The Dropout, the series about the businesswoman who defrauded Silicon Valley

by Clarin

The owner of -probably- the biggest eyes in Hollywood- uses them like never before in this story. Through them she makes us see the obsession, the ambition, the desperation. She manages the orbits, the eyelashes, the pupils, and with all that set she speaks. She rehearses how to look, and thus she cajoles communication tycoons and former secretaries of state. She empowers herself, collapses, recalculates. She looks at her as the key point of her language.

Promoted with a hypnotic close-up of the diameter of Amanda Seyfried’s eyes, The Dropout was added to the list of the many fashion series that unmask the almost handmade construction of a swindler who existed in real life. In this case, the trickster does not use Tinder, nor the art of disguise on Instagram. He uses blood, “a drop, just one.” It promises to change the analytics industry.

“What if you could test your blood at home?” asks the 19-year-old Stanford University dropout, asking her parents to invest her college money in what could be a groundbreaking company. She plans a system of accessibility to health for all, through a device “the size of an ipod”, a self-test without a syringe. The problem: between saying and doing there can be an abyss.

Convincing, the story dives into the mental complexity of Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the American biotechnology company Theranos. This year the billionaire was found guilty of fraud and her modus operandi alerted a certain business culture in the bowels of Silicon Valley. His skill in deceiving investors drove this fiction about the incredible architecture of a lie.

What if what aspires to be a unicorn company is nothing more than a fanciful element that has more illusion than existence? What if the desire to become a CEO is greater than the skills to be one? What if the entrepreneurial hunger for validation becomes the most dangerous weapon?

With the Steve Jobs poster as a guide, the cunning weaver tries to move forward, but remains only in the forms, because the saving machine does not go beyond a prototype. Tenacious, she will generate an attractive marketing as an entrepreneur joven and will reach agreements with laboratories. The pressure of having to comply once and for all with such an invention will trigger suffocating situations.

The game becomes more dangerous as soon as that ambition involves human lives. The blonde’s craft for manipulation is bound to grow, as do lies, patchwork, seduction and corruption. It falsifies results, adulters blood, it becomes corrupted the more drowned it is in its own web.

The target locks on a demo. And history wanders in that despair of the impossibility of concretion. What if such a technology is possible, but it takes ten years to achieve? What if the capitalist urgency does not contemplate patience? What if perseverance is not enough? What if for business glory it is enough to seem? What if between good intentions and business there is no possible contract? It is not the lie that is the biggest problem: it is the dose. Holmes uses it in large quantities, as a permanent antidote, for which he needs eternal energy, ingenuity, memory and time to sustain what does not exist.

There aren’t too many narrative tricks to get inside Elizabeth’s head. After her teenage trauma from her father’s firing from Enron (Michael Gill), there is no remorse for her, only a goal to advance her own illusion. She doesn’t even have time for love, even if she tries it with a bigger man, Sunny (Naveen Andrews) who will become her accomplice. The period painting is consistent: it focuses between 2000 and 2010, that near past, the stretch that goes from “dumb” cell phones to the world opened by “intelligent” ones.

A few days ago, businessman Marcos Galperin, founder and director of Mercado Libre, defined the Hulu series -based on a podcast- as one that “every entrepreneur should see”. Perhaps I am not wrong in a certain sobering intent of the plot. In a world where millions want their instant unicorn, not everyone is willing to feed a “foal” or listen to the truth: you don’t always get to the winged horse.

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