Happy Japanese April Fool's Day!

Happy Japanese April Fool’s Day!

Man, oh, man. I was going to wait until tomorrow to publish this follow-up to the last post, but it kicked up some dust, so I wanted to own up. Yessir, it’s an April Fool’s Day joke. Sorry for any confusion! It would have been too obvious on April 1st in the US, so I used the alternate time zone. The hardest part was creating realistic names. Here’s where I got “Van”‘s name:

First name

Last name (see Northern India)

I do indeed write all the posts (minus attributed guest posts) myself. As _Jon put it in the comments: “a personal blog shouldn’t be work, it should be a passion. If you need to outsource it, you have the wrong motivation.”

I couldn’t agree more. That’s why I’m here writing the posts, including the stupid ones (man crush anyone?). I love hanging out–virtually or in-person–with you guys.

This little prank has been in my head since Jan. 10th, when the infamous Tucker Max suggested a much better version that I was unable to pull off due to this London trip…

“BTW–I had a hilarious idea for what you need to do for an April Fools prank: Write a post, complete with video, about how you have taken outsourcing to the next level. You’re paying people to workout for you, to eat for you, sleep for you, watch TV for you, do literally everything. The vid would show you sitting in a chair in a white room,

cutting intermittently to people doing things with shirts that have “I am Tim Ferriss” on them. It would be f*ing HILARIOUS. You have to do this.”

Guys, I’m really sorry if the one-day-off date threw anyone. Now you know why I’m a writer instead of a stand-up comic! My timing is a little off, methinks.

Have a wonderful April Fool’s Day and keep smiling 🙂 More from the UK tomorrow…

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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77 Replies to “Happy Japanese April Fool's Day!”

  1. Damn it Tim,

    You really got me on that one. I even told some friends about the mastery of outsourcing. Good thing it was a joke, cause I would have felt stupid making comments to some virtual person thinking for you. Have a great time.


    Jose Castro-Frenzel

  2. Hehe, you got me – not upset at all though, after all it’s a perfect continuation of your theme. Glad to hear it is you after all, though.

  3. I think you should have told everyone that the guy in your videos was a hired look-a-like. Now, that would be hilarious.

  4. Hey Tim,

    I have always been thrilled with your replies to my comments – have printed them, showed them to my parents, girl friend and friends.

    Was planning to tear them after reading the last post — but would have not been possible anyways, as I’d laminated them in order to store them for long-term 🙂

    Its an honor to be in touch with the REAL you!

  5. wow… this was really crashing…

    i don’t think i’ve been this fooled ever ever in my life! what’s interesting? the last post is probably one of your best, because it made me think, really think, by myself..

    first i got upset, then i got angry, then sad… (you’re our hero, you know, and it’s always a little hard when they “go down”) and realized suddenly (a real flash/lightning-thing!) that goddammit, you just gotta live your own life! this might seem like a perfectly obvious thing, but it has never really hit me before.

    i am now more convinced than ever that i’m doing the right thing when moving to france for a couple of months this autumn.. a kind of mini-retirement, i guess, though i will be working. and i thought about this, and my life, and got very calm. then, out of curiosity for other people’s comments, i had to return to your blog – and read the next post. luckily, i have a good, strong heart:P

    so… thank you.

    and keep up (your own) writing!


    Thanks, Lollo! I’ll have a post coming up this week about mini-retirements, so keep an eye out. It explores a few uncommon options…

    Pura vida 🙂


  6. Tim, I thought your post was hilarious. Obviously it was a joke, seeing as how you couldn’t possibly outsource this blog, plus it’s right around April Fools’ Day (I didn’t know your time zone and thought you just did it a day early), plus a few people were giving it away in the comments. But I was afraid it would backfire.

    Still, the backlash doesn’t seem to be as strong as when someone I know, the CEO of a small company, announced his “resignation” one April Fools’ Day. That wasn’t pretty!

    Thanks for trying though!

