Random Episode 87 (or not): Kevin Rose and Tim Ferriss talk knives, iPhone apps, flutes, and dog handling

After a long hiatus, here is a new episode of The Random Show! It’s not episode 87, but we couldn’t remember the number. Click here for all of our magical past episodes.

In this hang-out discussion, we enjoy a frolicking romp (c’mon, not that kind) through:

– Booking media and how-to tips

– How to build iPhone apps, how Kevin’s doing it, how to assemble (and pay) a team, and DIY tips

– How Kevin’s puppy effectively bites through mic cables

– Knives for military or survival use — Tim’s newest and perhaps oldest obsession

– 2010’s resolutions and 2011 New Year’s Resolutions…

A few URLs mentioned are:





michaelpollan.com – The Omnivore’s Dilemma




Kershaw Leek knife (what I had on my belt, recommended to me by Jason DeFillippo)

The Grayman Warrior

Boeker fixed blade (suggested by Yvon Chouinard)

ESEE-5 Randall

Evasive driving and Special Ops training:


Grayman “warrior” knife one-pager — outstanding (click to enlarge):

grayman knives


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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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203 Replies to “Random Episode 87 (or not): Kevin Rose and Tim Ferriss talk knives, iPhone apps, flutes, and dog handling”

  1. Hey Tim!

    I loved the episode! I know you talked about iPhone apps, but I’ve been getting into Android Apps in a HUGE way. I love the Android OS and the way they set it up!

    You have long ago inspired me to always look to improve my life, and to always question the obvious. Because of this thinking, I really wanted to create an app to help enrich people’s lifestyles in some way. I got a wonderful idea for an App to do that, and just published it on January 23rd!!!!!!

    I got the idea after I had knee surgery and I was layed up for a while. I would sleep during the day to rest, but kept getting woken up by calls and texts. I thought, “What would Tim do?” and I thought well I am learning about Android apps, I need to make an App to let people create Groups and Schedules, where they only allow certain contacts to be able to call at certain times.

    I’m so excited that I can hopefully help people to feel freedom with their cell phones again! The app is called RingFilter, and I’m getting great feedback so far, and am making sure to try to improve on it continuously by taking great suggestions from others.

    Thank you so much for your inspiration you gave me to always look to improve my life, and to inspire me to take it further so I can help other people’s lives too!!!! Thank you!

    Truly thankful and grateful,

    Paul Dennis

  2. Tim, I haven’t read/watched this yet but will. Do you by any chance want an awesome baby pitbull? I want my puppies to go to someone cool like yourself, Michael Vick or perhaps Cher….since I am most familiar with the interesting stuff you share with us it seemed logical to check with you first.

  3. Great show! I wish you had these more often. Always good/fun stuff that you both talk about. Omnivore’s Dilemma, Food Inc, knives, grass fed beef… doesn’t get much better. I have to get a zen flute now!

  4. Question: Are we (me) thin because we’re cold all the time or…..

    are we cold because we’re thin??

    Haven’t seen this addressed anywhere.

    Merci, Di

  5. Great video Tim !

    About the Knives I sugest that you check this youtube user that is an expert not only in Knives but also in japanese blades.

    The youtube user is:


    Pura Vida 😉

  6. Tim, It would be great to see you do “Random” on your own. I would have loved to hear more about the knives and other things you’re into at the moment!

  7. I would love to know what the name of the Special Ops training program in Arizona was. Sounds like something that would be awesome to do.

  8. On iPhone app development costs, I believe they are a lot higher than what was discussed in the video. Granted, there’s a huge range and newbies will charge less to get something simple out the door – not the kind of polished presence that I imagine Tim would be looking to partner/release with.

    One of the most respected developers in the iOS community posted a good breakdown of the costs involved for Twitterific in a hotly charged thread that pins the outlay for top notch apps at over $200K in development and design cost combined. See http://tinyurl.com/iphone-app-cost.

    My design partner (Salman Sajid, who recently won Tim’s 4HB ad competition) and I both have invested several solid months in design and development of an upcoming app of our own. From an opportunity cost of existing consulting we’ve walked away from to do it, the dollars are significant (well over six figures).

  9. I couldn’t stop smiling after I watched this. Totally fun. Inspiring. I love the way you guys process this stuff. 🙂 And the dog course!

    My friend and I are developing apps right now – so it was cool to see someone my age doing the same thing.

