The fable of the unicorn

“FIRST they think you’re crazy, then they fight you, and then all of a sudden you change the world,” Elizabeth Holmes, the boss of Theranos, said recently. If she is to change the world, first Ms Holmes (pictured) will have to change minds. In the past fortnight she has faced an onslaught of negative press reports saying that her blood-testing firm’s technology is not all it purports to be.

Theranos is one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent “unicorns”, or unlisted startups valued at more than $1 billion. Its aim is to disrupt a market for blood tests that, in America alone, is worth $75 billion a year. A recent injection of $400m from investors gave it an implied value of $9 billion. In early October, just before the bad headlines began, 31-year-old Ms Holmes, who is said to be the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire, was featured on the cover of Inc. magazine in a black turtleneck, with the headline “The Next Steve Jobs”.

Opinion can change as quickly as a pinprick. Soon after, the Wall Street Journal ran a report that Theranos has overstated its technology’s reach and reliability. Theranos has...

via Business Feeds

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