Eric Weinstein on Challenging “Reality,” Working with Peter Thiel, and Destroying Education to Save It

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EricHeadshot

“We need to realize that we know how to impart expertise, but we don’t know how to impart creativity or genius.” – Eric Weinstein

My guest this episode is my friend, Eric Weinstein (@ericrweinstein), managing director of Thiel Capital, a Ph.D in mathematical physics from Harvard, and a research fellow at the Mathematical Institute of Oxford University. We recorded at my house after Eric emailed me this question: “Wanna try a podcast on… psychedelics, theories of everything, and the need to destroy education in order to save it?”

He’s brilliant and hilarious. If you enjoyed my podcasts with Derek Sivers or Sam Harris, you’ll love this one.

We cover a lot of ground, including:

  • Living from first principles rather than the “consensus reality”
  • The genius of Kung Fu Panda
  • What it’s like working with Peter Thiel and how Peter hired him
  • How to innovate when you risk being crucified by close-minded communities (and experts)
  • His favorite books
  • Why one of his favorite documentaries is about pornographers
  • And much more…

Also, be sure to check this out. Here is the Johns Hopkins psychedelic research I’m backing. Check out the supporters from tech and business.
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Want to hear another podcast related to Peter Thiel? — Listen to the podcast where Peter discusses differentiation, value creation, competition and much more. It is a treasure trove (stream below or right-click here to download):



This podcast is brought to you by Wealthfront. Wealthfront is a massively disruptive (in a good way) set-it-and-forget-it investing service, led by technologists from places like Apple and world-famous investors. It has exploded in popularity in the last 2 years and now has more than $2.5B under management. In fact, some of my good investor friends in Silicon Valley have millions of their own money in Wealthfront. Why? Because you can get services previously limited to the ultra-wealthy and only pay pennies on the dollar for them, and it’s all through smarter software instead of retail locations and bloated sales teams.

Check out wealthfront.com/tim, take their risk assessment quiz, which only takes 2-5 minutes, and they’ll show you—for free–exactly the portfolio they’d put you in. If you want to just take their advice and do it yourself, you can. Or, as I would, you can set it and forget it.  Well worth a few minutes: wealthfront.com/tim.

This podcast is also brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. I have used them for years to create some amazing designs. When your business needs a logo, website design, business card, or anything you can imagine, check out 99Designs.

I used them to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body, and I’ve also had them help with display advertising and illustrations. If you want a more personalized approach, I recommend their 1-on-1 service, which is non-spec. You get original designs from designers around the world. The best part? You provide your feedback, and then you end up with a product that you’re happy with or your money back. Click this link and get a free $99 upgrade. Give it a test run.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What is a philosophy or mindset that you find fascinating, but that you struggle to apply to your life? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

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Daymond John and How to Turn Weaknesses into Strengths

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power of broke
Usually, it’s my job to deconstruct world-class performers. This time around, the tables are turned. Many of you have asked to hear me interviewed, so this week Daymond John (@thesharkdaymond), star of ABC’s Shark Tank and CEO and founder of FUBU, is in charge and asking the questions. Daymond has a new book called The Power of Broke, and he is an expert interviewer and interrogator.

In this episode, you’ll learn untold stories about my beginnings and rough starts. If you’ve ever felt like a beginner in business, or found your back against a wall, you will learn how to take your lack of resources and turn it into a strength.

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Want to hear another story involving an entrepreneur who built himself into an astonishing success? — Listen to my conversation with Arnold Schwarzenegger. In this episode, we discuss psychological warfare and much more (stream below or right-click here to download):



This podcast is brought to you by Audible. I have used Audible for years and I love audio books. I have 2 to recommend:

  1. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  2. Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

All you need to do to get your free audiobook and a free 30-day trial is go to Audible.com/tim. Choose one of the above books, or choose between more than 180,000 audio programs. That could be a book, a newspaper, a magazine or even a class. It’s that easy. Go to Audible.com/Tim and get started today. Enjoy!

