Theranos and the cult of the entrepreneur

Some fear founder Elizabeth Holmes’ conviction for fraud will hurt the innovation economy. But her rise was fuelled by problematic trends at the heart of the American political and financial economy.

Theranos founder and chief executive officer Elizabeth Holmes and her family leave the federal court on Jan 3, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS
Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

The conviction of Elizabeth Holmes for fraud perpetrated as founder and CEO of Theranos has triggered intense debate about what the episode means for the innovation economy.

Did Holmes, aggressively implementing Silicon Valley's "fake it until you make it" credo, simply run out of runway? Is the venture capitalist and Theranos investor Tim Draper right to worry that her conviction will reduce the "willingness to bet on" the type of entrepreneurs who "made Silicon Valley the innovation engine of the world"?

Already a subscriber? 

Read the full story and more at $9.90/month

Get exclusive reports and insights with more than 500 subscriber-only articles every month

Unlock these benefits

  • All subscriber-only content on ST app and straitstimes.com

  • Easy access any time via ST app on 1 mobile device

  • E-paper with 2-week archive so you won't miss out on content that matters to you

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.