Fireside Chat: Google and Tim Ferriss


This fireside chat at Google in London was also simulcast to their offices in Ireland, Sweden, and Moscow. It was a blast.

It covered tons of topics never discussed on the blog before: proposed improvements to Gmail (please!), the real original book title, using telephone vs. e-mail, principles and case studies, metrics (including exercise), analysis vs. intuition, the declining dollar and personal outsourcing & geoarbitrage, and much more.

If you’re bored at work, you can listen to the audio while you browse Facebook :) My collection of 55 odd videos on YouTube can be found here if you want more semi-productive distraction before 5pm.

TGIF and have a wonderful weekend!

Posted on: April 25, 2008.

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55 comments on “Fireside Chat: Google and Tim Ferriss

  1. Awesome! Tim can EVEN outsource online dating! And the idea of personal Geo Arb really just confirms that Tim’s understanding of new style project creation and project management allows him to outsource ANYTHING!


  2. Hi Tim, I really enjoyed your eloquence and spontaneity in this presentation. Thanks for posting this- a great spend of an hour. Are you coming to Australia any time soon?


  3. Hi, Tim. Bought the book this week.

    Your quote here, “I don’t really believe in personal happiness. I believe in interpersonal happiness.” Is profound. I am also glad to learn you didn’t outsource the writing of your book.

    Question re: the cover: Why is the guy in the hammock? You stress in the book that working 4-hour (or “shorter”) weeks is not all about being lazy, but instead, it’s about doing what you want to do (languages, travel, etc.) So why the man in the hammock “chilaxing” as the kids say today?

    Also, do you think spending time talking to Google and tech conferences is worthwhile? You minimize and somewhat disdain the use of email, PDAs/phones and other technologies, and clearly, these folks can’t start working 4-hour weeks, as you acknowledge. You say in another video your target market isn’t someone who can’t pay the bills. Why not? Surely they are the ones who most need it, not snarky overpaid techies.


  4. Tim,

    I enjoyed the interesting tidbits from this talk. I’ve got ONE tiny suggestion, though that might improve your vids and speeches for everyone. Since your talks are pretty “low-key” from a vocal standpoint, you might want to have the sound guys really boost your voice a bit, or wear your mic much closer to your mouth. I had a lot of difficulty hearing you on this vid and I had both the players volume and my laptop volume all the way up. Plus, I’m sitting in a room with zero outside noise. Folks in an office might have a really hard time hearing this while enjoying a sandwich over lunch, or all the clicking on Facebook as you suggest. Also, might I suggest, since you’re great at tweaking your persona. . .a vocal/speech coach? What would REALLY help you go the distance is a bit of vocal projection, and those folks can work wonders on you with a few quick lessons. I hope you appreciate the constructive criticism. . .:-)


  5. Thanks Tim – I really needed some inspiration today as I face a four-hour afternoon blocked out to complete a final assignment for my class :/ :) Have a great weekend as well! ~Marcie


  6. Glad you had an enjoyable celebration last night. I ran into your friend Aaron at the Netvibes event. Nice guy.

    I’m off for one more day of playing in the surf. Back to normal life tomorrow. I’ll catch the video then.


  7. Tim-

    Brilliant! Loved the interview and found the information very useful. I wish to see more videos like this. Not neccessarily an hour long, but informative 1/2 hours would be great. We love to see you explain your principles and to see you living the lifesyle. I wish you would do a talk/interview in NYC. I would be first on line! All your videos are great, and please keep up the good works. And congrats on the book anniversary!



  8. I haven’t read 4HWW in a while, so thanks for the refresher, and I was on the fence about signing up for getfriday, but am definitely interested in getsunday. Keep up the good work.


  9. Also, since I can’t find any email address for you, which isn’t surprising considering your comments about it, I am wondering how to decide on a business to start. I know that I’ll be good at whatever i do, I am just having a hard time deciding.


    Hi Sean,

    No worries. I’d recommend you reread the “automation” section of the book and then jump onto the reader-only forums you see above in the nav bar. Good luck!



  10. I would ask one thing for future such talks: when someone asks a question, repeat the question, or give the questioners a microphone! It was not possible to hear the questions. (This was done once throughout the question and answer period.)

    From what I remember of high school Latin, “reductio ad absurdum” is correct. ;-)

    Interesting that you use your middle finger to point to yourself when you talk about the 80/20 rule with your customers that you no longer pro-actively chased… did you realise that? ;-)

    Time under tension is an interesting concept, and one I have used myself… have you considered expounding that on your blog?

    Lucid dreaming! Yes! It’s something I am fascinated with too… unfortunately, I seem too much (to myself) like a coma victim (or at worst, a corpse) while sleeping. ;-)

    Excellent interview. We need more of these! :-)


  11. It was great to see this interview now I just finished reading your book yesterday.

    I really am wondering though, being a creative person myself, how could all the outsourcing techniques etc. be applied on artists, composers, graphic designers, as we are the only ones who can make our product. I was already wondering about this while reading the book. Any ideas?


    Hi Farfield,

    Funny you should ask. I might be speaking at an event May 8th about this exactly. Will keep you guys posted :)



  12. Hey Tim,

    Thanks for linking this. I have a question that has been on my mind since reading the 4hww. Perhaps you can do a blog post on this: What are your feelings on handling investment risk while finding a muse? Do you typically try a couple of ideas (@$1000 -web development plus market testing — each) and see which one sticks?


  13. I found that this was a very informative and interesting interview, well worth the time it takes to watch it.

    I especially liked the discussion of “The 4-Hour Workweek”‘s original title and the unorthodox testing methods you used to determine the best title (google adwords) and especially the way you picked the best cover design! Did you just go in the bookstore, set them up, and watch people? People must have looked confused by the “decoy” book if they actually opened and started reading. Hopefully nobody tried to buy it! I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by this. It is a great idea. As long as no employees noticed. But even if they did, what’s the worst that could happen? not much.

    I didn’t have any problems hearing the audio, but I couldn’t hear the questions from the audience. I mostly was able to figure out what they asked in context. I think that Tim’s style in the interview is great, very relaxed and approachable.

    I don’t agree with Doc Kane’s suggestion to get a vocal/speech coach. Being relaxed is better than being too prepared/polished. If a speaker comes off too polished and forceful, it can make him seem less real and less believable.

    Great job Tim!


  14. Could someone post the approx time that Tim talks about the fitness metrics? Id like to see that part but theres no damn way Im watching 1 hr 11 min to find it or spending 20 minutes jumping around, too.

    THANKS! :)


  15. Completely off-topic: I couldn’t help noticing how your crossed your legs Tim. The bottom of your shoes is facing your interviewer. Rings a bell?
    Maybe not… In my culture, it’s really rude!