Today’s book: the 4-Hour Workweek

Today I’m traveling to Atlanta to a BEA event. So, that means it’s time for another book. The one I picked? The 4-Hour Workweek. I’ve already started on it, and have had lunch with author Timothy Ferriss a few times already.

It has already become a sensation. Is on the New York Times best seller list.

How did he market it? Talked with bloggers. Anything else? Not really. The dude doesn’t work hard. Just like his book says.

Me? I don’t work hard either. How’s that? I just define work as something everyone other than me does. For instance, the hardest worker is a roofer in Mexico in the summer time. Now THAT is work. What I do? Not work.

Oh, I’m interviewing him in at 10 a.m. at PodTech too. Is that work? :-)

56 thoughts on “Today’s book: the 4-Hour Workweek

  1. The title of the book “The 4-hour workweek” is much like any headline in the NY Times – it’s designed to get your attention.

    If you don’t take it literally and actually read the book, there is some very good information in there and some good ideas. From my experience, most people who read the book will not end up with a 4 hour work week, but some will learn a few things, apply them to their own lives, and make some improvements in either their ability to make money or getting more time at home. And that’s not a bad thing

    I would say comparisons with Tony Robbins are a bit unfair – at least Tim Ferris gives you have half way decent ideas about how you might go about improving your life vs just “feeling good and releasing your personal power blah blah”

  2. Being a best seller or being popular doesn’t impress me. The Secret (where you just hope and wish for things you want instead of actually working to get them) was on the best seller list, too. Doctor Phil gets on the best seller list. Most people are retards. All the best seller list means is that you suckered a bunch of retards into forking over their cash. Congrats.

  3. Being a best seller or being popular doesn’t impress me. The Secret (where you just hope and wish for things you want instead of actually working to get them) was on the best seller list, too. Doctor Phil gets on the best seller list. Most people are retards. All the best seller list means is that you suckered a bunch of retards into forking over their cash. Congrats.

  4. I’m sure Timothy Ferris is a nice guy, but it’s all just another Tony Robbins feel-good scam. You know the best way to be more productive and have more time? Stop wasting your time on “self-help” and “self-productivity” crap like this.

    Besides, who wants to work four hours a week?! What else are you going to do with your time?! If you’re trying to spend as little time as possible working, then I’d say you are probably a waste of space or picked the wrong career and you should invest your time going back to school or jumping into something you have a passion for. Do you really need some kid to tell you that in a 300 page book?!

  5. I’m sure Timothy Ferris is a nice guy, but it’s all just another Tony Robbins feel-good scam. You know the best way to be more productive and have more time? Stop wasting your time on “self-help” and “self-productivity” crap like this.

    Besides, who wants to work four hours a week?! What else are you going to do with your time?! If you’re trying to spend as little time as possible working, then I’d say you are probably a waste of space or picked the wrong career and you should invest your time going back to school or jumping into something you have a passion for. Do you really need some kid to tell you that in a 300 page book?!

  6. “I have yet to meet anyone I admire who works 4 hours a week and spends the rest of their time in recreation.”

    - It’s interesting–he’s not exactly advocating recreation–just doing what you would want to do if money were no object. Maybe you ARE doing what you would be doing if money were no object. Then, great.

    I’d give the book four stars. It’s food for thought.

    By the way, LayZ and whoever else, outsourcing “knowledge work” is not exploitation. $10/hour is a good wage in India. It’s all relative. If “rent” for a nice place in Mumbai is the equivalent of $300/month, why would you insist that Indian knowledge workers make the same as a worker in San Francisco–so that they can live like kings?

  7. “I have yet to meet anyone I admire who works 4 hours a week and spends the rest of their time in recreation.”

    - It’s interesting–he’s not exactly advocating recreation–just doing what you would want to do if money were no object. Maybe you ARE doing what you would be doing if money were no object. Then, great.

    I’d give the book four stars. It’s food for thought.

    By the way, LayZ and whoever else, outsourcing “knowledge work” is not exploitation. $10/hour is a good wage in India. It’s all relative. If “rent” for a nice place in Mumbai is the equivalent of $300/month, why would you insist that Indian knowledge workers make the same as a worker in San Francisco–so that they can live like kings?

