And of course, there was in which Holmes painted a picture of a world in which too many people avoided blood tests because of the cost, inconvenience and discomfort of giving so much blood. Sometimes they learned too late about a serious health condition. But, her company — — had the solution. "We've made it possible to run comprehensive laboratory tests from a tiny sample or a few drops of blood that could be taken from a finger," she told the audience.

"He called the company Amazon because he wanted it to be the biggest retailer in the world, so he named it after the biggest river in the world," she says. "That projects a certain kind of optimism about where we're going and what we have in mind and what we're able to accomplish." Despite many years when Amazon made no profit, Bezos drew investors and in turn he expanded and got more customers. Secrecy is also part of the tech world playbook — no studies needed.

But in the tech world, maybe they would. Jo-Ellen Pozner, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business, says some of the greatest companies were built on hype and a big idea. "Often the product comes after the money, and so the first job is to get the investors to give you the money and that requires that you really sell them on this big idea before it's actually in hand," Pozner says. Pozner points to and his company Amazon, which started as an online bookseller.

Holmes had a beautiful vision, backed by hundreds of millions of dollars in investment, and like Henry Kissinger and George P. Schulz. The media had a love fest. Time magazine called Holmes in the world. She was profiled in and . Even medical professionals like , a professor at Stanford University Medical School were intrigued. "My first reaction was, it sounds really brilliant," Ioannidis says. "I would like to collaborate with these people and maybe even use their technology in my own studies." Studies — that's what medicine and science are built upon. "So the first thing that I did as a researcher, as a scientist, is check the scientific literature," says Ioannidis. "How much do we know about what they do? And I couldn't find even a single paper." Then there was the steel coil board: big names in politics, not science. And Holmes had no background in medicine. "This is equivalent to me, being a biomedical researcher, trying to become an architect and build a skyscraper. Would you give me a few billion dollars please?" Of course, no one would give him a few billion dollars.