  7. But is the real April Fool’s joke that it is actually true? This is so much fun. Thanks for the laughs.

  8. Too funny. To be honest, it wouldn’t surprise me if you did outsource a ton of the monotonous aspects of posting… if you just dictated it, and then had others transcribe and dress it up, deal with all the linking, etc. I’d actually be surprised if you did do all that stuff yourself…

    Happy AF day, wherever you are!

    p.s. I heard good things about you at SxSW (including the fact that you’re ripped) – rock on, Tim.

  9. I wonder how many people like me signed up to elance thinking they could outsource a hit blog at $35 per post. Still, I’m not submitting this one to Digg, just in case!

  10. Hey Tim,

    I’ve got a hot tip for you: get a job. Might be able to channel all this restless young-buck energy you have. 😉



  11. Actually, this post surprised me more than the last. I read the last post and shrugged. It makes sense.

  12. You said: “Now you know why I’m a writer instead of a stand-up comic! My timing is a little off, methinks.”

    “Timing” is definitely not a concept in a geek(ette)’s vocabulary, fer shur, from these Shoes..

    Cyber hugs.. 🙂

  13. I thought it was a great joke! Guess some people take things too seriously. I honestly wouldn’t have cared if you did outsource the entire blog. I care more about the quality of the content than who actually wrote something.

  14. Tim,

    Absolutely Awesome! I guess you could say that this ‘joke’ is a good testament to how strong your support is.

    -Sure, some people were hurt and offended. But how many of us would have showed up next post? I would say that a pretty high majority, myself included

    Glad that its the ‘real’ Mr. Ferriss…


  15. I did think about this a bit.

    Then I decided there was no way you could have outsourced shooting guns in Serbia.

  16. Sure, you could have done it tucker’s way, but you wouldn’t have fooled anyone! Or maybe so, I’ve been surprised before by how much people will believe. Being a prankster myself and all…

  17. I just scanned through the post so it was not a big deal for me.

    That being said, the post did have a timestamp of March 31. You fired your April’s fool too early man, what if everyone started doing that, just to get more attention?

    In 10 years we will be doing April’s fools in December…


    LOL… good point. December’s Fool’s Day doesn’t quite have the same ring to it 🙂


  18. Hilarious 😀

    I like being confused – it makes things more exciting. However, I agree with Chris Thompson in that I am more surprised by this post than the last.

    Anyways, cheers! And happy April fools.

  19. Wow! You got me, too.

    I was impressed but annoyed that you were outsources. Great use of your own method of outsourcing as part of the gag. That made it TOTALLY believable.

    This gets my vote for best April Fools joke of the year!


  20. ooo you got me goood!! I totally bought it and all day have been thinking about how or if i could pull off something similar. I love April Fool’s pranks! Well done.

  21. HA HA HA… I made that orange and ginger cocktail for my husband and myself the day we both read the anti-cold post…. now forever known as “death tea” in this household. We would not and COULD NOT have choked that down for anyone else!!! Don’t ever leave us.

  22. Classic 🙂 Totally had me – tho my wife’s reaction was “he’s missed the point of blogging – why do it if you are not going to write it?”

    🙂 No fooling the Mrs 🙂

    Nice – much better, I dont doubt, than the 1001 lame “new tech crap” ones which will flow out tomorrow.

  23. You certainly got a lot of people fool’in around. Some people make their mark, others sign their name, and you had many reader’s including myself as April Fool’s Day “marks.”

  24. Ask me what makes a good comedian.

    “What makes a goo…” “TIMING!”

    Not sure how well that joke will translate online. Regardless, great joke – don’t worry about being a day off.

  25. PS – When can we buy the “I am Tim Ferris” t-shirts?


    Ohhhh, that is a good idea. Maybe I’ll also get some “Save Ferriss” shirts printed just for nostalgia sake 🙂


  26. Well done. You garnered a link from me. My biggest question was how you got two people to post for so little money. Now I have my answer. You didn’t. Ha!

  27. You should be amazed at how many comments you got in one day. I am sure this was also a way to test how quick people react, I am starting to learn the concepts. Slowly but surely, ha ha. Anyhow, the best April Fool’s Joke I have ever gotten.

