Please enjoy this transcript of another episode of “The Random Show” with technologist, serial entrepreneur, world-class investor, self-experimenter, and all-around wild and crazy guy Kevin Rose (@KevinRose). In this one, we wax poetic over wildlife friends and foes, the folly of facing off against Mike Tyson (even in his 50s), slow donkeys, universal basic income (UBI), breaking the pandemic pajama routine, smoked meats and Wi-Fi grills, Zen and the art of Kevin maintenance, how to hike without being hunted, hoity-toity beer, pandemic investing, and much more.
Transcripts may contain a few typos. With some episodes lasting 2+ hours, it can be difficult to catch minor errors.
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Tim Ferriss: All right, brother. Here we are again.
Kevin Rose: Here we are again. I love it.
Tim Ferriss: Good to see you. You’re in the dark, cavernous — is that a man cave? Is that a bar? Where are you located? I’m in a very light-colored, alternate universe.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. You look a lot more peaceful than my kind of dungeon. I’m down here in the — this is a bar actually, but it’s now an office, was a bar. It was kind of a cool place to hang out and have people friends over. But in COVID times, it’s an office. And I got a mic hooked up here, and all my computer crap and mail and all the other stuff, though —
Tim Ferriss: I feel like all of your BDSM dungeon equipment is hiding in the shadows behind you.
Kevin Rose: That is you. Do you want to talk about that?
Tim Ferriss: No, look, I am actually in my acupuncture office; you may recognize the acupuncture shelves behind me. I am, in fact, in an acupuncture office, but it’s not mine.
Kevin Rose: Are you just renting one out, or what are you doing?
Tim Ferriss: I’m borrowing fast Wi-Fi in an undisclosed rural location where my internet speed is otherwise 0.5 megabits per second, which doesn’t allow us to do calls like this. I am on a farm, and in the middle of the woods, I have a bear living about, well, in fact, probably hundreds of feet from me at times.
Kevin Rose: Like a real, full-on bear?
Tim Ferriss: Yes. A huge black bear. It’s a huge bear. It’s a gigantic, healthy black bear.
Kevin Rose: Like a friendly, trained one kind of thing or?
Tim Ferriss: Not trained, no tricycles, no tricks, no dancing on the sidewalk for pennies. This is a wild black bear. We haven’t yet met. I’ve met fox, coyote, all sorts of other animals, but have not yet met the bear. Just seeing photographs that my friends have taken.
Kevin Rose: Have you done bear training?
Tim Ferriss: I have not done any bear training. Have you?
Kevin Rose: So that’s a real thing. No, I haven’t, but our mutual friend Mike Maser sent me photos last weekend. He lives in Montana, and he did some bear training. Like they bring real loud bears out that tackle you —
Tim Ferriss: That’s where he’s like wrestling with big dudes with beards. Is that —
Kevin Rose: Pretty much! San Francisco style.
Tim Ferriss: Exactly. I think I did otter training when I was in San Francisco, but no real legitimate bear training.
Kevin Rose: I’ve done raccoon and squirrel. Those are my two certifications.
Tim Ferriss: If people have not actually seen Kevin’s raccoon video, he’s not lying. He didn’t actually do any raccoon training, but you got thrown into the swimming pool, like turned into an Olympic swimmer in moments to defend your little pup Toaster. People can search “Kevin Rose raccoon” and get to that. I haven’t done bear training. If you’re in Montana, you need the legit bear training because you have terrestrial great white sharks, AKA grizzly bears, which are very different from the supposedly friendly and skittish —
Kevin Rose: The black ones are pretty chill, right?
Tim Ferriss: They seem like they avoid humans, and tend not to prey upon humans. So that’s a good thing.
Kevin Rose: You carry bear spray though, I take it.
Tim Ferriss: I do not currently carry bear spray; it makes a lot of noise when I’m hiking. But that’s about it at this point. Probably should do more research. But one of the things I’ve been getting into is plant and, I suppose this would be a subset of that, but tree identification. So that’s been something I’ve been spending a lot of time on. I’ve been doing probably two to three hours of hiking in the woods per day. And that involves a whole bunch of gear aside from my lack of bear spray. So I wear ElimiTick pants. They have permethrin in the fabric. So you avoid ticks, which is super important if you’re anywhere, certainly on the East Coast and anywhere else. And then have you ever seen a GORUCK rucksack? I believe they’re based in San Francisco.
Kevin Rose: No, I don’t believe so.
Tim Ferriss: There are backpacks designed by — well the CEO and founder, who’s former special forces, to carry customized weight plates. So for a replacement to running, because I like to want to run, but I don’t actually enjoy running very much; it bothers my knees. You can do these weighted hikes where you’ll have, say, 20 or 30 or more pounds on your back, but the backpacks are specifically designed to carry these square weight plates that sit high on your upper back so that you can have better ergonomics as you hike. And it’s been awesome.
Kevin Rose: I’m curious about that because I have a weighted vest, the standard one, like you order on Amazon, and I was using it on the treadmill sometimes just for like a super low grade, but adds an extra 15 or 20 pounds. How is this? I take it’s just positioned the way it’s positioned better so you don’t hurt your back.
Tim Ferriss: The way that it’s pitched, and I’ve only used a weight vest once, just as a quick side note. So when I used a weight vest, I had no point of reference. This was probably 2008 or 2009 when I was working on The 4-Hour Body. And I thought I can work with a weight vest. And I think it was before they used weight vests in the CrossFit Games and so on. And I had no idea how much weight to use. And I was like, I’ll just get like 50 or 60 pounds. That seems like a good starting point. So I put on 60 pounds, and I would usually go for like a three-mile walk in San Francisco and I got three miles out and I was like, “I’m fucking done. I can’t do this.” And so I left the vest on the sidewalk and walked back. I couldn’t hack it.
It was also in the summer, but if you read the website you would be led to believe that the vests have more of a suffocating effect because you also are carrying weight on your chest. These are intended to mimic more of long-distance —
Kevin Rose: Piggybacking.
Tim Ferriss: — ergonomics. Yeah, right. It’s actually piggybacking, but with the weight higher up on your back. So I’ve found it surprisingly comfortable. I have some spinal issues in my upper thoracic back. So let’s just call it lower cervical, and wearing backpacks for long periods really bothers my back. But these bags actually allow me to train usually for no more than about an hour and a half without any subsequent back pain, as long as I don’t overdo it. So it’s been really nice to build up the lower legs.
I’m also jumping rope, using both in a way to prepare for possible trail running and feeling great, feeling just fantastic. I listen to audiobooks or do phone calls typically while I’m doing that.
Kevin Rose: Two questions. One, I had always heard at least back in the day, backpacking, they would always tell you to get a backpack where all the weight is kind of pushed down to your hips. You’re carrying it on your hips, and it’s not so much of your back. Why wouldn’t you want something like that? And two, your jump rope point, did you hear that Tyson’s going to fight again?
Tim Ferriss: I did hear that Tyson’s going to fight again.
Kevin Rose: It’s crazy.
Tim Ferriss: It is crazy.
Kevin Rose: Start with the hip stuff.
Tim Ferriss: All right. So the hip stuff, I would imagine if you are carrying a lot more weight, or if you’re just hiking for efficiency and not as a workout, that probably makes a lot of sense. What I have found personally is that if I have a backpack with a weight strap and shoulder straps, maybe I’m just using them incorrectly, but it tends to pull me backwards. And I jumped my head forward quite a lot. There are training recommendations and guidelines on this site — I think it’s just Goruck.com — and I follow those. So they encourage you not to lean forward. They encourage you to stand up straight and very deliberately do not have a chest strap or a waist harness. I’m sure you could train with other approaches. But the fact of the matter is my, let’s just call it upper middle back always hurt after a short period of time of carrying backpacks.
