This week, Inc.'s executive director of editorial Jon Fine talks about the saga of Theranos, the blood testing company heralded as the next big disrupter that turned out to be a massive fraud and duped investors like Larry Ellison, Tim Draper, and Betsy DeVos. Elizabeth Holmes, the college dropout founder of Theranos, was thought to be the next Steve Jobs, and she raised hundreds of millions of dollars for her blood testing company that promised to revolutionize health care. But eventually, Wall Street Journal investigative writer John Carreyrou uncovered that the company's technology didn't work and Holmes was misleading investors, the FDA, and her own employees. Carreyrou's book, Bad Blood, is a must-read, Fine says.
Staff writer Emily Canal talks about how Instagram expanded its shopping feature for businesses. Instagram now lets brands link to products that appear in Instagram Stories--videos and photos that disappear after 24 hours--allowing users to purchase products directly from the app. The click-and-shop feature allows the 300 million daily active users of Instagram Stories to instantly buy individual products, rather than having to search for items they see on the platform.
Lastly, I discuss how Sure, a digital brokerage, provides weird niche insurance policies. Their newest product? Insurance that covers accidental death and injury for Uber and Lyft passengers. Later this year, the company will release a policy that covers e-scooter riders.
Update: After this podcast episode was recorded and this piece was written, Elizabeth Holmes and Sunny Balwani of Theranos were indicted on multiple counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.