Why one Silicon Valley start-up is starving staff

by |
Employees who have a penchant for a mid-morning stack might be disappointed with the culture at one Silicon Valley start-up after it was revealed the company encourages workers to go without food for 36 hours straight.

Drugs company Nootrobox, which produces cognitive enhancers called nootropics, implements a weekly fasting period from Monday evening to Wednesday morning.

“We’re actually super productive on Tuesdays,” co-founder and CEO Geoffrey Woo told San Francisco’s Mercury News. “It’s hard at first, but we literally adopted it as part of the company culture.”

According to Woo – and scores of other Silicon Valley workers who have adopted the practice – intermittent fasting helps improve workplace focus and boost concentration.

“It kind of sucks, in the beginning, to not eat for 36 hours,” he admitted. “But it’s fun to get breakfast together on Wednesday.”

The workers are part of a growing “biohacker” movement made up of high performing entrepreneurs who are trying to hack their own brains in a bid to gain a competitive edge.

There are so many people involved, that Woo set up a Wednesday morning breakfast specifically for biohackers.

“We realised that a lot of people in our community want to do that as well, so we started a biohacker breakfast,” he revealed. “We have 300 people in a Slack channel, nerding about fasting and different fasting protocols.”

For all the latest HR news and info straight to your inbox, subscribe here.

More like this:

Canada Post threatened by class action lawsuit

Why bite-sized learning may be more appetizing

From leadership development to business agility
  • Marty on 2016-07-14 7:15:26 AM

    Intermittent Fasting is part of a trend sweeping the US where companies and employees are attempting biohacking – modifying your cognitive functions through methods such as fasting to increase brainpower. In a world of innovation and disruption, workers are trying to get every edge they can.


  • Sharon McAllister on 2016-07-19 11:37:06 AM

    This can't possibly be healthy or wise for any employee with a health problem that requires them to eat regularly (diabetes for example). I'm sure the company wouldn't force those unable to comply for medical reasons, but wouldn't this just work as another barrier to inclusion for those not able to participate in this program?

HRM Online forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

Name (required)
Comment (required)
By submitting, I agree to the Terms & Conditions