  8. I listened to a podcast of a talk Ferriss gave and I was repelled. Yes, he is onto something if he gives people a wake up call about their work life balance. But, overall, having listened to him, I have few regrets about the sometimes long hours I worked for not for profit organizations dedicated to ending hunger and poverty in the developing world. I have yet to meet anyone I admire who works 4 hours a week and spends the rest of their time in recreation. This just didn’t speak to me at all. However, I recognize that a book entitled TAKE SIX WEEKS ANNUAL VACATION LIKE A EUROPEAN just wouldn’t sell.

    It would make interesting TV to see Mr.F go to India and do the job of “your man in India” and live in his shoes for one week, help him cut back his hours afterwards.

    This would make for some interesting reflections on the dynamics of the modern so-called FLAT WORLD and social justice.

    We could probably ALL work less and all be better off if we were not living in societies obsessed with accumulation of material wealth.

    I am currently working 0 hours per week, and I may never “work” again.

  9. I listened to a podcast of a talk Ferriss gave and I was repelled. Yes, he is onto something if he gives people a wake up call about their work life balance. But, overall, having listened to him, I have few regrets about the sometimes long hours I worked for not for profit organizations dedicated to ending hunger and poverty in the developing world. I have yet to meet anyone I admire who works 4 hours a week and spends the rest of their time in recreation. This just didn’t speak to me at all. However, I recognize that a book entitled TAKE SIX WEEKS ANNUAL VACATION LIKE A EUROPEAN just wouldn’t sell.

    It would make interesting TV to see Mr.F go to India and do the job of “your man in India” and live in his shoes for one week, help him cut back his hours afterwards.

    This would make for some interesting reflections on the dynamics of the modern so-called FLAT WORLD and social justice.

    We could probably ALL work less and all be better off if we were not living in societies obsessed with accumulation of material wealth.

    I am currently working 0 hours per week, and I may never “work” again.

  10. I met Tim at South by Southwest.
    I find his approach of less-better work healthy.
    I am reading his book right now (publisher copy that he sent me to be honest).
    The title like any book title should not be taken literally.
    I think the direction is what matters.
    Regarding ‘outsourcing’ it is not always for low paid labor.
    I consider myself (a concierge)as helping people outsource some of their tasks.
    A new service that I wrote about today on ‘Serge the Concierge’ named ‘LaborFair’ also proves that you can have other people perform tasks for you and be paid fairly.

    My 2 cents.

    Serge
    Blog:
    http://www.sergetheconcierge.com
    Biz:
    http://www.njconcierges.com

  11. I met Tim at South by Southwest.
    I find his approach of less-better work healthy.
    I am reading his book right now (publisher copy that he sent me to be honest).
    The title like any book title should not be taken literally.
    I think the direction is what matters.
    Regarding ‘outsourcing’ it is not always for low paid labor.
    I consider myself (a concierge)as helping people outsource some of their tasks.
    A new service that I wrote about today on ‘Serge the Concierge’ named ‘LaborFair’ also proves that you can have other people perform tasks for you and be paid fairly.

    My 2 cents.

    Serge
    Blog:
    http://www.sergetheconcierge.com
    Biz:
    http://www.njconcierges.com

  12. @9

    Please tell your friends. We can work at more depraved income rates than the 3rd world could ever dream of.
    We are out India’ing India.

    We are going to take their jobs and send them back to the fields! Stat.

    If you want, get a hold of me on our contact form and I’ll let you know about commission rates on sales.

  13. @9

    Please tell your friends. We can work at more depraved income rates than the 3rd world could ever dream of.
    We are out India’ing India.

    We are going to take their jobs and send them back to the fields! Stat.

    If you want, get a hold of me on our contact form and I’ll let you know about commission rates on sales.

