Excess is out, efficiency is in.

Welcome to the world of Nootropics: The secret weapon for modern mad men and wolves of Wall Street.

 If I can get peak performance without putting half my paycheck up my nose, why shouldn’t I?
If I can get peak performance without putting half my paycheck up my nose, why shouldn’t I?


The influential and affluent New York City based magazine The Observer recently ran a worthy story on nootropics which heavily trended Modafinil. The magazine is known to offer insight and analysis on trends and to celebrate thinkers who get things done.  The Observer website boasts: “Our team analyses and reveals cutting-edge technologies and the cultural shifts that require new methodologies.” So the topics of modafinil and nootropics were a natural fit for the magazine to explore. The article is fairly balanced and ultimately takes the slant that these substances can be helpful and healthy boosts for the modern corporate work world lifestyle.

The article, Nootropic Brain Drugs Rise in Popularity for Today’s Cutthroat Corporate Climbers, begins by delving into the world of modafinil, interviewing a corporate strategist working with health care companies on their mergers, who learned to outshine his coworkers with the help of brain boosting nootropics like modafinil and piracetam. The author of the article, Jack Smith IV,  then interviewed former Google executive and Nootrobox co-owner Michael Brandt in San Francisco.

“We only have 24 hours in each day, and we are all trying to figure out how too make better use of that time. It’s the unifying theme that connects Google with Uber with Nootrobox with P90X.”

Brandt explained why in an era of efficiency trumping excess, nootropic brain supplements are poised to become the drug of choice. He drew parallels between the way athletes train their bodies—strength training, cardio, nutritional supplements and tertiary skills—with brain games, meditation, exercises with focus and, of course, nootropics.

Smith then takes the article into the area of the ethics of cognitive enhancing supplements.  He interviews neuroscientist Dr. Richard Isaacson and Michael Gazzaniga, a cognitive neurobiologist and the director of the SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind at University of California, Santa Barbara, who was among the first group of scientists and ethicists who looked at the ethics around nootropics about a decade ago.

That work resulted in a seminal 2008 paper published in Nature called “Towards responsible use of cognitive-enhancing drugs by the healthy,” which concluded that innovation in nootropics was both important and most certainly on its way.

But Mr. Gazzaniga, who worked on the Nature paper, says not much has changed in nootropics since then. He said he hasn’t seen anything in a supplement that goes beyond a “caffeine effect” and into the realm of actually expanding memory and intellectual capability—the original promise of nootropics.

“Most of them can be chased down to effects on alertness,” Mr. Gazzaniga said. “But they won’t extend your mental capacity to a high order of cognition.”

Jack Smith also interviews “prominent productivity gurus” Tim Ferris, Dave Asprey and Jo Rogan (4-Hour Work Week, Bulletproof Coffee, and Alpha Brain) who have all used, developed and sold nootropic stacks. They credit brain supplements for some of their success, certainly with keeping their minds running clear at a high level.

The article ends with a first person perspective review of Nootrobox products Rise and their newest offering Sprint. The author, Jack Smith, tried both products. Both have significant helpful effects, as he found himself running at his peak performance for longer than expected.

“For the modern mad men and wolves of Wall Street, gone are the days of widespread day drinking and functional cocaine use. Instead, in this age of efficiency above all else, corporate climbers sometimes seek a simple brain boost, something to help them to get the job done without manic jitters or a nasty crash. For that, they are turning to nootropics.”

The full article can be read here: