Eric Schmidt — The Promises and Perils of AI, The Future of Warfare, Profound Revolutions on the Horizon, and Exploring The Meaning of Life (#541)

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“The chemist wakes up in the morning and says, ‘Let’s try the following seven compounds.’ They try the seven compounds, none of them work. And at five o’clock, they go home to have dinner and think, watch television, and the next morning they think of another seven. Well, the computer can do a hundred million in a day. That’s a huge accelerant in what they’re doing.”

Eric Schmidt

Eric Schmidt (@ericschmidt) is a technologist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He joined Google in 2001, helping the company grow from a Silicon Valley startup to a global technological leader. He served as chief executive officer and chairman from 2001 to 2011 and as executive chairman and technical advisor thereafter. Under his leadership, Google dramatically scaled its infrastructure and diversified its product offerings while maintaining a culture of innovation. In 2017, he co-founded Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative that bets early on exceptional people making the world better.

He serves as chair of the Broad Institute and formerly served as chair of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. He is the host of Reimagine with Eric Schmidt, a podcast exploring how society can build a brighter future after the COVID-19 pandemic. With co-authors Henry A. Kissinger and Daniel Huttenlocher, Eric has a new book out titled The Age of AI: And Our Human Future.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform.

Brought to you by ShipStation shipping software, ButcherBox premium meats delivered to your door, and Pique Tea premium tea crystals (pu’er, etc.). More on all three below.

#541: Eric Schmidt — The Promises and Perils of AI, The Future of Warfare, Profound Revolutions on the Horizon, and Exploring The Meaning of Life

This episode is brought to you by ButcherBoxButcherBox makes it easy for you to get high-quality, humanely raised meat that you can trust. They deliver delicious, 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef; free-range organic chicken; heritage-breed pork, and wild-caught seafood directly to your door.

Skip the lines for your Thanksgiving turkey. This holiday, ButcherBox is proud to give new members a free turkey. Go to ButcherBox.com/Tim to receive a free 10–14 pound turkey in your first box.


This episode is brought to you by Pique TeaI first learned about Pique through my friends Dr. Peter Attia and Kevin Rose, and now Pique’s fermented pu’er tea crystals have become my daily go-to. I often kickstart my mornings with their Pu’er Green Tea and Pu’er Black Tea, and I alternate between the two. Their crystals are cold-extracted, using only wild-harvested leaves from 250-year-old tea trees. Plus, they triple toxin screen for heavy metals, pesticides, and toxic mold—contaminants commonly found in tea. I also use the crystals for iced tea, which saves a ton of time and hassle.

Pique is offering 15% off of their pu’er teas, exclusively to my listeners. Simply visit PiqueTea.com/Tim, and the discount will be automatically applied. They also offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so your purchase is completely risk free. Just go to PiqueTea.com/Tim to learn more.


This episode is brought to you by ShipStation. Do you sell stuff online? Then you know what a pain the shipping process is. ShipStation was created to make your life easier. Whether you’re selling on eBay, Amazon, Shopify, or over 100 other popular selling channels, ShipStation lets you access all of your orders from one simple dashboard, and it works with all of the major shipping carriers, locally and globally, including FedEx, UPS, and USPS. 

Tim Ferriss Show listeners get to try ShipStation free for 60 days by using promo code TIM. There’s no risk, and you can start your free trial without even entering your credit card info. Just visit ShipStation.com, click on the microphone at the top of the homepage, and type in TIM!


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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Noah Feldman on Hyper-Productivity, Learning 10+ Languages, DAOs, Using History to Become a Futurist, Crypto Constitutions, State Building, and the Supreme Court of Facebook (#540)

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“If you can alternate power, you get a lot of good incentives for everyone treating everybody relatively well.”

Noah Feldman

Noah Feldman (@NoahRFeldman) is a Harvard professor, ethical philosopher and advisor, public intellectual, religious scholar and historian, and author of 10 books, including his latest, The Broken Constitution: Lincoln, Slavery, and the Refounding of America.

Noah is the founder of Ethical Compass, which helps clients like Facebook and eBay improve ethical decision-making by creating and implementing new governance solutions. Noah conceived and designed the Facebook Oversight Board and continues to advise Facebook on ethics and governance issues.

Feldman is host of the Deep Background podcast, a policy and public affairs columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, and a former contributing writer for The New York Times. He served as senior constitutional advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq and subsequently advised members of the Iraqi Governing Council on the drafting of Iraq’s interim constitution.

He earned his A.B. summa cum laude from Harvard, finishing first in his class. Selected as a Rhodes Scholar, he earned a DPhil from Oxford University, writing his dissertation on Aristotle’s Ethics. He received his JD from Yale Law School and clerked for Justice David Souter of the US Supreme Court.

He is the author of 10 books, including Divided by God: America’s Church-State Problem — and What We Should Do About It; What We Owe Iraq: War and the Ethics of Nation Building; Cool War: The United States, China, and the Future of Global Competition; Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR’s Great Supreme Court Justices; and The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.

Brought to you by Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro Cover sleeping solution for dynamic cooling and heating, Athletic Greens all-in-one nutritional supplement, and Headspace easy-to-use app with guided meditations. More on all three below.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#540: Noah Feldman on Hyper-Productivity, Learning 10+ Languages, DAOs, Using History to Become a Futurist, Crypto Constitutions, State Building, and The Supreme Court of Facebook

This episode is brought to you by Eight Sleep! Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro Cover is the easiest and fastest way to sleep at the perfect temperature. It pairs dynamic cooling and heating with biometric tracking to offer the most advanced (and user-friendly) solution on the market. Simply add the Pod Pro Cover to your current mattress and start sleeping as cool as 55°F or as hot as 110°F. It also splits your bed in half, so your partner can choose a totally different temperature.

And now, my dear listeners—that’s you—can get $250 off the Pod Pro Cover. Simply go to EightSleep.com/Tim or use code TIM. 


This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, “If you could only use one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is usually Athletic Greens, my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body in 2010 and did not get paid to do so. I do my best with nutrient-dense meals, of course, but AG further covers my bases with vitamins, minerals, and whole-food-sourced micronutrients that support gut health and the immune system. 

Right now, Athletic Greens is offering you their Vitamin D Liquid Formula free with your first subscription purchase—a vital nutrient for a strong immune system and strong bones. Visit AthleticGreens.com/Tim to claim this special offer today and receive the free Vitamin D Liquid Formula (and five free travel packs) with your first subscription purchase! That’s up to a one-year supply of Vitamin D as added value when you try their delicious and comprehensive all-in-one daily greens product.


This episode is brought to you by Headspace! Headspace is your daily dose of mindfulness in the form of guided meditations in an easy-to-use app. Whatever the situation, Headspace can help you feel better. Overwhelmed? Headspace has a 3-minute SOS meditation for you. Need some help falling asleep? Headspace has wind-down sessions their members swear by. And for parents, Headspace even has morning meditations you can do with your kids. Headspace’s approach to mindfulness can reduce stress, improve sleep, boost focus, and increase your overall sense of well-being.

Go to Headspace.com/Tim for a FREE one-month trial with access to Headspace’s full library of meditations for every situation.


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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Alisa Cohn on Prenups for Startup Founders, How to Reinvent Your Career, the Importance of “Pre-Mortems,” and the Three Selves (#539)

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“If you like these problems, let’s solve these problems. These are the problems you’ve chosen for yourself.”

Alisa Cohn

Alisa Cohn (@AlisaCohn) is one of the most prominent startup coaches in the world. She has advised founders and executives at Venmo, Etsy, DraftKings, Wirecutter, Mack Weldon, InVision, Tory Burch, and others. She has also coached CEOs and C-suite executives at enterprises such as Dell, Hitachi, Sony, Google, Microsoft, Bloomberg, The New York Times Company, and Calvin Klein.

She is the author of From Start-Up to Grown-Up, a guidebook for entrepreneurs on the leadership journey from founder to CEO, and host of the From Start-Up to Grown-Up Podcast. Her articles have appeared in Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Inc. magazines, and she has been featured as an expert on Bloomberg TV, the BBC World News, and in The New York Times. A recovering CPA and one-time startup CFO and strategy consultant, she is now an angel investor and advisory board member. Outside of work, she is a (very) amateur rap artist and an investor in Broadway shows, two of which have won Tony Awards.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform.

Brought to you by Kettle & Fire high quality, tasty, and conveniently packaged bone broths; Wealthfront automated investing; and Allform premium, modular furniture. More on all three below.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

Alisa Cohn on Prenups for Startup Founders, How to Reinvent Your Career, the Importance of “Pre-Mortems,” and the Three Selves (#539)

This episode is brought to you by Kettle & Fire! Kettle & Fire makes one of the highest quality, tastiest, and most conveniently packaged bone broths on the market, and I have a huge collection of their broths on my kitchen counter for easy access. I’ve been a fan ever since 2015, when podcast guest and ketogenesis expert Dr. Dominic D’Agostino introduced me to the company. Their products fit me and my lifestyle extremely well: bone broth is a great ‘one-stop shop’ for low-carb, high-protein nutrition, and bone broth makes an excellent lower-calorie breakfast that requires no prep.

It’s one of the simplest ways to get many of the nutrients I need, and I simply feel better when broth is a regular part of my diet. You can save 25% off your order by going to KettleAndFire.com/Tim and using code TIM at checkout.


This episode is brought to you by WealthfrontWealthfront pioneered the automated investing movement, sometimes referred to as ‘robo-advising,’ and they currently oversee $20 billion of assets for their clients. It takes about three minutes to sign up, and then Wealthfront will build you a globally diversified portfolio of ETFs based on your risk appetite and manage it for you at an incredibly low cost. 

Smart investing should not feel like a rollercoaster ride. Let the professionals do the work for you. Go to Wealthfront.com/Tim and open a Wealthfront account today, and you’ll get your first $5,000 managed for free, for lifeWealthfront will automate your investments for the long term. Get started today at Wealthfront.com/Tim.


This episode is brought to you by AllformIf you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while, you’ve probably heard me talk about Helix Sleep mattresses, which I’ve been using since 2017. They’ve launched a new company called Allform, and they’re making premium, customizable sofas and chairs shipped right to your door—at a fraction of the cost of traditional stores. You can pick your fabric (and they’re all spill, stain, and scratch resistant), the sofa color, the color of the legs, and the sofa size and shape to make sure it’s perfect for you and your home.

Allform arrives in just 3–7 days, and you can assemble it yourself in a few minutes—no tools needed. To find your perfect sofa, check out Allform.com/Tim. Allform is offering 20% off all orders to you, my dear listeners, at Allform.com/Tim.


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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How I Built The Tim Ferriss Show to 700+ Million Downloads — An Immersive Explanation of All Aspects and Key Decisions (Featuring Chris Hutchins) (#538)

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Chris Hutchins (@hutchins) is an avid life hacker and financial optimizer. He’s the host of All the Hacks podcast and the Head of New Product Strategy at Wealthfront.

Previously, Chris was co-founder and CEO of Grove (acquired by Wealthfront), co-founder of Milk (acquired by Google), and a partner at Google Ventures, where he focused on seed and early stage investments.

Chris reached out with many questions about podcasting. He had already read much of what I had written and listened to several interviews, and this is intended to be an updated guide to all things podcasting.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.

Brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs recruitment platform with 770M+ users, Athletic Greens all-in-one nutritional supplement, and Helix Sleep premium mattresses. More on all three below.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#538: How I Built The Tim Ferriss Show to 700+ Million Downloads — An Immersive Explanation of All Aspects and Key Decisions (Featuring Chris Hutchins)

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, “If you could only use one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is usually Athletic Greens, my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body in 2010 and did not get paid to do so. I do my best with nutrient-dense meals, of course, but AG further covers my bases with vitamins, minerals, and whole-food-sourced micronutrients that support gut health and the immune system. 

Right now, Athletic Greens is offering you their Vitamin D Liquid Formula free with your first subscription purchase—a vital nutrient for a strong immune system and strong bones. Visit AthleticGreens.com/Tim to claim this special offer today and receive the free Vitamin D Liquid Formula (and five free travel packs) with your first subscription purchase! That’s up to a one-year supply of Vitamin D as added value when you try their delicious and comprehensive all-in-one daily greens product.


This episode is brought to you by Helix SleepHelix was selected as the #1 overall mattress of 2020 by GQ magazine, Wired, Apartment Therapy, and many others. With Helix, there’s a specific mattress to meet each and every body’s unique comfort needs. Just take their quiz—only two minutes to complete—that matches your body type and sleep preferences to the perfect mattress for you. They have a 10-year warranty, and you get to try it out for a hundred nights, risk free. They’ll even pick it up from you if you don’t love it. And now, to my dear listeners, Helix is offering up to 200 dollars off all mattress orders plus two free pillows at HelixSleep.com/Tim.