  14. Hmmmm. I haven’t read the book but from what I gather, I have the question: If this dude can be successful with only 4 hours a week of work, why not up that to oh… 8 hours a week of work and double the success? 8 hours a week still sounds like a walk in the park…

    It all depends on how you define success. One definition could be “the minimum amount of work I need to do to get me the stuff I want” Also if your business is running itself there’s only so much more you can increase sales by being there

  15. Hmmmm. I haven’t read the book but from what I gather, I have the question: If this dude can be successful with only 4 hours a week of work, why not up that to oh… 8 hours a week of work and double the success? 8 hours a week still sounds like a walk in the park…

    It all depends on how you define success. One definition could be “the minimum amount of work I need to do to get me the stuff I want” Also if your business is running itself there’s only so much more you can increase sales by being there

  16. Hmmmm. I haven’t read the book but from what I gather, I have the question: If this dude can be successful with only 4 hours a week of work, why not up that to oh… 8 hours a week of work and double the success? 8 hours a week still sounds like a walk in the park…

    I’m kidding of course – I oughta check out this book because I’m truly information swamped these days. Largely my own fault, too.

  17. Hmmmm. I haven’t read the book but from what I gather, I have the question: If this dude can be successful with only 4 hours a week of work, why not up that to oh… 8 hours a week of work and double the success? 8 hours a week still sounds like a walk in the park…

    I’m kidding of course – I oughta check out this book because I’m truly information swamped these days. Largely my own fault, too.

  18. So Robert, are you interviewing Timothy Ferris or the Mexican roofer?

    To tell you the truth, I can find lots of info on Timothy Ferris and “The 4-hour Workweek.” I think the Mexican roofer would be more interesting and a fascinating contrast to the geeks.

  19. So Robert, are you interviewing Timothy Ferris or the Mexican roofer?

    To tell you the truth, I can find lots of info on Timothy Ferris and “The 4-hour Workweek.” I think the Mexican roofer would be more interesting and a fascinating contrast to the geeks.

  20. Hi Scoble,

    two things:
    1) I am replying to your twitter which I can’t reply to b/c I’m not your “friend”:

    Scobleizer Writing Fast Company column on how Google has changed business. Got any examples?

    Barce Yes, talk to Derek Liu, found of Gaiaonline. During the crash a lot of folks had fantasies about creating a link-farm and cashing in on Google Ads.

    Lo and behold, these people actually ended up with websites with real communities around them and ended up being more profitable than any ad supported websites could be.

    2) on your blog post: Tim is just like the character Neo in the Matrix. He sees where the code of reality is hackable and re-writes it to do LD (lifestyle design). The guy is a maestro and it was a pleasure to meet him at his publishing party.

  21. Hi Scoble,

    two things:
    1) I am replying to your twitter which I can’t reply to b/c I’m not your “friend”:

    Scobleizer Writing Fast Company column on how Google has changed business. Got any examples?

    Barce Yes, talk to Derek Liu, found of Gaiaonline. During the crash a lot of folks had fantasies about creating a link-farm and cashing in on Google Ads.

    Lo and behold, these people actually ended up with websites with real communities around them and ended up being more profitable than any ad supported websites could be.

    2) on your blog post: Tim is just like the character Neo in the Matrix. He sees where the code of reality is hackable and re-writes it to do LD (lifestyle design). The guy is a maestro and it was a pleasure to meet him at his publishing party.

  22. @7 Not a problem, Chris. BTW, I rather like your offering. “The world is flat” doesn’t always have to apply to the 3rd world ;-)

  23. @7 Not a problem, Chris. BTW, I rather like your offering. “The world is flat” doesn’t always have to apply to the 3rd world ;-)

  24. What you do is work, what your support system does is work, what manual laborers do is work, just a differing form — only the lucky residents of Palm Beach, of which where to lunch is the biggest decision of the day, know not work.

    Anyone that really believes that ’4 hour workweek easy street’ claptrap must watch and believe all those late night infomercials…buy real estate for no money down…blah blah. But New Media is taking the infomerical outta the late night segment, and placing it in the internet daytime. Everyone wants shortcuts, so enough suckers out there to make it ripple for a bit, just takes some sucking up and stroking some egos.

  25. What you do is work, what your support system does is work, what manual laborers do is work, just a differing form — only the lucky residents of Palm Beach, of which where to lunch is the biggest decision of the day, know not work.

    Anyone that really believes that ’4 hour workweek easy street’ claptrap must watch and believe all those late night infomercials…buy real estate for no money down…blah blah. But New Media is taking the infomerical outta the late night segment, and placing it in the internet daytime. Everyone wants shortcuts, so enough suckers out there to make it ripple for a bit, just takes some sucking up and stroking some egos.

