I wanted to highlight a list of books, conferences and courses that I derived value from over the last 12 months.
Bad Blood — John Carreyrou
Bad Blood provides the reader with an in-depth analysis of the failed-start-up company Theranos. Built upon a complex and fraudulent framework, John Carreyrou provides insights into how Elizabeth Holmes conned hundreds of millions of dollars out of investors, for a diagnostic test that aimed to measure critical biochemical and haematological indices from a drop of blood. The test was never successfully developed, despite the companies claims.
Carreyrou detailed the events that led to Holmes being names as both the youngest and wealthiest self-mde female billionaire in America, by Forbes in 2015, and later her slump to one of the “World’s Most Disappointing Leaders”, as elected by Fortune, following the decline of Theranos.
I enjoyed reading this book, as it not only provided a glimpse into the biotechnology landscape within Silicon Valley, but demonstrated how challenging it is to successfully disrupt established healthcare practices.
Skin in the game — Nassim Taleb
I previously enjoyed reading Nassim Taleb’s Black Swan book and wasn’t let down by “Skin in the Game”. This book discusses political philosophies, and put forward a view that society should reject centralisation for advancement to occur. Having engaged with distributed ledger technologies earlier in the year, Taleb’s thesis resonated and I enjoyed exploring the concept of decentralisation across broader topics.
High Growth Handbook — Elad Gil
Perhaps not the most obvious choice, as I currently have no affiliation with a start-up gearing up for the high-growth phase of development. Nevertheless, Gil provides an interesting perspective on several themes that, whilst applicable to start-ups, can also be translated into my day-to-day life.
NVIDIA GTC, Munich &
Delivering novel therapies in the 21st century, Royal Society
I blogged about both of these conferences earlier in the year. The NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference event provided my with a greater understanding regarding the application of artificial intelligence and the “Delivering novel therapies in the 21st century” summarised a wealth of advances within biotechnology and pharmaceutical medicine.