Bad Blood

(Axel Boer) #1

A few days after the San Francisco excursion, Aaron was sipping a
beer at home and downloading the pictures he’d taken when an idea
for a joke came to him. Using Photoshop software, he took one of the
pictures—it showed the twin Edison prototypes sitting side by side on
dinner mats on his coffee table—and made a fake Craigslist ad. Above
the photo and under a headline that read, “Theranos Edison 1.0
‘readers’—mostly functional—$10,000 OBO,” he wrote:

Up for grabs is a rare matching set of Theranos point-of-
care diagnostic “Edison” devices. Billed as the “iPod of
healthcare,” the Edison is a semi-portable
immunochemistry platform capable of performing
multiplexed protein assays on a fingerstick sample of
human or animal whole blood...
I bought these units recently when I thought I was at risk
of succumbing to septic shock. Now that I’ve tested my
protein C and realized that I’m safely in the 4 ug/mL range,
I no longer need a pre-production blood analytic device.
My loss is your gain!
$10k for the pair, $6000 apiece, OBO—would also be
willing to consider trade for a comparable pre-clinical
diagnostic device (i.e., Roche, Becton-Coulter [sic], Abaxis,
Biosite, etc.). Comes with a supply of single use cartridges,
pelican shipping cases, AC adapter, EU power adapters,
and assorted blood collection accessories, leeches, etc.

Aaron printed out the mock ad and took it with him to work the next
day. When Justin and Mike spotted it on his desk, they thought it was
hilarious. Mike decided it deserved a bigger audience and posted it on
the wall in the men’s room.

Then all hell broke loose. Someone took the ad down and brought it
to Elizabeth, who thought it was real. She convened an emergency
meeting of the senior managers and the lawyers. She was treating it as
a full-blown case of industrial espionage and wanted an immediate
investigation to find the culprit.

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