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posted by martyb on Thursday March 15 2018, @05:34AM   Printer-friendly
from the blood-of-Jobs dept.

The black turtleneck-wearing founder of Theranos has been accused of swindling investors out of $700 million for blood-testing technology that amounted to smoke and mirrors. However, Elizabeth Holmes will only have to pay a $500,000 fine and surrender millions of worthless shares:

The Blood Unicorn Theranos Was Just a Fairy Tale

[...] Securities and Exchange Commission today brought fraud charges against Holmes, Theranos and its former president, Sunny Balwani, and its complaint alleges pretty strongly that the investors were just as bamboozled as everybody else. In fact, Theranos made direct use of its positive press to raise money: It "sent investors a binder of background materials," which included "articles and profiles about Theranos, including the 2013 and 2014 articles from The Wall Street Journal, Wired, and Fortune that were written after Holmes provided them with interviews" and that included her misleading claims about the state of Theranos's technology. She also repeated those claims to investors directly: "For instance, Holmes and Balwani told one investor that Theranos' proprietary analyzer could process over 1,000 Current Procedural Terminology ('CPT') codes and that Theranos had developed a technological solution for an additional 300 CPT codes," even though "Theranos' analyzers never performed comprehensive testing or processed 1,000 CPT codes in its clinical lab," and in fact never processed more than 12 tests on its TSPU. And Theranos would even do a little pantomime blood-draw demonstration directly on the investors:

This initial meeting was often followed by a purported demonstration of Theranos' proprietary analyzers, the TSPU, and the miniLab. In several instances, potential investors would be taken by Holmes and Balwani to a different room to view Theranos' desktop computer-like analyzers. A phlebotomist would arrive to draw their blood through fingerstick, using a nanotainer, a Theranos-developed collection device. Then the sample was either inserted into the TSPU or taken away for processing. Based on what they saw, potential investors believed that Theranos had tested their blood on either an earlier-generation TSPU or the miniLab. As Holmes knew, or was reckless in not knowing, however, Theranos often actually tested their blood on third-party analyzers, because Theranos could not conduct all of the tests it offered prospective investors on its proprietary analyzers.

Also at The New York Times, TechCrunch, and Time.

Previously: Theranos Introduces New Product to Distract from Scandal
Theranos Lays Off 340, Closes Labs and "Wellness Centers"
Theranos Given Indirect Lifeline From Softbank


Original Submission

Related Stories

Theranos Introduces New Product to Distract from Scandal 5 comments

The embattled biotech firm Theranos has introduced a new blood testing product, as its CEO deflected criticism of the company's previous blood tests:

Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes made an appearance at a scientific convention today, but it wasn't to allay the many concerns about the company's previous blood tests, the results of which were thrown out earlier this year. Holmes also chose not to address the federal criminal and civil investigations against her company, instead announcing a new Theranos product: a blood-testing kit that could serve as the successor to its controversial Edison machines.

Speaking at the the annual meeting for the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, Holmes said the new machine — called the Theranos Sample Processing Unit, or "miniLab" — was the size of a computer printer, and will be able to run a battery of tests on just 160 microliters of blood taken from a pricked finger. She showed clinical data that detailed 11 tests miniLab can run on blood samples, including one for the Zika virus, but the company says that it can run up to 40 tests. A source told The Wall Street Journal that so many tests could not be run on the same blood, and that patients would need to provide three or four samples.


Original Submission

Theranos Lays Off 340, Closes Labs and "Wellness Centers" 15 comments

Theranos's troubles continue with the layoffs of about half its workforce:

Theranos is closing its labs and wellness centers, CEO Elizabeth Holmes announced today in a post on the company blog. And this isn't a temporary closure: the "approximately" 340 employees running them are out of a job. [...] The company pivoted away from working on its closely held "nanotainer" technology to a "miniLab" in August. The boxy device — unveiled at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry conference — collects small samples of blood and urine and then uploads them to a centralized system for further analysis. And it's a far cry from what the company, once valued at $9 billion, set out to do. According to several experts whom TechCrunch spoke to at the unveiling, it might not be very innovative, either. Although Theranos didn't want its new device referred to as a "lab on a chip," that's essentially what these experts said the miniLab was. And that has been done.

The new device hinges largely on FDA approval — something Holmes said she'd hoped to fast-track under the emergency use authorization (EUA) for Zika detectors. That plan didn't go so well, however. The FDA denied Theranos approval after finding the company failed to use proper patient safety protocols. [...] The news Theranos is shuttering its labs and wellness centers and laying off nearly half its workforce comes after a series of shocking revelations over the past year involving faulty test results and improperly trained workers. The company is now facing numerous lawsuits, was forced to shut down it's California lab facility, lost its main partner Walgreens and was subject to a Congressional inquiry. Finally in July regulators banned Holmes from stepping foot in her own labs.

Previously: Theranos Introduces New Product to Distract from Scandal


Original Submission

Theranos Given Indirect Lifeline From Softbank 2 comments

Theranos gets $100 million in debt financing to carry it through 2018, with some caveats

Theranos has secured $100 million in debt financing. Yes, someone gave the blood testing company known for handing out questionable test results money.

First reported by Business Insider, the company reportedly told investors it had secured the money from Fortress Investment Group, a New York-based private equity firm that was acquired by Softbank earlier this year.

Of course, this is debt financing, not equity and Theranos will surely need it as it has been bleeding money, laying off more than half its workforce this year and trying to come up with ways to keep it afloat.

Previously: Theranos Introduces New Product to Distract from Scandal
Theranos Lays Off 340, Closes Labs and "Wellness Centers"


Original Submission

Google Reportedly Acquires Lytro, Which Made Refocusable Light Field Cameras 14 comments

Google is reportedly acquiring Lytro, a company that made light field cameras and hoped to pivot to virtual reality video capture. Google appears to have gotten a good (or at least cheap) deal:

Multiple sources tell us that Google is acquiring Lytro, the imaging startup that began as a ground-breaking camera company for consumers before pivoting to use its depth-data, light-field technology in VR.

One source described the deal as an "asset sale" with Lytro going for no more than $40 million. Another source said the price was even lower: $25 million. A third source tells us that not all employees are coming over with the company's technology: some have already received severance and parted ways with the company, and others have simply left. Assets would presumably also include Lytro's 59 patents related to light-field and other digital imaging technology.

The sale would be far from a big win for Lytro and its backers. The startup has raised just over $200 million in funding and was valued at around $360 million after its last round in 2017, according to data from PitchBook.

Despite a lot of hype, Lytro had little success with its expensive, ergonomically challenged, and low resolution light field cameras for consumers.

Also at 9to5Google and Engadget.

Related: LinkedIn's Top 10 Silicon Valley Startups for 'Talent Brand' - Note: Both Lytro and Theranos are on the list.
A Pocket Camera with Many Eyes - Inside the Development of Light


Original Submission

Theranos to Dissolve in a Pool of Blood 33 comments

Theranos, Blood-Testing Company Plagued By Scandal, Says It Will Dissolve

Theranos — the Silicon Valley blood-testing startup whose former top executives are accused of carrying out a massive, years-long fraud — is shutting down.

David Taylor, who became CEO in June, said Theranos will dissolve after it attempts to pay creditors with its remaining cash. The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, which published the letter.

The letter explains that the company "intends to enter into an assignment for the benefit of creditors." This arrangement would allow for all of Theranos' assets, other than its intellectual property, to be assigned to a third party in trust for the company's creditors. The company says it has about $5 million remaining in cash.

Previously: Theranos Introduces New Product to Distract from Scandal
Theranos Lays Off 340, Closes Labs and "Wellness Centers"
Theranos Given Indirect Lifeline From Softbank
Blood Unicorn Fairy Tale: Theranos Founder Charged With Fraud
Elizabeth Holmes Steps Down as Theranos CEO as DoJ Levels Charges


Original Submission

Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes to Face Trial Next Year on Fraud Charges 5 comments

Submitted via IRC for Bytram

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes will go on trial next summer

Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced founder of blood-testing startup Theranos, will officially go to trial in San Jose next year, according to the US District Judge Edward J. Davila of the Northern District of California.

[...] According to TechCrunch, the trial will begin in August 2020, with jury selection beginning on July 28th, 2020. The Wall Street Journal also reports that prosecutors have collected millions of pages of documents, and that the defense has complained about the amount that is being presented, and that the WSJ's initial reporting might have unduly influenced the way the government regulators approached the company.

Previously: Blood Unicorn Fairy Tale: Theranos Founder Charged With Fraud
Elizabeth Holmes Steps Down as Theranos CEO as DoJ Levels Charges
Theranos to Dissolve in a Pool of Blood


Original Submission

Judge in Theranos Fraud Case Orders 14-Hour Psychological Test for Holmes 43 comments

Judge in Theranos fraud case orders 14-hour psychological test for Holmes:

Holmes and Theranos' former president Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani were charged in June 2018 with nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

[...] According to the court document filed this week[*], Holmes—who is now being tried separately from Balwani—notified the court last December that she plans to submit "expert evidence relating to a mental disease or defect or any other mental condition" that has bearing on the issue of guilt. The expert providing such evidence was named in the document as psychologist Mindy Mechanic, of California State University, Fullerton.

