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Thursday, March 15, 2018

The female Steve Jobs

Turned out to be the female Bernie Madoff:
Elizabeth Holmes — the Silicon Valley wunderkind whose blood-testing startup Theranos has collapsed in a slew of scandals — has been charged with “massive fraud” by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC on Wednesday accused Theranos CEO Holmes and a top lieutenant of defrauding investors of more than $700 million through false claims about its technology.

Holmes — a Steve Jobs wannabe who dressed exclusively in black turtlenecks as she talked up her blood-testing unicorn, which at one point boasted a valuation north of $9 billion — settled with the regulators for $500,000 while neither admitting nor denying the accusations.

Theranos disclosed in a 2016 letter to investors it was under a criminal probe. No criminal charges have been filed, and it’s not known if the investigation is ongoing.

Holmes additionally agreed to not be a director or officer of a public company for 10 years, and to forgo profiting from Theranos ownership until $750 million is returned to investors, according to the consent order with the SEC.

Theranos and 34-year-old Holmes ran “an elaborate, years-long fraud in which they exaggerated or made false statements about the company’s technology, business, and financial performance,” according to the SEC.

While Theranos had said it was on track to make $100 million by the end of 2014, the real figure was “a little more than $100,000,” according to the SEC.
The thing you have to understand about Silicon Valley is that for the last 20 years, it has essentially consisted of little more than techno-Ponzi schemes. Very, very few of the companies that are created there are actually intended to make money on the basis of their nominal business. What is remarkable, in many cases, is the way in which many of these startups never have very much revenue, let alone profit, at all.

These "startups" are basically schemes to suck in investors and keep stringing them along until the company can drum up an exit, which can take the form of going public, or in most cases, an acquisition. But the whole game is more akin to gambling than it is to conventional business development. This is the difference between an Infogalactic and a Gab, for example. We're not Silicon Valley startup artists, we're not looking for a future exit, we are developing our own new tech on a community-supported shoestring, we aren't slinging around buzzwords or issuing press releases, and we strongly prefer volunteers and supporters to employees and investors. Only time will tell which Alt-Tech model works better, but if Gab eventually implodes, you cannot say the warning signs were not there.

Anyhow, I always assumed Elizabeth Holmes was a complete fake, so this news of her confirmed con artistry does not surprise me at all. She clearly didn't know what she was talking about, she always seemed to be more interested in TED Talks and photoshoots than business, and she surrounded herself with the kind of older men who are always complete suckers for any woman who is young and blonde.

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78 Comments:

Blogger Amy March 15, 2018 7:11 AM  

They dumped money in her lap because Female.

High E eyes, high T voice. She’s no doubt intelligent but enough to game the system. She wasn’t smart enough to get out before reality caught up with her.

Blogger Uncle John's Band March 15, 2018 7:12 AM  

Well, it is repeated ad nauseum that women can't do anything without "role models"...

Blogger Stilicho March 15, 2018 7:17 AM  

The corporate version of Hultgreen-Curie. Call it the Fiorina-Holmes effect.

Blogger Tatooine Sharpshooters' Club March 15, 2018 7:19 AM  

forgo profiting from Theranos ownership until $750 million is returned to investors

That SEC sure is medieval with its punishments, ain't it? Certainly anyone considering monetary malfeasance will be scared straight by such draconian discipline.

Blogger SciVo March 15, 2018 7:20 AM  

If this is the case I'm thinking of, my favorite part was that they were so far from realizing the vision marketed to investors that they were secretly using other companies' off-the-shelf products for results delivered to customers.

Blogger Not a lefty March 15, 2018 7:22 AM  

Physiognamy: crazy eyes.

Blogger Gloriam Deo March 15, 2018 7:33 AM  

"Very, very few of the companies that are created there are actually intended to make money."

If I recall, this is an open tactic. They structure their services or products in such a way that, combined with some fancy accounting, they stay in the "pre-revenue" stage. This both allows them to attract even more investors as well as predict any kind of eventual payout they want.

I could be wrong about this tho, feel free to correct me.

Blogger Ken Prescott March 15, 2018 7:33 AM  

Apparently, she's going to be played by Jennifer Lawrence in the movie about this.