Wherever I would be walking around in the city, whether it was San Francisco years ago, or in Austin or elsewhere and doing this, I got a great workout, but without that subsequent, it’s really spinal pain. Basically the musculature around the spine, or maybe even the connective tissues were really aggravated.
Kevin Rose: I’ve had some of that. When it seizes up to, I don’t know how many times you’ve had your back seize on you, where you’d like, you just can’t move. Oh, my God. It’s like the worst.
Tim Ferriss: It is. Yeah.
Kevin Rose: And it sucks. I have two little monkeys, like hanging on me all day long with little girls, and I’m just like, they just tweak you one way or now. Like, I’m in my 40s. If I cough with my head pointed the wrong direction, my back is just like — seizes up on you.
Tim Ferriss: Well, I feel like that’s a good segue to what lazy bastards we are compared to Tyson, who is in his 50s. Isn’t he?
Kevin Rose: No, he’s like almost 60. So let me ask you a question, like straight-up $10 million, no, that’s not enough money for Tim Ferriss. Tim Ferriss, $200 million, no bullshitting, no fall under the ground, would you step in the ring with Tyson today?
Tim Ferriss: Absolutely not. No, I wouldn’t. There’s no fucking way —
Kevin Rose: You don’t think you can win.
Tim Ferriss: Well, number one, absolutely would not win.
Kevin Rose: Dude, you have a black belt!
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. In judo, I mean it’s sport judo. It’s very different from like raised in, I think it was about Brownsville with the most ferocious —
Kevin Rose: How many rounds did you go?
Tim Ferriss: Absolutely, if we’re talking boxing or anything, unless I jumped guard and just hung on for dear life like a koala bear, I would not last one round. I probably wouldn’t last one minute.
Kevin Rose: I think you could last one round.
Tim Ferriss: I don’t think so, man. If you covered up completely, like you just put your arms in full turtle position, and just let him punch you in your arms, your fucking head would fly off. Most people have not been hit by a trained fighter. I’ve been hit by trained fighters, and it’s a lot worse than you think it is, it’s a lot worse. And as someone who’s had head trauma before and concussions, because I was never a very good striker, I was a better grappler, and I wasn’t a great grappler either, but I was decent with a lot of wrestling background in judo and so on, but I would just get whacked in the head. Have you ever seen Spaceballs, where —
Kevin Rose: Yes, of course!
Tim Ferriss: — where Dark Helmet is held at bay with one arm and he’s swinging and isn’t hitting anything? I was basically Dark Helmet whenever I sparred because I was heavy for my height. And so I ended up with these goddamn six foot two, like, 150 pounders who would just tee off of my head from a distance nonstop. And I ended up, I think with some long-term damage, and consequences from that. So traumatic brain injury, I have zero interest in these days. So I would not for any price —
Kevin Rose: Not even if it was like grappling, like MMA style with Tyson? The problem is —
Tim Ferriss: I wouldn’t risk it, man. He would definitely get in one good shot —
Kevin Rose: That’s right, that’s all it takes. Right?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah.
Kevin Rose: Like you could try and then he just needs to get the right angle and then you’re out. It’s just over.
Tim Ferriss: The other thing to remember too is that speed goes with age. I mean, speed is one of the first things. If you watch, say, Roy Jones Jr. or a lot of these fighters who had a winning style predicated on speed, once they lose half a step, they start getting knocked out. Tyson was very fast, but he’s also ungodly strong. And he’s got old man strength, that has not diminished.
Kevin Rose: Have you watched some of his videos?
Tim Ferriss: I have watched some of his pad and mitt work videos.
Kevin Rose: Oh, God.
Tim Ferriss: And we’ll put some in the show notes for people to check out. I mean, if they just search Mike Tyson new videos, I’m sure they’ll pop right up. They’re really terrifying, because I’ve been hit by some decent strikers. And I mean, you feel afterwards the bruising of your brain. I mean, your brain is ricocheted off the sides of your skull like a big ice cube being shaken in a fucking shaker. And that’s not good for you. It can contribute to depression, it can contribute to dementia, early-onset Alzheimer’s. I am so uninterested. I’ll take my chances with the bear over Tyson anytime.
Kevin Rose: I don’t know, 4-Hour Body Tim might’ve been interested a few years ago.
Tim Ferriss: 4-Hour Body Tim was like Evel Knievel. Like I’m going to jump the Grand Canyon and just wipe out into the wall, break every bone in my body. And at the time I think I just assumed that I could automagically repair all of that. And the fact is, not to imply that there’s a lot of that in the book — I don’t think there is — but there’s a certain sense of immortality or invincibility that you have when you’re younger, which you learn is very misplaced when you get a little bit older, and that’s not to play the crotchety all like, Oh, my God, once it’s 30, it’s all downhill, once it’s 35, it’s all downhill. You always meet lazy people who say that shit. They just don’t want to put in the work. Because it takes a little more work when you’re not in hormonal nirvana to keep that little python-that-swallowed-a-goat physique in a dad bod at bay.
But the fact of the matter is like without higher testosterone levels and so on your recovery time, and everything else is extended. So I am so uninterested in injuries these days, especially during COVID, the last thing I want to do is put up some home-based parkour course, and like break a wrist trying to scale the garage and then have to go to the emergency room. No way, no thank you.
Roy Jones Jr. on XM with Mike Tyson. You don’t know what Mike might do. Is it Roy Jones Jr? That would be a huge weight class mismatch. Let me just fact check this real fast.
Kevin Rose: But Roy Jones Jr was boxing not that long ago, right? It’s been a while. It is Roy Jones Jr.
Tim Ferriss: It is Roy Jones Jr. Eight round exhibition fight. This should be super interesting. Roy Jones Jr. I watched a lot, and these are both fighters who capitalized on incredible speed. And now they’re older, they’re both strong, Tyson absolutely has a strength advantage.
Kevin Rose: Oh, Jesus, Tyson is 5’10”, 240. Roy Jones Jr. is 193. I don’t know what his height is, it doesn’t say here, but 193 to 240, that’s a big weight difference.
Tim Ferriss: You really don’t want to get hit by either of these guys. So to make that exhibition, looks like an exhibition fight on September 12th, that’s really soon that Roy Jones Jr. Is going to have to dance. He’s really going to have to dance, and I don’t know, the last time that he had a dance card with stakes quite this high. I mean, and he might be laughing all the way to the bank, but honestly, it’s like, if Mike Tyson hits you hard enough, you’re going to have trouble finding the bank.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, exactly.
Tim Ferriss: Oh, my God. I’ll definitely watch that fight though. Are you kidding?
Kevin Rose: It’s crazy. It’s good to see him back though, man. The cool thing about it is, I saw Tyson being interviewed and he pledged 100 percent of the proceeds to charity. He doesn’t care about making any money off of this. He said that’s not where his happiness comes from anymore. Like, it just seemed like a different version of Tyson, that was refreshing to see, it seems like he’s done a lot of work on himself.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. It seems that way, I mean, I imagine —
Kevin Rose: He’s not biting off ears anymore. I don’t think he’s —
Tim Ferriss: Not biting off years, that’s a good start in self-development. Stopped biting off ears, and it seems like he’s done a lot of work. I saw a video which was an interview of Tyson describing his 5-MeO-DMT experience.
Kevin Rose: Oh, crazy.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. And I don’t know who the sitters were for that, but you either have to be really good with lots of safeguards that you have to be incredibly fucking stupid to be in a room where you volunteered to hold down Mike Tyson when he’s on 5-MeO-DMT. Fuck that! No, thanks.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. You get a big padded room, and you kind of have to do it via like —
Tim Ferriss: Speakerphone!
