In the opening statements of the Theranos trial, Elizabeth Holmes’ defense attorney Lance Wade argued, “Elizabeth Holmes did not go to work every day intending to lie, cheat and steal.” Instead, he said, “Elizabeth Holmes worked herself to the bone for 15 years trying to make lab testing cheaper and more accessible. She poured her heart and her soul into that effort. Now in the end, Theranos failed, and Miss Holmes walked away with nothing. But failure is not a crime.”
I believe years of working closely with startups and visionary entrepreneurs has given me a unique perspective on the case of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, now on trial for multiple counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Holmes makes for fascinating theater, but rather than picking sides, I’d like to view this 37-year-old as an entrepreneur whose dreams got out of control.