Loic Le Meur and Tim Ferriss Discuss E-mail, Entrepreneurship, and Practical Philosophies

113 Comments

Loic Le Meur is one of my favorite people in Silicon Valley.

He is a successful serial entrepreneur — having sold companies to France Telecom and Six Apart — as well as a French presidential adviser, and an organizer of the world-famous LeWeb conference held in Paris. I will be speaking there December 9-10 of this year.

I recently stopped by the Seesmic offices, where Loic is pursuing his latest project, and we had a fun conversation on everything from practical philosophies and e-mail management, to product development and how to grow large communities at low cost. Please let me know what other topics you’d like to hear more on.

Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

On Lifestyle Design and Practical Philosophies – 11:30 Minutes

On Managing E-mail – 4 Minutes


On Building and Managing Communities – 14:30 Minutes

On Developing Products and Starting Businesses – 54:00 Minutes

Posted on: April 2, 2009.

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Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration)

113 comments on “Loic Le Meur and Tim Ferriss Discuss E-mail, Entrepreneurship, and Practical Philosophies

    • @Ash,

      Ah, Loic is just a joker and we’re friends, so he’s not intentionally being sarcastic or condescending. Just kidding around. I can see how, out of context, it might seem that way, but he’s a great guy who’s just being playful.

      All the best,

      Tim

      Like

  1. The thing is Tim, when you talk and blog about your book you make it all the more valuable and believable. It’s a beautiful blur, what I got from the book and what I’ve learned from your blog etc. : ) Thank you x a trillion. Wait that’s not very much anymore. Thank you x a stimulus package x 2. : )

    Like

  2. 54 minutes on how to start a business, this is going to take some time to view and contemplate in depth.

    The Tim Ferris life style, is this one of our collective mountains in life? We know what it’s like at the top, or at least we fantasize about it and read anything and everything about it. Now stop looking up and start taking your own steps. (More on mountains, see my blog)

    First step? Well… let’s watch these videos first and see what they have to offer.

    Like

  3. Awesome vids. Tons of great information, especially on email. It’s tough to get on a schedule of only checking it a few times a day but I’ve managed to schedule reminders in iCal.

    Now if I could stop multi-tasking on all sorts of different things…

    Like

  4. Hey Tim,

    I haven’t looked through all the stuff yet, but if it is anything like your last post, I am sure it will answer a few questions in relation to what I am trying to do at the moment. Thanks mate.

    Like

  5. I keep catching snippets of Loic here and there. It was great to see him here in such a “feature” length segment.

    “Income without time has no value.” This is great. And it makes it so much more critical, as I sit here thinking about it, to use the 4HWW principles to maximize my time. I find myself “frittering” away so much time, even though I know better.

    Single task and the egg timer… That’s the ticket. I’ve been “thinking” about instigating something like this for a while – thanks for a kick in the pants.

    Have to go train some clients now, be back later to listen to the rest.

    Thanks!

    Adam

    Like

  6. Hi Tim, Great stuff I’m a big fan of these conversation posts. Very easy for a bachelor to leave going through his stereo while eating dinner.

    Tip for a new topic I for one would love to hear about: Communication skills.

    There’s definitely a lot out there, but just as with business books, self-help books, there’s a lot of crap to sift through and it’s difficult to know what advice is worth following. Maybe you don’t have anything extra to add to the field, but I think your a strong communicator so if there’s any learning technique that’s worked for you then please share. Thank you in advance for talking specifically about preparing a presentation to a big audience ;)

    Oh and another idea for further down the track: nutritious, efficient meal planning. Email me if you want an introduction to the subject using vacuum sealers, etc.

    Regards, H Roark

    Like

  7. Hey Tim,

    Great how to’s in these videos. I especially like the building and managing communities segment. The last couple of posts have really helped with practical tips on developing and growing my muse for maximum impact. Thanks!

    Rob

    Like

  8. @Alex, in the US everyone who’s not a CEO or entrepreneur is spending all their time working for CEO’s and entrepreneurs so you never hear from them as they have no time.

    Like

  9. Great, informative videos! I definitely learned something and look forward to watching more, especially if they’re like the couch session in the previous post.