Look for her to be played as some misunderstood genius brought down by the patriarchy's unreasonable demands for scientific validity...

Blogger Tatooine Sharpshooters' Club March 15, 2018 7:39 AM  

By the way something, one of those blonde besotted "older men", and apparently quite an activist one, was Mad Dog Mattis.

Blogger Gloriam Deo March 15, 2018 7:47 AM  

@9 are you surprised? the man goes decades without a woman. I can forgive a bit of weakness in the face of his dedication to duty.

Blogger Shimshon March 15, 2018 7:47 AM  

Facebook may be one of the few genuine successes in the last 20 years, but I believe even they had CIA help.

"The corporate version of Hultgreen-Curie. Call it the Fiorina-Holmes effect."

Perhaps Fiorina-Whitman, since Meg predates Holmes by a few years. She had a good run, but I wager much of eBay's success during her tenure was just being in the right place at the right time and just staying out the way. Ebay acquired Skype under her watch, after all. A costly mistake.

Blogger Resident Moron™ March 15, 2018 7:49 AM  

The complete lack of accountability is itself criminal. The SEC should be fired.

Blogger Harambe March 15, 2018 7:54 AM  

I remember a tech event I attended in Cape Town about 3 years ago where a couple start ups could demo their wares to the crowd. One of them was this pretty little SJW whose business consisted of teaching poor black girls to do HTML and CSS. During the tea and lunch breaks, investors were fawning over her, offering her money and dicks and dinner dates to "talk business". We and other startups like us had to be content with exchanging cards among ourselves.

Blogger Harambe March 15, 2018 7:55 AM  

It has to be said though that we're about 4 times as big as we were back then and we don't owe any investors anything. So there's that.

Blogger VD March 15, 2018 7:56 AM  

One of them was this pretty little SJW whose business consisted of teaching poor black girls to do HTML and CSS.

Huge money in that. HUGE opportunity.

Blogger VD March 15, 2018 7:58 AM  

It has to be said though that we're about 4 times as big as we were back then and we don't owe any investors anything. So there's that.

That's why I consider the venture game to be a complete waste of time. That being said, the one area where I think allowing investors could make sense is if we wanted to pursue movies. Castalia has no need of $10 million in investment, but one could make and market two full-length movies with that.

Blogger Looking Glass March 15, 2018 8:05 AM  

I remember when this broke, and there's a good Vanity Fair piece on the company. The VF writer was dancing around the issue no would was willing to say: she was more than willing, as a 20-22 year old "blonde", to work VCs in all the ways that implies. She made it to Stanford and had connections to VCs, though she doesn't come from a hyper-connected family.

VCs were more than willing to fund a HB8 that could peak their interest with an interesting company idea and good looks. However, pretty early on the information was, apparently, pretty clear that the "Nanotainers" approach just wasn't going to work. Capillary blood just doesn't work for testing of most of what you want to test.

Though a shout-out to Theranos' board of directors. Best Biological Weapons Development board you could assemble. (Half of them were retired generals and Henry Kissinger showed up as well.) Though no one there would have been able to figure out pure technical BS at the medical level.

Blogger Harambe March 15, 2018 8:08 AM  

If you don't have huge overheads and you have enough money to pay rent for a couple months, you can do wonders with just a computer and Amazon's or Microsoft's free services tiers.

Which is not what we did, but that's what I'd do if I have to start over again.

Blogger Looking Glass March 15, 2018 8:12 AM  

@7 Gloriam Deo

There's a lot of tricks they pull to keep their numbers from looking terrible, as they're either trying to get bought or go IPO. That's what VC money is supposed to do.

There's also the "Silicon Valley Model", which is really what most will be talking about. That model is supported because Wall Street needs: 1) new IPOs and 2) places to absorb massive inflation. SV currently acts like an Inflation Release Valve, in theory, for the Fed & Wall Street. That's why they're encouraged to do so many stupid things.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine March 15, 2018 8:14 AM  

I wonder if most people understand the full dynamics of what an "inflation release valve" implies.

Namely, titanic corruption, malfeasance, and decadence feeding off the entire economic system.

Blogger Looking Glass March 15, 2018 8:16 AM  

@11 Shimshon

Everyone that makes it in SV has CIA help. This isn't even a hidden piece of information.

Here's the CIA's Hedge Fund Infog: https://infogalactic.com/info/In-Q-Tel
Here's their own website: http://www.iqt.org/

@13 Harambe

VCs are almost never above Beta, with most being clear Deltas. You can use 7s on them pretty easily. How'd Vox put it: if he used Spacebunny's photo on his columns, he'd have a FoxNews show in a year?

Blogger bob kek mando - ( I love the smell of Autism on the internet. It smells like ... victoREEEEEEEEE ) March 15, 2018 8:18 AM  

15. VD March 15, 2018 7:56 AM
Huge money in that. HUGE opportunity.



of course there is. that's the same Educational-Industrial Complex system that we've perfected in the West.

take genetically handicapped children brought up in sociologically crippled home rearing and indoctrinate them with pedagogically substandard "educational" techniques
...
and blame the lack of results on inadequate funding
...
even though you already outspend the entire rest of the planet on a per student basis.
???
Winning!

while they actually did come down on Dizzy Holmes, i'm wondering why nothing has been said about the BoD? it would be hilarious to me if a vile Satanist like Kissinger went to the big house because he allowed something like Theranos to operate under his direction.

https://infogalactic.com/info/Board_of_directors

Typical duties of boards of directors include:[5][6]

governing the organization by establishing broad policies and objectives;
selecting, appointing, supporting and reviewing the performance of the chief executive;
ensuring the availability of adequate financial resources;
approving annual budgets;
accounting to the stakeholders for the organization's performance;
setting the salaries and compensation of company management;

Blogger Desdichado March 15, 2018 8:22 AM  

Another clear example of the "physiognomy is real" rule. You'll rarely run across crazy eyes as bad as hers. She looks like some kind of lizard alien Stepford wife.

Blogger Looking Glass March 15, 2018 8:26 AM  

@20 Azure Amaranthine

They don't because they're not supposed to look at who is behind the curtain, plus the information is highly technical. No news producer is capable of rendering it into bites that their news readers could repeat. Not that it also probably wouldn't get the entire staff at that media outlet fired and/or suicided.


@16 VD

"VC Money" has its place in certain fields. When you need to build out actual manufacturing capacity, you simply need a lot of up-front money to do that. But the biggest issue with VC money isn't actually that it is "the most expensive money in business". No, it is that you have to take call from VCs.

SoundCloud is the recent example. They had nearly 500 employees for a product that needed maybe 75 total. Somehow they had a Diversity coordinator and all of the other trendy SJW stuff. The problem, when taking VC money, is you have to hire the niece of the current Deputy Director of some Federal Agency. And then the VC's college buddy's son. Then your HR hires Xir and Dragonkin.

Now, your VC-funded company has twice as many employees as you need, and the only people you can fire are the ones you need. And the SJW infection claims another viable company.

Blogger MendoScot March 15, 2018 8:29 AM  

SciVo wrote:If this is the case I'm thinking of, my favorite part was that they were so far from realizing the vision marketed to investors that they were secretly using other companies' off-the-shelf products for results delivered to customers.
Yup, that's the one, SciVo. When I read about them a couple of years ago I just had to SHM at investors' credulity. But she packed out board members with high-recognition political big-hitters, so people probably thought that Theranos was protected.
Seems the God-Emperor doesn't do bailouts.

Blogger bob kek mando - ( I love the smell of Autism on the internet. It smells like ... victoREEEEEEEEE ) March 15, 2018 8:35 AM  

20. Azure Amaranthine March 15, 2018 8:14 AM
I wonder if most people understand the full dynamics of what an "inflation release valve" implies.


Rhetorical question is Rhetorical.

the Constitution is Dumbocracy and Free Trade!
Immigration standards or restrictions are Racism!
Debt is Wealth!
Lincoln was the greatest president ever!
"I cut down that cherry tree" Washington and "Honest Abe" Lincoln never told lies!
Fiat is Currency!
we've always been at war with Russia! except for that whole HUAC thing when it was the worst crime of all time to Blacklist Russian political operatives from working in the United States!
Racism is the only thing more evil than being non-antagonistic to Russia!
Central Banks over which the Federal Government has no effective control are not Oligarchical Central Planning systems! in any way!
Inflation Release Valves are an indispensable part of the modern First World economic systems!

Blogger Avalanche March 15, 2018 8:36 AM  

And, by happenstance, Henrik Palmgren over at Red Ice just interviewed Torba:

https://redice.tv/red-ice-radio/gabs-blockchain-and-ico-mission-to-secure-free-speech-online

Blogger One Deplorable DT March 15, 2018 8:36 AM  

@13 - One of them was this pretty little SJW whose business consisted of teaching poor black girls to do HTML and CSS. During the tea and lunch breaks, investors were fawning over her, offering her money and dicks and dinner dates to "talk business".

It's enough to make me want to abandon any form of honest living; find a model-tier female 'business partner' who is not afraid to 'work' a crowd; and pitch the most absurd SJW infested tech idea I can imagine while drunk. Ideally something with an environmental angle so I could get Federal funding along with VC money.

What's the worst that could happen? The SEC fines me for 1/10th the money I steal? My business partner gets herpes?

Blogger Lovekraft March 15, 2018 8:41 AM  

Wonder how much is tied into keeping the kids dumbed down in the public education system in order to ensure a fresh batch of dupes.

Would it really be beyond the deep state to suppress true reform and ensure the unions are able to maintain the status quo?

Just one of many possible reasons why there are truly two types of education systems: one for the wealthy, one for the prisoners.

Blogger Libertarian March 15, 2018 8:44 AM  

This techno-ponzi is just the old, old story, like the South Sea Bubble, Tulip mania and the railway frenzy of the 1840s. For every con artist there's several thousand greedy suckers.

Blogger James Dixon March 15, 2018 8:44 AM  

> It's enough to make me want to abandon any form of honest living; find a model-tier female 'business partner' who is not afraid to 'work' a crowd; and pitch the most absurd SJW infested tech idea I can imagine while drunk.

You'll want to have all the mirrors in your house removed so that you don't have to look at yourself in them, but I can understand the temptation quite well.

Blogger James Dixon March 15, 2018 8:46 AM  

> And, by happenstance, Henrik Palmgren over at Red Ice just interviewed Torba:

I'm keeping and using my Gab account, but I wouldn't touch anything associated with Gab's finances with an 11 foot pole.

Blogger Harambe March 15, 2018 8:55 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Harambe March 15, 2018 8:56 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger VD March 15, 2018 9:00 AM  

Stop deleting your own comments, Harambe. The blank comments are far more annoying to everyone else than your typos.

Blogger Looking Glass March 15, 2018 9:03 AM  

@33 Harambe

You'd be used & abused by age 30, working a lot and the Baby Rabies are screaming at you. You have to use some medication approach to run away from the little thoughts that still say you're a failure, and you'd be posting to Social Media trying to say how awesome your life is.

There's a reason you should be trying to marry off your daughters as soon as it makes sense. Modern society is well designed to break them at the most fundamental levels.

Blogger RC March 15, 2018 9:03 AM  

A $500K fine for bilking investors out of $700M? And she'll pay the fine with dirty money. Apparently Lady Justice loves cute blondes.

Blogger JK March 15, 2018 9:15 AM  

"...and to forgo profiting from theiranus"

Blogger Looking Glass March 15, 2018 9:21 AM  

@37 RC

Sort of. SEC actions are always a problem if they go to court. Anything in the realm that Theranos was dealing with is an utter mess if it goes to Court.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorensteffy/2013/06/21/an-end-to-the-enron-saga/#3d495bf0163d

Enron should have been an easy case, no? No. They agreed to the modified deal because Skilling could have still potential won in a retrial and then sought damages from the FedGov. It's an area that no one has sought to clean up, everyone important is lawyered up beyond belief and Wall Street has a massive interest in it just all being swept under the rug.

In Holmes case, she plead out to 10 year prevention from public companies at the exec level: her career is over. The SEC threw her a bone to save themselves a lot of hassle, more than anything else, but this is a case it helps to have connections. The cross examination of some of the VC funders and the terrible sexual advances would have thrown the case into nasty disarray.

OpenID Überdeplorable Psychedelic Cat Grass March 15, 2018 9:26 AM  

I was waiting for this post, Vox. Glad you decided to dedicate one to her. It's about time the SEC took her to task. I think they should've formally indicted her rather than let her get off with a $500k settlement.

"Amy wrote:They dumped money in her lap because Female.

High E eyes, high T voice. She’s no doubt intelligent but enough to game the system. She wasn’t smart enough to get out before reality caught up with her.
"

@1 BGS said it best: she got so far ahead to horizontal networking.

SciVo wrote:If this is the case I'm thinking of, my favorite part was that they were so far from realizing the vision marketed to investors that they were secretly using other companies' off-the-shelf products for results delivered to customers.

@5 It is. They were using other companies' blood testing machines to deliver their results. It makes one wonder what did Edison (their machine) ever actually do? Did it just have a skeleton centrifuge and beep at certain intervals?

Tatooine Sharpshooters' Club wrote:By the way something, one of those blonde besotted "older men", and apparently quite an activist one, was Mad Dog Mattis.

@9 He was on the board of directors. Whether or not that translates into investing, I haven't a clue.

Looking Glass wrote:I remember when this broke, and there's a good Vanity Fair piece on the company. The VF writer was dancing around the issue no would was willing to say: she was more than willing, as a 20-22 year old "blonde", to work VCs in all the ways that implies. She made it to Stanford and had connections to VCs, though she doesn't come from a hyper-connected family.

VCs were more than willing to fund a HB8 that could peak their interest with an interesting company idea and good looks. However, pretty early on the information was, apparently, pretty clear that the "Nanotainers" approach just wasn't going to work. Capillary blood just doesn't work for testing of most of what you want to test.

Though a shout-out to Theranos' board of directors. Best Biological Weapons Development board you could assemble. (Half of them were retired generals and Henry Kissinger showed up as well.) Though no one there would have been able to figure out pure technical BS at the medical level.


@17 As someone else noted (I think it was in the VF article), that's an impressive list but has next to nothing to do with medicine. She should've stayed at Stanford and actually gotten a degree.

Blogger seeingsights March 15, 2018 9:28 AM  

Good points have been made about the Board of Directors of Theranos. I sensed something fishy about Theranos a few years ago. So what does that make of the Board of Directors? That these military and political figures don't have a good bull shit detector? Or that they knew it was bullshit and didn't care?

Blogger Josh (the sexiest thing here) March 15, 2018 9:35 AM  

Stop deleting your own comments, Harambe. The blank comments are far more annoying to everyone else than your typos.

I'm just happy that we'll have internet in heaven.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother March 15, 2018 9:36 AM  

Medical devices and testing coupled with shady VC financing and accounting techniques are a perfect storm. How do you verify or validate the performance of medical devices such as the Theranos analyzer? Are there ASTM standards for that kind of equipment?

You'd get run out of town on a rail, quickly, if you tried that in oil and gas.

Blogger Looking Glass March 15, 2018 9:36 AM  

@41 seeingsights
@40 Überdeplorable Psychedelic Cat Grass

The board made perfect sense for a new Medical Testing company that was going to be dealing with Medicare, Insurance Companies and the Military. The technology, if it worked, would have been of huge interest to the DoD. However, no one on the board would have had the technical knowledge to call foul on development issues, and this was likely intentional.

Why did none of the MedTech VCs not catch the issue is actually the bigger question. If a VC firm dropped $100s of millions into a round of funding on a Medical Product without someone able to do the research on the technology, we actually have more of our answer for why the SEC cut a deal.

Blogger Harambe March 15, 2018 9:46 AM  

VD wrote:Stop deleting your own comments, Harambe. The blank comments are far more annoying to everyone else than your typos.

Sorry boss. It was something I said that I didn't want out there in hindsight. I'll try to do better.

Blogger Harambe March 15, 2018 9:49 AM  

Josh (the sexiest thing here) wrote:

I'm just happy that we'll have internet in heaven.


It's uncapped, but the lag is horrible.

Blogger FUBARwest March 15, 2018 9:59 AM  

"That's why I consider the venture game to be a complete waste of time. That being said, the one area where I think allowing investors could make sense is if we wanted to pursue movies. Castalia has no need of $10 million in investment, but one could make and market two full-length movies with that."

Even with that you can end up with problems you get with investors in a regular business. Not to mention new ones like "producers" wanting to "scout and interview" talent.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine March 15, 2018 10:02 AM  

"we've always been at war with Eurasia! except for that whole HUAC thing when it was the worst crime of all time to Blacklist Eurasian political operatives from working in Oceania!"

FTFY.

"Apparently Lady Justice loves cute blondes."

If the picture on Vox's linked article is representative, she's maybe a five.

"I sensed something fishy about Theranos a few years ago."

Med school students were informing me it was an impossible batshit hoax around about day one.

Never underestimate the niche stupidity of people. Even geniuses stumble in it alarmingly often.

Blogger Brick Hardslab March 15, 2018 10:07 AM  

Give him a break, he's a gorilla. Have you seen the size of his thumbs?

Blogger Brick Hardslab March 15, 2018 10:08 AM  

Sailer has been all over this. The guy is so underrated.

Blogger pyrrhus March 15, 2018 10:26 AM  

For anyone familiar with the science, Theranos was an obvious scam from the beginning--it couldn't possibly work. But the Bimbo in Chief was backed by deep state heavy hitters like George Schultz.

Blogger OGRE March 15, 2018 10:38 AM  

How could a blood testing company possibly be worth so much? I remember seeing her a few years back in some article about how much money she and her company are worth, and it just didn't make any sense. 9 BILLION??? Thats just beyond absurd.

Also, I'm reasonably convinced that shes a transsexual.

Blogger ReluctantMessiah March 15, 2018 10:40 AM  

Man, it's so tempting to ditch an honest living for jumping on the Father of Lies Ponzi scheme

Blogger VD March 15, 2018 10:46 AM  

Man, it's so tempting to ditch an honest living for jumping on the Father of Lies Ponzi scheme

It's a lot harder than it looks. For every one that is successful, more than 100 go nowhere.

Blogger Harambe March 15, 2018 10:54 AM  

You could always start selling Amway, Tupperware and Herbalife.

Jokes aside, pyramid schemes where you're actually selling products to people below you are fairly profitable. They're also not illegal. Just browbeat your friend and family into becoming your resellers.

Blogger bob kek mando - ( I love the smell of Autism on the internet. It smells like ... victoREEEEEEEEE ) March 15, 2018 11:22 AM  

52. OGRE March 15, 2018 10:38 AM
9 BILLION??? Thats just beyond absurd.


not if you're laundering money for a Black Ops program.

48. Azure Amaranthine March 15, 2018 10:02 AM
FTFY.



had you fixed it for me you'd have included my most glaring omission:

Usury is Capitalism!


48. Azure Amaranthine March 15, 2018 10:02 AM
If the picture on Vox's linked article is representative, she's maybe a five.


she's 34. the Wall approaches. she was a lot more appealing 15 years ago when she was getting Theranos off the ground ... by laying on couches.

she's had her company's 500th anniversary to plan, VCs to give blow jobs too, tech to falsify and Putin to frame for it; she's swamped.

Blogger Jack Amok March 15, 2018 11:28 AM  

she plead out to 10 year prevention from public companies at the exec level: her career is over.

By the time she can get back in the game, she'll be 44. I have a hunch she'll find potential investors significantly less interested, even if they've forgotten her role in Theranos.

Yes, Silicon Valley is a scam and has been for decades. What sensible person trying to make an actual product would locate their company in a place where two bedroom condos cost seven figures , traffic sucks, and your potential employees routinely change jobs every six months?

Blogger kurt9 March 15, 2018 11:48 AM  

Vox,

What you say about Silicon Valley has been obvious to me since the late 90's. The early 80's Silicon Valley (when it got its name) was based on hardware manufacturing where start-ups sought to become solidly profitable companies prior to going public (IPO). This typically took about 5-7 years where the founders lived on shoe-string salaries during that time. This is the 80's style start up model described in books such as "The Entrepreneur's Manual" (Richard M White).

This model ended in the stack market crash of 1987. The current model, which is essentially paying off early investors by looting later investors, started with Netscape's IPO in fall of 1995. Netscape was the first start-up to go public while not being profitable before hand. This is when the ponzi-scheme started. Silicon Valley has been degenerating since then.

