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…)

Fire hose area in Brazil

Toxic can be incendiary!

The current re-read, Bad Blood, Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou, is a cautionary tale of the impact of a  toxic culture that seemly sprang into existence the day Theranos was founded.  Most organizations that have a toxic culture don’t begin as toxic but rather evolve.  For the fans of the re-read we will take a slight diversion later this week to consider just how toxic the Theranos environment was and how a toxic environment can translate to teams. Just calling a culture toxic is easy, but recognizing the attributes of a toxic environment is more complicated.  The most onerous attributes are: (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…)

Slow Down!

I was asked to step in and help during a SAFe Program Increment Planning event this week, therefore this entry is short.   (more…)