According to Mechanic's faculty website, she focuses on "psychosocial consequences of violence, trauma, and victimization with an emphasis on violence against women and other forms of interpersonal violence." The site also notes that Mechanic "frequently provides expert testimony in complex legal cases involving interpersonal violence."

[...] In response to Holmes' plans to provide mental health evidence, federal prosecutors requested that they should also be able to examine Holmes' mental state and provide their own psychiatric evidence in court as a fair rebuttal.

[...] The judge in the case, US District Judge Edward Davila of the Northern District of California, agreed with the prosecutors. As such, he ordered Holmes to undergo up to 14 hours of psychological testing and psychiatric evaluation by two government-appointed doctors over the course of two consecutive days. Davila also ordered that the government's evaluation of Holmes be recorded on video—over Holmes' objections.

[*] Here is a link to the court document.

Elizabeth Holmes to Face Maximum of 80 Years in Prison when She’s Sentenced in September 47 comments

Holmes to face maximum of 80 years in prison when she’s sentenced in September:

While she is likely to receive prison time for defrauding investors, she will be able to spend the next eight and a half months out on bail. She faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each of the four counts she was convicted of, though it’s unlikely that she’ll be sentenced to all 80 years.

Holmes has been out on bail since June 2018, when she and alleged co-conspirator Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani were charged. Both were released after posting $500,000 bonds and surrendering their passports. Now that Holmes has been convicted and is awaiting sentencing, her bond will have to be secured by property. Their trials have been repeatedly pushed back, first because of the COVID pandemic and then later because Holmes gave birth.

Part of the reason Holmes’ sentencing has been postponed is because the government still has to prosecute its case against Balwani.

Previously:
2022/01/04 - Elizabeth Holmes Found Guilty on 4 of 11 Charges
2020/09/13 - Judge in Theranos Fraud Case Orders 14-Hour Psychological Test for Holmes
2019/07/01 - Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes to Face Trial Next Year on Fraud Charges
2018/09/06 - Theranos to Dissolve in a Pool of Blood
2018/06/17 - Elizabeth Holmes Steps Down as Theranos CEO as DoJ Levels Charges
2018/03/15 - Blood Unicorn Fairy Tale: Theranos Founder Charged With Fraud
2017/12/24 - Theranos Given Indirect Lifeline From Softbank
2016/10/06 - Theranos Lays Off 340, Closes Labs and "Wellness Centers"
2016/08/03 - Theranos Introduces New Product to Distract from Scandal


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15 2018, @05:54AM (19 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15 2018, @05:54AM (#652793)

    Fools and their money will soon be separated.

    Swindlers are an important aspect of a free, prosperous, and functional society: Ms. Holmes has identified fools and separated money from them, and so the rest of us can sleep more soundly, knowing that said fools now have less say in how society's resources should be allocated.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bob_super on Thursday March 15 2018, @06:12AM (3 children)

      by bob_super (1357) on Thursday March 15 2018, @06:12AM (#652798)

      Tens or hundreds of thousands of Americans made important medical decisions based on bogus test results. How many got more sick, and/or died?
      Most who got the chair, or life without parole, were sentenced for a lot less.

      $500k is a slap on her wrist, and a giant disregard for justice for her real victims.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15 2018, @06:30AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15 2018, @06:30AM (#652803)

        What about all those people who have made important decisions based on Tarot cards, or the I Ching, or by paying some old crone to read their tea leaves?

        Your parent's comment applies just as well to your comment; you've changed nothing in the debate.

        • (Score: 3, Touché) by bob_super on Thursday March 15 2018, @04:26PM

          by bob_super (1357) on Thursday March 15 2018, @04:26PM (#652990)

          Are you actually comparing reading a blood test report, to reading tarot cards ?
          Do your water and gas meter also provide "whatever feels right" measurements ?

      • (Score: 2) by mendax on Thursday March 15 2018, @09:14AM

        by mendax (2840) on Thursday March 15 2018, @09:14AM (#652852)

        $500k is a slap on her wrist, and a giant disregard for justice for her real victims.

        Agreed. Why has she not been arrested in preparation for her being put on trial for fraud? Perhaps that is coming. Let's hope so. Justice demands it.

        --
        It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15 2018, @06:25AM (12 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15 2018, @06:25AM (#652801)

      Your advocacy for people who lie, cheat, and steal says a lot about you.

      Meanwhile, there are so few USAian companies who actually -produce- something these days, I applaud those who would support an advancement in the technology of a field by investing in that.

