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Was it a scam, though, or is it just another example of "fake it till you make it"? Is there any reason to suspect that Holmes did not believe in her ability to deliver? I mean, it is quite likely that she was delusional, her delusion fueled by her lack of expertise, but delusion is not a scam, and one can argue that delusion is what drives the ecosystem.

In addition to the delusion, there was operational mismanagement, but even that is not a scam.




"fake it till you make it" is one thing when it's Alexis Ohanian making fake Reddit users to have the site appear busy. It's quite another when you're talking about medical test results...


Does it matter if the person selling you a bridge really and truly believes that they own it? A scammer who believes their own hype is still a scammer, no?


That's a good question, but in that case, what is the definition of a scam, and aren't many more SV companies -- even successful ones -- guilty of it? I mean, I don't think that the scaminess of a venture is defined by its outcome. So is it something that is known with certainty to not possibly work? Even then I'm not sure Theranos qualifies. From what I've read (I know nothing about blood tests), experts say that there are tremendous difficulties in performing a blood test on a very small quantity, but I haven't heard anyone say it's downright impossible.


Even if it was a scam, what killed them was technical risk, which is the investors' job to assess. This isn't like if Enron had been starting wildfires to manipulate energy markets or whatever.


I think I agree with your assessment more than the "Scam" idea. Granted, the difference between the two in terms of results could choke a mouse, but it is still very different. I think Theranos probably started off as something real, and evolved into something... scammy.


How is "fake it til you make it", especially in the context of medical tech, not an outright scam?




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