Bad Blood by John Carreyrou: ★★★★★
I've lost track of all the people who've recommended this to me, but I resisted for a long time: I thought that I'd learned as much as I needed to know about Theranos from the coverage I'd read at the time. I eventually caved when a juror recommended it last month.
All those people were right! The full extent of the deception is staggering, and the tale of the rise and fall from the perspective of the journalist who uncovered it makes for compelling reading. The version of the story I had gathered was a combination of recklessness and fraud; I hadn't appreciated the descent into intimidation, nor had I understood how they came to be in that position. I think the initial intentions were good, but the refusal to accept the plain fact that the concept was too ambitious on too many axes to be practical is what led to the more malicious chapters. I wonder how things might have been different if Holmes had been willing to compromise, and just tackle one of the goals – no needles; small apparatus with vast functionality; instant results; glamorous healthcare experience; etc.
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou