The Anatomy of Entrepreneurial Success – A Business Analysis

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Entrepreneurs must contend with a wide variety of issues when seeking funding as well as bringing their product or services to market. Failure to address these issues have often resulted in legal actions over patent ownership, regulatory issues, marketing defective, dangerous or ineffective products and even false performance claims.

The company Theranos, was founded in 2003 by then 19 year old Elizabeth Holmes, a Stanford University dropout. It sells blood testing equipment and in 2013 valued at $9 billion. In recent years Theranos and its CEO have faced numerous regulatory, legal and ethical challenges.

Research the Theranos organization (, its management, and the challenges it now faces. (Possible sources include Entrepreneur, Forbes, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Vanity Fair, NY Times.)

Write a three page paper in which you analyze the following areas:

  • How does the leadership style of CEO Elizabeth Holmes align with the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs?
  • Where would she fall in the typology of entrepreneurial styles discussed in Chapter 2 of your text and why?
  • What affect has her style had on the company?
  • What critical factors in the development process contributed to the current situation faced by the company?
  • What key questions should have been asked by venture capitalists who provided the start-up funding?
  • What recommendations would you have made to Elizabeth Holmes when she started the company at age 19, and why?

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