In 2004, 19-year-old Stanford University student Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of her chemical engineering program to incorporate a company she had founded the previous year; her plan was to revolutionize blood testing to make it faster, easier on patients, and far more accessible than existing methods allowed. The company was named Theranos.
Skip ahead to 2018, and the company is all but done, with its promise to change the world left unfulfilled, its investors (who poured in roughly a billion dollars) burned, and its founder in a world of legal trouble.
That’s all I should tell you about this case: The Dropout, a podcast series from ABC News that recently concluded, explores the tangled web that is the Theranos saga, and is worth a listen if you want to learn more.
Host Rebecca Jarvis reveals how this is about more than just the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire; it’s a story about being blinded by ambition, to the point that you’ll do anything to see your vision become a reality. It’s also a story about how Silicon Valley dreams can turn into nightmares.
Having written about Theranos and Holmes numeroustimesover thepast few years, I found this seven-episode show hard to turn off. But I’m happy to recommend it to anyone who’s interested in white-collar crime. If you recently enjoyed the schadenfreude fest that was Netflix’ and Hulu’s duo of documentaries on the Fyre festival, you’ll love this.
Find out more about The Dropouton this page, and tune into the podcast for free by subscribing to it in your preferred app. There’s also a book about Theranos’ downfall by The Wall Street Journal’s John Carreyrou, and an upcoming documentary from HBO that’s slated to land on March 18.
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