Steven Kotler

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Steven Kotler
Born (1967-05-25) May 25, 1967 (age 55)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
OccupationAuthor, entrepreneur, founder of the Flow Research Collective
Notable worksThe Art of the Impossible
The Rise of Superman
A Small Furry Prayer
West of Jesus
Stealing Fire

Steven Kotler is an American author, journalist, and entrepreneur. His articles have appeared in over 70 publications, including The New York Times Magazine, LA Times, Wired, Time magazine, GQ, Discover, Popular Science, Outside, Men’s Journal, Details and National Geographic Adventure. He is best known for his non-fiction books, including the New York Times bestseller Abundance, A Small Furry Prayer, West of Jesus, Bold, The Rise of Superman and Stealing Fire.[1][2]

Kotler is well regarded as one of the world's leading experts on Ultimate Human Performance. While best known for his work on Flow, Kotler also writes about the use of other non-ordinary states of consciousness in optimizing performance. He is also the Founder of the Flow Research Collective, a research and training organization. The mission of the Flow Research Collective is to understand the science behind ultimate human performance and use it to train up individuals and organizations. By decoding the neurobiology of flow—understanding what is going on in the brain and in the body when humans are performing at their best—the Collective believes they can open up a new possibility space for human potential. Flow Research Collective also trains leaders in all domains to get more flow so they can benefit from the performance enhancements the state provides.

Early life and education[edit]

Kotler was born in Chicago, Illinois. After attending Orange High School in Cleveland, Ohio, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1989 with degrees in English and Creative Writing. In 1993, he received an MA in Creative Writing from The Johns Hopkins University.


Flow Research Collective[edit]

Kotler is the co-founder and Executive Director for the Flow Research Collective.[3] The Flow Research Collective is a research and training organization. The mission is to understand the science behind ultimate human performance and use it to train up individuals and organizations. By decoding the neurobiology[citation needed] of flow—understanding what is going on in the brain and in the body when humans are performing at their best—we can open up a new possibility space for human potential. We help[citation needed] leaders in every domain get more flow so they can benefit from the performance enhancements the state provides. Amplified productivity. Improved decision making. Heightened creativity. The list goes on.[citation needed] Kotler has worked with clients ranging from Fortune 1000 companies such as Cisco, Google & Deloitte to world class athletes and entrepreneurs to the US Special Forces.

Creating Equilibrium[edit]

Creating Equilibrium, an environmental summit in Lake Tahoe, CA in 2017, was founded by Steven Kotler, Gabrielle Hull, Matt Reardon and Antony Randall. Steven was creator, writer, Co-producer and Key Note speaker of Visions.

Rancho de Chihuahua[edit]

In 2007, alongside his wife, Joy Nicholson, Kotler co-founded the Rancho de Chihuahua dog sanctuary in Chimayo, New Mexico.[4][5] Rancho de Chihuahua specializes in hospice care and long term rehabilitation for special needs dogs.[6] Kotler's experience with Rancho de Chihuahua inspired his 2010 book A Small Furry Prayer: Dog Rescue and the Meaning of Life.[7]

The Reporter’s Gym[edit]

Kotler is the co-founder, alongside the Los Angeles Lakers and 826 LA, of the Reporter’s Gym, a sportswriting camp for inner-city school children. The program ran for 3 years, between 1997–2000.


Kotler’s books and articles often deal with the intersection of science and culture, and make frequent and extended use of academic work, particularly in the areas of neuroscience, evolutionary theory, ethology, psychopharmacology and psychology. He has written a total of seven non-fiction books Stealing Fire, Tomorrowland, Bold, The Rise of Superman, Abundance, A Small Furry Prayer, West of Jesus, and two novels The Angle Quickest for Flight and Last Tango in Cyberspace.[8]

The Art of Impossible[edit]

In January 2021, Kotler published The Art of Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer.

Stealing Fire[edit]

Steven Kotler, alongside Jamie Wheal, have co-authored a book titled "Stealing Fire". The book was published on February 21, 2017 and is a National Bestseller.[9] Stealing Fire brings to light a trillion dollar economy that has gone unnoticed and unnamed for centuries. The book introduces real life examples of "flow states" and the neuroscience that all humans are gifted with to unlock our hidden potential. The authors discuss how "ecstatis" is applied in every industry, the evolution of its research and how it is revolutionizing our world.


In 2015 May, Kotler released, Tomorrowland: Our Journey From Science Fiction To Science Fact.[10] In Tomorrowland Kotler guides readers on a mind-bending tour of the far frontier, and how these advances are radically transforming our lives. From the ways science and technology are fundamentally altering our bodies and our world (the world’s first bionic soldier, the future of evolution) to those explosive collisions between science and culture (life extension and bioweapons).


In February 2015, Kotler published Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth, and Impact the World, his second book with Peter Diamandis.[11] The book discusses the exponential advancement of technology and teaches entrepreneurs how to thrive in such an environment by being nimble and resilient.[12] Bold debuted on the New York Times bestseller list and remained on the list for six weeks, reaching #6 overall.[13][14] Since its release, Bold has been reviewed by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Financial Times, and others.[11][12][15][16] It was named one of the top 25 books read by corporate America in 2015.[17]

The Rise of Superman[edit]

In 2014, Kotler announced his next book, The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance. The book explores the state of consciousness known as "flow", an optimal state in which humans perform and feel their best.[18] The book includes examples from adventure athletes including big wave surfer Laird Hamilton, skater Danny Way, and big mountain snowboarders Travis Rice and Jeremy Jones.[19] The Rise of Superman explains how extreme athletes are accelerating their flow states to perform better and how people can use the same tactics to accelerate performance in everyday tasks.[18]


In 2012 Kotler published Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think with Peter H. Diamandis. The book revolves around the idea that the world is getting better and in the future most people of the world will have access to clean water, food, energy, health care, education, and everything else that is necessary for a first world standard of living, thanks to technological innovation.[1] The authors argue progress in artificial intelligence, robotics, infinite computing, ubiquitous broadband networks, digital manufacturing, nanomaterials, synthetic biology, and many other growing technologies will enable the human race to make greater gains in the following two decades than in the previous two hundred years. By doing so, the authors suggest humans will have the ability to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman, and child on the planet.[20]

Abundance debuted at #1 on both and Barnes & Noble's bestseller lists, and at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list.[2][21] It remained on the NYT bestseller list for nine weeks, gathering reviews and profiles from outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, TIME, BusinessWeek, Wired, Slate, and others.[22][23][24][25][26] Abundance was voted one of the "Top 5 Must Read Business Books of the Year" by Fortune Magazine.[27]

A Small Furry Prayer, West Of Jesus & The Angle Quickest for Flight[edit]

A Small Furry Prayer was a Wall Street Journal and SF Chronicle Bestseller.[28][29] Angle Quickest for Flight was a SF Chronicle Bestseller[28] and was shortlisted for the William L. Crawford IAFA Fantasy Award.[30]


Previous blogs of Steven's include "Far Frontiers," a blog about technology and innovation for Forbes and "The Playing Field," a blog about the science of sport and culture for Psychology Today.[31][32]




  • The Angle Quickest for Flight, 1999
  • Last Tango in Cyberspace, 2019
  • The Devil's Dictionary, 2022


  1. ^ a b GERTNER, JON (2012-03-30). "Plenty to Go Around 'Abundance,' by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler". New York Times.
  2. ^ a b Diamandis, Peter. "New book by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler, Abundance, debuts #1 on Amazon and Barnes & Noble". Kurzweilai.
  3. ^ "Flow Research Collective". Flow Research Collective. Flow Research Collective.
  4. ^ Kotler, Steven (2010-10-30). "The dog rescuer". The Guardian.
  5. ^ Diamond, Wendy. "No Pouts On These Snouts at the Rancho de Chihuahua". Animal Fair.
  6. ^ "Sick Puppies". Outside Magazine. 2010-09-30.
  7. ^ "A Small Furry Prayer: Dog Rescue and the Meaning of Life". Rancho de Chihuahua.
  8. ^ "Bio: Steven Kotler". Discovery.
  9. ^ Kotler, Steven; Wheal, Jamie (2017-02-21). Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work. ISBN 9780062429674.
  10. ^ Tomorrowland: Our Journey From Science Fiction To Science Fact Singularity Hub. May 7, 2015
  11. ^ a b Broughton, Philip Delves Go Big Or Go Home Wall Street Journal. May 7, 2015
  12. ^ a b Wadhwa, Vivek Book review: Peter Diamandis’s ‘Bold’ a reminder of how entrepreneurs will control the world’s fate Washington Post. May 7, 2015
  13. ^ Best Sellers March 15, 2015 New York Times. May 7, 2015
  14. ^ Best Sellers March 29, 2015 New York Times. May 7, 2015
  15. ^ Waters, Richard Review: ‘Bold’ by Peter Diamandis and Stephen Kotler Financial Times. May 7, 2015
  16. ^ Knee, Jonathan A. Business Books Reveal a Billionaire Obsession New York Times. May 7, 2015
  17. ^ Top 25: What corporate America is reading, April 2015 Centre Daily Times. May 7, 2015
  18. ^ a b "THE RISE OF SUPERMAN Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance". Kirkus Reviews.
  19. ^ Bradstreet, Kailee. "WATCH: NEW TRAILER FOR BOOK 'THE RISE OF SUPERMAN'". TransWorld.
  20. ^ SHERMER, MICHAEL. "Defying the Doomsayers". Wall Street Journal.
  21. ^ "Bestsellers: March 11th". New York Times.
  22. ^ "Bestsellers: April 29, 2012". New York Times.
  23. ^ Mayo, Keenan. "Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler's Essential Business Reads". Businessweek.
  24. ^ Kotler, Steven. "Why You Should Be Optimistic About the Future". Wired.
  25. ^ Kotler, Steven. "Print Your Own Prosthetic Limb". Slate.
  26. ^ Walsh, Bryan. "TED Talks: Peter Diamandis on Why Things Are Getting Better All the Time". TIME.
  27. ^ "The 5 must-read business books of the year". Fortune Magazine.
  28. ^ a b "Steven Kotler". The Guild Agency.
  30. ^ "Science Fiction Awards Database". SFADB.
  31. ^ "Steven Kotler: Far Frontiers". Forbes.
  32. ^ "EXPERTS: Steven Kotler". Psychology Today.
  33. ^ Tomorrowland: Our Journey From Science Fiction To Science Fact, Forbes

External links[edit]