    You’ve mentioned twice that you need a stylist, which is an interesting point. I think there are a lot of highly successful American men who could use a little guidance in this area. A good wardrobe should look great, travel well, and require minimal effort on a daily basis (hint: it does not include crayola colored man-knickers). Building the right wardrobe for your lifestyle won’t be that hard with the right strategy. You don’t need a stylist, just some simple rules. Good luck!

    Like

  10. The full interview clip is excellent. Thanks for telling it how it is and not just presenting theroy. What is the name of the book you recommend on reading financial statements where Buffett wrote the forward? Thanks, have a great weekend.

    Like

  11. Tim,
    I am still in the process of absorbing all of the amazing material you have both put out and recommended. You are a rare mind and you know how to deconstruct and get to the heart of projects, goals, ideas and challenges. Much of what you have referenced as influences and reading material I have come accross already and much of it is new to me. I just want to thank you. Your emphasis on principles and tools of simplicity is so satisfying. This is my first post, and perhaps a little pointless, (I have no question, or dispute) but I’m sure you know the satisfaction of when you read an author and it resonates so clear, this is how I feel about most of your work. I will follow up in the future with more practical and substantive comments, but as an opening to the ongoing dialogue I just wanted to let you know that your creativity and approach to life is inspiring.

    Like

  12. Tim, I was really interested in the community-building video, as I’ve just launched a forum for a certain niche and I’m (really, starting today) trying to build it into the premiere community for that niche.

    My question is, with an online forum, how do you get over the initial hurdle where nobody wants to join a nearly empty community? For me, it seems like an issue of getting at least a few loyal posters, then more will come just to join the discussion.

    Any insights?

    Thanks, and good work.

    Like

    • @Tim Chaves,

      One option is to put up initial content yourself in the form of sample Q&A in each category.

      Another option, which you can also use after the above, is to actually compensate a few knowledgeable people to engage in dialogues within your forum. This need not be expensive, but it should be transparent.

      Good luck :)

      Tim

      Like

  13. Any idea how to see these videos? All of them except the first one just come up with “This video is no longer available.” :$

    Like

  14. Oh, yeah by the way those shoes rock. I could have used those in Krabi, Thailand for climbing. I think they will revolutionize the sport of running. I am going to test them out on running sprints on a grass football field.

    Cheers

    Jose

    Like

  15. Hi Tim, is there any way you could extract the audio and post this as an mp3? It would be great to listen to in the car on my way to work. Thanks!

    Like

  16. Tim,

    Regarding your first company, how were you able to sell your product to wholesalers when you were first starting out? I’ve developed a product that I am going to attempt to sell to convenience store wholesalers very soon so any advice you could provide would be priceless to our start-up.

    Cheers,

    Farrell Hudgins

    Like

  17. Tim,

    I am curious in how your thoughts on entrepreneurship translates into Social Entrepreneurship. As someone who is not business savvy and does not care for corporate life but loves the way you do your thing, I would love to know how to use your concepts to make an impact in the Non-Profit world. Great videos!

    Like

  18. Hi Tim,

    Noticed that no post was made April 1 this year… maybe wise. Have to admit that your post last year still has the record for me – long time since I was that fooled. Next year we want a great surprise;)

    Really good post.. been following Le Meur in French for some time (good language practice) and he’s got some really sharp ideas. Nice to see you guys get together. Especially liked the last video – keep it coming!

    And, I just have to tell you all that I started to dance tango in January. I’ve been dancing other dances for some time, but really, this was “love at first step”. Obsessing with youtube-clips at night, scheduling for the next practica, and practising my pivots, I’m hooked. Tim, can let you know that if you ever come to Sweden, Uppsala has a great tango life.

    I really enjoy that clip with Missé you refered to and watch it almost daily. Apart from him, any suggestions on good technique I should check out?

    Good luck with everything,

    Isabelle

    Like

  19. Great! Please keep up the interesting conversations and interviews.
    I’m starting a business with my wife, and I want to run it following the techniques in The Four Hour Work Week. She is Venezuelan and often doesn’t believe me when I tell her we can run the company in this style in the US, and still export to Latin America. She doesn’t know how to value her time, automate, and let go control of her baby. Where can we get The Four Hour Work Week in Spanish. I did not see it on Amazon.

    Like

  20. Hi Tim,

    You reference a book on reading financial statements, with the preface by Warren Buffet – whats the book? Did you intentionally leave it out the title for the sake of less information, ie too many books are distracting…

    Thanks,
    Alex

    Like

  21. Hello, Tim. Great interview, I was there also watching it live, but i did miss some parts.

    Can you remember the name of the book that you recommended? The one about financial statements? I’m looking for something like that right now, and would be a great addition to my learnings.

    All the best,
    Fernando

    Like

  22. Wow! this stuff is gold xDD, thanks Tim for spending all that time with the interviews.

    You’ve completely changed the way I live my life, and my thinking, even though I’m a High School student now!

    THANK YOU.

    Like

  23. Hallo Tim!!!
    amazing videos!! In regards to the biometric field, I definitely agree with you. Removing the need of data entry is nowadays really a “hot” and interesting issue.

    I’m also looking for a good book about reading financial statements, like Luis, it would be really cool if you could share with us the name/author.

    viele grüße,

    Fabio

    Like

  24. Hey Tim,

    We’re growing. One of the things that would make my life a lot easier is a good small biz CRM system.

    No doubt you solved this for your own bizz. Any thoughts?

    Thanks!

    Martijn

    Like

  25. Tim,

    Just curious, you mention Y-Combinator a lot and I was wondering if you’ve looked in to investing/mentoring at TechStars? I’m sure you’ve heard of it, especially since some great companies have spawned from it and Matt, as well as other high profile entrepreneurs and investors, is a mentor.

    Thanks,
    Jon

    Like

  26. Great vids, Tim. Especially liked them broken into individual segments w/the running time included so I can schedule them for individual focus!

    Like

  27. Tim,

    Great video as always, but more importantly the Shoes/socks! you were rocking the same pair in the Kevin chat. What are they? they look like an idea I was toying with for awhile. they look like the perfect ninja footwear.

    Like

  28. Excellent stuff all around Tim. Your book has changed my life and the lives of all ten gazillion people I have recommended it to. I can’t wait to read the next one!

    And thank you for the ideas about getting people to post. I continue to struggle with this despite increasing numbers of subscribers, as I am sure many of us do. If one were to compensate knowledgeable folks to begin a dialogue, how do you recommend paying them:

    1) a flat fee per week or month?
    2) a set fee per post?
    3) a set fee per subsequent reply (up to a limit of course)
    4) a set fee per word?
    5) a case of good Belgian beer?

    Like

  29. After listening to the developing products section I was reminded thatI can’t find that post with the Teddy Ruxpin guy. There were associated scripts. Can you point me to the link anyone?

    Like

  30. what do you think of the bodybugg. i think it is amazing. we now have the technology to measure our caloricexpenditure AS IT IS HAPPENING. no more denial about what our behavior is producing in terms of weight gain/loss. a real time feedback mechanism in the moment with respect to our behavior.

    Like

  31. Wow! So much great advice. I’m in the process of starting a business right now, so this post just immediately went into my bookmarks.

    First thing I’m doing after my business is a success is buying myself a pair of those shoes. Those things are fuuunkay!

    Like

  32. Tim,

    Love that you mention “All I want is to make what I’m making now but have control of my time” during the video “On Developing Products and Starting Businesses” @ 21:00

    I think that is the true entreneur expereience. I have no problem with people that want to make millions of dollars, but I highly respect people whom want to make enough for their lifestyle and “hack” the rest of their life and enjoy their free time to make their money work better for them. This is the SINGLE best thing I took from your book.

    Lots of people want empires, I have no problem with that at all. But if the average small business person in America used some of your techniques to free up time, they would be very “rich”.

    Like

  33. Just saying Thank You!!!! That was really nice of you to make those 3 sites available. Keep us posted on the schools. I really want to see the progress of these projects. It all really comes down to the few basics after it’s all said and done. Thanks again and Kudos to you for your philanthropic work : )

    Siempre,

    Jose Castro

    Like

  34. @Tim,

    Great Q and A session.

    How exactly were you interacting with those who were asking the questions you answered in the video? Via live chat or forums?

    If you do this type of Q+A video session thing on a regular basis, please let me know. It would be awesome to join in next time.

    (just got your book last week- 5 THUMBS UP!)

    -Thanks,
    Stephen Wise

    Like

  35. Tim or other readers,

    Can you post links to how to create/manage “work environment” as opposed to relying on self-discipline as discussed in the video above.