    Sometimes I wonder if it’s better to be trying to design the latest app, or if we ought to just market to people who are interested in having apps designed — since designing apps is a trend right now….

    And they say, the richest people in the gold rush were those selling shovels…something to think about. 🙂

  10. Great episode as always Tim! I was basically on the floor laughing when Kevin pulled his flute out after you finished showing off your knives. It’s not that the flute is inherently funny, it was just the circumstance that had me rolling. You guys are a great match and I really hope you keep doing these. They are genuine, funny, and very informative. Thanks! 🙂

  11. For app development with lack of funds you may want to try either:

    Medl Mobile or Appubator (I am sure there are other companies that jv like this). The contracts read scary – your idea is now ours etc…. But I figured a chance at 25% of my apps revenue was better than 0% of my app idea in my head. I have heard that if you submit and they do not pick it up in say 3 months you can ask them to release it. If you have the funds of course you would want to go to Odesk and hire someone to do it for you. Tim you should have a random episode with Trey as a guest.

    Search for Kolos Journey on youtube and you will see a video by Trey Smith (internet marketing “guru”) and if you buy his game for .99 he will send you a video course on how to make an app. Basically he say hire someone on Odesk (although it is worth the watch and .99). He spent about $2K to produce his app with a programmer he found on Odesk from some Eastern European country (I forget where from).

    I was lucky enough to be chosen by MedlMobile to produce my app:

    24/7 Chi – Life Is A River Of Energy, Don’t Swim Against It.

    You can find it in the app store and it is FREE for now!

    Since I had no funds to dedicate myself to the app it was the only way to go. Great guys at Medl Mobile. Friends of mine have been chosen by Appubator and say good things as well.

    Also, any of you into product creation/inventing check out Edison Nation (.com). Love these guys and their site.


  12. For those considering iPhone apps – Here’s another option for you http://www.apptank.com

    Works same way as 99designs that Tim used for his banner ads.

    You write your specs, developers bid on it, you select one based on bids, feedback etc.



  13. Tim was asking about the most basic app and how much it’s made. Well when iFart came out it made $40,000 over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day alone.

  14. Hi Tim,

    Cool show, especially the knife part. I didn’t know you were into knives. It’s a personal fascination of me as well, but I’m more into chef knives. I even build my own business (called Nipponblades) around it together with my brother inspired by the 4HWW book.

    You might want to check out Japanese knives and their history dating back to the Japanese samurai swords, I found it really fascinating.

    Cheers, Koen

  15. Hey Tim,

    Love 4HB, thanks for your self-experimentation. My friend James and I built an iPhone payments app (using the camera and QR codes) using elance.com to outsource the programming we were unable to do. We finally have an awesome working product, and are in the stage of building a client base/marketing. This proves to be the challenge w/o VC money. Any ideas?

    It is so easy to create an app w/current outsourcing options, but when you are a two man team and it comes to implementation and market penetration, it complicates (we both have current jobs that funded the creation of the app).

  16. Hey Tim, I am currently an athlete in the NFL and my offseason is about to begin. I was curious about the testing that you mentioned at the end of the episode. It would be nice to figure out excatly what I need instead of wasting money on a duffel bag full of supplements.

  17. Tim,

    Always exciting to catch a Random Episode…

    Along my 300+ mile walk along the east coast I ran into a world renowned Knife maker Jason Knight. I had the pleasure to stay at his house for a few days and watch his process of knife making, literally from scratch iron. In terms of the “knife world” he is somewhat famous. Definitely a guy I think you would enjoy talking to with your new found hobby brother. Here’s his website for you if you’re interested in learning a whole slew of knowledge on knives. Not to mention, if he grasps the extent of who you are, I am sure he would make you a custom blade. Here’s his site brother: http://jasonknightknives.com/index.php/jason-knight

    As always, thanks for the Show!!


    Patrick Hitches

  18. This comment is for Charlie, Tim’s assistant.

    I know your time is important, so I’ll be as brief as possible.

    Tim has inspired me to always think of ways to improve my life. This resulted in my idea of an Android application to create freedom for people with cell phones that most people do not ever enjoy. My intentions in letting you know is to help many people at once, since I know Tim has many followers, and I am one of them for sure! If Tim thinks this program is shitty, then he doesn’t need to give this a 2nd thought and you can just let me know, but I believe so much that it’s a very very great tool to help people.

