Modafinil in Silicon Valley

Looks like I’m not the only one:

“Is someone you work with taking Provigil to give them an extra competitive edge? I’ve spoken with one executive who says he uses it regularly to work twenty hour days, and the buzz lately is that it’s the “entrepreneur’s drug of choice” around Silicon Valley. Over the last week two separate entrepreneurs have mentioned it casually in conversation, and one said he tried it once and loved it.”

An interesting conversation was had at a friend’s bday dinner about drug prohibition, and I meant to mention this kind of thing while dining. Another reason I think the whole recreational drug thing needs to change or be approached without a maxim of “drugs are bad” is because performance enhancement is going to become more common.

What’s so funny is that entrepreneurs apparently aren’t interested in typical drugs – instead they find the one that gives them a mental and stamina advantage.

“What’s so funny” about this statement is that I’m sure this is a completely false claim. It’s merely more socially accepted to take drugs to be a more productive member of society. Thus it’s easier to admit this to colleagues. Possibly it conveys “I’m a hard worker”, not that it really does (since you can still be unproductive even if you’re awake), but the dissonance between the reason behind taking drugs and the public’s perception of it is annoying.

I’ve personally talked to several entrepreneurs who’ve had the seeds of their business inspiration arrive while under the influence.

Note however I’m not saying innovation and new ideas can’t be arrived at without drugs, since that’s patently untrue.

New Zealand dollar is going mad.

For my friends overseas, in case you have not found out yet, the NZ dollar is up to 0.80 USD! That’s a 20% increase compared to March ’07. Meesto has some interesting thoughts about how this relates to Kiwisaver, and has some suggestions about what we can do. A lot of people are very nervous though. The thoughts are that everything is going to come crashing down some time soon.

Perhaps it’s not true, but many exporters are suffering. I blame people with too much money in the States coming over here and buying up our currency. Apparently the Thai bhat is doing something similar too.

I have no economic education so take it with a grain of salt.

Here a webapp, there a webapp everywhere an appapp

I’ve been mucking around looking at new web apps – since if I ever get round to starting up my web business it’d pay to be up with the play.

Jon mentioned Google Reader, which has made keeping track of my overseas friend’s antics, as well as things like news, tech, and the latest on net music trends (New Zealand clubs are slowly picking up on some of the hot acts coming from France and Australia). What looked really cool though, was Net Vibes which is one of those customisable home pages. I’m not sure I can be bothered setting it up right now, since I like my current set up and have too much other stuff to do, but reckon it’d be worth a look.

I’m also really happy that Google Calender now can remind me of my appointments via SMS. I mean, this isn’t that revolutionary in itself, but c’mon! I’m in New Zealand, and for a cool thing like that to be available for free in NZ is pretty rare.

Facebook now has all those applications you can add in which is pretty fancy. And Twitter lets everyone know what you are doing in a kind of miniblog. Facebook integrates quite well with it, since people like the whole status updating thing. Personally it seems like an inane waste of time, but who am I to judge. Also, I can actually see the use of Twitter when it hooks up to your cell phone, then you can see what your friends are up to… e.g. You have 1 new SMS: “Jennifer is going to see Pirates of the Caribbean”, “oh” you think, “I wanted to see that too and I’m bored I’ll ask if I can join her”.

For those who haven’t already heard about it, Google Gears is an API provided by Google to allow webapps to run offline, or with intermittent connectivity, updating with the server when possible. I reckon this is a big thing, especially with all the Google apps I use. And if you want to know why, you can read about it elsewhere, since lots of people are talking about it.

Lastly, Surface computing looks pretty funky. Maybe Microsoft can be innovative after all: