1. Lean startup:Intermittent fasting can mean anything from skipping breakfast to not eating for a few days. Proponents claim these short fasts help increase focus and maybe even lifespan. “The first time I did it, like day three, I felt like I was hallucinating,” said Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, whose regimen has him eating only a meal a day. “I just found that I got so much more done during those fasting periods.” Fasting has been shown to have health benefits, but severe fasting can lead to malnutrition and eating disorders.
2. Dress code: In the early 1980s, Steve Jobs was inspired by the uniforms he saw on Sony’s workers in Tokyo. His employees rejected the black turtlenecks he had made for them, so the Apple co-founder adopted the look as a personal uniform. This style of no style has been adopted by his Silicon Valley progeny. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said he wears the same boring T-shirts every day because it cuts down on the number of decisions he has to make.
3. No filter: The raw water fad began in 2017, part of the “rawism” movement that advocates eating only uncooked and unprocessed foods. Adherents believe that sipping regular tap water is like “drinking toilet water with birth control drugs in them,” in the words of the founder of Live Water, which retails for up to $15 per gallon of unsterilized spring water. Before you fill your Hydro Flask with unfiltered lake water, remember, untreated water remains a public health menace in much of the world.
4. Shrink different: Brought to you by the body-optimizing biohacking movement, the cold shower fad is all about creating “positive stress.” Supposed benefits include a stronger immune system, better circulation, and emotional resilience. Tech entrepreneur and blogger Tim Ferriss says he takes ice baths to hone his capacity for enduring pain.
5. Byte me: Meal replacements, like Soylent’s soy-based drink, are a ubiquitous way for coders to engage in essential bodily functions without leaving their screens. Recently, Soylent released a 100-calorie protein bar called a “mini meal.”
6. Stride piper: Vibram’s FiveFingers shoes gained a toehold in the early 2010s as part of the barefoot running craze, popularized in part by Ferriss. The idea was that shoeless or minimally shod runners would have a more efficient stride and get fewer injuries. In 2012, a customer brought a class-action case against Vibram, accusing it of making deceptive and unproven claims about the health benefits of its footwear. (The suit was settled for $3.75 million.) More recently, Allbirds’ stripped-down wool shoe has entered the minimalist shoe space.