One of the things that drove the start-up scene starting around 1996 was the entry of Wall Street into VC capital. Prior to this time, VC firms tended to be shoe string operations run by successful entrepreneurs turned VC's as a result of their own success. I have heard that one of the reasons for the Wall Street entry into the VC/start-up world was due to a regulatory change that required that institutional funds (pension funds, etc.) invest a small percentage of their capital into "speculative" ventures (even when its not appropriate for such funds to be in the VC game). The story I have heard is that this little known regulatory change came from the Clinton administration around 1996.

Blogger Nate73 March 15, 2018 11:50 AM  

I want to hear more about these "old men who are complete suckers" for anyone young and blonde. How can they be identified?

Blogger VD March 15, 2018 11:54 AM  

The current model, which is essentially paying off early investors by looting later investors, started with Netscape's IPO in fall of 1995. Netscape was the first start-up to go public while not being profitable before hand. This is when the ponzi-scheme started. Silicon Valley has been degenerating since then.

Yeah, I remember that, as well as the post-Netscape feeding frenzy that blew up in the dot com bubble.

Blogger ReluctantMessiah March 15, 2018 11:58 AM  

@54 Vox It's a lot harder than it looks. For every one that is successful, more than 100 go nowhere.

Lotteries, the poor man's Ponzi scheme

Blogger Zapp Brannigan March 15, 2018 12:02 PM  

Interesting data point:

After the "young and blonde" comment, I, being a natural red-blooded man, did a quick Google image search to see what Elizabeth Holmes looks like (verdict: meh, but with makeup and her hair done, rather pretty).

What interested me, however, was that one of the glamour shots in the image search was from an article listing the Ten Youngest Female Billionaires. I looked through it and, quelle surprise, EVERY woman in the list apart from Holmes had inherited their fortune from a man:

https://kindofviral.com/youngest-female-billionaires/

Literally, the only female billionaire in the list who had actually built her own fortune is a fraud.

Blogger kurt9 March 15, 2018 12:04 PM  

Nate73,

Apparently George Schulz was one of them.

Blogger RobertT March 15, 2018 12:08 PM  

Madoff was Superman of scam artists. But eventually even he got caught. All scams are self destructing. In time, they will eat their owners. Scams require growth to sustain itself, and when it gets too big to sweep under the rug, everything collapses. This scam came apart a couple of years ago, but people were hesitant to go there, because she is such a pretty lady. But, in the end pocketbooks prevailed.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener March 15, 2018 12:19 PM  

Wonder how much she bribed the SEC to get that deal.

Blogger SciVo March 15, 2018 2:01 PM  

One Deplorable DT wrote:It's enough to make me want to abandon any form of honest living; find a model-tier female 'business partner' who is not afraid to 'work' a crowd; and pitch the most absurd SJW infested tech idea I can imagine while drunk. Ideally something with an environmental angle so I could get Federal funding along with VC money.

A digital currency that is environmentally responsible and socially just, because coins are generated by uploading selfies to the cloud instead of all that energy-sucking, heat-generating decryption.

There, you see? The hard part isn't coming up with an idea; it's keeping a straight face. (Maybe that effort is why Holmes's eyes look weird...)

Blogger Azure Amaranthine March 15, 2018 2:15 PM  

"Also, I'm reasonably convinced that shes a transsexual."

I couldn't reasonably disagree. Five was highballing it.

"had you fixed it for me"

You win this round.

"I want to hear more about these "old men who are complete suckers" for anyone young and blonde"

I don't think they fall for males typically, and you're too old for the ones who do.

"https://kindofviral.com/youngest-female-billionaires/"

Yeah, still about a five even then. That butterface is fairly strong.

Blogger tuberman March 15, 2018 2:32 PM  

Does she wear a White Rose? People were speculating on her being an NWO child sex slave, some of which are elevated to Star status by being propped up by Deep-State money. Many in Hollywood were "adopted" and after a long break-in period with complete control, they become front-pieces.

Blogger tuberman March 15, 2018 2:39 PM  

Perhaps she did not live up to the "looks" standards of Hollywood, so they made her a female ZUCK. If HRC had won, most of this could have been covered up, and this person would have found a way back into fame. It's certain that she is part of the Narrative, and was somehow propped into her position. She probably did not even come up with the scam.