      ...and not just making a lateral movement of a stock certificate--which does NOTHING to -expand- the actual economy.

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15 2018, @06:32AM (11 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15 2018, @06:32AM (#652804)

        The liquid capital markets are essential to democratizing ownership over organizations, and to allowing people to identify and fund ventures that will be profitable to society.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15 2018, @06:44AM (10 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15 2018, @06:44AM (#652806)

          Another fool, worshiping at the altar of The Market.
          Moving a stock certificate from one pocket to another is completely lateral thing.
          It doesn't increase the number of factories, or the number of workers, or the number of widgets produced.

          Want to actually -add- to the economy?
          Use your money to get a deed to an idle factory, fill it with workers, and put it back into production.

          ...instead of increasing the compensation for an already-overpaid C-level douchebag who hasn't done anything in decades to expand production.

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15 2018, @06:57AM (4 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15 2018, @06:57AM (#652809)

            Unlike your ilk, capitalists don't lie: They admit that they do NOT know how society's resources should be allocated.

            Instead, they make educated guesses—they bet on the best way to allocate society's resources. That's what your "lateral" move is; it's a bet. Someone is betting that he has a better use for society's resources (e.g., investing in another company, or just paying his rent this month), and someone else is betting that he's wrong (or is just willing to take his place) and thereby fund that other person's choice.

            This variation and selection leads to the evolution of emergent solutions to societal problems that people didn't even know existed.

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15 2018, @07:18AM (3 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15 2018, @07:18AM (#652813)

              Some of that lot, being honest about what they're doing, just go to Vegas and put their money on Black.

              It's all just speculation.
              The fact that the returns aren't taxed at the same rate as the wages of laborers who actually -produce- shows how broken the system is.

              -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15 2018, @08:23AM (2 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15 2018, @08:23AM (#652834)

                Preferably to zero.

                Anyway, maybe you're wrong. Maybe investment is more important than lever-pulling.

                • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Immerman on Thursday March 15 2018, @01:47PM

                  by Immerman (3985) on Thursday March 15 2018, @01:47PM (#652931)

                  > Maybe investment is more important than lever-pulling.
                  Hmm, lets see - nobody invests, only low-capital work gets done, as was the case for most of human history. Nobody works, NOTHING gets done, period, and humanity dies out within a few months at most. Nope, I'm going to say labor is far more important than capital.

                  Except, buying stock on the market isn't really investing in the company - not one penny of the money you spend goes to the company unless it was freshly issued. Trading on the market is speculation on the value of an investment that was already made by someone else.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15 2018, @01:49PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15 2018, @01:49PM (#652932)

                  Well without the lever pullers you'd have noting to invest in slappy.

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by FatPhil on Thursday March 15 2018, @02:07PM (3 children)

            by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Thursday March 15 2018, @02:07PM (#652941) Homepage
            You rogue! Not propagating the group-think.

            I didn't realise how lateral (good term, thanks!) it was until literally weeks ago. There's a local company I believe in, it's doing well, and it wants (needs - they're turning down orders) to expand. So my partner and I took part in a convertible loan funding round. Yay - the new building's being built, kit will be installed, more workers will make more stuff, and hopefully there's a pot of gold at the end for everybody involved.

            At about the same time, a couple of the founders (and an early work-for-low-wage-but-muchos-equity guy) decided that they wanted to liberate some folding beer tokens, so I also bought in at the equity level. Erm, I guess when they pay divvies, I'll get my divvy. Erm, yup, that's about it.

            The former is *investing*, the latter is just buying your way into participating with what's already happening, but not changing the status quo.

            The two just *feel* so different to me. The former, the loan, excites me more, I feel more involved, as my money is going towards walls and fixtures, and eventually workers, and finally products (I'm trying to muscling my way into a couple of advisory positions too). The latter, equity, provokes no reaction from me at all apart from the rather dull internal dialogue "well, if we're assuming that we would convert the loan to equity at maturation anyway, then I guess that means we want the equity, and here's an opportunity - OK, I guess so". And of course the equity is the higher risk investment - if things go tits up, the loan will be repayed, but the shares will be toilet paper - so theoretically should be accompanied by more adrenalin. But no.

            Not sure where I was going with this, apart from just to say "yes, I agree, and I know I agree because I *feel* it".

            Shares are little more than "trading sardines" - google it if you don't know the term.
            --
            Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
            • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Thursday March 15 2018, @02:46PM (2 children)

              by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 15 2018, @02:46PM (#652950) Journal

              The difference you're talking about here is the difference between entrepreneurial capitalism and its evil parasitic twin, stakeholder capitalism, which IMO was never intended to be part of the system.

