Once valued at $9 billion, Theranos Inc promised to revolutionize how patients receive diagnoses by replacing traditional labs with small machines envisioned for use in homes, drugstores and even on the battlefield.
Forbes dubbed Holmes the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire in 2014, when she was 30 and her stake in Theranos was worth $4.5 billion.
But the startup collapsed after a series of articles in the Wall Street Journal in 2015 questioned its technology.
Personally, i feel sorry for Holmes. She had a good idea but could not get technology to match expectations. That is always a risk of new technologies.
Apparently she went too far with her optimistic projections and didn’t know when to throw in the towel. That must be a problem for anyone with a failing idea. Promotions based on optimism are standard practice but lying goes too far. A jury decided she crossed the line.
Well, not exactly. She said they already had the technology, were in the process of rolling it out at scale, and took millions (billions!) off dollars from people and corporations who believed her.
To use the more complicated legal parlance, it was fraud .
Again no. She made positive assertions that things were already working when she knew full well they were not. She had evidence that the tests were failing, that behind the scenes they were shipping the samples to other commercial labs for analysis, that they were nowhere close to anything like what they were promising.
This is not “optimism”, this is fraud