Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are known for producing some of the most commonly used as well as some of the most innovative products on the market. The tech hub has become synonymous with the Googles, Facebooks and Ubers of the world.
Since the innovations that entrepreneurs come up with are usually game-changers for their industry, the fact that some of these ideas will fail is not surprising. It really does take a certain level of optimism and vision to make them a reality after all.
It is more surprising to learn that investors in the valley would put their financial backing behind ideas and innovations that are not fully vetted.
This feature delves into an ongoing case of one big, innovative idea that simply failed to deliver on its promises. In the exploration, it touches on the rich history of Silicon Valley, how one of the first innovations powered the microchip, paving the way for everyday technological devices and on a larger scale, for space exploration.
The Valley's first entrepreneurs are also responsible for creating the type of economic ecosystem where wealthy investors partner on projects and invest in tech entrepreneurs and founders who have a conviction that their next big idea or product will change the world.
It is a unique dichotomy where an investment opportunity can turn into a court case and investors end up not only having funded a failed idea, but also end up funding settlements. This is the situation that is unfolding in the case of Theranos, the brainchild of Elizabeth Holmes, a young visionary and Stanford University drop-out, dubbed "the next Mark Zuckerberg".
Her health-tech company worked on developing technology that could devise blood tests quickly and required only small amounts of blood. She initially benefited from the contagious nature of the confidence her investors seemed to place in her. The caliber of people associated with her project included former politicians, CEOs and even veterans.
However, her coming out party was short lived. Within just a few years, the script has flipped and she is now being accused of fraud. Her case is still ongoing and the varying perspectives of the issue make for an interesting watch. Was Elizabeth Holmes, herself a victim? Can the intent to commit fraud actually be proven? It is really quite a compelling story to watch as it unfolds.
Directed by: Alexis Keenan, Marilena Tsangaroulis