This episode is brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs. Whether you are looking to hire now for a critical role or thinking about needs that you may have in the future, LinkedIn Jobs can help. LinkedIn screens candidates for the hard and soft skills you’re looking for and puts your job in front of candidates looking for job opportunities that match what you have to offer.

Using LinkedIn’s active community of more than 770 million professionals worldwide, LinkedIn Jobs can help you find and hire the right person faster. When your business is ready to make that next hire, find the right person with LinkedIn Jobs. And now, you can post a job for free. Just visit LinkedIn.com/Tim.


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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How Animals Discover and Use Medicines

This guest post from Dr. Mark Plotkin (@DocMarkPlotkin) features an excerpt from his book Medicine Quest: In Search of Nature’s Healing Secrets. I loved the chapter on how animals use medicinal plants so much that I published the audio version on the podcast. If you prefer the audio version, narrated by Mark, click here.

Mark is an ethnobotanist who serves as president of the Amazon Conservation Team, which has partnered with ~80 tribes to map and improve management and protection of ~100 million acres of ancestral rainforests. He is best known to the general public as the author of the book Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice, one of the most popular books ever written about the rainforest. His most recent book is The Amazon: What Everyone Needs to Know. You can find my first interview with Mark at tim.blog/markplotkin

Mark is also the host of the Plants of the Gods podcast, through which you can learn about everything from hallucinogenic snuffs to the diverse formulations of curare (a plant mixture which relaxes the muscles of the body and leads to asphyxiation), and much, much more.

Enjoy!

Enter Mark…

Biologists studying animals in the wild are typically discouraged from giving their study animal names so as not to anthropomorphize them; in other words, not to think of them as friends or pets. Jane Goodall — one of the greatest field biologists of all time — has always disagreed. I overheard a discussion between her and another biologist in the early 1980s. The zoologist asked her, “Why do you give your chimps names? Is that really scientific?”

Without missing a beat, Jane asked him, “Do you have a dog?”

“Yes,” he replied.

“Does your dog have a personality,” she asked.

“Of course,” he replied.

“Well,” said Jane, “I bet my chimps have at least as much personality as your dog!”

Many years later — when I was studying the history of wine as medicine in the ancient world — I mentioned the project to Jane. “You know that drinking alcohol wasn’t invented by humans, don’t you? Chimps periodically get drunk on fermented marula fruit, as do elephants and baboons and other species as well!”

As an ethnobotanist who studies how indigenous peoples find and use medicinal plants of the rainforest, this was a revelation. Could some of this medicinal plant wisdom been first learned of from the Animal Kingdom?

In the summer of 1980, I had the opportunity to wander in the once great rainforests of eastern Brazil. The early European explorers were awestruck by the beauty and diversity of these tropical forests, which stretched in an enormous unbroken arc from the easternmost tip of Brazil hundreds of miles south into what is now Paraguay and northern Argentina. However, what remains is a fragment of what once was: small, isolated pockets of forest, home to a handful of species: more than 96 percent of the original forest cover has been destroyed. And as I wandered through those distant patches of jungle, the sounds of trucks, bulldozers, radios, and human voices surrounded me on all sides, a constant reminder that our civilization was in the final throes of obliterating the little that was left.

Continue reading “How Animals Discover and Use Medicines”

The Hidden Knowledge of Animals — Mark Plotkin on Nature’s Medicine Cabinet (#537)

Mark Plotkin, smiling, holds up a toad, Bufo marinus, in his hand while standing in lush grass somewhere in Suriname.
Bufo marinus from Suriname Credit: Mark J. Plotkin

“The study of how animals use plants for medicinal purposes is termed ‘zoopharmacognosy,’ but our observation of this phenomenon is, without question, an ancient practice. Who has not watched a dog swallow grass to induce vomiting when the animal has eaten something unhealthy it wishes to regurgitate?”

— Dr. Mark Plotkin

This special episode of The Tim Ferriss Show features Dr. Mark Plotkin (@DocMarkPlotkin) .

