intro’d to Elizabeth here:
Phlebotomy. Even the word sounds archaic—and that’s nothing compared to the slow, expensive, and inefficient reality of drawing blood and having it tested. As a college sophomore, Elizabeth Holmes envisioned a way to reinvent old-fashioned phlebotomy and, in the process, usher in an era of comprehensive superfast diagnosis and preventive medicine. That was a decade ago. Holmes, now 30, dropped out of Stanford and founded a company called Theranos with her tuition money.
Progressing as a Teenage Entrepreneur
Published on Aug 28, 2013
Elizabeth Holmes, President and CEO of Theranos, recalls that she did not intend to drop out of Stanford at the age of 19. She was simply taking so much time to talk to VCs that she ended up skipping a plethora of classes.
it’s not about age…it’s about getting people to believe in you – by believing in yourself..it may take a lot longer than you think.. but it’s about keeping that conviction in yourself..
The Essentials of Team Building
Published on Aug 28, 2013
Chemists, investors, software engineers, biomathematicians, etc., – and how they interact and build on one another’s discoveries – are the crux of a young company’s success, says Theranos President and CEO Elizabeth Holmes,
the people you choose to work with absolutely determine success/failure
Leveraging the Talent Network
Published on Aug 28, 2013
Candidate evaluation and recruitment is a very difficult process, says Theranos President and CEO Elizabeth Holmes. But it’s not just technical excellence that makes the right employee. It’s also a hunger for project ownership that is a necess
technically – people need to be excellent.. but that’s only 50%… people need to have the hunger… they need to own it..
At Theranos, we’re working to shape the future of lab testing. Now, for the first time, our high-complexity CLIA-certified laboratory can perform your tests quickly and accurately on samples as small as a single drop.
have made it locally available via walgreens. have made results time shortened to 4 hrs..at 5 min – showing how small the collection of blood was.. ie: didn’t need a juice box, et al..
Elizabeth Holmes revolutionizes blood testing at Theranos – usa today
access to actionable health info at the time it matters most – is a basic human right.
enabling everyone – no matter how much money or where they live.
Blood Work with Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos | Full Interview – disrupt sf
over last 10 yrs – in the shadows..17 min – looking for systemic changeneed to save money and keep people out of the hospital19 min – making sure we have the right people is what it’s all about..
i believe the individual is the answer to the challenge of healthcare.. but we can’t depend on individuals …unless they have access to the tools…healthcare is the leading cause of bankruptcy..we define diagnosis as the determination of the presence of disease.. yet diseases often begin so much earlier than when symptoms first appear.we see a world in which every person has access to actionable health info at the time it matters.a world in which no one has to say – if only i’d known sooner..i can buy a tank.. but i can’t order a blood based pregnancy or allergy test…when individuals have access to info about their bodies.. they can begin to change the outcomes..today – 80 million americans who are pre diabetic and 90% of them don’t know that they areengagement comes with knowledge. knowledge comes with access.
redefine the paradigm of diagnosis: a way from one in which people have to present with a symptom in order to get access about info about their bodies.
a decentralized infrastructure with the oversight in analytics of a centralized pathology framework
40-60% of people are not compliant with the requisition from a physician to go get a lab test done – because they can’t afford it – even if they’re insured.. – because they’re scared of needles.. – because of inaccessibility of location during times they could go
Although she can quote Jane Austen by heart, she no longer devotes time to novels or friends, doesn’t date, doesn’t own a television, and hasn’t taken a vacation in ten years. Her refrigerator is all but empty, as she eats most of her meals at the office. She is a vegan, and several times a day she drinks a pulverized concoction of cucumber, parsley, kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, and celery.
The wonderful thing about the way I was raised is that no one ever told me that I couldn’t do those things.”
At Stanford, she had been exploring what has become known as lab-on-a-chip technology, which allows multiple measurements to be taken from tiny amounts of liquid on a single microchip. “With the type of engineering work and systems I had been focussing on at Stanford, it was quite clear that there were much better ways to do it,” she said.
Robertson was impressed by the idea but urged her to at least consider finishing her degree first. “Why?” she responded. “I know what I want to do.”
Holmes was consumed by the idea of developing a company. “I got to a point where I was enrolled in all these courses, and my parents were spending all this money, and I wasn’t going to any of them,” she said. “I was doing this full time.” Her parents allowed her to take the money they had set aside for tuition and use it to seed her company. In March, 2004, she dropped out of Stanford; one month later, she incorporated Theranos (the name is a combination of “therapy” and “diagnosis”). She persuaded Robertson to spend one day a week as a technical adviser to the company and to serve as her first board member. Eventually, he retired from his tenured position, and began working at Theranos full time.
Robertson introduced Holmes to several venture capitalists. She insisted that they abide by her terms, which included an understanding that she would retain control and pour the profits back into the company.
He and Holmes spoke often, and they shared a belief that software, not just chemistry or biology, mattered. If Theranos was going to be able to analyze a few drops of blood, engineers would have to develop the software to do it. In 2009, Balwani joined as C.O.O. and president. “Our platform is about automation,” he says. “We have automated the process from start to finish.”
Theranos has managed to keep its technology a secret for much of its decade of existence in part because it occupies a regulatory gray area.
Holmes said that the company has long resisted discussing how its technology works or how it makes money in order to avoid tipping off potential competitors.
Theranos owes its success in part to its high-powered board, which Holmes corralled with the help of George Shultz, a Palo Alto resident, who, in his long career, has held four Cabinet positions, including Secretary of the Treasury and Secretary of State. Shultz is ninety-three and a fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution; Holmes first met him in 2011. “It was one of those scheduled ten-minute meetings that turn into a two-hour meeting,” she said.