    Jose Castro Frenzel

  28. man… you’re a dork, you know that?


    I’m afraid so, my man. Dork for life. After too much Dungeons and Dragons, it’s incurable 🙂


  29. I don’t expect you to publish this. I like you and your work, which is the reason I’m investing these few minutes. I didn’t check my RSS this weekend (yay, me) so I heard about it before I knew what the joke was. Though your “experiment” may have been a success, I suspect you’ve lost some of your “lab rats.” I honestly have no idea whether the joke was a year of outsourcing your blog or if it’s the backlash you’ve received for your prank. The thing is, it’s just incredibly plausible that you might have outsourced this blog for a year, enough so that my trust is a little damaged right now. People are here because they want a connection with their new guru–YOU–and not because good content is not that hard to find. I like a good prank as much as the next person but I’ve learned the hard way not to joke when it comes to my reputation or credibility. Whether it’s true or not that you’ve outsourced your blog for a year (I honestly have no idea at this point), you’ve probably heightened your reputation for outsourcing but at the same time, whether it’s true or not, I think you’ve damaged your credibility. I would guess that you might have a clue that this prank wasn’t the best idea you’ve had. Meanwhile, it reflects on my credibility as someone who repeatedly recommends your book on my websites and to my readers and clients.


    Hi Apryle,

    Thank you for the comment. I think there are definitely a few who were genuinely upset, and looking back, I can see why. That said, it was just a silly joke that I thought would make for a funny outsourcing anecdote. Again, I apologize if has caused anyone to doubt. If you look at my many, many YouTube videos, posts on travel, posts on my family, posts on my friends and Q&As, none of these could have been done by outsourcers. The majority of other posts would have taken 10x longer to write if dictated/described to outsourcers.

    No need to doubt — I write this puppy myself 🙂 Thank you for the heartfelt and genuine comment.

    All the best,


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  31. Well it pays to leave you RSS reader alone for a few days and read them in “newest first” mode.

    Well done Tim, seems you got a few folks out there. D

  32. Tim, that was complete genius. I thought you had finally taken the outsourcing thing too far, but I also thought it was only natural, all things considered!

  33. Dude! I kind of feel bad I missed out on that prank….I haven’t checked my email since March 25 (the wine tasting post). However, I did read your ‘fake’ post-that is pretty freaking hilarious.

    Your prank post have 120 comments on that post and only 30 on this one, but most of it is pretty positive. A few of them are actually pretty pissed though, lol how many people actually quit your blog?

    p.s. “The Grand Illusion: The Real Tim Ferriss Speaks” may rank up there with “Terrence and Phiilip in: Not Without My Butthole” as one of the best April 1st pranks out there.

  34. That was kind of a bummer PR move,…I take it you didn’t consult Amy first. Now whose to believe you is you? I was actually at first a little relieved cause I thought, oh, that’s why he recommended those antibiotics for the cold,…now I figure out it probably was you,….or maybe wasn’t, and it all steps right up to my irritation/don’t care so much threshold. Oh well. At least my “I want to date/be Tim Ferris” crush is fading. A little.

    So when do we find out about the results of the editing thing? I’m hoping for my ticket. I have some big ideas and I need your help in reaching someone to actualize them. I’ve tried on my own to no avail thus far. Unless someone else has a lead on connecting to do service work in Africa with Immacule Ilibagiza?

    Enjoy London.


    Hi Rhea,

    Word on the wiki is coming soon. I just have to get London (and now maybe Copenhagen) covered. Thx!


  35. dude… this is up there with Fake Steve Jobs pretending to be sued by Apple…

    both were a little hard to spot because neither technically happened on April 1st.

    Although there were quite a few you could not have outsourced… such as the one where you did pen tricks, or showed how to do the egyptian magician tie.

    that would have required some hollywood special effects there…

  36. I found your website about one week ago & subscribed to it via Bloglines. I thought it was a legitimate, honest site about productivity. Now I realize your last article was just a prank & have no reason to believe your previous articles were any different. I won’t be wasting my time reading your posts anymore.

