over the past five years, it was easy to have that attitude,” Carreyrou said. “Money was flowing in from an area where it was so easy to get. So the second she got a question she didn’t like, or too many questions, she just shut off and was basically like, ‘If you don’t want to go by these rules, then I’ll just walk.’”


  1. I cannon find the reference but recently I was reading a short article on the "bubbles" in seventeenth and eighteenth Europe. One enterprising soul advertised shares for sale in a company that planned to do something (unspecified). The stock sold out and the organizer vanished.

    Clearly venture capitalists do not know any history.

  2. Perhaps this?