John Carreyrou's Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup discusses the story of Theranos, a startup that claimed to build a machine that could run diagnostic tests with a single drop of blood. Its founder Elizabeth Holmes was a nineteen-year-old student at Stanford who approached her professor claiming that she has an idea for a product that can identify blood type and diseases non-invasively.The reality was massive fraud.
In the novel's beginning, Theranos is pitching a product to the pharmaceutical company Novartis in Switzerland. Theranos was founded by Elizabeth Holmes who dropped out of Stanford and founded the company in 2003 with the support of one Channing Robertson, a member of the Stanford Engineering Department. The brainchild of Theranos engineer Tony Nugent, "the Edison" was the robot machine that would run tests on blood.
The company gained financial backing from major corporations like Walgreens and Safeway, while publishing minimal results and maintaining a highly secretive environment, firing employees who questioned practices or asked too many question. Holmes became romantically involved with Sunny Balwani, the COO of Theranos. The two routinely lied to investors as well as federal heath officials. While well intentioned, the Edison had extreme problems concerning the Edison was not prepared to enter the commercial market, as it required especially dilute blood samples and could only work at certain temperatures without delivering erroneous results.
(The entire section is 346 words.)