Russian app developer stops eating food to "improve clarity of thought"

Photo: Anna Kurzaeva (Getty Images)

Before we say anything else about the story of Pavel Durov, a Russian entrepreneur and app developer, it feels like the Takeout staff would be remiss if we didn’t immediately point out that what’s about to follow is a terrible idea, and we do not endorse it. We are just here to tell you that the digital tech barons are still clearly working through some shit, and in intensely public fashion at that.

Durov, the founder of VK (a Russian equivalent to Facebook) and the Telegram secure messaging app, reportedly announced yesterday via Telegram that he’ll be transitioning from a diet based solely on fish and seafood, to one without any food involved at all. The Independent notes that Durov’s purported rationale is productivity: “This month I’m trying something more radical, with consuming no food at all... I’ve been on a water fast for the last six days and am feeling great so far. Since zero food consumption improves clarity of thought, I also got many things done on the product-management side.”

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Again: do not do this, everyone else. Crash “diets” of this nature are an unfortunately common trend in fast-tech circles; you may recall Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey extolling the virtues of focus-via-not eating for days at a time. While we don’t want to get into the business of telling grown adults how they should and should not manage their own bodies, drinking nothing but water for six days and not eating any food during that time is objectively bad for you.

For his part, Durov insists that “Obviously I might lose some muscle mass as a result, but I believe that if I manage to come up with new great ideas for Telegram during the fast, it will be beneficial for all of the millions of Telegram users.” Web development probably shouldn’t require a martyr complex as part of the process, but hey, Durov is free to pursue his craft as he sees fit.

Just keep microdosing, app guys. It’s probably a lot more fun.

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