This phrase seems to be Silicon Valley slang. Used generally, it refers to believing religiously in the New Economy; more specifically, it's used to refer to believing your own propaganda, or that of whoever you're with: You're on the team, "signed up", committed to the madness at hand, etc.

I'm guessing that it derives from the LSD-spiked Kool-Aid in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe.

References:

Sense 1:
    http://www.lvdi.net/~intercon/Archive/SUM0706.TXT

Sense 2:
    http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/1999/10/13/vc_class/index2.html
    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.04/jwthompson_pr.html


I've also heard it used, only once, in the Jim Jones/Heaven's Gate sense of "Kool-Aid": A VC who has "drunk the Kool-Aid" is one who has pumped enough money into your cult that he'll have no choice but to die with you when the time comes. The more I think about it, the more I doubt that this usage differs from the above, except in the sense that the speaker has thought it all through.
Ahem.

Please explain to your audience how exactly Heaven's Gate is associated with Kool-Aid. As far as I can remember, we're pros who used applesauce, pudding, and vodka. No kid stuff. This whole suicide thing is a fairly serious deal, and you can be assured that once I'm into a certain philosophy enough to cut off my balls and shave my head, I'm not going to want to spend my important last moments on Earth clapping my hands until Kool-Aid man bursts through the god damn Rancho Santa Fe wall.

Please think a little more before associating my fine religion with dangerous cults like the People's Temple or Apple Computer.

A belittling expression describing a person who has succumbed to propaganda or brainwashing. The reference arises from the Jim Jones Jonestown incident, in which a deranged cult leader convinced a large group of his followers to poison their children and then kill themselves, all using cyanide-laced Kool-Aid as the agent (well, actually it was a Kool-Aid lookalike, but what can you do).

Example: "I used to be able to talk to him, but then he got a job at Microsoft and drank the Kool-Aid; now he runs around yapping about how C# is going to take over the world."

kook = K = kremvax

Kool Aid, to drink the

[from a kid's sugar-enriched drink in fruity flavors] When someone who should know better succumbs to marketing influences and actually begins to believe the propaganda being dished out by a vendor. Usually the decortication process is slow and almost unnoticeable until one day the victim emerges as a True Believer and begins spreading the faith himself. The term originates in the suicide of 914 followers of Jim Jones's People's Temple cult in Guyana in 1978. What they actually drank was cyanide-laced Flavor-Aid, a cheap knockoff rather than Kool-Aid itself. There is a FAQ on this topic.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, this entry manually entered by rootbeer277.

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