    Thanks,
    Colin

    Like

  36. Hi Tim,

    I watched the 11min video for now. EXCELLENT comments, spot on. Don’t fear the bread and flip-flops, you can do anything.

    We are cruising and living life each and everyday on a sailboat. We survived 11 months with no electricity. Life is good. We do what we want when we want. It’s all about TIME and RELATIVE income.

    Living the Pirate Lifestyle,

    Captain-Rob

    Like

  37. Tim,

    Perhaps I missed this in the comments – where can I get those shoes?? I’m a capoerista in SF, and am looking to increase my foot strength and flexibility!

    – J

    Like

  38. Interesting thoughts Tim… It is good to stretch until the breaking point or else you’ll never discover what is inside. Like I always say… “Idiots find learning new concepts for gaining wisdom unattractive, but they consistently live for independent thinking and bad ideas established in nonsense.”

    Like

    • Hi Chris,

      Either barefoot or with Vibrams will work. It seems that it’s the constantly wearing them which conditions the feet and lower legs, which — at least it seems — adds to stability that then allows increased pressing strength. That’s been my experience, at least. Sophisticated placebo? Could be, but I given the relief of lower-back pain and everything else, I suspect some real adaptations.

      Best,

      Tim

      Like

  39. Tim,
    your content is always excellent. But, I find your audio is frequently “pants,” as the British say. Which is weird here, cause I can see you both are wearing what seem to be quality lavalier mikes.
    Please tell whoever produces your stuff to make sure they are using the right audio channel in edit, and that they are taking a few minutes to ensure good, clear recording at the right level during the shoot. Good audio makes a giant difference.
    Kurt

    Like

  40. Hi Tim,

    Thank you both for the video. I appreciate how well you integrate text and video on your blog. Anyhow, I hope you can blog an interview with top business leaders about successful methods in outsourcing management with onshore or offshore vendors.

    Like

  41. I’m trying to starting own business. But it seems that I lost in the branding part.

    The videos are amazing though. Thanks for the tips.

    (n.n)

    Siridra,
    Malaysia

    Like

  42. Great stuff! I’m still waiting for the Tim Ferris vs Gary Vaynerchuk debate on email and interaction haha.

    I like the point though about the more email you send the more you receive. Very true and probably an easy fix for many people.

    Like

  43. Hey Tim,

    Nice video – it’s always neat to hear “how you do it”.

    Your statement about throwing parties got me thinking: are you coming back to Omaha for the Berkshire meeting again, and if so, could we party?

    The Omaha / Council Bluffs metro area (popularly referred to as “The OCB”) has some excellent spots for getting together with a few hundred of your friends.

    By the way – your friend Mr. Mullenweg is going to be there the following weekend.

    -Shannon

    Like

  44. Hi Tim –

    Just wanted to thank you for putting up these videos, they were truly informative and inspirational. There are times in life where one experiences a true epiphany – a “eureka!” moment – and your book provided me with many. Thank you for sharing your story and for helping me wake up to the possibilities that have been staring me in the face all along.

    I am currently working for my parents and will inherit the family business eventually, and I have struggled to adapt and implement your ideas as I try to move from working 24/7 to more of an owner/”muse” mindset that would give me freedom and allow me to enjoy life while still providing cash flow. My parents are immigrants from India, and their lives completely revolve around work, and while I appreciate their sacrifices, I want more out of life.

    Have you encountered any NR that have transformed their family business work-all-the-time culture into something compatible with your ideas? If you have any tips or advice on implementing 4HWW concepts into a family business, I’m sure many of us would love to hear them. Thanks!

    Best,

    Vik

    Like

  45. Hi Tim,

    Your book was an absolute inspiration to me and I love the videos on your site. In particular I loved your two comments:
    1. Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth
    2. Reality is negotiable

    I am sure you mentioned this in your book but hearing it again reinforced it. I realise I’ve been living by the first point but not always by the second. Definitely food for thought.

    Thanks again Tim,

    Cheers, Niro

    Like

  46. Tim-
    I cannot seem to access this blog page
    How to Lose 20 lbs. of Fat in 30 Days… Without Doing Any Exercise
    every time i click on the link a blank page shows up. can you fix this? or email me the article.
    thanks
    tim

    Like

  47. Hey Tim – have you done any studies or speeches on cultivating discipline? Along with certain mental and physical capacities, the discipline it takes to; adopt a new skill, maintain an experimental diet, where “fingered shoes” for an extended period of time, etc. undoubtedly plays a key role in your ability to succeed at all sorts of things. I was just wondering, is this ability, to see things through to the end, something that comes naturally for you?

