The promise of tomorrow is a seductive one. Elizabeth Holmes promised the cheapest and fastest blood tests through her company Theranos. She raised capital from investors and fundraisers. There was only one problem; she was not quite there.
She took Steve Job’s narrative and disruptive style and created the magic story that everybody wanted to hear, but the real result of her disruption was that she put thousands of potential patients at risk.
People believed in her. She had employees from Apple, MIT and Harvard. They wanted to see her story happening, and they wanted to be part of it.
In 2003, Bill Maris from Google Ventures decided not to invest in her biotech company. There was only one reason. Someone from his team tried to do the blood test and it didn’t work well. Something was missing.
People who invested in Theranos were not buying the story of a medical advancement that was going change the world: they were buying success as disruptors, a golden opportunity, a ticket to the hall of fame.
But as Bill Maris stated in an interview, ‘I haven’t been able to find a single reporter who has written about Theranos that has gone and had the test done.’
There is no reason why stories shouldn’t be tested. What you say and what you do should be aligned. Telling is just half of the story.
The hard work is showing up and making it happen.