Sign up to receive 5 free days of our daily summary for tech news.

Celebrate our 5th anniversary and—for one week only—get the best tech and business reporting for $100 off—just $299/year.

Read this article for free.

Already a subscriber? Log in here

Elizabeth Holmes’s Miscalculation

The line between vision and hubris in Silicon Valley has always been blurry. So often, CEOs are hailed as visionaries (Steve Jobs, Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg). Other times, they’re hailed as overly arrogant and cocky. I increasingly think the difference boils down to a simple thing: how fast their companies are growing.

A fast-growing company like Apple, Google or Facebook gets a big pass. But if growth slows, the situation changes. See a company like Jawbone or other once-hyped startups that sputter. All of a sudden the CEO’s grand proclamations about changing the world or building the best products seem annoyingly grandiose.

Why do I bring this up now? Because it is all I can think about when I watch the blood feud between Theranos and the Wall Street Journal.

What Is The Information?

Notebook b5103017ee163370a1667c9ce59ab0ef023875a17888105d26c185cadf31bb69

Daily news analysis

Every weeknight, we'll send you our reporters’ views on the day’s top tech news—distilled into one email.

Notes bb3aa5069205d702dda37fc71dc6f1c59df2310c4379304e9f1199f052af4884

Exclusive Articles

We broke it first. Receive original reporting, stories, and exclusives you won't read anywhere else from the largest newsroom in tech.

Conference calls c9e664e8b96ee347d3e92b8309938f268422b9db98cfabca5c826fbb75054b23

Conference calls

Go deep into areas like crypto and VC diversity—or get real-time analysis of breaking news—via conference calls with our reporters and other experts.

Events 499acedd16cffc41445edd76bfd302b2836c2a27419890f17130a6b10e2aa3df

Special Events

For no extra fee, subscribers get access to more than a dozen events yearly, from intimate dinners to larger gatherings with marquee speakers.

Access the best reporting on the tech industry read by tens of thousands of global executives.

Become a contributor

Share your views and find other subscribers by completing your profile. You’ll be listed in our contributor directory.

Org Charts

Access the only collection of tech company org charts. Our expanding database includes companies like Amazon, Snap, and Uber.

Slack community

Discuss topics and current events with our subscriber-only Slack group and share news about your company with other subscribers.

Share with your team

Subscribers can unlock any article and share it with friends and co-workers through a special share link.

Stay up to date on Silicon Valley

Sign up for Jessica Lessin’s (The Information’s CEO & Founder) free Saturday newsletter and also receive a complimentary week of our daily afternoon tech commentary email.

Already a subscriber? Log in here

Recent Articles


The Seven-Year Itch: How Apple’s Marriage to Siri Turned Sour

By Aaron Tilley and Kevin McLaughlin

Apple E-commerce

Hear Steve Jobs, at the Dawn of App Store, Predict the Future of Mobile

By Nick Wingfield


My 2008 Steve Jobs Interview: Top Quotes

By Nick Wingfield


‘Gun-Shy’: How Federal Prosecutors Forgot Silicon Valley

By Matt Drange

Holmes is is fond of talking about Theranos’s “community,” which is not the buzzword I would use for people who happened to get their cholesterol tested in the same Walgreens.