This podcast is brought to you by TrunkClub. I hate shopping with a passion. And honestly I’m not good at it, which means I end up looking like I’m colorblind or homeless. Enter TrunkClub, which provides you with your own personal stylist and makes it easier than ever to shop for clothes that look great on your body. Just go to trunkclub.com/tim and answer a few questions, and then you’ll be sent a trunk full of awesome clothes. They base this on your sizes, preferences, etc. The trunk is then delivered free of charge both ways, so you only pay for clothes that you keep. If you keep none, it costs you nothing. To get started, check it out at trunkclub.com/tim.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: If you were to interview me, what questions would you most want to ask? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Enjoy!

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • On landing a book deal: motivation, mentors, and how to know when your product is an “A” or an “F” [6:37]
  • The last thing I said to the publisher of The 4-Hour Workweek that secured the deal [12:17]
  • How the constraints became the path to success while marketing The 4-Hour Workweek [16:47]
  • Presentation skills learned under the critical eye of chihuahuas [22:07]
Chihuahuas as Speaking Coaches

“CHIHUAHUAS” by Toronja Azul – originally posted to Flickr as CHIHUAHUAS. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons

  • On the success of The 4-Hour Workweek [26:22]
  • On choosing Amazon Publishing for The 4-Hour Chef [29:32]
  • Daymond John sums it all up [36:22]

People Mentioned

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Recommendations and Resolutions for 2016

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(Image from Fanpop)

This episode is ~99% serious recommendations and resolutions for 2016.  But I am joined by tech entrepreneur and investor, Kevin Rose, so it’s at least 1% shenanigans.

[Here is the Stakes resource/PDF I mention in this episode]

The conversation is also a new experiment for The Random ShowO-tanoshimi dane! Stream below, or you can listen in iTunes or right-click (“save as”) here for MP3.  Enjoy…

For all previous episodes of The Random Show, including the infamous China Scam episode, click here.

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If anyone would like to add show notes with links in the comments, I’ll choose the best 1-2 early submissions and thank you with a link back to your site.

QUESTION OF THE DAY:  What would you like to hear in future episodes of The Random Show? Please let us know in the comments!

This episode is brought to you by Headspace, the world’s most popular meditation app (more than 4,000,000 users).  It’s used in more than 150 countries, and many of my closest friends swear by it.  Try Headspace’s free Take10 program —  10 minutes of guided meditation a day for 10 days. It’s like a warm bath for your mind. Meditation doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive, and it’s had a huge impact on my life. Try Headspace for free for a few days and see what I mean.

This podcast is also brought to you by Wealthfront. Wealthfront is a massively disruptive (in a good way) set-it-and-forget-it investing service, led by technologists from places like Apple and world-famous investors. It has exploded in popularity in the last 2 years and now has more than $2.5B under management. In fact, some of my good investor friends in Silicon Valley have millions of their own money in Wealthfront. Why? Because you can get services previously limited to the ultra-wealthy and only pay pennies on the dollar for them, and it’s all through smarter software instead of retail locations and bloated sales teams.

Check out wealthfront.com/tim, take their risk assessment quiz, which only takes 2-5 minutes, and they’ll show you—for free–exactly the portfolio they’d put you in. If you want to just take their advice and do it yourself, you can. Or, as I would, you can set it and forget it.  Well worth a few minutes: wealthfront.com/tim.

191 Comments / Leave a comment or question

Derek Sivers Reloaded – On Success Habits and Billionaires with Perfect Abs

63 Comments

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By popular demand, this is a follow-up with the amazing Derek Sivers (@sivers)!

This episode can be listened to independently of our first popular conversation, and he answers some of my (and your) favorite questions.

Originally a professional musician and circus clown, Derek created CD Baby in 1998. It became the largest seller of independent music online, with $100 million in sales for 150,000 musicians.

