Le 10/05/2022. “Money. Romance. Tragedy. Deception. How did the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire loses...
Photo de couverture © mundissima / Shutterstock.com
Niveau B2 (intermédiaire avancé)
“Money. Romance. Tragedy. Deception. How did the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire loses it all in the blink of an eye?” This is part of the description for ‘The Dropout’, a series about Elizabeth Holmes and her company Theranos. Intriguing, isn’t it? And it becomes even more intriguing when you know that the series is based on a true story.
© Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com
© Michael Vi / Shutterstock.com
‘The Dropout’is a one-season series of eight episodes following Holmes’ unbelievable story of ambition gone wrong. But how realistic is it? Very, it seems. The plot follows Holmes from her days as an engineering student at Stanford University to the present day as a person convicted of fraud and waiting for sentencing.
When Holmes was just 19 years old in 2003, she dropped out of university and convinced her parents to let her use her tuition money to start a company which she called Theranos. The name is a combination of two words – therapy and diagnosis. What was the aim of the company? To create a blood-testing machine that could detect up to 240 medical conditions in a few minutes from just one drop of blood. It was a revolutionary idea, fuelled by Holmes own fear of needles, and she gained the financial support of many venture capitalists eager to hitch their wagon to her star1. By February 2014, Theranos had raised more than $945 million. Success was within reach! But there was a problem. Theranos’ blood machines didn’t work. Holmes and her partner, Ramesh Balwani were aware of the problem, but purposely hid it from the world.
What happened then? Nobody likes a spoiler so, while you probably know the end result if you watch the news, we won’t tell you how the story plays out. You can tune in to find out the events of what happens to Holmes, Balwani and Theranos either on Disney+ or on Canal Plus. But we will leave you with this quote from Holmes which sums up her unrealistic business ethic, “The minute you have a back-up plan, you’ve admitted you’re not going to succeed.”
If you want to know more about Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos, read the article p.6-7 in Go English N°114 (May-June 2022).
1 ‘To hitch your wagon to a star’ is an idiomatic expression coined by Ralph Waldo Emerson (a New England preacher, essayist, lecturer, poet, and philosopher, one of the most influential writers and thinkers of the 19th century in the US). It means ‘to try to succeed by forming a relationship with someone who is already successful’.
self-made = autodidacte
in the blink of an eye = en un clin d’oeil
to go wrong = aller de travers
a sentencing = une condamnation
to drop out = abandonner
tuition money = les frais de scolarité
to be fuelled by = être alimenté par
a needle = une aiguille
venture capitalists = de investisseurs (du capital risque)
within reach = à portée de main
purposely = intentionnellement
a spoiler = qui révèle l’intrigue, qui divulgâche
to play out = se dérouler
to tune in = être à l’écoute
Ce site Web utilise ses propres cookies et ceux de tiers pour améliorer nos services et vous montrer des publicités liées à vos préférences en analysant vos habitudes de navigation. Pour donner votre consentement à son utilisation, appuyez sur le bouton Accepter.Plus d'informations