    My application is called RingFilter, and trying to explain it as quickly as possible, it gives people the freedom to only allow calls and texts through from people they WANT to hear from, and silences all others. There are lots of programs that attempt to do this, but none of them are complete. I still created it because none of them that I’ve seen let you have the flexibility of setting specific Schedules and controlling exactly when you want your phone to keep people from disturbing your. You set it up on Schedules, and it can be as flexible as you need it to be. People are using it at night or after hours to filter unwanted calls and texts, but to still allow family and friends to get through.

    I would be so thankful and grateful if you and Tim looked at it to see if you agreed, since each time I hear a story about it helping someone, it makes me feel awesome! I have heard many people already tell me they can finally sleep peacefully at night, or the day if they work the night shift, and not be disturbed, while at the same time, not have to worry about family members being unable to reach them.

    Please let me know. My email is [redacted] and I can answer any questions you have. If you want to read about it as well, you can visit the official page by clicking on my name, which links to my official site. A short video demonstration is included.

    Thanks so much, I truly appreciate your and Tim’s time.

    Take care,

    Paul Dennis

  19. I love these random episodes! I always walk away with more than I came in with, which in this case was a sad first turned happy. [cheesy right?]

    I noticed that you and Kevin stayed on tr subject of iPhone development and design which actually excited me. Being an Interactive Designer that specializes in mobile application design, it was refreshing to hear how valued the profession is (as a lot of people don’t know the ins and outs of design and development).

    I say that to say that I actually have a great idea and design for an app that I think you may want to hear about. It’ll only take 6.3 minutes to discuss.. Lol. Check out my website, and if you like, get in touch!

    Until then be careful around knives! 😉

  20. I thought Tim was going to mention Food Matters movie…..I guess he hasn’t seen it. Also Tim, you could use some fashion advice!

    Awesome show! Me encanta.

  21. Tim, I wrote a new ebook – and it’s got your name on it – “Kicking Life’s Ass!”, how can I get past the censors, diversionary tactics, and smoke and mirrors and get this sucker in your inbox?

    Cheers from Thailand.

    PS – I pimped your 4HWW book inside my book.

  22. Hey Tim,

    I know that you mentioned Food Inc. in your random episode, and I’ve heard that this documentary is very informative. I was curious if you’ve seen the documentary Food Matters, as it talks about minerals in food, and deficiencies that people are falling into because of the lack of vitamin and mineral in the soil of our food.

    It also has some pretty cool stuff about cancer and vitamins that I think might interest you if you haven’t watched the documentary yet.

    On a side note, my brother and I love your books, he’s a trained personal trainer/ baseball hitting guru who has been trying to get in contact with you with some good ideas (i’m sure you get that a lot) and is also steering his students with a little bit of a tim ferriss influence! I’m just a learning minimalist who takes interest in a myriad of different things, from spiritual philosophy, energy medicine, to vitamin supplementation, and have recently been pretty interested in getting some work done to see vitamin deficiencies. Anyway thanks for your wonderful reading material, there are so many good ideas (i have even made the home made kettle bell and have been doing it for over 4 weeks at this point and am loving it)

    Best Regards!

    1. I just had to comment, that guys Ringfilter app idea is one of the most badass and “DUH why didn’t I think of that” ideas i’ve ever heard of.

      I’m not exactly sure why none of the actual phonemakers have implemented such an idea, because it is just INCREDIBLY useful.

      Tim, you should totally invest in that guys idea, you are one of the biggest names in productivity through elimination.

      I am in no way associated with that guy, I just thought that was a sick idea.

  23. Tim,

    Could the video be uploaded on YouTube. I would like to use its auto-transcribe thing. I am deaf and would love to view your video and draw up on essential information being shared.

    Much appreciated


  24. Hey Tim,

    So you don’t cut off your fingers, grab your knife sheath as if you were grabbing the blade of your knife. This way, if the sheath fails, you don’t sever your fingers or possibly cut them off if you’re squeezing with enough force. I also use an ESEE 5, great knife.



  25. Hey Tim,

    Always love your videos but where are your goals for 2011? I was looking forward to hearing what’s coming out of your genius this year 🙂

  26. Hello all,

    Can someone please direct me to the link (play option) for “Episode 87”?

    Unlike the other videos which I can access directly by clicking on the preview photo, this video does not seem to have that option?…at least not on my screen…!

