The following paragraphs are my meager attempt at Melrose Place fan fiction in order to demonstrate my feelings right now upon finishing this book. Please bear with me.
Imagine it’s a Monday night in the late 1990s and you’re sitting on your couch watching TV, when Melrose Place comes on.
Would you think it was crazy if something like this happened:
Dr. Kimberly Shaw gets an idea to invent a medical device that could CHANGE THE WORLD. She tells everyone around her that her invention is one of the greatest things to EVER happen to humanity, and everyone believes her. She gets all of her colleagues at Wilshire General Hospital to agree with her and they tell everyone that Dr Kimberly Shaw is one of the greatest human beings of all time, that she will change medicine forever, and that all of humanity will be grateful that she ever existed.
Dr. Shaw is clever, so she surrounds herself with some tough people who do her dirty work for her. Dr. Michael Mancini is no stranger to bending the rules, and he does whatever he can for his girlfriend/boss and her new invention. No, he hasn’t actually seen the invention work, but he doesn’t care. Money is rolling in and he loves the power that Kimberly has given him.
And Dr. Peter Burns, the chief of staff, loves the attention that the hospital is getting for whatever Kimberly has invented. He isn’t completely clear on how it will benefit the hospital or health care in general, but he wants to see Wilshire General finally get the respect that it deserves. He’s willing to look the other way now and then if it turns out that Dr. Shaw hasn’t been completely straight with him about her invention and what it actually does. Its all about the image and the publicity.
Kimberly goes and hires Amanda Woodward from D&D Advertising to make sure that the world knows how important all of this is and how great she is. Amanda quickly sees that Dr Shaw is not the most honest person she’s ever met. But Amanda is no stranger to underhanded business tactics, and has a field day with her new client and her loose ethical standards. Things are so underhanded, one of Amanda’s co-workers even commits suicide. Whatever.
And then, along comes do-gooder Matt Fielding. He knows that Kimberly isn’t telling the whole truth about what she has discovered and that all of this publicity will ultimately harm the hospital. He’s worried about the safety and health of the patients and he’s worried about the jobs of all of the good people working there. All of the points he raises are valid. So Dr. Burns fires him.
And then, one day, you realize that everything you thought you understood was happening was a lie. THIS IS WHAT WAS ACTUALLY HAPPENING:
This is Bad Blood.
This is how I feel about Elizabeth Holmes, Sunny Balwani, Tyler Schultz, and Theranos.
For me, the “wig” scene was when John Fuisz testified that he would “fuck with Elizabeth Holmes until she dies” and I realized that these words were not even close to being some of the craziest in this true story.
What I realized is that while the HBO show Silicon Valley might be a comedy, a lot of it is based on truth, and that’s scary. And Elizabeth Holmes, with her fake voice and black turtlenecks, is the personification of what makes the power and money in Silicon Valley so frightening.
Bottom line: If you haven’t read it, you should. I’m not a non-fiction person, but I devoured this. Its the craziest book I’ve read this year.