20 May

Modafinil: The New Fuel of Wall Street

Modafinil use has increased tenfold in the last decade. Who better to take advantage of it than entrepreneurs? “The new fuel of Wall Street” is what New York Magazine referred to it as in an interview with Peter Borden, a quantitative analyst on Wall Street, who spoke about his experience with modafinil, how it has grown among businessmen like himself, and why he not only prefers it over drugs like Adderall, but considers it the most effective nootropic available.

His name was Peter Borden

Peter was hesitant at first. He always preferred alternative medicine or natural treatments like acupuncture. Peter was working two jobs at the time doing quantitative analysis and project management by day for a B2B start up, and at night developing a proprietary high frequency trading system for a Wall Street start-up of his own. There’s only so much a person can do given 24 hours a day, and Peter found himself short on time for both his endeavors. Modafinil to the rescue. On his first day with it, after a few hours he described “a pleasant fuzziness, but not fuzzy-headed, but crisp. A crisp softness to it.” Mr. Borden soon began experiencing levels of concentration he never imagined possible. He described his focus as his senses shifting to visual, the auditory sense went down as if sounds no longer registered, and “it was like walking around on a winter day when it just snowed. It was very easy to stay visually focused”, claimed Peter.

Peter described a “head rush” and said it was as if his eyes were sort of engorged and his awareness had moved to the front of his face. That potent focus gave tasks once considered “usually soul-crushing” his undivided attention. He would spend hours fine-tuning his ad campaigns for the new business and he worked faster and for longer hours, but most importantly with better results. He claimed he was not taking many breaks, felt no frustration, and things came out with fewer errors than usual. Not only was he able to do these once frustrating tasks without any bother, he actually felt happier.

Wall Street’s new best friend

In New York, Borden heard various traders and hedge-funders on Wall Street talk about modafinil as “the big league” compared to the layman’s 5-Hour Energy. Though he did note that they didn’t tend to boast about it as much as the guys in the tech department would. Competition breeds secrecy, can’t be giving away your advantage.

Peter’s case isn’t the only public one either. Entrepreneur Daniel Tenner also used modafinil to launch his first company while he was still working for the consulting firm Accenture. He was waking up every day at 4am to work until 7am, napped an hour, and then went to work at his day job before promptly sleeping again at 11pm. He was also working weekends to make sure he could launch his company. Modafinil kept him closer to 100% throughout the day instead of falling off the cliff of exhaustion.

The only way to push the physical limits of the body is to bring in some hired help, and modafinil is a lot cheaper than an employee. A new business is as important to an entrepreneur as a new baby would be, and it requires just as much devotion and sleepless nights. It’s no wonder then why Wall Street and Silicon Valley startups alike are turning to Modafinil for a chance to reach their dreams. The two deserve a romantic comedy next summer, they’re that good of a couple.