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Why Silicon Valley Can’t Escape Elizabeth Holmes


SAN JOSE, Calif. — In 2016, start-up founders sang, “Theranos doesn’t represent, we are better,” in a holiday video created by the venture capital firm First Round Capital.Over the next few years, several columnists wrote that Silicon Valley shouldn’t be blamed for Theranos.Last month, Keith Rabois, a venture capitalist, said on Twitter that articles connecting Theranos with Silicon Valley culture contained “more fabrication than anything ever uttered by Trump.”The technorati in Silicon Valley and beyond have long tried to separate themselves from Theranos, the blood testing start-up in Palo Alto, Calif., that was exposed for lying about its abilities. But the fraud trial of the company’s founder, Elizabeth Holmes, has shown that just as Bernard Madoff was a creature of Wall Street and Enron represented the get-rich-quick excesses of the 1990s, Theranos and its leader were very much products of Silicon Valley.The usual refrain went like this: Theranos was more a health care company than a tech company. It raised money from wealthy families and people outside the tech industry, while insiders saw through the hype.But testimony and court exhibits in Ms. Holmes’s nearly four-month trial, which was capped on Monday when a jury found the entrepreneur guilty of four of 11 counts of fraud, starkly underlined her participation in Silicon Valley’s culture.Ms. Holmes, 37, used the mentorship and credibility of tech industry b …

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