John Carreyrou proclaimed the Theranos incident as “one of the most epic failures in corporate governance in the
annals of American capitalism.” Many people believe that the somewhat shady culture of Silicon Valley led to the fraudulent business taking shape. The “win at all cost” and “fake it until you make it” ideologies helped many entrepreneurs become successful in the valley, but Theranos taught us that these same mantras should not be applied to the medical field where human lives are at stake.
The lack of accountability also played a role. The board of Theranos and federal regulators did not oversee operations to an acceptable extent. Furthermore, potential whistleblowers were met with threats of lawsuits. This toxic culture was purely unsustainable. False representation is a serious offense in business, and in the medical industry, it is purely unacceptable. Holmes falsely represented her technology to all kinds of stakeholders including investors, doctors, and patients.
Justice is bringing Holmes and Theranos back down to earth. Currently, Holmes and former chief operating officer and president Ramesh Balwani are facing criminal charges. They have pleaded not guilty, but potentially face 20 years in prison. Let this entire situation be a lesson that Silicon Valley startups led by seemingly invincible leadership are often more fragile than they seem. Carreyrou exclaims, “When you enter industries where lives are in the balance, you can’t really just iterate and debug as you’re going. You have to get your product working first.” If you have any questions about Theranos, blood withdrawal, or phlebotomy training, feel free to contact PhlebotomyU today.