Blogger James Dixon March 15, 2018 2:53 PM  

> You could always start selling Amway, Tupperware and Herbalife.

I can't speak for Herbalife, but having talked to be who have used both, Amway and Tupperware actually make good products. Disclaimer, we won stock in Tupperware.

Blogger tuberman March 15, 2018 3:21 PM  

The current model is more like the Deep-State stealing patents to get a company going that supports the narrative they want projected, bribing all the necessary people to keep them from stopping things, then keep sending in prop up money as long as the tech companies (and others) keeps supporting critical Narrative points, and letting it go if it does not. A solid business model, lags way behind.

Blogger Ingot9455 March 15, 2018 5:07 PM  

As with most pyramid scheme multi-level marketing companies, you can get the same stuff that is in the Herbalife supplements much cheaper elsewhere.

Their main product is basic speed - 'metabolism enhancing' herbs that hype you up and reduce appetite. Like most, it's a lot of caffiene, herbal ephedrine, and a variety of other stimulating herbal vaguely legal stuff similar to what you might get in 'stacker' type products.

Like most, you'll fly high, then crash when it wears off. It's also very dehydrating, and when you hit some kind of goal weight and stop taking the stims, your appetite returns and you eat yourself back up to weight.

Blogger tuberman March 15, 2018 5:56 PM  

Tesla is no longer important enough to receive declining prop-up money, so top execs are bailing, and flaws in vehicles are being exposed. They are the example of the newer model for tech businesses.

Blogger R Beisert March 15, 2018 6:01 PM  

Ah, the things one can do if unbound by morality. Theranos was a particularly blatant example of technological snake oil, but there's plenty more out there.

Among my favorites are things like they Hyperloop (for which, it has been pointed out, the sample cross-section has support beams blocking where the train would go), the self-filling water bottle (whose prototype is bigger and less efficient than a standard dehumidifier), and the Kangan water filter (a device that "alkalinizes" water with a cheap ionizing filter, resulting in water that has all the chemical properties of a baking soda solution).

People will buy just about anything, if you can bring yourself to sell it.

Blogger J Van Stry March 15, 2018 11:30 PM  

I worked for one of the companies that was huge on 'F*cked Company' (remember that website?)

For years afterwards, we (the people who worked there) even kept in touch via it, discussing the hookers and the drugs the VC were buying with our money. Yup, biggest mistake was letting in the VC vultures, they burned through Twenty Million dollars in 12 months and produced NOTHING with it.

They turned down several major acquisitions from megacorps that would have made us all rich (because it wasn't IBM, it had to be IBM or no deal) and in the end all of us got nothing and a promising technology was destroyed.

And that 20 million went almost directly into the pockets of the VC's, after they skimmed off their share of course. Last startup I ever worked for.

Blogger Harambe March 16, 2018 3:05 AM  

James Dixon wrote:> You could always start selling Amway, Tupperware and Herbalife.

I can't speak for Herbalife, but having talked to be who have used both, Amway and Tupperware actually make good products. Disclaimer, we won stock in Tupperware.


That's the thing: make good products and force people under contract to buy a minimum amount per month. Also, I think the South African constitution requires every white woman to be a Tupperware agent.

Blogger Allen L. March 16, 2018 4:40 AM  

I had to laugh, one of the articles also talked about Ubeam and it's female founder. Hey, it's going to work great once someone invents a micro fusion generator to power that sucker. That one is going to end up in the same place as Theranos. When it comes right down to it the VC people and the frauds who suck them in richly deserve each other.

Blogger YIH March 16, 2018 2:22 PM  

R Beisert wrote:Ah, the things one can do if unbound by morality. Theranos was a particularly blatant example of technological snake oil, but there's plenty more out there.

Among my favorites are things like they Hyperloop (for which, it has been pointed out, the sample cross-section has support beams blocking where the train would go), the self-filling water bottle (whose prototype is bigger and less efficient than a standard dehumidifier), and the Kangan water filter (a device that "alkalinizes" water with a cheap ionizing filter, resulting in water that has all the chemical properties of a baking soda solution).

People will buy just about anything, if you can bring yourself to sell it.

The Hyperloop has been thourogly discredited as blatantly unworkable.

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