We Chit Chat – Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies In A Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou

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Taynement: So I didn’t have this book on my radar until you brought it to my attention.

Leggy: Why did you decide to pick it up after I mentioned it?

Taynement: Because I knew about the Theranos story and figured it’d be an interesting read.

Leggy: Me too. The story was fascinating to me. How this woman got away with so much and with very little check points is ridiculous. I wanted to read more on the topic so when I heard the journalist who blew the lid off this story was coming out with a book, I was intrigued.

Taynement: Yeah, it’s a shame we don’t get to hear her side but I thought Carreyrou did a pretty good job of getting facts together from reliable sources – really pissed off sources too.

Leggy: I wish I could have heard her motivation too.

Taynement: There were so many facets to this story. I think the glimpse of her father gave insight into why she was ruthless. Her dad seemed to have a mean streak in him when he approached his lawyer friend on her behalf and tried to get their family friend’s son fired from his law firm. I think he was secretly proud of everything she did regardless of the swindling.

But I do think the book also goes to show how much power being white in America gives you. Because there is absolutely no reason this woman kept raising funds in millions and had investors of high caliber without having a single viable product.

Leggy: Can we talk about Tyler Shultz’s grandfather? How insane was it that he believed Holmes over his own grandson who actually worked there and saw that Holmes was a fraud. Even though Tyler brought another employee who corroborated his story, his father still believed Holmes. Even going as far as inviting Holmes to his birthday party and not extending an invite to his own grandson.

She must have been super charming and they wanted to believe that they were changing the world. I’m sure after being in business for so long they wanted to believe they were finally investing in the one business that would actually help human kind or also there’s a possibility that every single one of those men were dumb as rocks. Take your pick.

Taynement: They all talked about how charming she is but she must have been REALLY charming because I don’t understand how she got fired and talked her way back in and then fired everyone who had been against her once they gave her another chance as CEO. Savage!

Leggy: Seriously, if she hadn’t been fucking with human life, was just developing some app and scamming all these old men for their money I would have been rooting for her. But for you to knowingly fuck with sick people and have no remorse at all. I can’t root for you. You’re a psychopath.

Taynement: That’s the other thing. Is this pure human savagery or do you think there’s a mental health issue at play? I’m asking this question because of the fact that this was done in the health sector and it was lives at stake. She also doesn’t seem very remorseful even now and still claims she did nothing wrong.

Leggy: I don’t know but she’s certainly a girl who knew what she wanted from a very young age and it blows my mind that she never seemed remorseful. She just kept lying in the face of so much proof. Can we talk about her “boyfriend” please? How much hand do you think he really had in the whole operation?

Taynement: I think he helped her execute, was her cheerleader and took pleasure from it. He’s definitely a sadist and I want to know who he pays to scrub his past off the internet.

Leggy: Dude, I googled him and barely saw anything on him at all. I think they fed off of each other.

Taynement: Another thing I wondered is Silicon Valley is a small world, how come people kept going to work for Theranos despite the high turnover?

Leggy: And the kind of people they got to work for them?! People who were huge and well regarded! I just don’t understand. I think it’s probably the need to be a part of something big.

Taynement: Some guy came out of retirement after he had worked for Apple just to be a part of her board. Nahhh, Elizabeth Holmes must be something!

By the way, you guys should Youtube one of her interviews and listen to her voice. It sounds weird on purpose because she had it in her head that she had to have a deep voice like a man to command attention in a male dominated world

Leggy: She must be. She’s almost like a cult leader. Also, she hired a lot of international students that needed that H1B1 status.

Taynement: I think that was mostly Sunny’s doing, has his name written all over it. As an immigrant himself, he knew it was the fastest way to gain “loyalty”. Fear was his modus operandi. He sounds like a terrible, terrible man.

Leggy: Terrible and he wasn’t even charismatic. He was just terrible and literally had nothing going for him, he wasn’t smart, nothing! Can we talk about Walgreens and Safeway? Those may have been the dumbest companies in the entire book especially Walgreens. They hired an outside consultant to evaluate the deal they had with Theranos and then totally ignored his warnings.

Taynement: They deserve everything that happened to them.

Leggy: Everything! I was so flabbergasted the entire time. How does that happen?

Taynement: And then they agreed to build the health centers in the contract at their own expense and there was no product. They never asked to see the product and the results coming from it.

Leggy: I can’t imagine them not even asking to see a full demonstration of what they were letting into their stores and then they didn’t even ask to tour the Theranos labs! How do you pay millions of dollars for a product you’ve never seen in action? And they were faking results! How did the people there keep working in this company with their conscience intact? These were people’s lives, people’s actual money, people getting unnecessary procedures and having to go to the emergency room based on the test results you were giving them.

Taynement: I am surprised Theranos is still in existence.

Leggy: Yup, all they did was remove her as CEO but it’s still business as usual. She’s working on building another company. White privilege is a hell of a thing!

Taynement: Overall, I thought it was a good read. I audio’d it and I enjoyed it very much.

Leggy: I audio’d it too and told everyone I recommended it to, to do the same. You don’t even need to have heard of the company before, to enjoy this book. It’s fascinating and the author gives you enough background for you to follow along. It reads like fiction. 

Taynement: But it’s even more intriguing because it’s real life.

Leggy: Ended up giving it 4 stars on Goodreads and have been recommending it to everybody

Have you guys read this book? If you have, what did you think? If you haven’t, did this review pique your interest? Will you be picking it up? Be encouraged to leave a comment 🙂


Taynement & Leggy





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