I can still hear the voices of my older relatives and my elementary school teachers telling me “be disciplined”, “keep at it”, to give time and energy towards what we want. As a young, impressionable child, I believed all those things because well, they made sense. They worked. And honestly, I felt like it’s the […]
Too many business leaders think the latest marketing or sales strategies are the key to growth and building a freedom-based business. They fail to realize that all the strategies in the world won’t work without a strong mindset. The concept and idea behind developing your mindset have been relegated to cute Instagram Memes. It’s not […]
Professor Howard Stevenson from the Harvard Business School states, “maintaining an effective culture is so important that it, in fact, trumps even strategy.” But the question arises how to create a company culture that inspires motivation and innovation from employees? Searching for such a culture, many leave an old-school corporate environment. Therefore, it depends on […]
Entrepreneurs are go-getters who strive to succeed no matter how challenging the situation is. They find paths no one sees or build one where none exist by using their creativity and perseverance. However, even they struggle sometimes, and it is good to seek guidance from reliable sources during these times. These sources can be anyone, […]
It’s Thursday, 8 PM. I’m relaxing at home, doing normal things, and scrolling social media. Tomorrow is a big day. There are lots of things to do with moving pieces of furniture because I’m moving to another city. On top of that, a repairman is coming to my house at 8AM, so I’ll have to […]
Apple has asked all of its US employees to share their vaccination status voluntarily. According to Bloomberg, the company recently sent out a memo requesting workers, whether they currently work out of an office or not, to share that information by September 17th. Apple reportedly plans to use the data it collects to inform its ongoing COVID-19 response.
Bloomberg reports the company told employees it would keep their vaccine status “confidential and secure” by aggregating the information but said that could change in the future. “It is possible your vaccination status may be used in an identifiable manner, along with other information about your general work environment such as your building location, if we determine or, if it is required that, this information is necessary in order to ensure a healthy and safe work environment,” Apple said in the memo, according to the outlet. It’s not clear what repercussions if any an employee will face if they do not provide their vaccination status by the deadline.
We’ve reached out to the company for comment.
Unlike Google, Apple currently does not require employees to be vaccinated before they can come to the office. Still, the company has started to nudge its workers in that direction more forcefully. For example, it recently began a campaign encouraging workers to get their shot.
The company’s request, and the admission that the information employees share with it may be used in an identifiable manner, come as Apple faces increasing scrutiny over how it handles the privacy of its workers. A recent report from The Verge detailed some of the company’s policies on that front. For instance, one such rule prohibits employees from wiping their work devices before returning them to the company. This latest policy may further fuel those concerns.
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The balance between life and business is an interesting conundrum. There are articles, books, podcasts, and videos that talk about the need for work-life balance. The reality is that the balance has to be specific to your situation, and it’s a lifelong process to attain. Business leaders should be more focused on optimization strategies that […]
Nearly a decade ago, Theranos touted a revolutionary diagnostic device that could run myriad medical tests without having to draw blood through a needle. Today, the startup’s founder, Elizabeth Holmes, goes to court, where she’s facing 12 criminal counts for statements she made to investors and consumers about her company’s technology.
Holmes founded Theranos in 2003 after dropping out of Stanford University at the age of 19. Driven by her phobia of needles, Holmes wanted to create diagnostic tests that use blood from finger pricks rather than from needles. The idea caught on, attracting well-connected board members like Henry Kissinger and James Mattis, drawing over $400 million in investments from wealthy investors including Larry Ellison and Rupert Murdoch, and securing lucrative partnerships with Walgreens and Safeway. At its peak, Theranos was worth over $9 billion.
But Theranos’ myth started unwinding in 2015 when a Wall Street Journal investigation revealed that the company had been performing most of its tests on traditional blood diagnostic machines rather than its own “Einstein” device. The company’s own employees doubted the machine’s accuracy.
For many tests, blood from finger pricks is difficult to analyze. Small amounts of blood typically contain more variability than larger draws from veins, and a poorly executed stick might grab interstitial fluid along with the blood. Plus, finger-prick blood comes in contact with the skin, raising the chances of contamination that can confound the results. Yet Holmes and Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, Theranos’ president and chief operating officer, painted a rosy picture for investors, partners, and customers.
“Theranos claimed that its laboratory infrastructure yielded test results in less time than conventional labs—requiring hours instead of days. Theranos claimed that its proprietary technology and methods would minimize the risk of human error and generate results with the highest accuracy,” the indictment says. Despite this, prosecutors have said, “Holmes and Balwani knew that the analyzer had accuracy and reliability problems, performed a limited number of tests, was slower than some competing devices, and, in some respects, could not compete with existing, more conventional machines.”
Holmes and Balwani were indicted in June 2018, and soon Theranos was facing mounting civil and criminal investigations. The company settled a Securities and Exchange Commission probe and shut down shortly thereafter.
The end of Theranos didn’t halt the scrutiny of Holmes’ and Balwani’s behavior, though. Three rounds of indictments have brought the total to 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The latest indictment, which supersedes the previous two, was filed in June 2020.
Both Holmes and Balwani have pleaded not guilty, and Balwani’s trial will begin next year.
The indictments aren’t limited to claims about the company’s proprietary diagnostic machine but also include what Holmes and Balwani allegedly said to investors about revenue and business deals. The prosecution says the pair told investors that Theranos would bring in over $100 million in revenue in 2014, helping the company break even, and hit $1 billion in 2015, amounts that exceeded the executives’ actual expectations. Prosecutors also say that the pair falsely told investors that the company landed contracts with the Pentagon.
The road to trial has been filled with delays, first due to the COVID-19 pandemic and then again when Holmes became pregnant. Her child was born in July, around the time the trial was supposed to begin. If convicted, Holmes faces up to 20 years in prison.
Today’s proceedings kick off jury selection, in which prosecutors and defense attorneys will begin questioning over 100 potential jurors. The pool was already slashed last week, as Holmes’ attorney Kevin Downey told US District Judge Edward Davila of the Northern District of California that more than 30 jurors had “consumed substantial—and I mean lengthy, extrajudicial—material about the case and about the defendant.” In a pre-trial hearing, Downey also said that selected jurors must be vaccinated, while the prosecution wouldn’t commit to a stance on the issue.
Opening statements are scheduled to begin on September 8, and the trial may run through mid-December. Holmes is expected to claim that Balwani, who was her boyfriend for much of Theranos’ existence, was an abusive and controlling partner. A court filing released on Saturday revealed that Holmes is expected to take the stand during the trial and allege that he monitored her calls, texts, and emails and was physically violent, claims that Balwani denies. Her attorneys say these actions affected her “state of mind” when the alleged fraud took place.
Self-appreciation is about valuing who you are and what you do. It’s about how you take care of yourself, mentally and physically. It sounds easy but it’s often more of a challenge to do so. If you experience imposter syndrome, it’s downright near impossible to have self-appreciation. Why? Well, self-appreciation is about seeing yourself in […]
Before we start exploring leadership myths, let’s take a moment to examine these three “truth or myth” questions: Truth or myth? Caffeine and its effects are addictive. Answer: We can hear it now, “I can’t start my day without it, I’m addicted!” We even feel what some call withdrawal symptoms when we don’t get our […]