    Thank you in Advance!


  27. Saw you on Dr. Oz, The View and then watched YouTube for he other round of interviews. Great job!

    During one of the shows you demonstrated a lumbar roll. They didn’t give you time to discuss it our tell us where to find it. I do data entry all day on an executive desk which was not made for keying. That looked like something that could really help break-up some of the tension in my back, neck & shoulders.

    If you or a member of your staff happens to read this – I would be very grateful for any info you could share.

    Thanks for the inspiring & awesome research you do. You are truly an inspiration.

  28. Some nice knives there Tim!

    Based on your selection, you should check out the Ka-Bar Becker BK2, and also the full range from TOPS Knives.

    I went to Tom Brown’s Tracker School (did the “Standard”) and enjoyed it, but I’m looking forward to trying a few classes with Bay Area Adventures (in the SF bay area). Chris Van Loan is a great guy and knows his stuff/has some connections — check it out 🙂

  29. *AppBaker Opportunity*

    Tim, I believe you may find one of my partners business of interest, AppBaker.com. Develop professional iPhone App’s at nearly a 10th the cost compared to SF developers. We could meet during your next visit to SD, I happen to live down the street from Digital Telepathy. Chuck, happened to recently co-found TEDxSanDiego with a friend of mine. If you are interested to work with an App Developer, AppBaker is your model and this is the time as they are open to possibilities. I look forward to be in contact.



  30. Always such a treat to be able to take in a random episode. It’s better than cable television! I know the building and creation of an iPad app is a hot topic as I know a few friends working on what should be an “epic” app. I’ll continue working on my muses and let them be the guinea pig for the time being. I do think there is potential to make a great app for the iPhone with a slew of new subscribers from Verizon.

  31. Oh Tim, once again I am amazed at our parallel interests. Pretty funny. I really like knives as well and carry, yep wait for it. . . a kershaw knife as well. I am enjoying the random show. While watching it with my gf in the room doing work she all of a sudden said, “what are you watching?” ha ha she just had to ask.

    You are a fun guy. thanks


  32. Tim and Kevin, I’m finding your Random Episodes really inspiring. Can you guys talk more about the process of creating apps as someone with little programming knowledge? (And if you think this knowledge is required to develop apps/web-based software?) I am a recently graduated healthcare professional but want to branch into other things also. On that note it would be interesting to talk about entrepreneurial opportunities within the health/lifestyle industries, particularly given the surge in popularity of alternative health care and organic eating etc.

    Keep them coming!

  33. Hey Tim

    I have this great story about a 45 year old woman (with Multiple Sclerosis) who took up the 4HB starting December 29th and has lost 10 kgs (22+lbs) so far (she’s still got a way to go but she is happy with the changes she has made).

    Anyway she started the Four Hour Body Participants page on Facebook and spends time giving encouragement to the 600 (and growing daily) people who are also heading down the same path.

    She noticed that while she could track her walks on an iPhone app she couldn’t also track her slow carb progress and share it with her fellow 4HBers so she went to eLance and got quotes on creating an app that a real slow carber would want. Something that would record the important bits and share it all with the invisible “accountability partners”

    Did I mention that she was laid off at the end of last year and she is spending her redundancy money getting the app made? She’s also doing it all from a totally off grid mud brick house in the middle of the Australian bush…cool story hey?

  34. Tim,

    Awesome that you’ve gotten into the weapons thing. Beware however, that when you whip out a 4″ bladed Benchmade or something similar people have a tendency to act shocked almost as if they’ve never seen a knife before and say things like, “my what do you need such a knife for and why do you even carry a knife.” lol Insert eyeroll here.

    In keeping with your knife interests, check out Chris Reeve’s Green Beret Knife.

    I usually try to carry 2 knives (learned this from Massad Ayoob, a police trainer), currently carrying a Spyderco Tenacious (extremely reasonable price and very well made despite being of Chinese mfr.) and a Benchmade 710 made with a D2 tool steel blade (one of my faves)

    Like someone mentioned above, for a flashlight, check out Surefire. My personal favorite is the E2D LED model. Works awesome.

    Gone the handgun route yet? I’d be happy to talk to you about it sometime if you decide to. I have actually been published a couple of times and am currently working on a couple of writing assignments for a couple of different gun magazines.

    -Cheers And welcome back!

  35. Hi Tim,

    I’ve carried a knife for 17 years, since a friend of mine got jumped by four huskies (I work in the Canadian Arctic). My current favorite is a Spyderco. For roughly half a million years, the only thing that distinguished us from prey was the ability to sharpen a stick. Seems rather foolish that we would forget this in less than two generations. To all those who thinks it’s childish or macho to carry a knife, I say it’s reckless not to.


  36. Tim, (And all)

    A recent thought on pocket knives, reminded me of this episode:

    A friend recently made a good point about carrying a pocket knife. He said that since he is known to carry one, people often ask to borrow it. The problem is that they have no regard for the blade or it’s quality; if it is a $200 knife, they treat it like it was a $5 one. My friend explained this while he handing me his craftsman razor-folder; which looked like box-cutter disguised as a pocket knife. He explained his logic in two main points.

    His Logic:

    -The primary point of carrying pocket knife was the utility of a portable blade.

    -Secondly, although less likely to be admitted is it’s capacity for self defense.

    That in mind, a razor blade folder has a cheap, sharp and easily replaceable blade. As for the self defense aspect, any skilled knife fighter will tell you that a knife fight it more about cutting than stabbing, for which a razor is far more effective than any folder. He makes a damn good point about the utility of the blade. However I can only imagine being pictured as a terrorist if I was to be stopped while carrying one.

  37. Hi Tim,

    Kevin was killing me with his description of the iPhone app example…. I was well on the way to building something very similar.

    It has now been released on iTunes – My Session Plan.

    The app documents and manages your workout sessions. A session can consist of sets of tasks with repeats, work/rest ratios, randomisation and multiple timers. Times and completed reps can be saved for later reference. Sessions can be shared and downloaded easily with free registration.

    I’m in the process of uploading some of the workouts in The Four Hour Body so they will be available for free download, without the need to create them yourself.



  38. I have just bought your book, ‘The 4 Hour Week”, and am 40 pages into it, and must say, I am more confused than I was before..and must say that I think people will buy anything that Jack Canfield’s name is even remotely connected to…I haven’t the faintest idea of what you are talking about, or helping people with. Sorry, but I wasted 30 bucks..

  39. Hi, my husband saw you in Austin and bought your book. I have a hypothyroid that is almost under control. I take Synthroid I see that most of the PAGG meds given affect the thyroid, so do I just ignore that or will they help my thyroid. Thank you.

  40. Just started diet– and not hungry!

    2 questions:

    I use unsweetened organic soymilk in coffee – is this OK?

    I moved late lunch to 8:00 pm — when I want some munchies (any suggestions?) — Is this OK?

    Thanks — only 10 lbs left to loose but everything else doesn’t work.


  41. hi tim,

    i’m in a motivation rush since i got my hands on 4hww.

    love the random episode.

    and it would be awsome if you could talk about.. which email adresses a startup should have (in my case just a muse i want to start). or shouldnt there be any email visible on the page..? things like that would be very interesting. i know its very specific, but that makes random episode so special.. not talking about the stuff that has been written about on every entrepreneur site.

    regards flo

  42. With all the doggone snow we have gotten recently I am stuck indoors, fortunately there is the internet, thanks for giving me something to do. 🙂

  43. I am a person disabled by chronic pain. I own oodles of pain domains and am taking inspiration from your book and great videos. I have owned these great domain names for years and want to create a way for disabled people to make an income from home. Any ideas would really help. Thanks for your inspiration as disabled people really want to partcipate and not just take handouts.

  44. Hi Tim,

    Writer turned knife maker Joel Bukiewicz of Cut Brooklyn talks about the human element of craft, and the potential for a skill to mature into an art. And in sharing his story, he alights on the real meaning of handmade—a movement whose riches are measured in people, not cash.

    1. Excellent performance! I wish you had these more frequently. You both always talk about interesting/fun topics. It doesn’t get much better than Omnivore’s Dilemma, Food Inc, knives, grass fed beef… I need to get a zen flute right now!

      [Moderator: link removed.]

  45. Check out Nutnfancy on YouTube if your new hobby is survival gear and knives.

    He does gear reviews and knife reviews and is well-known in the “tacticool” community.

    You’ll like him; he’s my boyfriend’s new lover, I swear.

    I received two Spyder-Co knives for Christmas. (A pink Delica and a purple Ladybug) I’m a girl, so I must first and foremost satisfy my desire for beauty!

    Tim, have fun collecting!