Tim Ferriss or as they call it the human guinea pig, super interviewer, author, interviewer, speaker, an overall interesting fellow.
He is an early-stage tech investor in some pretty nbd companies like Uber, Facebook, Shopify, Duolingo, Alibaba, Angellist, Evernote, Twitter, 9gag, etc…. It’s chill. Ferriss is also a 5X #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller with his books (4-Hour Workweek, 4-Hour Chef, 4-Hour Body, Tools of Titans, Tribe of Mentors) and he runs a podcast with 300M+ downloads.
Some other randomly impressive skills
- He speaks Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish, and German
- He was a high school-level competitive wrestler
- He learned to swim at 31 years old then competed in an open water race
- Competed at the Tango World Championships in Buenos Aires winning the Guiness World Record for the most Argentine tango spins in a minute
- Won the 75KG weight class in the 1999 United States of America Wushu Kungfu Federation national (Chinese) kickboxing championship through techniques like dramatic dehydration before the weigh-in and intense aggression in pushing competitors out of the ring
Most interesting man in the world? Most random man in the world? Whatever you want to call it, Tim Ferriss is a unique-as-heck individual.
A little bit of background
He grew up in East Hampton in New York and moved onto Princeton University where he completed a degree in East Asian Studies in 2000. As a fresh grad with big eyes, the world in front of him, and a degree in East Asian Studies, he moved into sales at a data storage company. He quickly figured out how to hack his sales quota and become a top seller by calling companies at really early times in the morning so he could get straight to the decision maker. But this wasn’t going to be his life. While in sales, he started his own company, BrainQUICKEN which was a protein-health-type supplement of sorts.
Higher, higher education
Instead of enrolling in a formal MBA degree, he committed what tuition would have cost to a real-world MBA. A Stanford MBA would be about $120K USD for two years which is a lot of money.
He sought out impressive individuals to learn from and put his money in some smart companies, with the intention of putting $120K into some smart companies but also considering the $120K a sunk cost. His mindset was that he’d “lose” the cash.
He called this the “Tim Ferriss Fund” where he would make about 6-12 angel investments over the course of his “two-year MBA”. Angel investments are relatively small amounts of money that are put into early-stage startups which could be something like two engineers on a couch making a prototype to put on the internet.
Of the 15 investments he made, none of them died and there was one exit. He doesn’t recommend this but he learned a tremendous amount and with his personality, there’s no way that he wouldn’t have taken away an experience worth an MBA.
Biography & Image sourcesBiography: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Ferriss, https://tim.blog/2010/06/28/mba/, https://tim.blog/about/, https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/before-tim-ferriss-became-tim-ferriss-a-true-story.html, https://www.entrepreneur.com/author/tim-ferriss
Banner image: TED talk
“Vagabonding easily remains in my top-10 list for life-changing books. Why? Because one incredible trip, especially a long-term trip, can change your life forever. And Vagabonding teaches you how to travel (and think), not for one trip, but for the rest of your life. Tim Cahill, founding editor of Outside magazine and a brilliant travel writer... (Ferriss' Notes)
“For my birthday last year, I received a incredible book: Daily Rituals: How Artists Work. It was given to me by Josh Waitzkin, the renowned chess champion (best known from Searching for Bobby Fischer) and a master at deconstructing the world’s top performers. (Ferriss' Notes)
Waitzkin tells his remarkable story of personal achievement and shares the principles of learning and performance that have propelled him to the top—twice. Josh Waitzkin knows what it means to be at the top of his game. A public figure since winning his first National Chess Championship at the age of nine, Waitzkin was catapulted into a media whirlwind as a teenager when his father’s book Searching for Bobby Fischer was made into a major motion picture.
“It has helped me to turn problems upside-down, become the calm within the storm, and even uncover unique opportunities.“Philosophy” gets a bad rap. Most of us know a turtleneck-wearing pseudo-intellectual who’s spent countless hours studying obscure details of Freud or post-structural lesbian feminism... (Ferriss' Notes)
“This book came into my life through N.N. Taleb, who has made several fortunes by exploiting the hubris of Wall Street. Given how vociferously he attacks most books on investing, it caught my attention that he openly praises this little book. My first dinner with Nassim was in September of 2008. It was memorable for many reasons... (Ferriss' Notes)
“I loved this book so much that I reached out to Tim and we produced the audiobook together. “Lazy: A Manifesto” is one small chapter. If you want to stop feeling rushed, this might be the medicine you need... (Ferriss' Notes)
The Tao of Seneca (volumes 1-3) is an introduction to Stoic philosophy through the words of Seneca. If you study Seneca, you'll be in good company. He was popular with the educated elite of the Greco-Roman Empire, but Thomas Jefferson also had Seneca on his bedside table.
“While the history books are filled with tales of obsessive visionary geniuses who remade the world in their image with sheer, almost irrational force, I’ve found that history is also made by individuals who fought their egos at every turn, who eschewed the spotlight, and who put their higher goals above their desire for recognition.” —from the prologue
Why have history's greatest minds—from George Washington to Frederick the Great to Ralph Waldo Emerson, along with today's top performers from Super Bowl-winning football coaches to CEOs and celebrities—embraced the wisdom of the ancient Stoics? Because they realize that the most valuable wisdom is timeless and that philosophy is for living a better life, not a classroom exercise.