February 10, 2019

The Ethical Dilemma Facing Silicon Valley’s Next Generation

By Victor Luckerson

At Stanford University’s business school, above the stage where Elizabeth Holmes once regurgitated the myths of Silicon Valley, there now hangs a whistle splattered in blood. More than 500 people have gathered to hear the true story of Theranos, the $9 billion blood-testing company Holmes launched in 2004 as a Stanford dropout with the help of one of the school’s famed chemical engineering professors. But Holmes is not here. Instead, students are learning from Tyler Shultz and Erika Cheung, the young company insiders who were fresh out of college when they alerted government agencies that the secretive startup was doctoring lab results and endangering patients. On the projector screen above the two guest speakers, the ominous whistle is paired with the provocative title for the event: “Spilling the Blood of a Silicon Valley Unicorn.”