If you only listen to one answer from this episode, don’t miss his response to “What do you believe that other people think is insane?” It gets progressively weirder and weirder and starts around 34:09 (stream below or save as an MP3 by right-clicking here):

The below show notes are thanks to Drew Coffman, John Briggs, Kerrison Garcia, Bill Trammel, and Paul Milano (I combined elements from all of your comments):

  1. Tricks of The Mind by Derren Brown

  2. Thinking Fast And Slow by Daniel Kahneman
    Derek Sivers’ notes on Thinking, Fast and Slow https://sivers.org/book/ThinkingFastAndSlow

  3. Show Your Work by Austin Kleon
    Derek Sivers’ notes on Show Your Work https://sivers.org/book/ShowYourWork

  4. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

  5. How To Talk To Anyone by Leil Lowndes
    Derek Sivers’ notes on How to Talk to Anyone – https://sivers.org/book/HowToTalkToAnyone

  6. How To Make People Like You In 90 Seconds or Less by Nicholas Boothman

  7. Power Schmoozing by Terri Mandell

  8. Stumbling Upon Happiness by Daniel Gilbert
    Derek Sivers’ notes on Stumbling on Happiness https://sivers.org/book/StumblingOnHappiness

TIME STAMPS:

– Who is Derek Sivers? [02:25]
– When people ask you what do you do, how do you answer that? [05:00]
– When you think of the word ‘successful’, who is the first person that comes to mind and why? [06:57]
– What are the most common misconceptions about you? [08:39]
– What does the first 60-90 minutes of your day look like? [09:27]
– What are you world class at that people might not realise? [12:24]
– Where are you up to with the ‘Do This Project’ and are you going to be sharing your findings on your blog? [13:46]
– What are a few directives for sharing thoughts online in an authentic way? [15:05]
– Why in hell did you become a programmer? [16:40]
– What are some directives for creating relationships with people who hold interesting world views? [19:03]
– Does business need to be complicated? [21:55]
– How has knowing your [personality] type affected your life and how has it played a role in any life decision? [24:30]
– What should someone ask to determine their own utopia? [26:14]
– How do you define success? And what habits or skills are most important to living a successful life? [28:03]
– If you instantly lost everything, what steps would you take to become successful? [31:05]
– What is something you believe that other people think is insane? [34:09]

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This podcast is brought to you by Mizzen + Main. These are the only “dress” shirts I now travel with — fancy enough for important dinners but made from athletic, sweat-wicking material. They are a personal favorite of NFL phenom J.J. Watt, alongside many professional athletes. Mizzen now also make chinos, which stretch in four directions, and are perfect for all climates. For all of their clothing: no more ironing, no more steaming, no more hassle. Click here for the exact shirts I wear most often. Just go to fourhourworkweek.com/shirts and find what you like.

This podcast is also brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. I have used them for years to create some amazing designs. When your business needs a logo, website design, business card, or anything you can imagine, check out 99Designs.

I used them to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body, and I’ve also had them help with display advertising and illustrations. If you want a more personalized approach, I recommend their 1-on-1 service. You get original designs from designers around the world. The best part? You provide your feedback, and then you end up with a product that you’re happy with or your money back. Click this link and get a free $99 upgrade. Give it a test run.

63 Comments / Leave a comment or question

How to Decrease E-mail Overwhelm in 2016–The First Step

40 Comments

Ferriss_booze

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.”
– Henry David Thoreau

I’m often asked how to handle e-mail overwhelm.

While I do use some great apps to help stem the flood, the most important shield is still low-tech: a rock-solid e-mail autoresponder.

This unsexy tool allows you to ignore some or all correspondence.

Answering every inbound e-mail faster might seem like the cure-all, but it’s a Phyrric victory. Robert Scoble observed long ago what is now standard: for each e-mail he responds to, he gets ~1.75 in response!  It’s an unwinnable game of whack-a-mole.

The only sustainable solutions involve selective ignorance.  Step 1: Answer fewer e-mail (or “Ignore more e-mail”). Step 2: Give your e-mail address to fewer people (or “Use a decoy email that goes to your assistant”).