Mark is an ethnobotanist who serves as president of the Amazon Conservation Team, which has partnered with ~80 tribes to map and improve management and protection of ~100 million acres of ancestral rainforests. He is best known to the general public as the author of the book Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice, one of the most popular books ever written about the rainforest. His most recent book is The Amazon: What Everyone Needs to Know. You can find my first interview with Mark at tim.blog/MarkPlotkin

He is also the host of the Plants of the Gods podcast, through which you can learn about everything from hallucinogenic snuffs to the diverse formulations of curare (a plant mixture which relaxes the muscles of the body and leads to asphyxiation), and much, much more.

Today’s episode focuses on how animals use medicinal plants, and it has some wild stories featuring cows, penguins, pigs, frogs, and everything in between. It’s pulled from a chapter in Mark’s book Medicine Quest: In Search of Nature’s Healing Secrets. I loved the chapter, and I asked Mark if he’d be willing to record it in audio to share it with you all. He agreed and here we are. 

Please enjoy!

If you prefer to read the chapter, you can find the full text here.

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform.

Brought to you by BlockFi crypto platform and UCAN endurance products powered by SuperStarch®. More on both below.

#537: The Hidden Knowledge of Animals — Mark Plotkin on Nature’s Medicine Cabinet

This episode is brought to you by BlockFi! BlockFi is building a bridge between cryptocurrencies and traditional financial and wealth-management products. I became excited enough about this company that I ended up becoming an investor.

Their BlockFi Rewards Visa® Signature Credit Card provides an easy way to earn more Bitcoin because you can earn 3.5% in Bitcoin back on all purchases in your first 3 months and 1.5% forever after, with no annual fee. BlockFi also lets you easily buy or sell cryptocurrencies. For a limited time, you can earn a crypto bonus of $15–$250 in value when you open a new account. Get started today at BlockFi.com/Tim and use code TIM at sign up.


This episode is brought to you by UCANI was introduced to UCAN and its unique carbohydrate SuperStarch by my good friend—and listener favorite—Dr. Peter Attia, who said there is no carb in the world like it. I have since included it in my routine, using UCAN’s powders to power my workouts, and the bars make great snacks. Extensive scientific research and clinical trials have shown that SuperStarch provides a sustained release of energy to the body without spiking blood sugar. UCAN is the ideal way to source energy from a carbohydrate without the negatives associated with fast carbs, especially sugar.  

You avoid fatigue, hunger cravings, and loss of focus. Whether you’re an athlete working on managing your fitness or you need healthy, efficient calories to get you through your day, UCAN is an elegant energy solution. My listeners can save 30% on their first UCAN order by going to UCAN.co/Tim.


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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Diana Chapman — How to Get Unstuck, Do “The Work,” Take Radical Responsibility, and Reduce Drama in Your Life (#536)

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“Anything other than a ‘whole-body yes’ is a no.”

Diana Chapman

Diana Chapman is a co-founder of the Conscious Leadership Group and a co-author of the book The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership. Her passion is to help organizational leaders and their teams eliminate drama in the workplace and beyond. She has worked with more than 1,000 CEOs and is a well-respected facilitator for the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), working with their forums and chapters worldwide.

She has been a speaker at TEDx, Mindful Leadership Summit, Wisdom 2.0, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and more.

When Diana is not with her clients, she can often be found gardening at her suburban homestead in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. She lives there with her husband of over 30 years.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.

Brought to you by Wealthfront automated investing, Tonal smart home gym, and BlockFi crypto platform. More on all three below.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#536: Diana Chapman — How to Get Unstuck, Do “The Work,” Take Radical Responsibility, and Reduce Drama in Your Life

This episode is brought to you by BlockFi! BlockFi is building a bridge between cryptocurrencies and traditional financial and wealth-management products. I became excited enough about this company that I ended up becoming an investor.

Their BlockFi Rewards Visa® Signature Credit Card provides an easy way to earn more Bitcoin because you can earn 3.5% in Bitcoin back on all purchases in your first 3 months and 1.5% forever after, with no annual fee. BlockFi also lets you easily buy or sell cryptocurrencies. For a limited time, you can earn a crypto bonus of $15–$250 in value when you open a new account. Get started today at BlockFi.com/Tim and use code TIM at sign up.


