Tim Ferriss

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Tim Ferriss
Timothy Ferriss.jpg
Born Timothy Ferriss
(1977-07-20) July 20, 1977 (age 41)
East Hampton, New York, U.S.
Occupation Writer, author, entrepreneur, public speaker
Alma mater Princeton University
Genre Self-help, personal development, self-experimentation
Notable works

Timothy Ferriss (born July 20, 1977) is an American author, entrepreneur, and public speaker.[1][2]

He has written a number of self-help books on the "4-hour" theme, some of which have appeared on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller lists, starting with The 4-Hour Workweek.[11]

Ferriss is also an angel investor and an advisor to Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Evernote, and Uber, among other companies.[12][13]

Early life[edit]

Ferriss grew up in East Hampton, New York and graduated from St. Paul's School, Concord, New Hampshire. He received a degree in East Asian Studies from Princeton University in 2000.[14][15] After graduation, Ferriss worked in sales at a data storage company.[16] Ferriss began building his own Internet business, BrainQUICKEN, while still employed at the company.[16]


In 2001, Ferriss founded BrainQUICKEN and sold the company to a London-based private equity firm in 2010.[17][18][19][20][21] He said The 4-Hour Workweek was based on this period.[2]

In December 2008, Ferriss had a pilot on the History Channel called Trial by Fire, where he had one week to attempt to learn a skill normally learned over the course of many years. In the pilot episode he practiced yabusame, the Japanese art of horseback archery.[22]

In December 2013, his television series The Tim Ferriss Experiment debuted on HLN. Although there were 13 episodes shot, only a portion of those were shown on television. The show was released in its entirety on iTunes.[23]

In November 2013, Ferriss began an audiobook publishing venture, Tim Ferriss Publishing.[24] The first book published was Vagabonding by Rolf Potts.[24] Other books include The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday, Daily Rituals by Mason Currey, and What I Learned Losing A Million Dollars by Jim Paul and Brendan Moynihan.[25]

Investor and advisor[edit]

Ferriss is an angel investor and advisor to startups.[26]

He has invested or advised in startups such as StumbleUpon, Posterous, Evernote, DailyBurn, Shopify, Reputation.com, Trippy, and TaskRabbit.[27] He is a pre-seed money advisor to Uber, a company co-founded by Garrett Camp, the founder of StumbleUpon, which Ferriss also advises.[28][29]

In September 2013, Ferriss raised $250,000 in under an hour to invest in Shyp by forming a syndicate on AngelList.[30] Ferriss ended up raising over $500,000 through his backers and Shyp raised a total of $2.1 million.[31]

The New York Times listed Ferriss among their "Notable Angel Investors" while CNN said he was "one of the planet's leading angel investors in technology."[32][33]

In 2015, Ferriss declared a long vacation from new investing. He cited the stress of the work and a feeling his impact was "minimal in the long run", and said he planned to spend time on his writing and media projects.[34]


Ferriss is the author of five books, The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body, The 4-Hour Chef, Tools of Titans, and Tribe of Mentors; the first two were No. 1 New York Times bestsellers and the third was a No. 1 Wall Street Journal bestseller.[3][8][35]

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich[edit]

Ferriss developed the ideas present in The 4-Hour Workweek while working 14-hour days at BrainQUICKEN.[2][36]

In 2007, Random House, the 26th publisher, released the book through its Crown imprint.[37] Before release, Ferriss was an unknown.[38] He marketed the book heavily through bloggers with whom he created personal relationships.[38][38][39][40] The 4-Hour Workweek would reach No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list, No. 1 on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list, and No. 1 on the BusinessWeek bestseller list.[41] It has currently sold over 1,350,000 copies and has spent nearly 4 years on the New York Times bestseller list.[3][4][42][43]

The book received both positive and negative reviews. Leslie Garner of The Telegraph noted that, "With a punchy writing style and a higher literacy level than most flash-in-the-pan gurus, Ferriss has struck a chord with his critique of workers's slavish devotion to corporations... Ferriss' book skillfully compartmentalises, then pathologises, workers's unhealthy relationships with office life."[44] Dylan Tweney of Wired wrote, "Nearly every idea taken to extreme. No sense of work being anything more than a paycheck."[45]

In 2009, The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated was released by Random House and included multiple case studies authored by people who have utilized Ferriss's methods.[46]

The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman[edit]

In December 2010, Ferriss's second book, The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman, was published by Crown.[47] The book covers more than 50 topics, including rapid fat loss, increasing strength, boosting endurance, and polyphasic sleep.[48] Ferriss introduces his version of the Slow-Carb Diet, which involves the elimination of starches and anything sweet (including fruit and all artificial sweeteners) and a strong preference for lean protein, legumes, and vegetables.[49]

Ferriss interviewed more than 200 experts over a three-year period. The experts ranged from doctors to athletes to black-market drug salesmen.[50] He said that he had recorded every workout he had done since the age of 18, and from 2004 (three years before his first book was published) he had tracked a variety of blood chemistry measurements, including insulin levels, hemoglobin A1c, and free testosterone.[47] In the book, Ferriss wrote about using anabolic steroids, specifically "a number of low-dose therapies, including testosterone cypionate," under medical supervision following shoulder surgery, as well as using "stacks" consisting of testosterone enanthate, Sustanon 250, HGH, Deca-Durabolin, Cytomel, and other unnamed ingredients while training.[51]