Below is my current autoresponse, which you might be able to adapt or borrow from. More examples follow.  If inclined to dismiss the concept based on my example (e.g. This doesn’t apply to me!), read this real-world example from a radio station employee in Austin, TX.

These things are highly personalized, of course:

Subject line: Tim is off of email — please read this

Hi All,

Thank you for reaching out.  I’m currently on deadline.

We often receive 1,000+ e-mails per day, and it’s sadly impossible for us to respond to every message.

Please don’t take offense if you don’t hear back.  This is true even for family and close friends.

PLEASE NOTE:

– I’m no longer doing startup investing or advising, so I will not be responding to anything startup-related (excluding current portfolio companies).  AngelList is a great resource for finding the right investors, but I’m out of the game.  Here’s the full(er) story.

– I never respond to cold e-mail intros.  I am touchy about having my private email addresses shared.  I much prefer people to ask before making intros.  My inbox is otherwise unmanageable.

– I’m no longer doing book blurbs.  I get sent 20+ books per week and have to turn away friends, so I’m saying no to everyone.  It sucks. (But good news: Blurbs don’t do much for book sales anyway. These things have far greater impact.)

– Book marketing advice?  All the advice I might give, and certainly enough to hit the NYT lists with a good book, can be found at this link.

– I’m taking a break from most unpaid speaking engagements. (Looking for speakers? Search “TEDx [insert nearby cities]” on YouTube to find good speakers.)

Thank you for your understanding!

If you genuinely need to reach me for an emergency (and emergencies only) — [Insert emergency email for yourself or assistant] with “Emergency” somewhere in the headline.

All the best to you and yours. May you live well outside of the inbox.

Tim

Before setting up such an autoresponse, I will separately email (BCC) my lawyers, accountants, team members, etc. to ask them to text/SMS or use Slack if they need my attention. I indicate that my inbox should be treated like a black hole, unless they SMS/Slack to ask me to see a specific email (e.g. “If it’s not in SMS or Slack with @Tim, it will not get read”). I reiterate this before vacations or extended travel.

My approach has evolved over time, and one my past templates may work better for you.  Past examples:

Reader example from SXSW (2007)
Two real autoresponders that work (2014)

Good luck!  Please share your own autoresponse or email strategies and tools in the comments.  I’d love to see them.

May you live well outside of the inbox :)

Tim
P.S. If you want more inspiration for the new year, here is my favorite commencement speech (20 minutes) by the amazing Neil Gaiman.

40 Comments / Leave a comment or question

Amelia Boone on Beating 99% of Men and Suffering for High Performance

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Amelia Boone (Photo credit: David Salafia)

Amelia Boone (Photo credit: David Salafia)

“I’m not the strongest. I’m not the fastest. But I’m really good at suffering.” – Amelia Boone

Amelia Boone (@ameliaboone) has been called the Michael Jordan of obstacle course racing (OCR). This episode explores her training, nutrition, rehab, “pre-hab,” and more.

In a sense, Amelia is more impressive than MJ, as she conquered OCR while building a stellar full-time career in law.

Since the sport’s inception, she’s amassed more than 30 victories and 50 podiums. In the 2012 World’s Toughest Mudder competition, which lasted 24 hours, she finished 2nd OVERALL out of 1,000+ competitors. This was ahead of every male except the winner, who beat her by just 8 minutes.

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Her major victories include the Spartan Race World Championship (2013), Spartan Race Series Point Champion (2013 and 2015), and she is the only three-time winner of the World’s Toughest Mudder (2012, 2014 and 2015). She won the 2014 WTM eight weeks after knee surgery. Amelia is also a three-time finisher of the Death Race, and dabbles in ultra-running in all of her spare time.

Phew… I’m exhausted just writing this intro, but Amelia can do it all while eating Pop-Tarts for breakfast (seriously).

