Viagra for the Brain Turns Retirement Community into a Tech Powerhouse

Another report from the near future, by TBD Insider

The Villages, Florida’s booming retirement community, has a reputation. Reports of Viagra-fueled golf cart sex, skyrocketing STD rates, and seniors demonstrating adolescent behavior have annoyed denizens and entertained the rest of us for years. But less than a decade after the advent of so-called “youth-drugs”, The Villages and communities like it are getting a whole new reputation.

And they’re giving Silicon Valley a run for its money…literally.

“It all started with diabetes,” says Walter Terman, long-time resident and Dean of Computer Science at recently accredited Village University. “We had a lot of diabetics here. When the new meds came out, these patients started getting thin, active and…well, smart! After that, drugs for Parkinsons, ALS and Cancer hit the market. It was after the one that regrows telomeres got popular that you really started to notice a change. The sick people were in better shape than the healthy ones. Today, if you can’t get a prescription for this stuff, you get it from friends. We have a huge black market, but what we don’t have much of anymore is what you’d consider old people. I mean, we don’t look like we’re in our twenties, but aside from a few more aches and pains, that’s how we feel.”

One might think the primary effect of all this would be better golf handicaps, but no. Five years ago, The Villages retired two of its golf courses and converted them into a state-of-the-art science center and tech park. There are two startup incubators that have already produced one Unicorn — with more on the way. And a women’s group traded their regular mahjong game for intensive software engineering courses. Now they’re the hottest agile development lab in the country.

“Silicon Valley had a concentration of capital and talent. They had kids who could spend years working on risky ventures, because they could always move back in with Mom,” Terman says. “Well, what we have here is even better. Most of us can spend all our time on a crazy idea and not worry about getting paid for years. And think about who moves here? We have people who made fortunes in their first career, so access to capital isn’t a problem. We have experience. We have PhDs in every field. And now, we have the verve to show those Millenials what old dogs can do with new tricks.”

Verve isn’t the only thing driving these retirees. They also have a motive to innovate and capture Silicon Valley-style economic benefits. Life-expectancy has gone up rapidly. And while most can spend years without an income, they know that nest eggs will run out. But many don’t want to return to the drudgery of their old careers.

So they’re going back to school and discovering online or virtual reality education. They’re starting new ventures, investing in them, and investing in each other.

In upcoming issues, we’ll take a look at the revolutionary products and services these senior innovators are building. You likely use more than one of them every day.


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This story is fiction, based entirely on our fevered imagination of products and services that could be delivered to market based on current and emerging know-how — given sufficient resource and intent. Any resemblance to real products, either released or planned, is purely coincidental.

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