Kevin Rose: Through the glass, exactly.
Tim Ferriss: “All right Mikey, here’s the tube through the window!”
Kevin Rose: Exactly.
Tim Ferriss: “You’re going to do great.” Oh, my God.
Kevin Rose: It’s like The Hulk when he like erupts and just like, you can’t contain him.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. You don’t want to be anywhere close to that. So what have you been up to man? It’s been actually quite a while since we’ve caught up, it’s been at least a few weeks since we had a proper conversation.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, I know. And then our last podcast that we did, I mean we were just in like a horrible place. Like our last podcast was when COVID was really starting to hit, and we’re both like, “Well, we’ll see. I hope to see you sometime.” Like we thought the end was near; you still kind of feel that way though, huh?
Tim Ferriss: Well, not the end, but lots of changes for sure. I’m less concerned about the virus wiping out everyone, which I didn’t think was going to happen to begin with, but I didn’t like the, at the time, what we understood to be the characteristics and kinetics of the virus. Still very glad that I made the public statements and published the blog posts that I did, which I still stand by. But I am very concerned about the secondary, and third-order effects of economic destruction and high rates of unemployment, very understandable anger and frustration, and strong emotions coming from not having work, not having a sense of purpose for millions of people. And also just having very polarized political machines who are capitalizing on that heightened emotion to try to further their aims on all sides. This is a defining, I would say, characteristic of a sort of opportunistic political maneuvering.
So I’m very concerned about the country. The game is far from over. If we had a working vaccine tomorrow, and we’re prepared to distribute, what percentage of the US do you think would volunteer, even if they were told that it were mandatory, who would comply? What percentage of the population do you think would comply and actually get a vaccine? And since we don’t have any state-to-state restrictions in terms of travel, I mean, there are recommended 14-day self-quarantines and so on, but there’s no real enforcement.
Kevin Rose: There’s no real followup. That’s right.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. So what percentage of the country do you think would actually take a vaccine? Fully distributed, thought to be effective —
Kevin Rose: I guess it also depends on the window of time that you’re talking about. I think that a lot more people will take it in month three, versus month one. So I would say that, I guess the question was, does it really matter? Like you and I are going to take it. Like, there’ll be a certain subset of people that won’t, and it’s like you’re kind of rolling the dice with your own life. And at that point, you’ve done all you can do.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah.
Kevin Rose: I mean, it sounds horrible to say that, but you can’t force someone to stick a needle in their arm, so you have to do the best you can at education, at demonstrating safety and efficacy, and then hope for the best. I would say though, it’s probably going to be more than you would think. Well, what percentage of folks get the flu shot every year? I guess that would be a good proxy.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, I don’t know the answer.
Kevin Rose: And then, and then I would say it will be higher than that because flu is very optional for a lot of people, not as deadly. So yeah, it’s hard to back into a number like that, but I would imagine it would be somewhere around 70 percent or greater. You probably think of like 20 percent.
Tim Ferriss: I’m thinking 20 to 30 percent by month three, that would be my guess, that’s what I would —
Kevin Rose: Are you doing it at month one?
Tim Ferriss: This is where we’re going to get ourselves into trouble. I’m not a medical professional, not giving medical advice. I would not want to be the first monkey shot into space, but we might edit this out later, because I also don’t want to discourage people from getting a vaccine. But if we’re breaking every land speed record in developing a vaccine for a virus that we understand very incompletely, I have my own misgivings. I do think vaccines are incredibly valuable to the individual and to community and humanity overall. And we simply don’t have a lot of data on this virus. So —
Kevin Rose: What’s your point about the economy though? I think that’s going to be the difficult piece of this in getting folks back to work, and getting the average consumer to trust restaurants again, to trust bars again, to trust all of concert venues, all of the things that we used to do to drive up the economy, and I just can’t see it bouncing back as fast as people have said it’s going to.
Tim Ferriss: I think we’re in minimum a year and a half, two-year tough trench.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, that feels right.
Tim Ferriss: As you poetically put it to me some time ago, I think we’re in for a slow donkey.
Kevin Rose: Slow donkey!
Tim Ferriss: I think we are looking at a slow donkey here.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. Sometimes people will quote you and you’re like, there’s no way I said that. Like I definitely said that. That sounds like something I would say. Well, here’s the crazy thing, man. Like, I’ve been thinking more about universal basic income, and the biggest, at first I was like, no, there’s no way. Why do we need it? It seems like a waste of money, like just giving out money doesn’t seem to be a solution for anything. And then two weeks ago, a new API came out from a group called OpenAI, which is this artificial intelligence group. Have you seen anything created by this GPT-3? Have you seen this at all?
Tim Ferriss: I’ve seen Chris Sacca’s experiment with it. I haven’t played with it yet. He seems incredibly impressed; I don’t know what his involvement is, if any, but you tell me.
Kevin Rose: It’s nuts.
Tim Ferriss: It seems nuts.
Kevin Rose: Some of the demos that I’ve seen lately are you give the AI a couple of websites. So you go like, here’s a website I like, and here’s another website I like; now design me a website that looks like those websites, but is about a text-based messaging app. And it literally created a beautiful, ready to go, fully designed website in like minutes that it came up with.
Tim Ferriss: Holy shit.
Kevin Rose: And you’re like, well, there goes all the graphic design jobs, like maybe not in the next six months or next year, but that is where it’s going. And like, if that’s going to be on a whole, like AI is going to kill so many technical jobs, and it’s just crazy. I don’t see any way out of this. Like AI is going to be —
Tim Ferriss: So you have to become like a basket weaver, or a potter, or a cult leader. Those are —
Kevin Rose: That’s the first thing Darya said; I was talking to my wife about it, she was like, “It’s going to be down to like artisan craft. Like the AI can’t do touched by human hands.” And I’m like, “Well, yeah, but like how many people need baskets?” Like how many, you know what I mean? Like how many artists do we need to be doing this? Like, I just don’t know that there’s that many jobs there. So maybe something like universal basic income does make sense when eventually that hits.
And I worry that the talk now on the street is that a lot of these jobs just aren’t going to come back.
Tim Ferriss: The talk on the street! That’s a phrase I haven’t heard you use —
Kevin Rose: Sorry! I mean the street, like Wall Street.
Tim Ferriss: Okay, got it.
Kevin Rose: But word on the street around the corner, neighbors are saying.
Tim Ferriss: I got it. All right. Yeah, the jobs aren’t going to come back. I mean, if this is like v zero, If this is rough draft, it’s hugely, I mean, it’s awesome in the 18th-century sense of the word. I mean, it’s awe-inspiring, and kind of staggering in its implications and also really terrifying.
Kevin Rose: It is. It’s like writing books now. Like you’re going to be soon out of work. Did you see some of the stuff it’s writing? Like you could, say, write me a bedtime story, and then it just goes and creates these beautiful, like you could take that, tweak a couple of words, and like put your name on it and people will do that. And it’s not going to show up again in any plagiarism dictionaries or anything like that, but it’ll be like 90 percent AI-written.
Tim Ferriss: So, I mean, that would be a way to rough draft stuff. Although I have to imagine it’s pulling from other sources that might end up then having claims of plagiarism, but maybe not —
Kevin Rose: Other sources, and the terms of creating its mental model and understanding model of the data. So, but that’s where we are. Like the only reason you can write your books is because you’re pulling from all your childhood experiences and all the other crap. So it’s the same —
Tim Ferriss: All the crappy childhood experiences, also. Sacca, for those people that don’t know, very successful investor, previous operator, first fund of delivering something like 250x, I guess, has done very well. He drafted a number of tweets and then let OpenAI — but that’s not the phrase he used. What was the other term that you used?
