Bad Blood Book Summary

Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

by John Carreyrou18


Bad Blood exposes the rise and catastrophic fall of Theranos, a Silicon Valley startup, revealing how its founder Elizabeth Holmes deceived investors and jeopardized patients' lives with faulty blood-testing technology.

What is Bad Blood about

Bad Blood by John Carreyrou delves into the fraudulent rise and fall of Theranos, a Silicon Valley startup founded by Elizabeth Holmes. Holmes was lauded as an innovator akin to Steve Jobs, promising to revolutionize medical testing with a device that could run comprehensive tests from a single drop of blood. However, Carreyrou reveals that the technology was flawed and dangerous, leading to misdiagnoses and putting patients at risk. The book, grounded in rigorous investigative journalism, provides a detailed account of the deception, ambition, and unethical practices that plagued the company.

Bad Blood 6 Key Takeaways

The Mirage of Innovation

Theranos promised a revolutionary blood-testing technology that could conduct multiple tests from a single drop of blood, but it was all an illusion.

Corporate Fraud

Despite knowing the technology's flaws, Elizabeth Holmes and Sunny Balwani continued to raise funds, making Theranos one of the biggest corporate frauds in history.

Culture of Fear

Holmes and Balwani created a culture of fear and secrecy within Theranos, silencing employees and whistleblowers through intimidation and lawsuits.

Impact on Patients

Faulty test results from Theranos put patients at risk of incorrect treatments and misdiagnoses, highlighting the ethical breaches in the company's operations.

Journalistic Rigor

Carreyrou's meticulous investigative journalism not only exposed the fraud but also showcased the importance of accountability in both media and corporate practices.

Legal Consequences

The book concludes with the legal repercussions faced by Holmes and Balwani, underscoring the eventual triumph of justice.

Bad Blood Best Reviews

  • “Chilling ... Reads like a thriller ... Carreyrou tells [the Theranos story] virtually to perfection.” —The New York Times Book Review
  • “Bad Blood is a compelling read that captures the theatre of deception and the human cost of corporate greed.” —Financial Times

Top Bad Blood Quotes

  • "The story of Theranos is a sobering reminder of the dangers of hype and the need for transparency and accountability."
  • "Elizabeth Holmes was touted as the next Steve Jobs, but her empire was built on a foundation of lies."

Who should read Bad Blood?

Bad Blood is essential reading for anyone interested in corporate ethics, entrepreneurship, and investigative journalism. Business professionals, medical practitioners, and general readers fascinated by real-life corporate scandals will find this book both eye-opening and compelling.

About the Author

John Carreyrou is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist known for his investigative reporting. He has worked for The Wall Street Journal and has exposed numerous high-profile scandals. Bad Blood is his first book, showcasing his dedication to uncovering the truth behind the Theranos deception.

Bad Blood FAQs

What is the story of Bad Blood?

Bad Blood tells the inside story of Theranos, a Silicon Valley startup that risked lives with a fraudulent blood-testing device, ultimately revealed through rigorous investigative journalism.

Is Bad Blood book a movie?

Yes, a film adaptation of Bad Blood was announced in 2021, starring Jennifer Lawrence, written by Vanessa Taylor, and directed by Adam McKay.

What was Bad Blood written about?

Bad Blood was written about the rise and fall of Theranos and its founder Elizabeth Holmes, exposing the fraudulent practices and ethical breaches in the company.