  26. “so, Tim advocates “outsourcing” certain aspects of your life. Great! Exploit poor people in the developing world for your personal gain!”

    LayZ, You USED to have to exploit poor people in the developing world for your personal gain. Thanks to our new service, now you can exploit people in the FIRST world at half the cost of what it would have cost your corp to exploit people in the 3rd world.
    Check out our new contracts at http://www.beercosoftware.com
    Just above minimum wage and 50 cents an hour cheaper than what a cashier at BK makes. And it’s all above the table and morally correct, unlike outsourcing overseas.
    Helping people, that’s why I’m here.

  27. “so, Tim advocates “outsourcing” certain aspects of your life. Great! Exploit poor people in the developing world for your personal gain!”

    LayZ, You USED to have to exploit poor people in the developing world for your personal gain. Thanks to our new service, now you can exploit people in the FIRST world at half the cost of what it would have cost your corp to exploit people in the 3rd world.
    Check out our new contracts at http://www.beercosoftware.com
    Just above minimum wage and 50 cents an hour cheaper than what a cashier at BK makes. And it’s all above the table and morally correct, unlike outsourcing overseas.
    Helping people, that’s why I’m here.

  28. so, Tim advocates “outsourcing” certain aspects of your life. Great! Exploit poor people in the developing world for your personal gain!

  29. so, Tim advocates “outsourcing” certain aspects of your life. Great! Exploit poor people in the developing world for your personal gain!

  30. http://rlove.org/log/2007050701

    Scoble totally missed this with his selection of RSS feeds. This is the 2nd huge defection from Novell since they signed the cross patent deal with MS. The first being the Samba one. And to google none the less. I read Robert Love’s book on the Linux kernel, and it has become a standard.

  31. http://rlove.org/log/2007050701

    Scoble totally missed this with his selection of RSS feeds. This is the 2nd huge defection from Novell since they signed the cross patent deal with MS. The first being the Samba one. And to google none the less. I read Robert Love’s book on the Linux kernel, and it has become a standard.

  32. Tim is a nice guy, and I also started reading the book (then again, he referenced BSD and me, so I have to read it now).

    I’ll also blog my review, so that should be fun. :)

  33. Tim is a nice guy, and I also started reading the book (then again, he referenced BSD and me, so I have to read it now).

    I’ll also blog my review, so that should be fun. :)

  34. I would also like to work 4 hours per day, but needless to say that the only people that profit from self-help are the people selling the media. Tony Robbins bought himself an island, but nobody else did.

    I basically started a new fastfood style IT rate, and now customers can make their bad decisions with us as well as the good ones. Hopefully that will get me down to 4 hours sooner rather than later.

  35. I would also like to work 4 hours per day, but needless to say that the only people that profit from self-help are the people selling the media. Tony Robbins bought himself an island, but nobody else did.

    I basically started a new fastfood style IT rate, and now customers can make their bad decisions with us as well as the good ones. Hopefully that will get me down to 4 hours sooner rather than later.

  36. I was on an IBM 2nd tier account for a pharmaceuticals company. They used to make me work like an SOB. Every time I asked them to upgrade to another tier, they blew it off, asking to continue to use our service, where they knew I would end up doing it.

    Needless to say they are gone now.

    Sometimes you really have to let customers live with bad decisions in order for them to see the value in paying a reasonable amount.

    At a glance, your guy Timothy Ferriss, looks like a neo-Tony Robbins. I dunno how it’s going to work out for him. But people are so weak that there’s never going to be a shortage in the market for self-help tapes.

  37. I was on an IBM 2nd tier account for a pharmaceuticals company. They used to make me work like an SOB. Every time I asked them to upgrade to another tier, they blew it off, asking to continue to use our service, where they knew I would end up doing it.

    Needless to say they are gone now.

    Sometimes you really have to let customers live with bad decisions in order for them to see the value in paying a reasonable amount.

    At a glance, your guy Timothy Ferriss, looks like a neo-Tony Robbins. I dunno how it’s going to work out for him. But people are so weak that there’s never going to be a shortage in the market for self-help tapes.

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