Kevin Rose: GPT-3.
Tim Ferriss: GPT-3. What does that refer to?
Kevin Rose: That’s just their most recent iteration of this type of technology. It was two, and now it’s three. I don’t know what the GPT stands for exactly. I can find out though.
Tim Ferriss: Catchy. First I thought he was talking about Grand Theft, I don’t know, he’d smoked too much weed. I wasn’t sure what he was texting me about. And he wrote a string of tweets and then he let GPT-3 write the next two or three, and effectively impossible to tell apart. I mean, they did seem like tweets that he would write. It was spooky.
Kevin Rose: It’s really cool. For those of you that are listening, they’re like, I have no idea what these guys are talking about. Like definitely go on Twitter, type that in and just look for, they have so many examples being tweeted out, they’re just fun. They’re crazy and fun and wacky. But it’s one of those things where you realize a major shift has happened. Like this is truly a big AI shift in that, I talked to Siri today and it doesn’t understand half the shit I’m trying to tell it. And you watch what this thing can do, and you’re like, wow, this is an order of magnitude better than what we had just a couple of months ago.
Tim Ferriss: “Hey Siri, predict what the slow dog is going to do.” “Slow donkey? Toy monkey? Toy monkey? Slow donkey!”
Kevin Rose: “I found these results for slow donkey.”
Tim Ferriss: Oh, my God. That’s so fucking creepy, man. Why does Siri — because I said, “Hey, Siri,” auto-activated on my phone and then said, “Slow donkey. I didn’t get that. Could you try again?” All right Siri, that’s enough out of you. Oh, boy.
Kevin Rose: So you were asking what we’ve been up to. I mean, for me, it’s been more the same in Portland though. Just kind of like enjoying the protests out here. Not enjoying them, that was a joke. It’s been really brutal downtown in Portland. The weather has been fantastic, but it’s like, you’ve got to look on the bright side with all this stuff going on and try and find ways to, I don’t know just return to some resemblance of some kind of normal. And I don’t know how you do that. For us, it’s like Darya and I, on Friday nights, even though we don’t leave the house, we actually get dressed up like we’re going to go out to dinner. And I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s like breaking that pajama routine is a big deal. And eating outside now is nice. We have a backyard in Portland so we can go and eat outside, which is a huge change. But yeah. How about you guys? What have you been up to?
Tim Ferriss: Well, it’s made a big difference, at least from my mental well-being to move from a more urban environment to a very rural environment. To have access to wilderness, got some muck boots for people who are looking for some bushwhacking boots. Muck boots are amazing. Sort of knee-high boots that you can wear through mud and anything you might want to walk through there. They’re not actually that suffocatingly hot for your feet. So I’ll throw those on, I’ll throw on the tick pants and just hike for hours. And there’s so much land and so much of the US that you, if you’re able to move yourself from point A to point B, and there are a lot of areas outside of Austin, outside of a lot of major cities. L.A., outside of New York City, where you can find space. That has been incredibly clearing for me. I also deleted all social apps from my phone four weeks ago.
Kevin Rose: That’s crazy. You know, I did that a couple months ago. I did the same experiment and it’s been fantastic.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, I have missed exactly nothing of great importance that I’m aware of. Meaning, I talk to friends, I will occasionally on laptop, look at, say, things that are trending on Twitter that might be relevant to anything that I can affect positively or areas where I can mitigate risks or something like that. But the vast majority of news is going to make you either anxious or really pissed off. And if you’re not prepared or able to take action on something that is within your sphere of control, it’s really just creating energy leaks that will drain you. And I realized somewhere between, I’d say six and eight weeks ago that I was extremely fatigued. I was very tired. And it was I think because I had so many stimuli in the form of different notifications or apps on my phone, social, et cetera, which were creating these powerful emotions without any ability to direct them towards something positive and actionable. Does that make sense?
Kevin Rose: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Tim Ferriss: And so I deleted them from my phone and talked to a lot of friends and also will talk to members of my team, employees. We do team calls, various types, and feel like the signal-to-noise ratio has improved so much since I did that. And I will occasionally, probably twice a week, look at replies on Twitter because my listeners and readers are extremely helpful in helping me to find high-signal articles or research studies that are really relevant to things they know I care about and focus on. But outside of that, it has been such a freeing experience. And I really feel like social by and large has been a huge net negative.
Kevin Rose: Dude, it’s so crazy that we came to the same realization. A couple months ago, I posted on Instagram my final posting, “I’m not going to be on here for a while,” and the same thing with Twitter. And I removed all of them from my phone, all the apps from my phone, and I stopped looking at them altogether. I have not been on Instagram since. It’s been at least a couple of months and I have gone back on Twitter because, like you — well, two reasons.
One, some people communicate with me there over DMs and I don’t actually have their phone number. And so sometimes there’s important things that come through. And then also there is important stuff in terms of the research I do for my job and investing in tech companies and all that. It is a good source of that type of data. But I still kept it off my phone. So it is a desktop-only experience for me now. And I will tell you, you’re right. The anxiety goes down a ton, the notifications to your device goes down, and you don’t realize — it’s funny, I don’t know if you’ve got this feeling, but the first week, I was opening my phone, I’d be like, “Oh, I wonder what’s — oh, wait, I don’t have the app anymore.” Did you get that? A few times you’re like, “Oh, wait a second. I don’t have that app.”
The other thing I did, which you might want to try, this is kind of — and this is just dumb stuff and people are listening. I’m not trying to be holier than thou when I do this type of stuff, it’s just like, it’s fun to do these little micro experiments. The other thing I did is I said, “Okay, how can I reduce the stress on my phone even more?” And that would be uninstalling even more garbage that I don’t use that may or may not send me notifications. But with every app, there’s like a micro, mental burden somewhere buried in there of having just like one more thing to check or one more thing that is a potential distraction. So I said, “If I can’t fit the apps on the home page, I’m not going to have them on my phone.” So no swiping sideways for more apps. So basically I have one —
Tim Ferriss: Does that mean you just have folders with like 75 apps inside them?
Kevin Rose: I do have folders, but here’s the rule with the folders. The folders cannot swipe sideways. So that means a total of nine apps and folders. So basically this is my home screen right here. So you can see, I just have that app in there.
Tim Ferriss: I like that.
Kevin Rose: Now the bottom, people are looking at the bottom, the bottom I do have a screen that goes sideways, that I put all the Apple utilities and crap that you kind of can’t uninstall, like the compass app and the measure app and the calculator and all that stuff in its own little side folder thing. But —
Tim Ferriss: What are the categories in those buckets, in those folders?
Kevin Rose: Here’s what I have. My categories are audio, which means for me, that’s Pocket Casts, Music app, and Spotify, Audible Sonos for home stuff, and Pandora. So that’s good. Health, I have Waking Up, I have the Strong app, Dexcom, Aura, Less, Zero. For learning all the language learning apps that I want to go back to, and Lumosity and MasterClass. And then finance stuff, I have one screen of that, which is Personal Capital, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Wealthfront. I like playing around with Clarity Money and Barron’s and Simplify. And then I have home apps like Home control. Now home means like I got a Traeger barbecue, which has been a fantastic addition this summer, by the way.
Tim Ferriss: So I also got a Traeger. That’s really funny.
Kevin Rose: Shut up, are you serious?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah.
Kevin Rose: Which one did you get?
Tim Ferriss: Looks like we’re on a parallel tracks here. The one that —
Kevin Rose: Timberline 870?
Tim Ferriss: I got the — I actually did get the Timberline 870. That’s fucking crazy.
