Theranos whistleblower Tyler Shultz's new Audible tell-all podcast is cathartic and eye-opening

On a new episode of the I'm So Obsessed podcast, Shultz reopens his wounds and feelings about Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes and his place in the world as a scientist.

Patrick Holland Managing Editor
Patrick Holland has been a phone reviewer for CNET since 2016. He is a former theater director who occasionally makes short films. Patrick has an eye for photography and a passion for everything mobile. He is a colorful raconteur who will guide you through the ever-changing, fast-paced world of phones, especially the iPhone and iOS. He used to co-host CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast and interviewed guests like Jeff Goldblum, Alfre Woodard, Stephen Merchant, Sam Jay, Edgar Wright and Roy Wood Jr.
Expertise Apple | iPhone | iOS | Android | Samsung | Sony | Google | Motorola | Interviews | Coffee equipment | Cats Credentials
  • Patrick's play The Cowboy is included in the Best American Short Plays 2011-12 anthology. He co-wrote and starred in the short film Baden Krunk that won the Best Wisconsin Short Film award at the Milwaukee Short Film Festival.
Patrick Holland
2 min read
Tyler Shultz Theranos

Tyler Shultz has a new podcast on Audible called Thicker Than Water. The series is about Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes and is told entirely through Shultz' point of view.


It was one of the biggest tech failures of the last decade and Tyler Shultz was a whistleblower who helped expose it. While he was working for the disgraced health technology company Theranos, he served as a confidential source for a 2015 Wall Street Journal report that showed the company's promises of a device that could run hundreds of tests from a tiny amount of blood were lies. Complicating matters further was that his grandfather, former Secretary of State George Shultz, was one of the first backers of Theranos and one of its biggest cheerleaders.

In a new podcast series on Audible called Thicker Than Water, Tyler Shultz opens up and tells his side of the Theranos story. The nearly four-hour series includes never-before-told details about the company's founder Elizabeth Holmes. Shultz was our guest on the I'm So Obsessed podcast, where he explained what his last day at Theranos was like.

"I left on pretty bad terms. The president, Sunny [Balwani], essentially in a scathing email called me arrogant, ignorant, patronizing and reckless. And looking back, I think he was actually right about a lot of those things," Shultz said. "To think that a 23-year-old kid is going to stand up against a company valued at $9 billion is arrogant. It is naive, it is reckless."

Theranos collapsed in 2018 and Holmes is now awaiting trial on charges of criminal fraud, which will likely be delayed until 2021 because of COVID-19. Shultz has gone on to create his own testing company, Flux Biosciences, which aims to improve the way urine is tested. He reassured me that despite Flux having the same promise that Theranos did, he's going about it in a completely different way.

"We have over 15 years of papers and patents published and filed on the technology," Shultz said. "The company's current focus is on measuring female fertility hormones."

In our interview, Shultz talked in-depth about Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes, his relationship with his grandfather and the trauma he suffered being a whistleblower. He also explained how his grandfather doesn't know about his new Audible series and how discussing Theranos and Holmes opened some old wounds.

Listen to my entire conversation with Tyler on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. You can subscribe to I'm So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In each episode, I catch up with an artist, actor or creator to learn about work, career and current obsessions.