Re-read Saturday


This week the fallout from overpromising the on the ability to deliver the miniLab spreads to Safeway in our re-read of Bad Blood, Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup.  Overpromising is a problem every team and organization faces. Almost all humans want to say yes and make people happy. As trained problem solvers, we rarely meet problems that we can not overcome, and hence we are optimistic in what we promise.  The shenanigans at Theranos might not have the same root cause. Buy the book and read along!   (more…)

 

We are back with Chapter 8 of Bad Blood, Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou (published by Alfred A. Knopf, 2018 – Buy a copy and read along!). Chapter 8, titled The miniLab, focuses on overpromising and continues to layer on toxicity to the Theranos story. (more…)

I am continuing to tune the approach to Bad Blood, Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou (published by Alfred A. Knopf, 2018 – Buy a copy and read along!) Today we tackle a single chapter.  Chapter 6, titled Sunny, introduces Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani to the story.  Sunny, Holmes’ live-in boyfriend (the stress on the live-in part is to shine a light on just how close Holmes was to Sunny), adds another layer of toxicity to the Theranos story. The toxicity feels extraordinary but is not that uncommon when teams break down.  (more…)

This week we take a slight detour in our journey through Bad Blood, Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou (published by Alfred A. Knopf, 2018 – Buy a copy and read along!) As we have noted before, the book is at heart a cautionary tale; however, it is easy to pass the shenanigans (in private I might use stronger language) as confined to the boardroom, and therefore not something that can happen inside the boundaries of an agile team or in a department.  Ahhhh, think again. To establish the basis for this brief respite we published a review of some of the common attributes of toxic organizations and toxic leaders. It would be easy to go through both of the lists and a find points in the first six chapters and tick the attributes off almost like you were watching a slow(ish)-motion train wreck.  Here are a few of the more interesting points: (more…)

We continue our journey through Bad Blood, Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou (published by Alfred A. Knopf, 2018).  Today based on the advice of Stephen Adams we tackle chapters three, four and five. The chapters  are titled, “Apple Envy”, “Goodbye East Paly” and “Childhood Neighbors.” The chapters we cover this week paint a picture of a toxic culture full of deceit, naiveté, and vindictiveness; this will be a blockbuster movie someday. While Theranos sounds extraordinary, it isn’t hard to find similar corporate train wrecks. Bad Blood needs to be read as a cautionary tale. (more…)

Today we continue our journey through Bad Blood, Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou (published by Alfred A. Knopf, 2018).   Today we tackle chapters one and two. They are titled, “A Purposeful Life” and “Gluebot.”  I have not changed the estimate of 20 to 25 weeks, however, Steven Adams has thrown down the gauntlet by suggesting we can do more than two chapters a week.  We shall see!
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Today we being our journey through Bad Blood, Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou (published by Alfred A. Knopf, 2018). The book is 325 pages and is comprised of author’s notes, a prologue, epilogue and 24 chapters.  The book is the story of Theranos, an infamous Silicon Valley start-up. I view this as a cautionary tale reflecting the excesses of a runaway startup culture.  Steven Adam, one of the blog’s active participants, suggested this book. I anticipate that this re-read (a first read for me) will run 20 – 25 weeks. The book is a business novel that leverages real life, but fills some of the cracks.   (more…)

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