A review by micaelabrody
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, by John Carreyrou

5.0

having listened to the dropout and watched both theranos documentaries, plus followed along pretty well during their ultimate downfall, there was not a whole ton in this book that was news to me - but it was still a great read. i love a good business downfall story (and in fact it is one of the few kinds of nonfiction that i reliably get really into); carreyrou does an excellent job making this fast-paced and novelistic without falling into some of the flowery traps of devil in the white city or the tryhard phrasing that the hatching of twitter occasionally used.

obviously the part i identified with the most, as a designer, was the ad agency party, but in general it posed questions i think we are only seeing the beginning of. theranos is clearly an indictment of something, but is it silicon valley culture writ large? the pursuit of wealth? bravura founders like elizabeth holmes and, hovering off screen, adam neumann? is it a cautionary tale about investors, coworkers, friends, bystanders who simply did not both asking questions, or did not listen to uncomfortable answers?

carreyrou cannot answer these questions but they penetrate the book nonetheless, which is crucial in telling a story like this. he does not leave it solely at a dry recitation of the events of theranos; it is subtly and well connected to the culture that allowed theranos to thrive.