  37. Umm… just a thought, Tim: How do we know your first post was the April Fool’s joke, not the second post claiming the first was the joke..?

  38. I’ve noticed how much you respond to user criticisms – I think THIS is the April Fool’s joke, and you’re saving yourself from dropping out of the Technorati 1000. 😉


    Oh, don’t forget I have another 24 hours to go before I exhaust April Fool’s around the world! Just kidding: man, I wanted to let the first one ride itself out, but I began to see how people would get really upset. I need to work on my British dry wit 😉


  39. I’m almost tempted to think that this is the real april fools joke. I wonder which would make you the true genius?

    The man who did not make his own blog or the man who faked it then told the truth then covered it up due to its consequences? this is Roswell all over again.

    I once faked my own death to my marketing fraternity in college. I sent an email that came from the president of the university’s email address. Car crash horrible thing.

    It was not received well by the organization as you could imagine. Unfortunately I was not famous enough to have the Andy Kaufman effect.

  40. Dungeons and Dragons, huh? I’ve gotta know – what was your favorite race/class? I had a nasty Everquest addiction myself, back in college when it first came out. I actually put it on my resume and used it to get my first post-college job.

    I always played a human cleric because I loved the way they look in plate armor 🙂



    Good question. It takes no time for this: gray elf 100%. If I had to pick another, I’d pick Drew elf. Elves rule.


  41. This is OFF OFF topic. I complaint about a book you suggested. Go Put Your Strengths to Work/Buckingham. I am actually a little sick I bought it for a community college I work for as it contains a one time use code that is key to the book that goes to a website that may not outlast the book. When you’re responsible for supporting curriculum development for all — not just one, this is distressful. In posting my distaste to library blogs I have found that some text book companies too have been making this move to prevent the reselling of text books. I’m not sure where you are with librarys in general but a mobile lifestyle depends on libraries — I call them the repositories of the community’s intellectual wealth. I am disgusted by this sort of publishing trend reflected by Buckingham’s book. I did write the company to see if they had a pass code for library bought books. No. They don’t. They only give it out with the purchased book – to one person. In my world an entire county if not state contributed to the purchase of that book. And really a book ( such as your own ) should be able to stand alone WITH resources a person can review if they choose. Not a locked down portion that is a key part of the book. Yes, I’m ranting. But this really pisses me off and you can tell customer service didn’t handle me right. I don’t think they were from elance.com….

    Thanks for the book. I’m down to a 20 hour work week living on a beach and working full speed ahead for the whole slice of pie. Thanks for renewed perspective. I’ll probably be using your celeb site idea because craigslisting for ONE CHANCE to get ONE SONG to Jimmy Buffet hasn’t really worked.

    And let me tell you, this is one good song. A sailboat of a song.


  42. Tim,

    Jaja, well played. Mark Twain said it well:

    “Humor is mankind´s greatest blessing”

    Many blessings,

    Art Gonzalez

    [Art, thanks very much for the comment, but please do not include your URL in the text field of your comments per the comment policy. Thx!]

  43. I LOVE a good April Fool’s joke! It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to pull one off. Good for you. I’m new to your blog. I was intrigued after hearing about your work and travels, at EDK (Sojourn wine). Looking forward to reading more. Cheers!

  44. I’m finding the about the lack of seriousness a bit strange, as Tim is the same guy who wrote posts about japanese pen tricks and shooting guns in the Slovak Republic.

    I’m reminded of the test driving friends post…this separates the natives from the newbies.



  45. That should read “complaints about the lack of seriousness…” so as to make sense.

    Proofreading: not just for college!

  46. Hey Tim,

    Just wondering what’s better, in your opinion: Buying a home or renting an apartment…

    (As for cars, I’m pretty sure everyone knows your stance on buying vs. leasing).

  47. ????

    Despite a friend in Japan mentioning it yesterday, I totally fell for the prank.

    Good one, in fact probably the best one I’ve seen today. On a side note, it was especially fun seeing people rationalizing your post yesterday… in both directions. I just kinda went “huh… either way, the blog is still awesome”.

