Meet Silicon Valley’s Biggest Fraud, Elizabeth Holmes, Many Still Think She’s a Genius Ahead of Her Time
Who does not want to be rich? In a world where people are so open to revolutionary ideas and the rich are willing to invest in anything, there are two ways to be rich – to invent something worth investing in or to pretend to have a great idea that will change the world.
That is the story of Elizabeth Holmes, who promised to change the world by inventing a diagnostic device which detects any illness just from a single drop of blood. Was there potential in the idea? Could a dropout make it happen? Was this all a sham from the beginning or did she just need more time? Misunderstood genius ahead of her time or just a sociopath and fraud?
1Notable family members
Elizabeth Holmes was born in 1984 in Washington D.C. to a family of civil servants. Her mother was a Congressional committee staffer and her father was a VP at Enron, after which he was an executive at USAID, EPA, and USTDA. Her grandfather Christian Rasmus Holmes established Cincinnati General Hospital and the medical school at the University of Cincinnati.
Reportedly, since she was a child, Elizabeth told people that she wanted to be a billionaire when she grew up. She studied at the Department of Chemical Engineering at Stanford University. At this time she became interested in biotechnology. During an internship, she was surprised by how long it took to analyze blood samples.
3Elizabeth’s dreams come true
She immediately came up with the idea of a simple patch that could diagnose any disease, mental or physical. She filed a patent application and dropped out of Stanford University. As soon as her patent was approved, she set up her medical startup.
4Founding the company
Holmes founded Real-Time Cures in Palo Alto, California, with a view to democratize healthcare. She said that her own fear of needles was the motivation behind inventing a technology that would use as less blood as possible. None of the medical professionals and experts that she pitched her idea to, thought it would work.