    Like

  48. Tim,

    I create books for client and also author my own. That said, I really enjoyed your book. What could you add to 4HWW to inspire me to buy another copy?

    Feature people who have built successful companies and raised great children.

    Like

  49. @Ash you obviously don’t understand the European people, we tend to question things a bit more and we have refined that skill so we can do it playfully. You might call that sarcastic or even condescending, I can assure you that this is common practice in Europe.
    Great interviews, and I totally like your choice of shirt-color (probably a Dutch thing)!
    Salud,
    Piet

    Like

  50. Tim,

    I have to thank you. I was recently out of work and I came across your book. I started taking steps to get a business going. You had great advice on inventing (contact InventRight) and the tips on PPC were great.

    Thanks for inspiring me to take charge of my future. I’m working 9-5 again but I have a back-up.

    Thanks,

    Stephen

    Like

  51. Tim,

    Great idea re: glucose monitor. As someone with a sister who has type 1 diabetes, the glucose monitor is still in a semi early stage although pretty widely available to the general public. If one was somehow able to get the sensor to send incoming glucose data to an iphone app, whether feasible at this point or not, as opposed to the monitor presently used, that would, if nothing else, cut down on the “contraptions” diabetics are holding at once (especially if already using the insulin pump), which is a big concern for diabetics, especially youths, who are self conscious about having so many monitors on their person at all times.

    As for the iphone app, are you proposing that the user would manually insert what foods they ate into the iphone app and then have the app analyze what effect each individual food product has on the users glucose levels?

    Your advice continues to prove invaluable. Keep up the good work.

    Like

  52. Hey Tim

    Funny story. I’ve been wearing the Vibram Kso’s since June, and when I saw them in the video I made a quick blog about them, including embedding the video where you talk about them most.

    A local blogger googled something like “vibram shoes tim ferris”, found my post, and well, long story short Im going to be doing a local radio interview about them very soon.

    As for what Id like to hear about in the future, I think you should make an update on the “geek to freak” HIT post.

    thanks

    -Anthony

    Like

  53. Tim,
    I have a killer idea for a product you make and have the online marketing campaign to help you launch it. It has been proven in 4 industries and been responsible for generating $23.8 MILLION dollars in sales in just under 24 hours time.( there was a buildup time of about 2-3 weeks and about 1/4 was cash while the rest of the money from the orders was tied up in future payment plans over a period of a several months.) I was part of a very exclusive program last year where we learned everything about these campaigns and were given the swipe files to them.

    Best of all you can try out things risk free if they don’t deliver you owe me nothing and if you decide to work with me, you’ll have exclusive rights to the campaign none of your competitors will be able to use it.

    Jules
    btw, I’m also 29, a young guy on the go.

    Like

  54. Tim-

    How long have you been familiar with Eric Ries, Steve Blank, and the Venture Hacks arena?

    I’m definitely picking up where you’re going with the next book and I’m extremely excited. Are you going to be including case studies from any of those guys?

    Best!
    Chris

    Like

  55. “Make mistakes out of ambition, not out of sloth.”

    I love that line, and that you do not promote idleness. That is not the point. The point is not to get fat and sit around all day. It’s to be able to pour your best amounts of energy and time into the things you are passionate about, not things you do to sustain your life.

    Thanks Tim for opening up the eyes of many to take the risk to pursue this kind of lifestyle.

    Like

  56. Awesome interviews! I’ve read your book, but these were great as a refresher to your philosophies. Also, the interview style was helpful at thinking about them from another angle.

    Love when he yells at his friend to be quiet! Hilarious.

    Like

  57. Oh my gosh, the tips on email alone could completely change my life. I need to review this and start implementing it. Email and other mindless tasks own me!

    Like

  58. My question for Tim after listening to his first interview is if he things he found “The Fifth Flag”.

    Look forward to hearing about your open water swim also.

    Like

    • @Chris,

      Here you go: Warren Buffett and the Interpretation of Financial Statements

      It’s not exactly Harry Potter, but it’s good at teaching some important concepts!

      Tim

      Like