This episode is brought to you by WealthfrontWealthfront pioneered the automated investing movement, sometimes referred to as ‘robo-advising,’ and they currently oversee $20 billion of assets for their clients. It takes about three minutes to sign up, and then Wealthfront will build you a globally diversified portfolio of ETFs based on your risk appetite and manage it for you at an incredibly low cost. 

Smart investing should not feel like a rollercoaster ride. Let the professionals do the work for you. Go to Wealthfront.com/Tim and open a Wealthfront account today, and you’ll get your first $5,000 managed for free, for lifeWealthfront will automate your investments for the long term. Get started today at Wealthfront.com/Tim.


This episode is brought to you by Tonal! Tonal is the world’s most intelligent home gym and personal trainer. It is precision engineered and designed to be the most advanced strength studio on the market today. Tonal uses breakthrough technology—like adaptive digital weights and AI learning—together with the best experts in resistance training so you get stronger, faster. Every program is personalized to your body using AI, and smart features check your form in real time, just like a personal trainer.

Try Tonal, the world’s smartest home gym, for 30 days in your home, and if you don’t love it, you can return it for a full refund. Visit Tonal.com for $100 off their smart accessories when you use promo code TIM100 at checkout.


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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General Stanley McChrystal — Mastering Risk: A User’s Guide (#535)

Artist's rendering of General Stanley McChrystal.
Illustration via 99designs

“The idea that we want to mitigate risk to zero before we act is really common and really costly.”

General Stanley McChrystal

General Stanley McChrystal (@stanmcchrystal) was called “one of America’s greatest warriors” by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Having held leadership and staff positions in the Army Special Forces, Army Rangers, 82nd Airborne Division, the XVIII Army Airborne Corp, and the Joint Staff, McChrystal became commander of JSOC in 2003, responsible for leading the nation’s deployed military counterterrorism efforts around the globe. His leadership is credited with the 2003 capture of Saddam Hussein and the 2006 locating and killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq. In June 2009, McChrystal received his fourth star and assumed command of all international forces in Afghanistan.

General McChrystal founded the McChrystal Group in January 2011, an advisory services firm that helps businesses challenge the hierarchical “command and control” approach to organizational management.

He is a senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, where he teaches a course on leadership, and he is the author of the bestselling leadership books My Share of the Task: A Memoir; Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World; and Leaders: Myth and Reality. His new book is Risk: A User’s Guide. He is also the co-host (with former Navy SEAL Chris Fussell) of the No Turning Back podcast, where they explore the future of leadership and teams with the world’s most consequential leaders.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.

Brought to you by Kettle & Fire high quality, tasty, and conveniently packaged bone broths; Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro Cover sleeping solution for dynamic cooling and heating; and ShipStation shipping software. More on all three below.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#535: General Stanley McChrystal — Mastering Risk: A User's Guide

This episode is brought to you by Kettle & Fire! Kettle & Fire makes one of the highest quality, tastiest, and most conveniently packaged bone broths on the market, and I have a huge collection of their broths on my kitchen counter for easy access. I’ve been a fan ever since 2015, when podcast guest and ketogenesis expert Dr. Dominic D’Agostino introduced me to the company. Their products fit me and my lifestyle extremely well: bone broth is a great ‘one-stop shop’ for low-carb, high-protein nutrition, and bone broth makes an excellent lower-calorie breakfast that requires no prep.

It’s one of the simplest ways to get many of the nutrients I need, and I simply feel better when broth is a regular part of my diet. You can save 25% off your order by going to KettleAndFire.com/Tim and using code TIM at checkout.


This episode is brought to you by ShipStation. Do you sell stuff online? Then you know what a pain the shipping process is. ShipStation was created to make your life easier. Whether you’re selling on eBay, Amazon, Shopify, or over 100 other popular selling channels, ShipStation lets you access all of your orders from one simple dashboard, and it works with all of the major shipping carriers, locally and globally, including FedEx, UPS, and USPS. 

Tim Ferriss Show listeners get to try ShipStation free for 60 days by using promo code TIM. There’s no risk, and you can start your free trial without even entering your credit card info. Just visit ShipStation.com, click on the microphone at the top of the homepage, and type in TIM!