  48. Ahhh controversy, a key ingredient of infamy. funny stuff – remember what I said about Madonna & Richard Branson? 🙂

  49. I say this with the upmost conviction. Great job on the prank, though others may be insulted it is what makes you who you are. It shows just how much against the grain you are. This was a well executed experiment and others should be a bit more flexible in their thinking.


    Jose Castro-Frenzel

  50. Great one Tim!

    Really had us going there! I find the idea of other people getting fit for you such a funny idea – I can even imagine the advert you describe so well.

    Actually even if its not true, I have learnt not to dismiss the ideas, however preposterous. One may overlook a great new idea – however unusual. A case in point for me was your article on Dating. You had outsourced people contacting and filtering dates for you. When I read that, my reaction was indeed very similar to many of your April Fools article readers – disbelief! When I read the article I saw that yes, there is a way of doing that it is possible and makes sense i.e. the filtering part – and not the actual meeting up with them part as I had originally thought! So a lesson learnt!

    This is my first post. You are a true inspiration!

  51. “Trust is not a virtue”

    -this was my capoeira teachers favourite saying. Especially true online. It’s kinds scary to think how easy it is to believe anything written online, with no context.

    I wonder how much misinformation out there I’ve read and believed. I think the only things you can really know are the ones you were there to see.

    But for people spending a lot of time online, there is a heap of bull out there. And thanks for the April Fools thing Tim – made me think twice about my gullibility.

  52. So Tim,

    In the first post you proposed the question and said this that you commonly get asked this question.

    “How can you work four hours a week if you spend so much time on the blog?’

    And in the joke you said:

    “The answer is: I don’t.”

    So seriously, what’s the real answer. How do you work four hours a week and spend so much time blogging, along with everything else that goes on in your life?

    Just interested. I am thinking of becoming a blogger, but I don’t see how I could spend as little as 4 hours a week and be successful.

    Any thoughts?




    Hi Forest,

    To be honest, I don’t keep track of blogging time, as it’s something I enjoy and want to do. I don’t get paid for it, really. That said, it is possible to have a “successful” blog with 4 hours or less per week, but this depends on how you define such. To bloat traffic with high-bounce visitors with no loyalty, tons of posts and Digg baiting will do, but to build a very strong niche audience doesn’t require a lot of posts, just good content when you do publish.

    Hope that helps!


  53. haha – you did have me going for a couple of minutes. Then I remembered that your “voice” from your book and blog is the same and you can’t outsource a written “voice” (the little slangs and phrases that mark your writing – especially in comments) – then again, maybe you could outsource it… but the writer would have to be good enough that it would cost you more than doing it yourself. So I am proud to say I figured it out before this post, but it was still a good jolt to think about it for awhile. And I must say you have some SERIOUS female fans… whoa!

    I am still more nervous sparring with women than men in the martial arts – guys you can kinda play with, but girls always go for blood – or for your *&^%.


  54. Wow, funny. First I was like ‘yeah right…’ then I started to believe it, before I read the update 🙂

    (Just started reading the 4-hour work week by the way!)

  55. Nice prank, but for the record, I would love to see you do Tucker’s version someday, and if you do, I want to be included! I want an “I am Tim Ferriss” shirt, and I’d be happy to sleep for you for hours or days. I’d also be particularly good at brushing and flossing my teeth for you. I’ll even make sure you use mouthwash.

  56. omg….i can’t believe i missed april fool’s day! being sick sucks….i thought i was still severely drugged up after reading the post…only to realise that it was in fact a joke. some of the comments are a bit misdirected….it’s a blog…it’s meant to be light hearted. glad to hear that you are in fact the real tim! looking forward to more fun stuff. hey…maybe you can give some more youtube challenges, etc, pushing those of us (or them 🙂 to think outside the cubicle and laugh a little!


  57. Tucker Max is awesome, he is something most of my friends aspire to be (sad right?) But yeah, I would love to see some Tim Ferriss and Tucker Max Collaboration!