a16z Podcast: Nootropics and the Best Version of Your Brain, Yourself


What if you could bring the best version of yourself to everything you do everyday? What if you could get the most out of your mind and brain — or more scientifically, your “cognitive performance” — without going to those old addictive standbys like coffee or RedBulls?

The promise of nootropics or cognitive enhancers is to help us work better and more productively (for example, through more stamina and working memory); stay more awake and alert (without the sudden jolt of coffee); sleep better; and even protect our brains against cognitive impairments or neuro diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Geoffrey Woo and Michael Brandt, the founders of Nootrobox, believe that nootropics are possible for everyone — not just for a select or hobbyist fringe of society — and that part of that mainstreaming will involve a lot of hard science, hard data, and frankly, good user experience and better packaging of raw components … the same things, in fact, that helped mainstream personal computers from the days of the early hacking at the Homebrew Club to Apple and the world of mass computing today. But how does nootropics move beyond a (community) movement to the masses … and how does it fit into the context of other trends such as biohacking, quantified self, and more? Is the human body really the next ‘platform’? All this and more on this episode of the a16z Podcast.