Mainstream tech unicorn startup news has been pretty wild the last few weeks as courts deliberated over former $9 billion Theranos. On January 3rd, former CEO Elizabeth Holmes was found guilty of multiple account of massive wire fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud.
What is Theranos?
Elizabeth Holmes was your typical college dropout turned tech unicorn founder. In 2014, she left Stanford to create a blood-testing company. It was a unique idea and was presented as solving a lot of problems in blood-testing, like identifying blood diseases early on and finding markers for biological predispositions.
Holmes carried herself like Steve Jobs. She became the youngest female self-made billionaire and the talk of every venture capitalist in Silicon Valley.
After Theranos became seemingly unstoppable in its pursuit toward the world’s leading blood-testing device manufacturer, inaccuracies in their technology began to circulate, and Holmes pivoted to cover it up.
These cover ups led to an ousting, which ultimately led to the total collapse of Theranos.
Holmes’ rise to wealth and fame is a story we can learn from.
“Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” Proverbs 23:5
At what point did Holmes shift from the young, aspiring creator pictured below to getting caught right in the middle of the Theranos collapse? Fame and wealth and success can do a lot of weird things to us when we don’t keep a spiritual perspective.
Whether you’re building a tech startup from the ground, steadily investing in the growth of a large company, or baking cookies for your local coffee shop, consider these words from Paul to the Philippians:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (4:8).
Earlier in the same book, he says “Do nothing out of selfish ambition. . .” (2:3) and “have the same mindset as Christ Jesus” (2:5).
As you work in your career, or pursue personal development of some kind, whatever it may be, “think about such things”.
God gives us many opportunities to catch ourselves in our own tracks. Sometimes we need to step back for a moment and question our motives, then realign. It doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does have to be intentional.