Diane does not look like someone who would drug your venison chilli. She sits on a San Francisco patio, her dewy blue eyes lucid, her blonde, subtly asymmetrical hair recently trimmed, her white jeans spotless. It is noon. I imagine she has enjoyed several fruitful meetings. Now, she will probably advise me on the meditation app keeping her serene.
“I don’t do coffee, I do acid,” she says. The declaration that she takes a Class A drug does not distract her from nibbling a chunk of salmon in her taco bowl. The 29-year-old start-up founder began microdosing LSD — tiny doses every few days — in January. At just a tenth of a tripping dose, she does not experience psychedelic effects. Rather than swirling in a magical universe with pink elephants, she says microdosing has improved her productivity, creativity and helped her focus. On LSD, she is able to concentrate when developing company strategy, speed through user design sessions and sparkles making new contacts.
I met the microdosers and the old hippies for this FTWeekend magazine feature on how Silicon Valley has rediscovered LSD. I chose LSD as a way of telling the story of how San Francisco is changing and the conflict between millennial tech workers and the baby boomers who made the city famous. Read more here.