Hi this is Fred from IVisible,
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In this video, I will talk about Theranos’ founder conviction
– Democratisation of personal health accessibility
– Low amount of blood required to run tests on a new technology
What do those statements make you think about?
Well, those were some of Elyzabeth Holme pitch content. I spent a lot of hours watching either the documentaries available online and the series provided by Disney Channel which was very well crafted by the way.
I have put a list of videos and articles which you can watch on your own time if you want to know more about this case.
Going back to our topic, I will not give you details about the facts because I will need to create a full documentary on this story. So I will give my opinion regarding Elyzabeth Holmes.
First, I would like you to spend a few seconds remembering a time when you have been duped. Do you remember how it felt? Do you remember the feeling of being angry or sad or distressed?
Now, when it comes to dealing with our health, nobody likes to be told that a medical procedure has a risk of failure. However, you trust experts and you assume that the given advice is honest and for your own well-being.
Elyzabeth Holmes spent countless hours talking as if she was an expert in the field of medical testing. She purposely lied and made up a false personality in order to fit into a business environment that encourages white males to succeed without completing a higher education plan. For example, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg did not complete their degrees. (Academic-Writing.org, 2017)
So, we can assume that she may have been inspired by this type of behavior as a tech entrepreneur.
To me she is the epiphany of what an entitled scammer looks like.
She, as a white upper-class woman, had the opportunity to do so much good around her.
Instead, she chose to convince investors to inject huge amounts of money, almost $1 billion, for about 12 to 15 years without showing any real progress. (Ramsdell, 2019)
although some of the investors were not the most ethical and fair people on this planet.
She spoke passionately about her concept which was only a concept.
And for our own curiosity, we should spend some time defining a concept. It is an abstract idea and due to its intangible character, in the business world, concepts should be worked on as much as possible within the scope of contemporary technology in order to meet customers’ needs. (Cambridge Dictionary, 2022)
Customers and investors are not the only stakeholders that businesses should be concerned about. With the increased attention on corporate social responsibility, it was clear that Theranos needed a strong ethic manifesto and commitment to design a machine capable of collecting, analysing and delivering accurate test results in a timely manner. (Chen, 2021)
So, it is not SMART to bring an unfinished machine on the market. Furthermore, the basics were missing in Theranos’ approach to entrepreneurship.
They did not even spend time on some sort of research that could be the way to understanding what gap was missing or already readily available in the marketplace. Can we expect to see a concept car getting approved for production without all the health and safety compliance checked?
But why do I care about this story?
The answer to this question is that Theranos used people’s desperation for fast blood testing, pain, and hopes for a better future to its advantage in order to gain funding.
Funding that the disabled community needs and could use adequately in cancer research or any other type of research related to incurable diseases, for that matter.
Many examples of neglected research areas which are underfunded came to my mind such as addiction diseases (www.medicalnewstoday.com, n.d.), domestic violence recovery (Domestic abuse charities can apply for vital funds, 2020), housing for homelessness (Homeless Link, n.d.), postpartum psychosis cure (NHS, 2021), depression and anxiety cure (NHS, 2021), people touched by hunger and food deserts (Brones, 2018), heart diseases cure (Conditions, 2020), malaria (WHO, 2021) and chikungunya (www.who.int, n.d.) cures to name a few.
This is why being a white female made Elyzabeth Holme at the top of the list for funding and rather than helping others, she indulged in counterproductive behavior and gave an ugly face to entrepreneurship.
Personally, I believe that too many white people have it too easy and pretend to be educated, intelligent and experts whilst others have a hard time getting noticed even when working really hard to achieve their goals and dreams.
Indeed, most Silicon Valley tech firms have less than 2% black employees and I was unable to find statistics on the percentage of disabled people being part of the workforce, so diversity-wise, it is mediocre. (Kim, n.d.,Wong, 2017)
This is not a sign of innovation but simply pure arrogance and an open display of discriminatory and racist behavior.
That is all for me today, I hope you did enjoy this video, and let me know what you think about the topic in the comment section.
Thanks for listening and see you in the next video!
List of video and articles :
– Elizabeth Holmes: The ‘Valley of Hype’ behind the rise and fall of Theranos [documentary] – YouTube
– Theranos – Silicon Valley’s Greatest Disaster – YouTube
– The downfall of Elizabeth Holmes: Is the young billionaire going to jail? | 60 Minutes Australia – YouTube
– The spectre of Theranos looms large over the diagnostic world | WIRED UK
– Elizabeth Holmes Trial Witness Allegedly Went to Her House Last Month (businessinsider.com)
– Former Theranos exec Sunny Balwani convicted of 12 counts of fraud | Theranos | The Guardian
– Erika Cheung: Theranos, whistleblowing and speaking truth to power | TED :
– Tyler Shultz reacts to Elizabeth Holmes verdict – YouTube
– Widow of Theranos’ former chief scientist speaks out following Elizabeth Holmes’ conviction – YouTube
– Elizabeth Holmes SCANDAL – Body Language That Reveals The Lies – YouTube
– Academic-Writing.org (2017). Mark Zuckerberg and His Education. [online] Academic-Writing.org. Available at: https://academic-writing.org/blog/mark-zuckerberg-education/.
– Ramsdell, T. (2019). Theranos: A cautionary tale of ethics and entrepreneurship. [online] CU Denver Business School News. Available at: https://business-news.ucdenver.edu/2019/05/24/theranos-a-cautionary-tale-of-ethics-and-entrepreneurship/#:~:text=Over%20its%2012-15-year%20lifespan%2C%20Theranos%20raised%20almost%20%241 [Accessed 8 Sep. 2022].
-Cambridge Dictionary (2022). concept. [online] @CambridgeWords. Available at: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/learner-english/concept [Accessed 8 Sep. 2022].
– Chen, J. (2021). Learn What Stakeholders Are and the Roles That They Play. [online] Investopedia. Available at: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/stakeholder.asp#:~:text=Key%20Takeaways%3A%201%20A%20stakeholder%20has%20a%20vested.
– Kim, E. (n.d.). What it’s like to be black in Silicon Valley. [online] Business Insider. Available at: https://www.businessinsider.com/being-black-in-silicon-valley-2016-7?r=US&IR=T#:~:text=Source%3A%20Medium%20In%20fact%2C%20according%20to%20the%20American [Accessed 8 Sep. 2022].
– Wong, J.C. (2017). Segregated Valley: the ugly truth about Google and diversity in tech. The Guardian. [online] 7 Aug. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/aug/07/silicon-valley-google-diversity-black-women-workers.
– WHO (2021). WHO recommends groundbreaking malaria vaccine for children at risk. [online] www.who.int. Available at: https://www.who.int/news/item/06-10-2021-who-recommends-groundbreaking-malaria-vaccine-for-children-at-risk.
– www.who.int. (n.d.). WHO/BS/2022.2434: Collaborative Study to Evaluate a Candidate World Health Organization International Standard for Antibodies to Chikungunya Virus. [online] Available at: https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/who-bs-2022.2434 [Accessed 12 Sep. 2022].
– www.medicalnewstoday.com. (n.d.). Addictive disorders: Causes and reasons they may get worse. [online] Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323483#why-does-addiction-occur.
– Domestic abuse charities can apply for vital funds. (2020). gov.uk. [online] 7 May. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/domestic-abuse-charities-can-apply-for-vital-funds.
– Homeless Link. (n.d.). 2020 Annual review of single homelessness support in England. [online] Available at: https://homeless.org.uk/knowledge-hub/2020-annual-review-of-single-homelessness-support-in-england/ [Accessed 12 Sep. 2022].
– NHS (2021). Postpartum psychosis. [online] nhs.uk. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/post-partum-psychosis/.
– NHS (2021). Mental health. [online] nhs.uk. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/.
– Brones, A. (2018). Food apartheid: the root of the problem with America’s groceries. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/may/15/food-apartheid-food-deserts-racism-inequality-america-karen-washington-interview.
– Conditions (2020). Conditions. [online] British Heart Foundation. Available at: https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/conditions.