Mon. Oct 18th, 2021

If you want Make sure Elizabeth Holmes is a sensible person, and not a villain for blood, just look at her text messages. “You are the wind in the desert for me,” she sent in 2015 to her business partner and boyfriend Ramesh Balwani. “My water. And the ocean.” Even when The Wall Street Journal Reporter John Carrerau was investigating his medical-testing company Theranos, Holmes still had his love in mind. “I was thinking of you this morning,” he texted Balwani that June. Balwani reminded him to stay focused: Theranos was attacked.

More than three years after he was accused of defrauding investors, as well as doctors and patients, about Theranos ‘abilities, six text messages are among the first documents to come out of Holmes’ trial, which began this week. He is not guilty. The defense’s job in the coming months is to humanize Holmes, to show the jury a young and ambitious entrepreneur who did something wrong behind his success. The government will try to convince the judges that he has become a billionaire for the health of his customers, and has put his investors at risk.

And Silicon Valley will pay attention. The landmark case verifies a company, a founder – but in doing so, it sheds light on some of the rules of startup culture, in which it is expected that the founder will follow their ideas with something like a reckless determination. Elizabeth Holmes was, as Chief Prosecutor Robert Leach said in her inaugural address Wednesday, “Silicon Valley and one of the world’s most famous CEOs. But in the face of Theranos’ success, there was a significant problem. .

“I’m glad Silicon Valley’s mantra of‘ fake it until you make it ’is being questioned,” said Eric Bahan, co-founder of Hassel Fund, an early-stage VC firm. “For the past decade, it has felt like a cry for founders and investors alike.”

At the same time, the vehicle said it was concerned that the focus on Holmes could lead to further scrutiny of female founders, who, Study There is Shown, Already have a hard time raising money in Silicon Valley. “I’ve already heard an anecdote that a female healthcare founder was questioned about her thoughts on Holmes and how that founder felt she was already being compared.” A Recent stories Inside New York Times It has been found that lots of other female founders face comparisons with Holmes.

The story of Holmes has already left a unique mark, written not only in Silicon Valley, but also in American culture. She was a similarly touching character for investors and the media, the blonde baritone of the black turtleneck – and her fall drew the same attention as her rise: hundreds of magazine articles, a best-selling book, a podcast series, several documentaries, an upcoming television Amanda Sefre. Continuous. As a result, the first week in court was largely spent on the difficult task of selecting a jury who were not immersed in coverage and could present impartial opinions.

Judges were also asked if they had experienced domestic abuse, as the defense plan argued that Holmes had run a “mental torture campaign” for Holmes. (Balwani has denied any wrongdoing. He has also been charged with fraud, and has pleaded not guilty. His trial is set to begin in January.) Nearly half of the jury raised their hands, according to New York Times.

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