Kissinger, who is ninety-one, told me that Holmes “has a sort of ethereal quality—that is to say, she looks like nineteen. And you say to yourself, ‘How is she ever going to run this?’ ” She does so, he said, “by intellectual dominance; she knows the subject.”
Board members are clearly charmed by Holmes. She is a careful listener, and she is unnervingly serene; employees say that they can’t remember an instance when she raised her voice. “
Holmes believes that the seventy-five-billion-dollar testing marketplace could grow to two hundred billion dollars, as more people take it upon themselves to go to a pharmacy and request blood tests for pregnancy, high cholesterol, and other common medical issues.
Holmes says she is acutely aware that technology could disrupt Theranos. “We focus all the time on disrupting ourselves, and that’s one of the core tenets in the way we operate,” she said. “Silicon Valley is a great symbol of disruptive technology being able to, one, change the world, and, two, obsolete itself.”
controversy.. et al..
oct 2015 – interview with Maria Shriver:
8 min – when we realized we were doing something different than everyone else..
the human spirit at its best.. concept to dream to reality
11 min – in this country we can go buy weapons and kill ourselves.. but we can’t buy our own info.. we have to go thru dr et al
12 min – starting in arizona.. because able to draft/pass bipartisan law for patients to get access
13 min – on the ability to afford health care…
15 min – do you feel like you’re doing something meaningful… yeah, everyday, all the time.
on change – esp not easy in healthcare.. it’s so regulated and so resistant to change.. yet so responsible..
16 min – on every vc thinking what i was doing was crazy… wanting to change entire lab..
17 min – when you see something that seems impossible.. see a bigger purpose/cause .. keeps you going..
18 min – it became clear to me that if i were fired or wasn’t running this company.. i would still go do this.. i would start it over again and just do it better.. it matters.. do you realize the mission.. not about me.. about the mission..
21 min – that’s what happens when you do something new… (ie: bad ripple effects)
23 min – advice: 1\ why you’re doing what you’re doing drives everything 2\ don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do it
25 min – our mission: doing whatever it takes to have less people have to say goodbye too soon
27 min – on abilities internationally where no healthcare systems to leapfrog
29 min – board: george schultz, henry kissinger, sam shun – good on long term strategy
32 min – one thing to change in political system: empower individual…
33 min – at the end of the day.. we’re all human.. we’re all patients… powerful.. a non partisan issue.. (on working with govt’s)
34 min – on science of this: one of main reasons people don’t get this access is fear of needles.. so focus on tiny sample based testing.. meant redeveloping whole infrastructure… trying to solve a diff problem… access at time/place patient shows up
38 min – q: on what can we do.. a: demand access
39 min – i began learning by reading.. then by failing.. then by pulling in amazing people (on building business)
oct 2015 – statement from theranos
Stories like this come along when you threaten to change things, seeded by entrenched interests that will do anything to prevent change, but in the end nothing will deter us from making our tests the best and of the highest integrity for the people we serve, and continuing to fight for transformative change in health care.
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/FastCompany/status/685024141787934720
The Theranos Story and Education Technology by @biblioracle
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/audreywatters/status/1001840805596811264
Audrey Watters has cataloged the history of these failed revolutions, and they are almost all nearly identical in their failure to grapple with the complexity of how we learn.
The explanation for the failure of these ed tech ventures as well as Theranos is in the inherent disconnect between the customer and the user. Theranos was selling to Walgreens and Safeway, not the people whose blood would be tested. Both companies had a vested interest in buying into Holmes’ fraud.
Ultimately it was people inside of Theranos who took the “first do no harm” message of the Hippocratic Oath seriously who helped blow the whistle on Holmes’ fraud.
@biblioracle (and here’s another nice tie-in between ed-tech and Theranos: Sal Khan of Khan Academy fame interviewing Elizabeth Holmes) https://t.co/DZgOE9RcQM
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/audreywatters/status/1001841097260306433
2015 – 1 hr long
Dov Seidman (@DovSeidman) tweeted at 6:15 AM – 14 Jun 2018 :
Worth pausing to reflect on @alansmurray’s “most chilling takeaway” of @JohnCarreyrou’s book Bad Blood: “the number of smart people who bought” Theranos’ Elizabeth Holmes’ “aspirational story, in spite of ample warning signs that it was a fraud” https://t.co/WXzwXvNb5x (http://twitter.com/DovSeidman/status/1007235077015826432?s=17)
John Carreyrou (@JohnCarreyrou) tweeted at 6:06 AM – 14 Jun 2018 :
Great win for @alexgibneyfilm, who is working on an @HBO documentary about the Theranos scandal: Judge orders he can have access to deposition videotapes. https://t.co/KlwYXLbmR8 (http://twitter.com/JohnCarreyrou/status/1007232817141637120?s=17)
indictments.. 20 yrs max in prison
Nicholas Thompson (@nxthompson) tweeted at 3:57 PM – 19 Jul 2018 :
This is so good. A @page88 feminist reading of the diabolical Elizabeth Holmes, a woman for whom there really was no prior template. https://t.co/lsZmK0Jjxr(http://twitter.com/nxthompson/status/1020065061086408704?s=17)
thanks library.. read bad blood
Packy McCormick (@packyM) tweeted at 5:55 AM – 15 Jul 2018 :
Recently read Bad Blood (Theranos), Red Card (FIFA), American Kingpin (Silk Road) and The Smartest Guys in the Room (Enron). Takeaway: people do bad things for money, fame and power, and even worse things to cover those original bad things up. (http://twitter.com/packyM/status/1018463985996320768?s=17)