On Twitter: Week of October 15, 2019

What return does John Tamny get for shilling for Elizabeth Holmes, and why is he so eager to do so?: John Tamny: Elizabeth Holmes Is a Visionary, and We Need More Like Her https://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2019/10/14/elizabeth_holmes_is_a_visionary_and_we_need_more_like_her_103946.html: "The analysis that you’re about to read, it's mine.... No interviews were conducted.... I live in the same apartment building as Holmes’s parents, and consider them friends. I've also briefly spoken with Elizabeth Holmes a few times.... I venerate the risk takers whose intrepid ways vastly improve our living standards.... The Wright brothers owned a bike shop as opposed to college degrees from some well-regarded school of engineering, Thomas Edison had no formal education beyond the 8th grade, and then Steve Jobs was a Reed College dropout. But the arguably more important truth is that most advances are hatched by people outside the industry about to be transformed.... Holmes’s hiring of the best she could find was an explicit admission by the entrepreneur that there were limits to her knowledge that she would strive to make up for through brilliant recruitment.... A popular narrative that’s taken hold about a 'fraudulent' Theranos having made false claims about its technology. Not so fast.... She was willing to fail publicly.... Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither were cars, airplanes or internet-capable computers. Theranos, like any other corporation aiming to do something truly different, was going to have to fail a lot to get to success..... While Holmes was plainly and understandably not eager to shout the initial shortcomings of Theranos technology to all who would listen, it’s not as though she was going out of her way to bury mistakes without addressing them. Quite the opposite. Some will point to Theranos’s utilization of third party equipment, along with actual needles on occasion in order to complete blood tests, but this too was yet further evidence that accuracy of testing mattered; that Theranos would make up for the initial shortcomings of the Edison and miniLab analyzers until they could stand on their own.... So much of Bad Blood struck this reader as innuendo.... That the technology 'didn’t always work' means it sometimes did.... It’s quite simply not news that Thernanos technology was buggy.... Which brings us to Theranos not making it. Carreyrou comes to the not-terribly-novel conclusion that 'Holmes and her company had overpromised and then cut corners when they couldn’t deliver'.... Stressing average doesn’t work when raising funds for a technology company.... Some will respond that the responsible thing for Holmes et al to have done would have been to tap the brakes as it were, to moderate expectations in consideration of the company’s audacious vision, to underpromise. Much easier said than done.... One senses that some of Holmes’s biggest critics have never run a start-up, let alone a business.... Which brings us to Elizabeth Holmes.... Seemingly forgotten by the eternally smug is that per serial business founder and investor Carl Schramm, capitalistic progress is 'messy', and it’s the stuff of individuals willing to energetically pursue that which is roundly rejected by the existing order. Crucial is that these people are very necessary.... It’s time to end the witch hunts meant to quiet the minds and actions of those who want to force the change without which there is no progress...


#noted #2019-10-15

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