              --
              I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15 2018, @09:45PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15 2018, @09:45PM (#653124)

                You didn't even need the "capitalism" part of that.
                The (Socialist) Mondragon worker-owned cooperative has been an entrepreneurial endeavor since it started in 1956 with 6 worker-owners.
                (They are currently in 40 countries on 5 continents with over 100,000 worker owners.)

                -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

              • (Score: 3, Insightful) by FatPhil on Thursday March 15 2018, @10:41PM

                by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Thursday March 15 2018, @10:41PM (#653147) Homepage
                Not just parasitic, but out in stock-exchange-land, it also suffers from things like the wasting disease of orporate buy-backs (well, it keeps the stock price high, so it must be a good thing, right? Shut up about P/E ratios!!!!)
                --
                Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
          • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Wednesday March 21 2018, @12:07PM

            by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Wednesday March 21 2018, @12:07PM (#656063) Homepage
            So, did you read Bonner's Diary of a Rogue Economist last week, by any chance?
            https://bonnerandpartners.com/buying-stocks-doesnt-make-you-an-investor/
            --
            Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15 2018, @07:25AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15 2018, @07:25AM (#652814)

      I'd sleep more soundly knowing the psychotic ruling class had less say in how society's resources should be allocated.

    • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Thursday March 15 2018, @02:44PM

      by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 15 2018, @02:44PM (#652949) Journal

      Fuck you, troll. If you're joking you're an asshole and if you're serious you can rot in hell right alongside her.

      --
      I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15 2018, @06:19AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15 2018, @06:19AM (#652800)

    I saw the story at El Reg. [theregister.co.uk]
    They added

    The settlements with Theranos and Holmes are subject to court approval.
    [...]
    In reaching the agreement Holmes has also avoided the fate of similar actors who have been loose with the truth and managed to avoid a jail sentence--at least so far. The SEC is only able to bring civil cases. However it has been reported that the US Attorney for Northern California is also investigating Theranos and could bring criminal charges--complete with a jail sentence--as part of that investigation.

    -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15 2018, @11:23AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15 2018, @11:23AM (#652897)

    What's the women's equivalent of PMITA prison?

  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday March 15 2018, @01:59PM

    by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Thursday March 15 2018, @01:59PM (#652937) Journal

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-15/u-s-fires-a-warning-shot-at-silicon-valley-with-theranos-case [bloomberg.com]

    The SEC began paying closer attention to technology startups a few years ago as capital was rushing into private markets and creating dozens of businesses with valuations exceeding $1 billion. Mary Jo White, the former SEC chairman, rattled tech investors in a speech at Stanford University in 2016 when she expressed concerns [bloomberg.com] that such companies, known as “unicorns,” weren’t taking proper precautions to protect shareholders.

    Since White’s speech, things have only gotten more frenzied. The Bloomberg U.S. Startups Barometer, an index that tracks deal-making among private tech businesses, has climbed 81 percent, and companies are choosing to stay private longer than in the past.

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
  • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Thursday March 15 2018, @03:33PM (3 children)

    by tangomargarine (667) on Thursday March 15 2018, @03:33PM (#652964)

    but the explanation for what "Blood Unicorn" is was pretty disappointing.

    I used to refer to it pretty regularly as the Blood Unicorn, Elasmotherium haimatos, because it was a Silicon Valley unicorn with a peak valuation of $9 billion that managed to raise $700 million from investors.

    So it's just a flashy way of saying the company was successful? :-(

    --
    "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday March 15 2018, @03:58PM (2 children)

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Thursday March 15 2018, @03:58PM (#652973) Journal
      • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Thursday March 15 2018, @04:41PM (1 child)

        by tangomargarine (667) on Thursday March 15 2018, @04:41PM (#652995)

        Sounds like a really fuzzy category. So a startup company is the first guy to think of doing X...and a unicorn is a startup company worth more than $1bn...when does a startup stop being called a startup? Is Apple still a startup, since nobody was really doing PCs before them?

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
        • (Score: 3, Funny) by FatPhil on Thursday March 15 2018, @10:50PM

          by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Thursday March 15 2018, @10:50PM (#653151) Homepage
          It's also completely overlooking prior use of the term in other fields, in particular sex. Unicorns are things that are too good to be true, but are actually true. Such as if you and the missus were thinking of having a threesome, and you managed to find a sexy willing female who was prepared to be a no-strings-attached third - unicorn! This usage is ages old. The finance guys who coined it probably heard the word, but weren't savvy enough to know what it meant, so came up with an utterly facile definition. What a bunch of merchant bankers!
          --
          Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
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