This episode is brought to you by Eight Sleep! Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro Cover is the easiest and fastest way to sleep at the perfect temperature. It pairs dynamic cooling and heating with biometric tracking to offer the most advanced (and user-friendly) solution on the market. Simply add the Pod Pro Cover to your current mattress and start sleeping as cool as 55°F or as hot as 110°F. It also splits your bed in half, so your partner can choose a totally different temperature.

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What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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Michael Dell, Founder of Dell — Early Failures, Battling Carl Icahn, Learning from the Competition, and How to Play Nice But Win (#534)

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“You learn a lot more from your customers than you do from the competition.”

— Michael Dell

Michael Dell (@MichaelDell) is chairman and chief executive officer of Dell Technologies, an innovator and technology leader providing the essential infrastructure for organizations to build their digital future, transform IT, and protect their most important information. He is the author of Play Nice But Win: A CEO’s Journey from Founder to Leader.

Michael is an honorary member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum and is an executive committee member of the International Business Council. In 1999, he and his wife, Susan Dell, established the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform. You can also watch the interview on YouTube.

Brought to you by Wealthfront automated investing, Helix Sleep premium mattresses, and Tonal smart home gym. More on all three below.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#534: Michael Dell, Founder of Dell — Early Failures, Battling Carl Icahn, Learning from the Competition, and How to Play Nice But Win

This episode is brought to you by WealthfrontWealthfront pioneered the automated investing movement, sometimes referred to as ‘robo-advising,’ and they currently oversee $20 billion of assets for their clients. It takes about three minutes to sign up, and then Wealthfront will build you a globally diversified portfolio of ETFs based on your risk appetite and manage it for you at an incredibly low cost. 

Smart investing should not feel like a rollercoaster ride. Let the professionals do the work for you. Go to Wealthfront.com/Tim and open a Wealthfront account today, and you’ll get your first $5,000 managed for free, for lifeWealthfront will automate your investments for the long term. Get started today at Wealthfront.com/Tim.


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This episode is brought to you by Helix SleepHelix was selected as the #1 overall mattress of 2020 by GQ magazine, Wired, Apartment Therapy, and many others. With Helix, there’s a specific mattress to meet each and every body’s unique comfort needs. Just take their quiz—only two minutes to complete—that matches your body type and sleep preferences to the perfect mattress for you. They have a 10-year warranty, and you get to try it out for a hundred nights, risk free. They’ll even pick it up from you if you don’t love it. And now, to my dear listeners, Helix is offering up to 200 dollars off all mattress orders plus two free pillows at HelixSleep.com/Tim.


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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Paul Conti, MD — How Trauma Works and How to Heal from It (#533)

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“We can feel helpless and the world can seem hopeless. And that’s not the case.”

— Paul Conti, MD

Paul Conti, MD is a graduate of Stanford University School of Medicine. He completed his psychiatry training at Stanford and at Harvard, where he was appointed chief resident and then served on the medical faculty before moving to Portland and founding a clinic.

Dr. Conti specializes in complex assessment and problem-solving, as well as both health and performance optimization, serving patients and clients throughout the United States and internationally, including the executive leadership of large corporations. His new book is Trauma, the Invisible Epidemic: How Trauma Works and How We Can Heal From It.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform. You can also watch the interview on YouTube.

Brought to you by Vuori comfortable and durable performance apparel, BlockFi crypto platform, and Athletic Greens all-in-one nutritional supplement. More on all three below.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#533: Paul Conti, MD — How Trauma Works and How to Heal from It

This episode is brought to you by BlockFi! BlockFi is building a bridge between cryptocurrencies and traditional financial and wealth-management products. I became excited enough about this company that I ended up becoming an investor.

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This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, “If you could only use one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is usually Athletic Greens, my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body in 2010 and did not get paid to do so. I do my best with nutrient-dense meals, of course, but AG further covers my bases with vitamins, minerals, and whole-food-sourced micronutrients that support gut health and the immune system. 

Right now, Athletic Greens is offering you their Vitamin D Liquid Formula free with your first subscription purchase—a vital nutrient for a strong immune system and strong bones. Visit AthleticGreens.com/Tim to claim this special offer today and receive the free Vitamin D Liquid Formula (and five free travel packs) with your first subscription purchase! That’s up to a one-year supply of Vitamin D as added value when you try their delicious and comprehensive all-in-one daily greens product.


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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