In fact, the company may be liquidated as early as this summer.
It's no wonder then, that Theranos employees might be looking for someone to blame. In this case, their imagined culprit is John Carreyrou, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reporter who exposed the company's fraudulent claims about its blood-testing technology.
Some employees were so mad, in fact, that they made a "Space Invaders"-style video game in which you can shoot Carreyrou.
Business Insider obtained a video of employees playing the game.
It appears to be one final, gasping jab at the man who shot the company through the heart (but who took news of the video game in stride with a post on Twitter).
Space Invaders, Theranos Edition! pic.twitter.com/gOeUNqASBU— John Carreyrou (@JohnCarreyrou) April 13, 2018
Before Carreyrou's devastating WSJ reports that brought down the company, Theranos was at one time a Silicon Valley darling with $9 billion in investment at its peak, promising investors it had technology which could perform blood tests with a single drop of blood rather than a full vial. CEO Elizabeth Holmes became a tech media superstar, promoting a Steve Jobs-like vision of "disrupting" the medical tech industry.
The only problem was that their technology didn't work.
When Carreyrou caught wind of this through a Theranos employee, he wrote a series of reports that suggested the company was misleading investors. Within a couple years, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission began investigations, Holmes was charged with fraud, and the company fell from grace.
The video game was reportedly first played at a company party. Given the company's hard crash in recent months, watching the game being played feels not only petty, but perhaps distasteful given the recent mass shooting at YouTube headquarters, which is also located in Silicon Valley.
The employees' shot at the reporter is too little, too late, however. Carreyrou is now releasing a book called "Bad Blood," which details the company's story as "the biggest corporate fraud since Enron."
Charitably, the video game was maybe just a playful trick — and one which Carreyrou took with good humor — but unfortunately for Theranos, their fraudulent business could soon be "game over."
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: Reuters, Brendan McDermid