My bullshit meter smelled a rat when Theranos was first hailed as the greatest thing since sliced bread, and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was being elevated to Tech Hero status.
Theranos, the Silicon Valley blood-analysis upstart founded by Elizabeth Holmes, is under fire.
The Wall Street Journal and others have questioned the company’s technology, which is supposed to require only a tiny sample of blood to deliver accurate, quick and cheap test results. Ms. Holmes and Theranos have fired back with counterclaims and additional information, but the company’s purported $9 billion valuation now looks overestimated.
On Friday, though, The Journal reported that a Theranos partner, the pharmacy chain Walgreens Boots Alliance, was postponing its introduction of the company’s testing centers. That suggests that even after 12 years of development, Ms. Holmes’s approach is far from proven. In any case, the promised tiny finger-stick blood samples and proprietary equipment aren’t yet being used for most tests. That makes Theranos look more like a small, cut-price version of testing incumbents like Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp than a disruptive force.
I just felt all along that the hype surrounding Theranos was more about promoting Holmes and elevating the price of her upstart’s stock than anything else. It just had the whiff of scam to me.
Will be interesting to see how this all shakes out.