Kevin Rose: That’s the one I got.
Tim Ferriss: I did get that. And so I have that in Austin and at the undisclosed rural location, I have, I think it’s a 650. So I got a slightly smaller one because I looked at the 870 and I was like, okay —
Kevin Rose: Maybe it is the 650.
Tim Ferriss: It’s like you can cook 20 chickens at one time. And I’m like, I don’t need to cook 20 chickens at one time. So I got a smaller unit.
Kevin Rose: Maybe I did get a smaller unit as well. Now you have me curious to see which one I got it. It doesn’t say on the app right away. I think it is the smaller of the Timberline version. But anyway, that’s a great one. So last one. So the home stuff has like, things like that, where it’s like Ring and Lou Tron and that stuff.
Tim Ferriss: And to be clear, you have an app, you have a Traeger app, which helps you to control the grill so you can check the temperature and so on and so forth.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. So by the way, wild salmon is running and it’s on sale right now, but I’ve been smoking salmon like crazy. I’ve gone through six or seven different recipes. I finally found the perfect smoked salmon that I’ll send you which one on the Traeger app. It’s fantastic. But you’ve got to let it cure 24 hours. That’s the key. It can’t do any of these little rubs where you do like two or four hours. You’ve got to do a full 24-hour cure on it.
Tim Ferriss: Cool, amazing, yeah.
Kevin Rose: I’ve been dialing in the Traeger like crazy
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, I’ve been cooking a lot, period. We’ve been cooking a lot at home and cooking a lot of venison also. I don’t know if you even know this Kevin, but I ended up — you definitely know, you can confirm this. I invest in very, very few things these days. And about a year ago, I invested in a venison harvesting operation in Hawaii called Maui Nui Venison. For those people who are not watching the video, Kevin is laughing. And really thought to myself, there’s no way this is ever going to make any money, but I like the ethos and the principles behind it because axis deer are an invasive species in Hawaii. They’ve destroyed a lot of ecosystems. They’ve damaged or compromised coral reefs because of runoff after removing vegetation and this operation harvests axis deer. And they just approach it in such a thoughtful, such a surgical way.
And the meat is so incredibly good. Peter Attia is obsessed with this also by the way, and he’s the one in a way who convinced me to combine the Traeger with this Maui Nui venison. So the leg medallions are better for cooking indoors, but rib racks, the stakes, all of that are just incredible. And you’ve probably realized this on the Traeger that one of the benefits of having and for people who don’t know what the hell we’re talking about, this is a wood pellet fueled grill. You can also think of it as a smoker and in a lot of ways, I tend to think of it more as a smoker than a grill, because you’re not going to get — it’s more difficult to get, say, the searing on a burger in a Traeger.
Kevin Rose: There’s no direct flame.
Tim Ferriss: That’s right. But if you cook ribs at super low temperature, like 165 or 185, you just get the most incredible flavor.
Kevin Rose: I did ribs last night. I did some heritage pork ribs. By the way, speaking of trading places to buy meat, have you used Crowd Cow at all?
Tim Ferriss: I have not used Crowd Cow. There are a couple of these companies. I have used ButcherBox, which might be similar. I’m not sure. I don’t know Crowd Cow.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, so Crowd Cow is essentially what they’ve said is like, okay, there are a dozen or so probably more amazing farms in the United States that are these small little tiny mom and pop farms that don’t really have way to get proper distribution online. First of all, they don’t even know how to set up their own online site. And so let’s go to them and put them on our site. And it’s only the best small little amazingly run farms. And also they work with Japanese farmers as well.
Tim Ferriss: That’s cool.
Kevin Rose: So they get in some of the best Wagyu that I’ve ever had. A5 certified with all the holograms and everything on there. And they work with a couple of really small farms out there and that’s fun stuff.
Tim Ferriss: So you then choose the farms you want to buy the meat from? You pick individually?
Kevin Rose: Yeah. So you can do it, I think how they started was you had to kind of put together a portion of a cow, like X number of pieces, and then you would save, like you’re going in on a cow. Now it’s all, that’s a feature in there somewhere, but now it’s like all a la cart now. So you can just go, I just want some amazing rib-eyes or I want to rack. And they’re just right there ready to buy.
Tim Ferriss: Cool, yeah. ButcherBox kind of mixes and matches and you get a membership. So I have pork and beef from them as well. Another one that is close to our long-ago home in NorCal is Belcampo. I don’t know if you’ve tried any of their stuff. Now Belcampo has incredible ribeyes. So those are the two non-venison sources that I’ve been trying these days. But that’s about it as far as meat goes. I’ve tried to really take a, not less is more, but if you’re going to eat meat, really do it in as thoughtful way as possible. Which I recognize is in a sense, a luxury, right? I mean, it is because we have the means to sort of explore some of these options and some of them aren’t cheap. Certainly Traegers aren’t cheap.
Kevin Rose: Traegers aren’t that expensive, man. They make ones that are further down the line that aren’t the fancy, fancy ones that actually do a great job smoking. My buddy has one of the ones that you can buy at Costco, and it’s phenomenal. And they’re not crazy, I mean, they’re not cheap, but they’re not crazy crazy. We’re not talking thousands of dollars or anything.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. So I’ve been enjoying really paying attention to the fundamentals for me, just hearkening back to what you said about us being in a pretty bad place, stressed-out place. I mean, I was in a very anxious, stressed-out place for a really long time. Once I kind of saw the comet of COVID headed towards the planet Earth/United States since early February, right? So I’ve had this low-grade or high-grade anxiety for months, and eventually, you just get fucking tired of the anxiety. So you want to figure out approaches to lessen it. And for me, it’s really been: keep it simple, stupid. Right? Eat good food, cook food, take time to prep. It’s super meditative. If you’re using a sharp knife, you’ve got to pay attention or you’re going to chop your little pretty fingers off. And I’ve been doing HRV training. So heart rate, variability training with breathwork, and the jury’s still out. I’ve been doing that for five weeks, twice a day for 20 minutes.
Kevin Rose: Can I ask what that practice looks like?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. It looks like using an app. I’m using one called Breath — or actually, it has a very generic name, but this is not to imply that it’s the best app out there, but it’s the one Breathing. It’s just called Breathing. And it’s a circle that opens and contracts to help you time the duration of your inhale and exhale.
Kevin Rose: What is the — sometimes it’s the four, seven, eight breath. There’s five and a half seconds in five and a half seconds out.
Tim Ferriss: I think I’m doing 3.7 seconds inhale and 6.3 second exhale. And I arrived at that, or I didn’t, I’m working with a doctor. I don’t want to mention her name just yet, but I’m working with a PhD who sent me a kit, which includes a pulse oximeter, which you put on your thumb to track your pulse and heart rate and then —
Kevin Rose: Blood ox as well, right?
Tim Ferriss: And blood ox. Although I think we’re looking less at that. And then a respiration strap. So it looks like basically a bra that you put on under your nip nips, and well, it would be just above your navel. And as you breathe and it expands, there are sensors that track that. And so you can correlate and superimpose your breathing on your heart rate. And she would then take me through, we would use Zoom share screen, and she would take me through different exercises to identify which duration of inhale and exhale seemed optimal for me in terms of activating my sympathetic, I’m sorry, my parasympathetic nervous system.
So more of an autonomous relaxation response. And if people have trouble separating the two, so sympathetic, you can think of stimulating S equals stimulating, sympathetic, like fight or flight. Fight, flight, freeze. It’s not quite that simple, but useful shorthand. And then parasympathetic would be more of the letting go, calming. And I have incredible hypervigilance. I mean, I don’t think we’re going to get into it today, but it’s a lot of gnarly stuff happened to me as a kid and my system, well, as she would put it, I am cardiac hyperreactive. So little things will send my heart rate shooting to the ceiling. And then my heart rate will stay elevated for hours. And that’s part of the reason —
Kevin Rose: To the tune of what? At 90 beats a minute? Not crazy.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. 80 to 90. But I mean, if we’re talking like six, seven hours, that’s a long time.
Kevin Rose: I was worried you were going to tell me something worse. But yeah, that is — that’s like you probably should be walking the dog at that rate. You know what I mean? That’s not just sitting there. That is elevated.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. And the fatigue has been this lifelong battle of mine since I would say age 16, 17, especially with Lyme disease on Long Island and all of these under or undiagnosed Lyme, and then later diagnosed, which is how now that people are familiar with serologic testing. I was tested when I was suffering acute symptoms and they said, “Well, you’re positive for the short-term antibodies, but you realize you’ve already had Lyme disease because you’re testing positive for the long-term as well.” And so I’ve really tried in the last, my dog’s pacing all over the place, you can see. Where is she? Where are you, Molly? Hiding? There she is. Kind of see her, but I think she has to pee. I might have to take a little break to let her out. But long story short, this fatigue is like my battle, right?
Without sufficient energy, you really can’t execute well on anything else. And by execute well, I would include relaxing and enjoying yourself, right? If the tank is empty, the tank is empty. So the fundamentals, the food, the HRV/meditation, all of these things have been focused on identifying cracks in the vessel where I’m leaking energy. And so a lot of those I’ve found to be really helpful. Like the jumping rope. I’m not talking about 10 rounds of jumping rope. I’m not Mike Tyson getting back into shape to try to lop Roy Jones Jr’s head off. I’m talking about like three to five minutes jumping rope, first thing in the morning, just to get outside, to make sure I get outside into some sun ideally and move my body. That’s it.
And if people are interested in the intersection and the interplay between exercise and the brain and brain health and brain neurotrophic or brain-derived neurotrophic factor —
Kevin Rose: BDNF, yeah.
Tim Ferriss: BDNF. There’s a book called Spark that gets into this. But if you want to get out of your monkey mind, at least for me, one of the fastest ways is through the body. And it doesn’t take a lot. It really doesn’t take a lot. Get outside, walk for a few minutes, jump rope for three to five minutes, and then go back inside. So those are a few of the things I’ve been doing. I don’t know if you found any routines or other practices helpful.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. It’s funny, I’ve just now recently started getting back into meditation, but in a different way. Before I had done Sam’s course, which I think that you’ve done as well, Sam’s Waking Up app.
Tim Ferriss: Are you still doing the tantric self-pleasuring meditation that you told me about?
Kevin Rose: The one that you Zoom with me on? Yeah, we’re still doing that.
Tim Ferriss: Wednesdays? Wednesdays?
Kevin Rose: Yeah, exactly. No, no. It’s interesting. I was on Sam’s app and this was several weeks ago and I saw that there was a new course on there by Henry Shukman, who is a, he practices a certain lineage of Zen and he’s based out of — where is he based? Not Arizona, but New Mexico. And he just had these beautiful 10-minute meditations on the Zen koans. Do you know much about Zen koans?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. Yeah. Paradoxical sort of statements or parables that are intended to, as I understand it, intended to derail the rational mind, right. To sort of sideline the rational mind. So like, what is the sound of one hand clapping type of stuff.
Kevin Rose: Right. And they’re these beautiful little unsolvable riddles that are part of the practice and that they will meditate with them and on them, and then take back their kind of insights that are gathered from these over time, back to their teachers. And it’s kind of like you talk them through with your teacher. There is no real answer to them but they’re used as — they’re very difficult to describe, but they’re used as a part of the Zen training. And so I was very fortunate to reach out to Sam and Sam introduced me to Henry and Henry has since come on my podcast. And he had a book that he recently published called One Blade of Grass by Henry Shukman. I’m just pulling it up right now. It’s on Amazon. Fantastic book that talks about, basically a biography of his life. And he talks about all the struggles that he faced. He had severe eczema all over his body where he was like hospitalized, bleeding knuckles, really bad for decades.
Tim Ferriss: How do you spell his last name?
Kevin Rose: His last name is spelled S-H-U-K-M-A-N.
Tim Ferriss: Got it. Thanks.
Kevin Rose: And so yeah, he’s this fantastic Zen master. And I read his book and he talks about his path to these stages of enlightenment and how he was able to slowly over time, he was one of these people that had a very early experience that didn’t even know how to put into words what had happened to him because he wasn’t training at the time. And then later went into Zen and had other experiences. And then all the way through to today, where he describes the falling away of basically of everything. Just everything falls away at some point during this training.
And it’s a beautiful story on Zen. And really just reemphasized to me that he’s had a career as a writer and he was an award-winning poet and Oxford-trained, very busy, productive human, wife, two children, and has still been able to go off and obtain this very deep life. Well, he’s now kind of flipped onto the side of they’re lasting now, the changes are lasting versus going back to reality after a couple of weeks. Fascinating story, but also just one where, by the end of the book, I was like, I need to get back into Zen. Because I’ve told you at some point, you used to come over to my house when I lived right next to the Zen Center.
But my first training in San Francisco was at that Zen Center. And then I fell away from it because I didn’t really take it seriously, but yeah. So Henry is going to help me really get back into Zen. And I’m excited to go to, he has a Mountain Cloud Zen Center that he runs and I’m going to be taking some courses there. And I really want to take this seriously. I figure I’m in my 40s now, it’s time to devote a decent percentage of my life to this type of training. I feel like it’s time.
Tim Ferriss: I’d love to hear you elaborate on that because I know you’ve tried all sorts of different types of meditation. I’m still interested to know if you recommend the Surrender course by —
Kevin Rose: I do. Michael Singer.
Tim Ferriss: Michael Singer. But you’ve explored these various tools and modalities. What is it about Zen that differentiates it for you or that you find attractive? Because you could reach out to, or get ahold of, one of your magic powers is getting a hold of anybody basically you want to get ahold of. Why is that? What is it?
Kevin Rose: I would say that when I first took the introductory course to Zen, I appreciated the mystery behind it in some sense. So I was attracted to how it could be a strict discipline in some ways, like kind of one of those things where you show for Zazen and if you’re not there the second you’re supposed to be there, they’ll keep you out from coming in and you’re rejected. Or if you want to train and actually set up a residence there, you have to prove it by sleeping outside for two months. All these stories that you hear that Henry actually talks about in his book —
Tim Ferriss: Can be super hardcore or he let you go to the Zazen room and you’re separated by these cubicle walls, right? And so you’re sitting in Zazen and it’s like seated meditation with your face about a foot and a half away from a wooden wall. And then if you start to nod off, they might hit you with a little wooden switch, things like that.
Kevin Rose: Right, exactly. Yeah so, I was initially attracted to that. Now Henry’s discipline that he’s into that he’s teaching is a little bit more laid back, which I can appreciate because this was like when you’re going to — you had to enter with your right foot when you’re entering into to sit. You have to enter into the room the correct way. You can’t cross over the mat in the wrong way. There’s all these rules, right. Too many rules, but —
Tim Ferriss: It’s also very Japanese.
Kevin Rose: It is very Japanese, which we all, both of us really love. But the one thing I will say about Zen is that, especially with the way that Henry has been teaching, at least that I gathered through his book and through our conversation is that they make enlightenment less mysterious and less about being a perfect person and making it actually seem like it’s something that is attainable by everyone. And it doesn’t have to mean that you’re this ultimate spiritual guru the second you snap into these different states of consciousness. And that there are these really beautiful moments when people have this flip, like this flip in their brain, the switch that goes, and then they’re jolted, almost shocked into this state of consciousness.
