The Tim Ferriss Show: Interview of Kevin Kelly, Co-Founder of WIRED, Polymath, Most Interesting Man In The World?



This single interview — one of my favorites of all-time — was recorded in three short parts.  You can:

This podcast is brought to you by The Tim Ferriss Book Club, which features a handful of books that have changed my life. Here’s the list.  You can also find all 20+ episodes of this podcast here. Some are sober and some are drunk, but the guests are all great.

Now, on to this episode’s guest…

Kevin Kelly might be the real-life Most Interesting Man In The World.

He is Senior Maverick at Wired magazine, which he co-founded in 1993. He also co-founded the All Species Foundation, a non-profit aimed at cataloging and identifying every living species on earth. In his spare time, he writes bestselling books, co-founded the Rosetta Project, which is building an archive of ALL documented human languages, and serves on the board of the Long Now Foundation. As part of the last, he’s investigating how to revive and restore endangered or extinct species, including the Wooly Mammoth.

This episode touches on a lot of cool stuff.  SERIOUSLY, A LOT.

Just scroll below and your head might explode.  Tons of amazing links and goodies…


Who should I interview next?  Please let me know in the comments by clicking here.
Do you enjoy this podcast? If so, please leave a short review here.  It keeps me going…
Subscribe to The Tim Ferriss Show on iTunes.
Non-iTunes RSS feed

Show Notes and Select Links from the Episode

  • Kevin Kelly’s biggest regret
  • His lesson in finding contentment in minimalism and “volunteer simplicity”
  • How he realized that writing actually creates ideas
  • Why he promised himself that he would never resort to teaching English while traveling abroad
  • The “creator’s dilemma,” or how you have to go lower to get higher
  • Why you don’t want to be a billionaire
  • His realizations after doing a “6 months until death” challenge
  • His Kickstarter-funded project linking angels and robots
  • Why a self-proclaimed ex-hippie waited until his 50th birthday to try LSD for the first time
  • Why a population implosion is probable in the next 100 years
  • The greatest gift you can give to your child
  • The criteria for Amish technology assimilation
  • What technology-free sabbaticals can do for you
  • Long Now Foundation’s vision of a better civilization
  • The graphic novel for young people on how to become indispensable
  • His favorite fiction book
  • The great resource Kevin compiled for documentary lovers
  • How he accumulated enough books to fill a two-story library
  • Mythbuster’s Adam Savage’s organizational method, which transformed Kevin’s life
  • The project that everyone should undertake at least once in life
  • The advice he would give to his younger self


Books Mentioned in the Episode

Documentaries Mentioned in the Episode

Posted on: August 29, 2014.

Watch The Tim Ferriss Experiment, the new #1-rated TV show with "the world's best human guinea pig" (Newsweek), Tim Ferriss. It's Mythbusters meets Jackass. Shot and edited by the Emmy-award winning team behind Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations and Parts Unknown. Here's the trailer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

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)

97 comments on “The Tim Ferriss Show: Interview of Kevin Kelly, Co-Founder of WIRED, Polymath, Most Interesting Man In The World?

  1. Awesome interview, Tim! It seems like all the jitters from the first few interviews are gone and you’re having real conversations. Congrats on a great podcast.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hey Tim nice work, I subscribed because i love the podcasts the books and the blog. I was wondering if you have any remaining audio books of “How I beat the Ivy League” that you are selling because i am a senior in high school applying to colleges and i want to replicate your success story of beating the odds and slipping into Princeton undetected.

    Thanks in advance man your the best

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Question: I’d like to do the 6 months until I die experiment as well. But for some reason I can’t seem to imagine enough that I’m going to die in six months. How do I go about that?

    I happen to have a vivid imagination, but when it comes to this topic, it doesn’t feel urgent enough. It still feels like I can back out. But if it would be real, I couldn’t back out. So how do I diminish that feeling in order to really simulate this feeling I’m going to die in 6 months?


  4. Love love love the podcasts. It seems like I’m always learning something new, and your final 3-4 questions for each guest? Perfect.

    Potential future people to interview? I’d think it’d be interesting to have Julien Smith (CEO of Breather) on the podcast.

    Keep up the great work!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Anyone can let me know where exactly in the interview do I find these parts:
    1) His realizations after doing a “6 months until death” challenge
    2) Why a self-proclaimed ex-hippie waited until his 50th birthday to try LSD for the first time

    Meanwhile – Tim, do you think it’d be possible for you to attach timestamps in podcasts’ descriptions as for easier reference? The reason I’m asking is that I want to keep up with lots of stuff, your podcasts, Dave Asprey’s ones and it’s neither physically possible nor efficient not being picky.



  6. With Kevin’s discussion about workshop organization I found a video on youtube about Casey Neistat’s Wild Studio. CRAZY functional design. Quite the rabbit hole to go down. Gained a slew of ideas for how to create one look organization.

    Kevin Kelly is a fascinating guy with very little pretense. Enjoyed a ton.


  7. For upcoming guests can I suggest Lt. Col Dave Grossman. He wrote “On Killing” and “On Combat” and is utterly fascinating. He was just on The Art of Manliness podcast but I’m guessing you can get a lot more out of him especially regarding the research he’s done which has led to some fascinating conclusions about what happens to us during stress and combat.


  8. Tim,

    Id like to say Thank you! I am very grateful for your inspiration that has helped me get to an awesome place in my life.
    We spoke about 9 months ago at Marcelo Garcias academy in NYC and I asked you what you do in order to stay energized, focused and able to take on all these awesome projects. You told me you meditate 2x daily and take a nap everyday. I implemented those 2 things into my routine and my productivity skyrocketed.

    I have launched 2 new ventures since then and 1 is already automated at a really comfortable income and steadily growing! On my 4th listen of 4HWW right now as Im writing this blog comment.

    Thank you so much for inspiring me to keep reaching for greatness!



    • Nice to hear from you, Rome! If I’ve helped in any small way, I’m honored. Keep on killing it, and hope to see you back on the mats. I need to up my game to head back to Marcelo’s place :)

      Pura vida,



  9. Awesome podcast. Tim, the people you bring do really expand my horizons. Gracias from BA! When are you coming to zip mate with us? Please let us know.


  10. A few guests I would love to hear in your podcast:
    – Rolf Potts
    – Brian MacKenzie
    – Cristmas Abbott
    – Paul Ekman
    – Dave Grossman