The 4-Hour Body debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times Best Seller list.[8] It peaked at No. 4 on both the Wall Street Journal and USA Today's lists, and was one of Amazon.com's top 5 bestselling books for December 2010 and January 2011.[52][53][54]

The book, while a success with the public, was not as well received by some critics. In a New York Times review, Dwight Garner wrote, "'The 4-Hour Body' reads as if The New England Journal of Medicine had been hijacked by the editors of the SkyMall catalog."[55]

As part of the press for the book, Ferriss appeared as a guest on The Dr. Oz Show and ABC's The View.[56][57]

The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life[edit]

Ferriss's third book, The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life was released by Amazon Publishing in November 2012.[58]The 4-Hour Chef contains practical cooking and recipe tips and uses the skill of cooking to explain his methods for accelerated learning, which he calls "meta-learning".[59][59][60]

The book reached No. 1 on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list in its first week of issue.[10] However, many brick and mortar bookstores including independents and Barnes & Noble chose to not stock the book due to their objections to the business practices of Amazon Publishing.[61]

This required Ferriss to make arrangements with non-conventional partners, including BitTorrent, Panera Bread, and TaskRabbit in order to distribute the book.[62][63][64] In particular, Ferriss teamed up with BitTorrent to distribute an exclusive bundle of 4-Hour Chef content including excerpts from the book, photos, interviews and unpublished content,[65] which was downloaded over 300,000 times the first week after release.[66][67] The audiobook featured guest narration by Neil Gaiman.[63][68][69][70][71][72]

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers[edit]

Ferriss' fourth book Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers was released on December 6, 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.[73] The book's content consists of tactics and routines from some of the most popular guests on The Tim Ferriss Show podcast.[74]

Tools of Titans debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list.[75][76] The book was the first podcast-based book to debut on the New York Times list.[77]

Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World[edit]

Ferriss's fifth book, Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World was released on November 21, 2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.[78]

The Tim Ferriss Show[edit]

As of 2016, "The Tim Ferriss Show", a podcast, has had over 80 million downloads.[73][79] It covers topics ranging from personal and character development, to exercise routines, acting, venture capital and metaphysics.[80] It was voted “Best Podcast Episode of 2015” by Product Hunt users in their Golden Kitty Awards.[81]

Fear(Less) with Tim Ferriss[edit]

Ferriss is the host of the 2017 TV show Fear(Less) with Tim Ferriss , in which he interviews people.[82]


The New Yorker has described Ferriss as this generation's self-help guru, comparing him to personalities of similar influence in earlier times, such as Napoleon Hill, Norman Vincent Peale, Stephen Covey and Spencer Johnson.[83] Wired called Ferriss “The Superman of Silicon Valley”.[84] The New York Times said Ferriss was "somewhere between [retired General Electric chairman and CEO] Jack Welch and a Buddhist monk."[16] In 2011, Newsweek declared Ferriss "The World's Best Guinea Pig".[85]

He has been named among Newsweek's Digital Power Index 100 as the seventh most powerful online personality, Fortune's "40 Under 40", one of Fast Company's "Most Innovative Business People of 2007", and a Henry Crown Fellow by the Aspen Institute.[86][87][88][89]

Both The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Workweek are in the "10 Most Highlighted Books of All Time" on Amazon Kindle.[90][91]

In 2008, Ferriss was named Wired's "Greatest Self-Promoter of All Time."[92]


In 2007, Ferriss was a charity advocate and a member of the National Advisory Council of the public school nonprofit DonorsChoose.[93][94] His projects and donations have raised more than $250,000 for underfunded public school teachers and classroom projects, and his campaigns, such as dedicating his birthday to raising funds and heading LitLiberation to increase literacy worldwide, have impacted more than 60,000 students.[95][96][97][98] In March 2016, Ferriss flash funded 145 school projects posted on DonorsChoose.org in coordination with Stephen Colbert.[99][100]

In October 2014, BUILD Boston, a not-for-profit organization that uses entrepreneurship to equip Boston youth for high school and college success, honored Ferriss with the annual BUILDer Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for his work in education reform.[101][102]

Ferriss is also on the advisory board of the non-profit QuestBridge, along with LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman, David Sze, and others.[103] QuestBridge was created in 2003 to connect disadvantaged students with elite colleges and helps place over 2,000 students per year.[103]

Psychedelic research[edit]

Ferriss has raised funds for psychedelic studies at institutions such as Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.[104] In 2016, Ferriss donated $100,000 to research psychedelic drugs for the treatment of major depression.[104]

Personal life[edit]

In 2017 Ferriss moved to Austin, Texas[105] after living 17 years in Silicon Valley. In an interview with Business Insider, he blamed "intellectual smugness" and "closed-mindedness masquerading as opened-mindedness" for the move. "For the last few years I've witnessed what appears to be the forming of an echo chamber that is even more hermetically sealed than it usually is in Silicon Valley," he said.

He holds the Guinness World Record for the most Argentine tango spins in a minute, the number of the Argentine tango spins being thirty seven.[106]

Ferriss has stated that prior to his writing career he won in the 165 lb (75 kg) weight class at the 1999 USAWKF national Sanshou (Chinese kickboxing) championship through a process of shoving opponents out of the ring and by dramatically dehydrating himself before weigh in, and then rehydrating before the fight in order to compete several classes below his actual weight – a practice known as weight cutting.[107][107][108]

Ferriss is a practitioner of the Transcendental Meditation technique.[109]


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External links[edit]