In the 2011 movie “Limitless,” actor Bradley Cooper’s main character takes a drug that hacks his brain like nothing else, giving him supernatural focus abilities.
If we’re doing a poor job of explaining it, just check out the trailer here…
Apparently, there’s more to it than just fiction. Turns out the shit’s actually real.
ABC did a report last year on a secret pill supposedly super-charging young entrepreneurs used to stay ultra-productive. Known as “Nootropics,” a hybrid group of supplements that allegedly make you “smarter” without any side-effects.
Nootropics supposedly increase dopamine flow within the brain and fights excessive daytime sleepiness. And—allegedly—will have you all like…
According to Erin Finnegan, a then-30-year-old entrepreneur, the drug gives her the boost to keep up with her hectic schedule.
“I would not give them up willingly,” she told ABC. “The additional focus that I can have with them, yes, it does sustain the speed I am going at now and the many things, I would have to take a couple things off my plate if I wanted to keep going without them.”
Per Wikipedia, Nootropics—or smart pills or “cognitive enhancers”—are loosely defined as “drugs, supplements, and other substances that may improve cognitive function, particularly executive functions, memory, creativity, or motivation, in healthy individuals.”
But taking it a step further beyond an umbrella term for focus pills. According to a 2015 Thrillist report, there’s an actual pill known a “Nuvigil” that the movie’s based on.
Beginning with one 150 mg pill in the morning, happiness and alertness waves washed over me. Quickly. But I wasn’t as jittery as I expected. Prozac is a familiar reference to Nuvigil, and I have plenty of experience with the former, but it was nothing like I had ever experienced before. My brain waves—usually jumbled, misfiring, and inconsistent—felt untangled and clean, like a futuristic room full of glowing servers from Dubai, if you will.
NBC covered this a few years ago, as well. “I would get to work and I would be on fire,”Jonathan Reilly, an LA-based biomedical engineer said. “I was able to see more possibilities.”
“These drugs are being used in industries where there’s less room for failure and immediate results are expected,” NYC career coach and author Roy Cohen said in the report used in the NBC video. “These people thrive on accomplishment—it’s in their DNA. It’s incredibly seductive to have this potential for guaranteed peak performance.”
(Yes, it’s a few years old, but definitely worth a read.)
But there’s more to it than peak performance. Unlike the more general, almost white label Nootropics category, Nuvigil doesn’t come without side effects (you’re technically supposed to have a subscription). Ranging from nausea to diarrhea, dry mouth and even suicidal thoughts.
Glass didn’t get that, though. “No, I didn’t,” he wrote. “Not once.” However he did say he had trouble sleeping along with feelings of lethargy.
The outside of my body felt like what the inside of my brain usually feels like: exhausted. I was mentally alert with a tired outer shell; I was lethargic and my muscles wanted to remain idle … It was a constant…“blah” feeling. Nothing is bad but nothing is good, all at once. Call it a muted euphoria.
But did it do its job? Glass says yes. And no caffeine crash, either.
My overall focus? Relentless. Writing, I found, became a superhuman trait…I felt words and their synonyms flow from my fingers like lightning and I was typing verbatim what I was thinking. I felt articulate, concentrated. And I wasn’t the only one. My editors noticed too; all week I was complimented on my creativity and quality/volume of work.
In other words, on the pill and it’s #SharkSeason.
Outside of obscure websites, there’s still little legitimate info available on cognitive enhancers. There’s limited coverage from mainstream media. Just go ahead and Google “Nootropics” and see what you find.
(You’ll find a lot of junk websites, making all sorts of claims.)
Which begs the obvious million dollar question—is it safe?
NYC neurologist Dr. Richard Isaacson told ABC, yes, but also added by saying it’s hard to generalize. “They may interact with other things … so that’s why we always recommend discussion of approval by a treating physician.”
Even though the use still occurs on a very hush-hush level, the use is definitely happening. And it looks like it’s here to stay. The global Nootropics market is expected to hit $6B by 2024, according to a research report distributed on Business Insider’s Markets Insider platform.
Eric Matzner, founder of Nootroo, the self-stylized “Gold Standard In Nootropics,” told ABC it’s the future. “We’re talking about … a new type of biology where we’re taking these things into our own hands but also to try and proactively go from baseline to above,” Matzner said.
Geoffrey Woo, CEO of Nootrobox—another Nootropic—echoed Matzner’s futuristic sentiment in a 2016 Bloomberg report.
“What we want to unlock is the next-level thinking that makes us human,” Woo said in the hilariously titled These Bro Scientists Want to Sell You Mind-Hacking Pills. “In a way, it’s almost arming humanity against artificial intelligence and robots.”
Humans vs. AI. Alrighty then. We’re wrapping this one up. Up and at ’em, #WealthGANG.
Trufan, Vancouver Tech Startup For Influencers And Brands, Raises $500k In Funding
Trufan, a Vancouver-based tech startup, founded by Canadian serial entrepreneur Swish Goswami and Aanikh Kler, a Canada 20 under 20 alum, has raised $500k from multiple celebrity investors.
Trufan is a social media platform for fans to reward their top followers, and also capitalize on data that can be downloaded to micro-target their audience while running campaigns.
The tool will also allow fans to vote, comment and share live sports feed. This comes at a time when when bigger media corporations are scaling back on their sports coverage due to financial pressures.
The company aims to provide private beta access to users on Nov. 15, and eventually cover over 400 influencers and 250 brands by the end of the year.
The list includes influencers such as Kevin Hart, Gucci Mane, Ludacris, Cody Ko, and Cameron Dallas, alongside brands like McDonald’s Canada, Western Union, and UFC. The new capital infusion will help the company expand into newer markets across the United States and Canada, the company said.
“We’re excited to bring partners from various backgrounds on board,” Swish told WealthLAB.
“We have a very humble approach when it comes to the company and the product we are building. That being said, we’re hoping to end 2018 on a strong note and get all our major private beta users onto a payment plan,” he said.
Amazon’s HQ2: NYC Features As Top Contender
NYC’s Long Island City is garnering much attention now that it’s pitched to be one of the two cities Amazon will pick as its second headquarters, popularly labelled as HQ2.
With Seattle faring as the main hub for the tech giant, the company announced plans to split its second headquarters into two different cities, with 25,000 employees each. Home to international brands such as Estée Lauder, Ralph Lauren and J.Crew, Long Island City is now becoming a top spot for companies.
Despite critics citing the move to be one for publicity and media attention (plus government incentives), Amazon has pledged to invest over $5B for its HQ2 and create nearly 50,000 jobs. Bringing the headquarters to newer and upcoming neighborhoods could also build greater infrastructure and employment numbers for the cities.
Amazon’s perks for splitting their headquarters? Billions of dollars worth of contracts could potentially play into the company’s kitty from splitting their main business center.
INTERVIEW: Founder of $310M Clothing Line Bonobos On The Best Way To Raise Money (And No, It’s Not VC)
When Andy Dunn graduated from Stanford, the aspiring entrepreneur kickstarted a menswear company from his small apartment in New York. The clothing line, Bonobos, started off with a simple idea — selling chino pants.
Ten years later, the company was acquired by Walmart for $310M. According to Dunn, the key to raising funds does not always hinge on money. Here’s how he did it.