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Brain Hacks: Is The Real-Life Limitless Pill Real?

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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.

Jeremy Glass, a Thrillist writer (give him a follow!), tested and reviewed this particular drug for a week in 2015. Here’s what he said.

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.

NBC, Today: YouTube

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.

#limitless

 

ENTREPRENEURS

This Entrepreneur’s Led An IPO, ICO, And Actually Did What The McMahons Couldn’t. (Penetrate China.) Here’s How He Did It

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In the world of startups and entrepreneurships, you have a lot of talk, a lot of dreams, a lot of hype and — ultimately — a lot of disappointments.

But that’s life. It’s a small world. And it doesn’t take long to get found out if you’re not the real deal.

In this Q&A, however, we brought the heat.

David Chen is a Millennial entrepreneur with the experience of a Wall Street retiree.

Billion-dollar merger? Check.

Awards? Check.

Multiple startup exits? Check.

Successful ICO? Check that, too.

And perhaps, most impressively, Dave’s managed to do something even the McMahons of the WWE couldn’t — penetrate the Chinese market successfully.

In this Q&A, we ask him why entrepreneurs fail to raise money, even if they have a good idea (hint: ideas ain’t shit), the first thing you need to do, and, finally, what the best industries were.

Enjoy. 

Let’s get right to it. What’s the main thing stopping entrepreneurs from raising money?

Knowing their audience. You can’t assume that you know something and that it works at one region, but not the rest. It’s a relationship—and most of the times there aren’t relationships out there.

Secondly, you don’t approach someone in esports like you would in commercial. So my FaZe Clan pitch is different from my commloan pitch. 

When is the right time to raise money — and what’s the first thing an entrepreneur needs to do?

There is never a right time, there’s only a right project. Know all your answers, make it simple. If a 10-year-old doesn’t understand it, redo the pitch.

You’re on a number of boards of startups. What’s one you’re bullish on at the moment?

I love them all. Sharebert was named Forbes’ top 23 in tech innovation. Commloan has done over a billion in funding—and I’m a customer.

FaZe Clan is the largest esports team with 300M subscribers and 10B views last year. And Micamp 20/20 does the best credit card processing.

What’s the best startup play — or sector — right now?

Sharebert is a great startup play because the tech is there. The management team is there. The need is there. It’s just there.

FaZe Clan is great because they have the global market, viewership—and they’re different.

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W-key? Nah 📺 @cloakzy #Fortnite #FaZeUp

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What’s the next frontier for start up world.

I see China as the next market.

Why do you say that?

I say that because they have 44% of the world’s population. And if you don’t work with them it, they’ll just do it themselves.

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ENTREPRENEURS

How Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo Spends His Millions

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With a massive net worth that totals almost $400M, the 34-year old soccer player is also one of the richest sports stars in the world. With a string of deals, bonuses and endorsements coming his way, here’s how he spends his millions.

 

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ENTREPRENEURS

This Millennial Makes 6 Figures From Selling Other Peoples Stuff

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Check out how this 32-year-old, Mark Meyer, started his business with a $400 loan. He is now making six figures, by selling other peoples items on Ebay and Amazon. He mostly gets his inventory from police auctions, liquidations and abandoned storage sales.

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