Reflections on Having a Bad Idea

A few weeks ago, a friend came to me with a bad idea.

He wanted us to start a dietary supplement and nootropics company together. We would use dropshipping to offload most inventory and management costs, then go to a mutual friend for cheap web design, and then tap into our networks for some surprisingly good sales and endorsement opportunities.

He acknowledged that I have no formal biology background besides AP Bio and watching House. He also had no formal background. This might lead an objective observer to conclude that we were not the best qualified individuals for selling other people chemicals to put in their bodies.

But… we had both started and run businesses successfully. He had had been using supplements and nootropics on a daily basis for years, and had put an impressive amount of effort into understanding them as evidenced by his ability to rattle off chemical components and mechanisms with the slightest prompting. He also had unique access to people who could promote and sell our product.

Most importantly, the entire supplements/nootropics field was in the “Wild West” (his words). Entrepreneurs all over the world were putting out bundled nootropic supplements with names like Alpha Brain and Brain Force Plus, and so if we, in the spirit of scientific adventure, put our heads together and actually tried to run a legitimate company which used only the most scientifically verified substances, we could pass the low bar set by the current market, and then rely on marketing skills and connections to carve out our own little chunk of a two billion dollar industry.

This was a really, really bad idea.

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The Blind, Alone, and Confused for 24 Hours Challenge

For 24 hours I will be blind and alone in my apartment. I eventually want to try being blind for a week, but I’ll need seven days with no other obligations, and I won’t have that for a while. For now, I’ll suffice with a smaller-scale experiments with a few extra provisions for added difficulty.

Rules:

  1. I must leave my blindfold on for 24 hours.
    • If I remove the blindfold, I have failed the experiment
    • If the blindfold falls off or I can get partial sight, I have failed the experiment.
    • I am only allowed to readjust my blindfold if I can see light.
  2. I must not be in contact with any other people for 24 hours.
    • I cannot answer my phone or any other messaging system.
    • I cannot receive in-person visitors.
    • If someone knocks at the door, I cannot answer verbally or physically.
  3. I will set an alarm for 24 hours. I cannot set any other alarms or use any other means to ascertain the time.
    • It is up to me to keep my phone charged so the alarm goes off.
  4. I cannot leave my apartment.
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