Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Titan. This book, written by John Carreyrou, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist for The Wall Street Journal, tells the story of Elizabeth, a Stanford University dropout, and her journey from creating a blood testing company called Theranos through deception to its ultimate failure.
Founder Elizabeth assembled a powerful board of directors, including former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, Henry Kissinger, media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, Oracle founder Larry Ellison, legendary venture capitalist Don...
As a startup that hadn't produced a commercial product in over a decade, how was she able to successfully deceive so many influential figures into joining her company? This was my biggest question, and after reading this book, I finally understood some of the reasons.
In addition to Elizabeth's exceptional persuasive abilities, a crucial factor was the field she ventured into, which had the potential to revolutionize people's lives - biotech and healthcare. Politicians may not be interested in money, but they are always passionate about things that can bring about revolutionary changes, especially considering that Elizabeth's vision of blood testing could greatly improve people's lives. It offered not only immense wealth but also a positive reputation. Even if Elizabeth's venture was about selling advertisements, no matter how much wealth she offered to these political players, they would surely think twice.
Elizabeth used Schultz, an esteemed member of the Hoover Institution, as a starting point to gradually persuade members from various research institutions to join her board of directors. The saying goes, "Politics and business go hand in hand." With the backing of political power, it became easier to convince investors from the business world, gradually forming a powerful board of directors. With their approval as an excuse, she continued to secure large investments, maintaining the company for over a decade.
One can't help but marvel: Politics is an amplifier for fraud. The widespread telecommunications fraud we see today is just child's play; slightly more influential is the use of media to create legitimacy, such as Yang Yongxin's electric shock therapy. And then there are the large-scale scams that can manipulate media and public opinion with the help of political power.
Anything that involves politics can skyrocket, and fraud is no exception.