Like sometimes there’s these stories of these Zen masters where they’ll look at a student the right way and the student won’t grasp it. The student can’t. They’ve been teaching and sitting and they just can’t. And they’ll just shake them in a certain way. And it’ll spontaneously jolt them in the right way into enlightenment. And there’s these funky little things like that, that are just beautiful stories and you always take a lot of that stuff with a grain of salt but coupled with this koan training, which I highly recommend listening to on the Waking Up app, they’re fantastic, by Henry.
It checks all the boxes is that I’m curious about. And I think for me, the curiosity at this point is the most important thing because it’s encouraging me and it gives me the drive to go and sit for a half-hour every morning consistently. And that’s what it’s going to take. It’s going to take a real dedication. And I think that if I can get the proper training coupled with these koans and I don’t know, I’ve done the Transcendental Meditation. I’ve done about a few other disciplines and this one, for some reason, maybe it’s because I’m a Japanophile, I don’t know all the reasons, but I’m attracted to it.
Tim Ferriss: Cool. Do you know what the training is going to look like and what the meditation sessions are going to look like?
Kevin Rose: Yeah, I mean, they’re very simple. You just sit. So it’s like —
Tim Ferriss: I’m more interested in what happens inside the head. So you sit, maybe you shave your head. I would love to see you with a shaved head. That’d be hilarious.
Kevin Rose: Like BICed kind of thing, like brothers?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, we can be cue balls together. Get you some black robes with some white interlinings. Good luck for you. You kind of already have that look. You’ve got a bunch of Japan —
Kevin Rose: You’ve seen me with robes on, we’ve been in robes together in Japan.
Tim Ferriss: You already got that one aced, but okay you sit, and then what? What happens on the inside?
Kevin Rose: So I think there’s a few things. One, the question initially is there’s kind of table stakes to play in the arena. And I would say to even get to that point, at least for me, what I’ve been told and what I can gather, and I’m saying this as someone that is pretty new novice to this new sect of Zen, it’s just sitting and trying to quiet the mind. And that means counting meditations, counting to 10, and repeating yourself following the breath. It’s that classic Zen posture of looking at the wall, not closing your eyes, kind of glancing somewhat downward towards the ground with a fuzzy awareness of everything going on in the room, but no strict focus on any one object.
And it’s saying to yourself a thought, a distraction, it’s okay, it is the weights in a gym is what I need to get to the next level of this. And so not getting upset and getting the mind to where it’s a little bit malleable and kind of getting to that place where the sits are becoming longer in duration, but also the mind is calming down a bit.
I think Henry said it best in his book. Actually, I’m going to butcher it, but I’ll tell you the gist of it. He said that Zen is like pulling the plug, being a boat in a bathtub, and pulling the plug of the drain. And initially you kind of just notice a little bit of swirling, a little bit of movement of the boat. And then you look around and you see the walls of the bathtub are a little bit higher and you’re like, “Oh, that’s odd.”
And then you notice a little bit more movement and all of a sudden you start to twist. And then all of a sudden you notice that there’s a swirl going down the drain. And then there is the total annihilation of all things. And that’s where you’re headed. But you have to sit at the surface for a while and just kind of slowly realize that even though you’re not feeling it, the daily practice is unplugging the drain and you will eventually get there.
Tim Ferriss: That’s a terrifying description.
Kevin Rose: Oh, dude, wait till you read his book, his description of his last traunch of this passing into this, I think you would actually really like it because it reminds me of a lot of our conversations that you’ve had around ayahuasca and some of the ego disintegration.
Tim Ferriss: Ego death. Controlled death.
Kevin Rose: Controlled death. And he’s getting that without any drugs man, just like intense, multi-day meditation kind of things that happen.
Tim Ferriss: For I guess a lot of reasons, I think that scares me more because, with a tea, you’re like, all right, I’m going to go to crazy town for four to six hours Earth time. And then I’ll be back to some semblance of normal computation and absorption of what we call reality. But with the Zen practice, with that description, it’s almost like a slow-motion psychotic break that you’ve engineered for yourself. And that scares the living fuck out of me. I don’t know how to back out of that. I don’t know how —
Kevin Rose: You can’t, that’s the thing that’s crazy, dude. When you read this book and you get to that point, I’m freaked out by this because when you go there, all of a sudden you’re viewing the world as an illusion, as a completely different thing than you ever have before. And there’s no going back.
Tim Ferriss: What does Darya think about this? Is she supportive?
Kevin Rose: Yeah. She listened to my interview with him and I did the podcast and she was like, “Yeah, he sounds amazing. And this is the path you want to go. I support it.” I mean, I don’t think —
Tim Ferriss: She’s not worried about you, I don’t know, wearing your shirt backwards and picking at navel lint, like staring blankly at the wall.
Kevin Rose: You have to listen to his post-analysis of what happened because he wrote the book after all this happened. And I’m curious to know if you would enjoy this world. I think you would, it sounds beautiful. Every moment is anew and just glistening and there’s so much — it’s fascinating. I’m going to butcher it all.
Tim Ferriss: I think much like you with me and my various psychedelic experiments of which there are now many, many, many, many.
Kevin Rose: Thousands now, I think for you.
Tim Ferriss: It’s a lot. And you’ve kind of let me be the guinea pig. I think I’ll let you be the first monkey shot into space on this slow-motion engineered, psychotic break; tell me how that goes.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. I mean —
Tim Ferriss: Here to support.
Kevin Rose: I think, well, it’s not like you’re going to see me in six months and I’m just going to be levitating. If I do it correctly, this is going to be like a 30-year kind of journey to get to these places. Who knows? There’s no pinning a date on.
Tim Ferriss: Unless he grabs you by your ears and shakes your head and gives you the Highlander quickening like you were describing.
Kevin Rose: I’d love that actually.
Tim Ferriss: Grab you by your eyebrows and bite your fucking upper lip and throw you off your chair.
Kevin Rose: So it’s crazy.
Tim Ferriss: That’s exciting.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, you should check out his book One Blade of Grass. I highly recommend it to anyone listening. It’s a fun — he has a fantastic British voice, he’s from the UK. So his audiobook is a fun listen.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. The British accent gives you an automatic plus 20 points of IQ.
Kevin Rose: Oh, 100 percent.
Tim Ferriss: At least for any yanks listening to it. My God, such an upgrade. I wanted to thank you for something you introduced me to actually, because I’ve been consuming a ton of it. You remember when you gave me some Pique Tea, the P-I-Q-U-E for anyone wondering. Not inexpensive, but they’re powdered Pu’er. I’ve actually been having almost every morning for the last while. And it’s fantastic. I’ve been having that usually before I do — so the sequence for me would be wake up immediately do the breath-work HRV meditation for 20 minutes. Then heat the water to like 170, pretty low temperature just because I don’t like continually burning the fuck out of my mouth when I forget how hot something is in an insulated mug. Then putting in the Pique Pu’er with, I don’t know if you’ve ever tried Laird Superfood Creamer, the unsweetened stuff. It’s basically powdered MCT oil, is one way to think about it. And I’ve been fasting — well, if people consider it fasting. I’ve been semi-fasting until late lunch a lot recently.
And so I’ll have that and then go into the, say, jump rope and so on. But the Pique is, it’s really good. It took me a while to get into, but I appreciate you introducing me to that.
