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.