32 episodes of fame, fortune, money, fraud, romance, and tragedy about Elizabeth Holmes, the founder, and CEO of Theranos. An ambitious young woman, Elizabeth Holmes, shoots for the stars and falls short after soaring higher than she ever imagined.
The Fascinating Story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos
Elizabeth dropped out of Stanford at 19, to start her company Theranos, in 2003. Theranos was to revolutionize healthcare technology and promised affordable blood testing using only a drop of blood for accurate, fast, and comprehensive results. After receiving millions of dollars from venture capitalists and private investors, Elizabeth Holmes’s claims were proven to be false, leading to her fall from grace!
Elizabeth Holmes – The Woman Behind the Deception
A brilliant girl with a brilliant business idea. More than fascinating, this incredulous story of a young billionaire who was dubbed “the next Steve Jobs”, is told via the ABC News podcast, “The Dropout”. The insightful podcast gives listeners a glimpse into the highs of Elizabeth’s success and the crash of her company, Theranos.
Even as a little girl, Elizabeth had one goal and that was to become a billionaire. If anything, Elizabeth Holmes spent her life pursuing and achieving this goal. Elizabeth had the support of everyone she knew. Described as a genius, brilliant, incredible, and unstoppable; Elizabeth was destined for greatness. However, it was through a combination of charm and deceit that she managed to bring huge investors on board, securing millions of dollars. None of the investors doubted Elizabeth and her plans for Theranos’ healthcare technology which was revolutionizing and affordable.
The Billion Dollar idea: Theranos
Theranos was the company Elizabeth founded, responsible for the development of a blood-analyzing device. The sophisticated technology only required a tiny drop of blood to diagnose a multitude of diseases, including all types of cancers. Elizabeth’s ability to convince and entice everyone into believing in her wonder device was commendable. The podcast airs speeches and interviews that Elizabeth confidently delivers to this end.
The Crash of Theranos
The lofty claims that Elizabeth purported came crashing down when her blood reading device failed to perform. Test results proved inaccurate if and when the device ever functioned. The responsibility and strain to course correct fell on Elizabeth’s staff. Elizabeth’s wrath grew as staff were unable to turn the situation around and were victimized and fired by her. Her staff provide details on this in the podcast.
The final nail in the Theranos coffin is when ex-employee, Tyler Schultz reached out to the Wall Street Journal and published a tell-all article, by journalist John Carreyrou. Shultz and Carreryrou feature on the podcast, providing insight into this article.
The Podcast: The Dropout
The 32-episode podcast by ABC News, “The Dropout”, aired in 2022. The title refers to Elizabeth Holmes dropping out of Stanford, at the age of 19 to start Theranos.
ABC News conveys this story with the help of their correspondent Rebecca Jarvis and producers Taylor Dunn and Victoria Thompson. The podcast is a journalistic offering. It is told through interviews with investors, staff, and patients who provide a first-hand account of their experience with Elizabeth and includes a multi-year investigation. The podcast also shares Elizabeth Holme’s exclusive deposition testimony and the final decision of the 12 jurors.
The podcast’s host is Rebecca Jarvis, a 41 years old, American producer, and writer. She is ABC News’s chief business, economics, and technology correspondent. Rebecca guides listeners through the story effortlessly.
Nothing short of a hit, “The Dropout” ticks all the boxes necessary for a compelling narrative and journalistic documentary. Podcast Review sheds more light on this in this article.
The Show’s success can be attributed to some of the aspects listed below:
The magnitude of the scam
The scale and magnitude of the scam bring attention to the story. Elizabeth was able to scam investors out of millions of dollars, by selling defective technology. It is a bold move and she is brave to attempt it on such a scale. Apart from the daring attempt, the fact that Elizabeth was able to successfully pull this off, for a long time, entices listeners to tune in and pay attention, hoping they can see the red flags.
The Enigma of Elizabeth Holmes
Elizabeth Holmes, the central character of the story, podcast, and her company, is an enigma. From a young age, she is decidedly different and ambitious. Such clarity, confidence, focus, and misplaced charisma, create a con artist that fascinates listeners. Her intriguing behavior, compelling persona, and daring business endeavors make Elizabeth an interesting and complex character that people enjoy dissecting.
Theranos was going to revolutionize healthcare and medicine with the development of the blood reading device. Everybody wanted this to work. The impact of such a development was beyond Theranos as a company. This amazing product was the reason so many investors and supporters bought into Elizabeth’s scheme. And it is also why people are intrigued by the story of an awesome product that never came to pass. The wonder, hope, and loss of such a product creates much interest.
The entire story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos is fascinating, to say the least, making for engaging and creative content. The elements of a good story are plentiful and impactful. From the complex central character, the large-scale billion-dollar scam, and historic healthcare technological development to the legal depositions and decisions that determine Elizabeth’s fate, The Dropout Podcast is incredibly engaging.
The popularity of this true crime, mystery, has only grown as the podcast attracted listeners. However, this story has enjoyed much media coverage, and other versions of the podcast offer support, boost the reach, and if anything, they work in unison to market each other. The result is greater reach and engagement.
Have a look at the different ways this story has been told:
Amanda Seyfried takes the lead as Elizabeth Holmes in the Hulu series, The Dropout. 8 episodes are dedicated to this version of the podcast with some creative licenses taken here and there.
Appropriately titled, this book by award-winning journalist John Carreyrou has 41/2 stars out of 5-star ratings on Amazon. It is tagged as a national bestseller.
Due to the magnitude of this scam, this story has frequently made the news. Below are some news stories:
- Who is Elizabeth Holmes and why was she on trial? – BBC News
- Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes to be sentenced in fraud case
- Elizabeth Holmes ‘attempted to flee’ the U.S. with one-way ticket after conviction: Feds
The Dropout Podcast was iHeart Radio’s 2020 Podcast of the year. Have a look at the link below.
Ultimately, Elizabeth Holmes did not sell a blood analysis device but a very expensive lie.
She is paying the price for her overly ambitious business venture by facing failure and criminal charges on a global platform. While Elizabeth is a compelling character, her lack of character and integrity is what she will be remembered for. The Dropout podcast, at the very least, humanizes Elizabeth and puts the entire story in perspective by providing interviews with affected and involved parties and conducting enough research to present a linear progression of the events that led to Elizabeth and Theranos’ demise. The podcast is a gripping true crime nod to journalism but it is also a story of a deeply determined young woman!