Monday Motivation: Don't Let The Fakes Outdo Ya...
So I got a reader's digest email from Twitter a couple months ago that was filled with interesting stories floating around on the internet. And one story in particular caught my eye as I was scrolling through the email.
The last story at the end of the email is about a guy from India who was pretending to be a doctor for 5 months, and how he got caught. And the crazy thing about this story is that not only was it just some guy, but it was a 19-year-old at that!
So this story brought me back to the time in which I had learned about a company called Theranos, and its CEO, Elizabeth Holmes.
So her story is definitely an interesting one that you should check out after you're done with the newsletter because let me tell y'all... I don't know how well your edges will survive this when you find out the magnitude at which she was able to get away with what she did.
So check it, we got this young white girl who went to Stanford, and decided that she wanted to figure out how to change the world with medical technology. Unfortunately, that would require you having the knowledge of how to do that, and she seemed to miss that memo.
But being emboldened with privilege, she said, "Fuck it! Who the hell is going to question me? And maaaann, was she right.
She dropped out of Stanford to pursue her dream full time at 19, and secured venture capital at the sum of 700 million dollars. However, she only took money from people who were willing to accept her one condition, which was to never explain how her medical device technology worked. Now y'all... I can't imagine how anyone could give this girl a dollar, let alone seven hundred million dollars, but as many of the youth have stated...
She had everything about the technology under strict secrecy, attempting to follow in the footsteps of her Idol, Steve Jobs. She had everyone under airtight NDAs, and anyone that started to question her motives, or the functionality of her device, she would swiftly find a way to out them out of the company. None of the workers were ever really allowed to communicate with each other, and I still read this story, and think what in the hell… how did anyone not think that she had to be up to something?
So of course when Theranos started pulling in millions of dollars in funding, everyone was fascinated with Holmes's story. Homegirl was on the cover of Fortune and Forbes, she gave a TED (presumably about not much of anything), she was out here on panels with people like Bill Clinton, and other prestigious community figures. She had partnerships with companies like Walgreens, Safeway, and prominent insurance companies.
And keep in mind, this is all before she even launched a product. That is right. There was no product in anybody hands, and yet this girl was able to have a company that was valued at a couple billion dollars, making her one of the youngest female self-made billionaires in the world.
And the crazy thing is that homegirl was only a hop, skip, and a scathing Wall Street Journal article away from launching her faulty ass product nationwide had it not been for a journalist named John Carreyrou doing the lord's work, and exposing those that have the audacity.
So I share her story with you, because again, she had nothing but an idea, and yet she was able to at a time become one of the world's youngest female self-made billionaires on just an idea, passion, and determination. And sure she was doused in privilege, but it doesn't change the fact that some of us actually have the skills, the products, and the resources to try and make the world a better place. But remember, as her story shows, it really is at the end of the day about your hustle. It is about your drive, and your determination to see your dream become actualized. Remember that she didn't even make a real product, and yet she was able to make something of herself.
So as we go forth, and dare to #ReimagineMonday and the rest of our week, I hope that you can aim to do one thing, and that is to never let these fakes out do you. Don't let these imposters get the awards and the titles that you deserve for the hard work that you know you're willing to put in.
But most importantly, don't ever let me catch you saying that you can't accomplish anything that you want and are willing to put the work in for; don't ever let me catch you saying that you are incapable of having the things that you want, because literally this fake doctor and this fake CEO just proved that sometimes wanting it can be just as powerful, and potentially likely to get you where you want to be then you think. So as you reimagine your Monday, and the rest of your week, I hope that you lean into your wants, and stop self-censoring your potential for success.