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Love wrestling as much as Amelia Boone? You will probably enjoy my podcast with Triple H. — In this episode, we discuss pre-fight rituals, injury avoidance, and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (stream below or right-click here to download):

Craving more OCR? Then you’ll want to check out my podcast with Joe De Sena, co-founder of the Death Race and Spartan Race. In this episode, we discuss grit, endurance, and building empires (stream below or right-click here to download):


This podcast is brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. I have used them for years to create some amazing designs. When your business needs a logo, website design, business card, or anything you can imagine, check out 99Designs.

I used them to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body, and I’ve also had them help with display advertising and illustrations. If you want a more personalized approach, I recommend their 1-on-1 service. You get original designs from designers around the world. The best part? You provide your feedback, and then you end up with a product that you’re happy with or your money back. Click this link and get a free $99 upgrade. Give it a test run.

This podcast is also brought to you by Wealthfront. Wealthfront is a massively disruptive (in a good way) set-it-and-forget-it investing service, led by technologists from places like Apple and world-famous investors. It has exploded in popularity in the last 2 years and now has more than $2.5B under management. In fact, some of my good investor friends in Silicon Valley have millions of their own money in Wealthfront. Why? Because you can get services previously limited to the ultra-wealthy and only pay pennies on the dollar for them, and it’s all through smarter software instead of retail locations and bloated sales teams.

Check out wealthfront.com/tim, take their risk assessment quiz, which only takes 2-5 minutes, and they’ll show you—for free–exactly the portfolio they’d put you in. If you want to just take their advice and do it yourself, you can. Or, as I would, you can set it and forget it.  Well worth a few minutes: wealthfront.com/tim.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: Who do you consider the most dominant athlete right now and why?  Please let me know in the comments. Scroll below for links and show notes…

Read More

38 Comments / Leave a comment or question

25 Great Things I Learned from Podcast Guests in 2015

157 Comments

tim_BM_en_route
Best_of_2015-PartnerBadge-Podcasts-EN

The Tim Ferriss Show has been selected as one of iTunes’ “Best of 2015.” Thanks for all the incredible feedback this year! It’s what makes the show fun for me.

To celebrate, this short episode (approximately 30 minutes) describes 25 of my favorite learnings from 2015: tips, gadgets, and quotes from podcast guests that I’ve incorporated into my own life.  Enjoy!

 

And thanks so much for listening. I’ll try and make 2016 my best year of content yet :)

Happy holidays to you and yours,

Tim

TF-ItunesButtonTF-StitcherButton

Want to hear a podcast about my rituals? — Listen to the episode where I share how to win each day. In it, I discuss my morning routine and habits that set me up for success. (Stream below or right click here to download):


This podcast is brought to you by Mizzen + Main. These are the only “dress” shirts I now travel with — fancy enough for important dinners but made from athletic, sweat-wicking material. They are a personal favorite of NFL phenom J.J. Watt, alongside many professional athletes. Mizzen now also make chinos, which stretch in four directions, and are perfect for all climates. For all of their clothing: no more ironing, no more steaming, no more hassle. Click here for the exact shirts I wear most often. Just go to fourhourworkweek.com/shirts and find what you like.

This podcast is also brought to you by Wealthfront. Wealthfront is a massively disruptive (in a good way) set-it-and-forget-it investing service, led by technologists from places like Apple and world-famous investors. It has exploded in popularity in the last 2 years and now has more than $2.5B under management. In fact, some of my good investor friends in Silicon Valley have millions of their own money in Wealthfront. Why? Because you can get services previously limited to the ultra-wealthy and only pay pennies on the dollar for them, and it’s all through smarter software instead of retail locations and bloated sales teams.

Check out wealthfront.com/tim, take their risk assessment quiz, which only takes 2-5 minutes, and they’ll show you—for free–exactly the portfolio they’d put you in. If you want to just take their advice and do it yourself, you can. Or, as I would, you can set it and forget it.  Well worth a few minutes: wealthfront.com/tim.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: Who was your favorite guest in 2015, and what was your favorite tip or lesson? Please let me know in the comments.

Enjoy!

157 Comments / Leave a comment or question