Bad Blood

(Axel Boer) #1

big for a startup that had just shrunk back down to fifty people after
the Ed Ku layoffs. The main floor was a long rectangular expanse.
Elizabeth insisted on clustering employees on one side of it, leaving a
big empty stretch of space on the other. Once or twice, Aaron Moore
tried to put it to use by coaxing several colleagues into a game of
indoor soccer.

Aaron grew closer to Justin Maxwell and Mike Bauerly after Ana
Arriola’s sudden departure. Ana hadn’t given any of them a heads-up
that she planned on quitting. She’d just marched out one day and
hadn’t come back. It unsettled Justin the most because Ana was the
one who’d talked him into leaving Apple to come to Theranos, but he
tried to maintain a positive attitude. He told himself that if the
company was moving to prime Palo Alto office space, then it must be
doing something right.

Shortly after the move, Aaron and Mike decided to conduct some
informal “human factors” research with two of the Edison prototypes
Tony Nugent and Dave Nelson had built. It was engineering-speak for
putting them in people’s hands and seeing how they interacted with
them. Aaron was curious to know how people handled pricking their
fingers and the subsequent steps required to get the blood into the
cartridge. He’d pricked his own finger so much while running internal
tests that he no longer had any feeling in it.

With Tony’s permission, they put the Edisons in the trunk of
Aaron’s Mazda and drove up to San Francisco. Their plan was to take
them around to friends’ startups in the city. First, they stopped at
Aaron’s apartment in San Francisco’s Mission District to do some
staging. They placed the machines on the wooden coffee table in
Aaron’s living room and made sure they had everything else they
needed: the cartridges, the lancets to draw the blood, and the small
syringes called “transfer pens” used to put the blood in the cartridge.

Aaron took photos with his digital camera to document what they
were doing. The Yves Béhar cases weren’t ready yet, so the devices had
a primitive look. Their temporary cases were made from gray
aluminum plates bolted together. The front plate tilted upward like a
cat door to let the cartridge in. A rudimentary software interface sat

Free download pdf