Kevin Rose: It’s funny because I never know, sometimes I’ll reach out to you, but like anytime you plug me as someone that can get you stuff on podcasts and stuff like that, all of a sudden I —
Tim Ferriss: Wait, when did I plug you as somebody who can get —
Kevin Rose: I’m just saying like every once in a while we’ll do a podcast together and you’ll be like, “Oh, dude, thanks for that recommendation, blah, blah.” And then a week later 100 random emails, “Hey, I have this like, ball massager. Can you get it to Tim? He would love it, blah, blah, blah.” I’m just like, everybody comes out. I’m like basically I try all the shit and then the good stuff I pass on to you. So —
Tim Ferriss: Well, I appreciate that, man. Thank you.
Kevin Rose: Pique is a cool company, I met with the founder and we were chatting about how he creates some of this stuff because the thing that’s unique about it is that so many times like tea as you know is like you steep it and you discard the leaves when you’re done. They steep it, crystallize it through this crazy process. And then they make an instant. So it’s like, you can just pour it in. You don’t have to think about oversteeping it.
Tim Ferriss: It’s like if you took every tea and made it into matcha, right?
Kevin Rose: Right. Exactly.
Tim Ferriss: Basically.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. And so it’s really easy to consume and you can’t screw it up, which is a lot of people will receive their tea and they’re like, “That tea is so bitter.” It’s like, “No, it’s not weird and astringent, it’s just that you’ve oversteeped it.” That’s the main complaint. But anyway, that’s awesome. Yeah, they do quality stuff. I’m glad you’re enjoying it.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. What else is new in your world, man?
Kevin Rose: Oh, gosh. I would say new stuff that I’m into. Well, I’ve got boring stuff. I’m getting into salmon fishing. That’s going to be next —
Tim Ferriss: I’ve got one. I’ve got one. You’re the app guy. I’m the idiot who is like in 2022, I’m like, “I found this app called WhatsApp! It’s really great.” And you’re like, “Oh, boy, here we go.” I am pretty slow on the uptake when it comes to apps. But I did find one because as I mentioned, doing a lot of hiking, have been doing a lot of hiking and I’m in a very rural area. I don’t want to wander onto somebody’s property and have somebody come outside with a shotgun and be like, “Hey, what the hell are you doing on my property?”
And I also just want to be respectful, right? I don’t want people showing up at my house. But I really wasn’t sure how to identify property boundaries. And I met someone who hunts locally and introduced me to something called the onX hunting app. And it’s just O-N-X and onX Hunt is the app. And I’m not going to necessarily use this for hunting, but what it allows you to do, and they give you the premium features for free for seven days, which is super, super smart.
If they’re actually listening to this, I think they would get such better conversion and probably increase their revenue 40 percent 50 percent, at least from this particular app, if they had an onboarding process, which they don’t. There’s no automatic tutorial that I saw, which meant I had to kind of fumble and go find online FAQs and to figure it out. But the onX Hunt app allows you to see property boundaries. It allows you to hit track and track yourself as you hike. So maybe similar to a Strava in that sense, but in this particular case, it’s for wilderness. You can save maps offline so you can use them when you don’t have reception. You can look at topographical view, satellite view, or combinations. You can take photographs. So for instance, if I find something of interest and I want to share that with someone, I can take a photograph, geo-tag it, and then just share it with someone else who’s on the app. And it’s awesome.
Kevin Rose: It’s cool, I’m looking at it right now. It also covers fishing as well, which is great.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, it’s an extremely, extremely cool app. So I’ve been using that on a pretty much daily basis and I’m really enjoying, and who knows, maybe I will use it for hunting. I don’t hunt much. I do it pretty infrequently. But if I were to travel to, say, Hawaii to hunt axis deer, which may be at some point I will, it’s not particularly easy to do. I don’t even know if I could get permission to do it, but I would use something like this so that I could see how much mileage I’m covering, where I was, where I went. Perhaps we go on a scouting trip during non-hunt hours or on a non-hunt day. And I could take photographs of particular locations that I think might be ideal and save those and then I can go back and review that. So I’ve been loving it. That’s an app that might not otherwise come across your radar that you might get a kick out of playing with, it’s cool.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, it looks awesome. I’ll definitely give that a shot, given how many hiking trails there are here in Portland, there’s so many hundreds of miles of hiking trails just right in the city, which is crazy.
So you asked me what I’m into lately. Actually, I do have one thing I haven’t told you about. I think that lately I’ve put on some weight and I have been able to shut it back off through intermittent fasting, and then also doing a lot of cardio and things like that.
Tim Ferriss: What’s your intermittent fasting look like just real quick?
Kevin Rose: 18 hours a day. If I’m in lean mode. If I want to get lean, 18 hours a day, if not at a minimum 14, I think that’s when a lot of the data — I have a friend out of UC San Diego, she works with Longo out there. I was just talking to her a week ago and she said 14 hours of what she does. And that’s where a lot of the data that looks really promising in terms of just like some of the longevity benefits, if you’re going to do it every single day.
Tim Ferriss: You’re eating from what? Between what hour and what hour?
Kevin Rose: Well, I just basically I use Zero, obviously a fantastic app. And when I’m done eating dinner, are with kids and putting them down and all that stuff, you never know when you’re going to actually finish your last bite. So whenever I’m done, I just hit start. And whenever it tells me to eat again, then I eat, but it’s 14 hours after I finished my last bite, basically.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. Cool.
Kevin Rose: And so when I’m doing 18 hours sometimes I’m eating a late dinner and I’m not eating till 1:32 o’clock the next day which is a little brutal, but it’s okay. I just have black coffee and I’m totally fine. But the point I was going to or what I was going to chat about is that in choosing my alcohol and alcohol consumption, especially during COVID, there was this period there were like March, April. I was like, “We’re all going to die. I’m just going to get drunk the entire time.”
Tim Ferriss: I remember that! Every time I talked to you, you were like, “Hey, Dar Dar says whatever, I’m five glasses in, how the fuck are you?” I’m like, “All right.”
Kevin Rose: I didn’t say five glasses, but it was definitely three! It’s like, but we didn’t know what was going to happen. And it was kind of freaky and it’s like, might as well open the good stuff. So in my cutting back and focusing more on health, what I’ve decided to do, and this is kind of a crazy thing. It’s like, okay, wine can get nutso. A really nice bottle of wine can be thousands of dollars for crazy wines. Nobody wants to do that. I mean, some people I guess want to do that, but not on a regular basis.
So what I was thinking is why not go, I went to BeerAdvocate and I went to their top 100 beers and I’ve been slowly finding and buying the top 10 rated beers in the world. And then trying them. Just to consume, if you have ever had the number-one rated beer in the world, I hadn’t.
Tim Ferriss: What is it?
Kevin Rose: It’s right here. It’s called [Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout], and it is from Toppling Goliath. Here, let me show you what it looks like. One sec, since we have video.
All right. So out of the top beers of the world, I would say out of the top 10, probably seven or eight of them are stouts. So it’s like the thick, dark, rich, funky, slow sip type stuff. So look at the wax melt on the top of that.
Tim Ferriss: That’s cool.
Kevin Rose: They’re hand-numbered.
Tim Ferriss: 233. So you said BeerAdvocate. I know nothing about beer.
Kevin Rose: BeerAdvocate. They’re top —
Tim Ferriss: Actually just like some guy named Tony in Newark, New Jersey, he was rating.
Kevin Rose: No, I think it’s community-based. They have a lot of the pros and stuff go on there that are really into this. But this Kentucky Brunch Stout by Toppling Goliath, so the vintage is 2016. So they age these like wine because they are so dense, you can just basically put them in the wine cellar and let them sit for a decade or longer. And then they mellow out over time. So I picked this up. I found a great site actually, by the way, I’m giving away all my best links, but people need to know about this because it’s a fantastic site.
My favorite place to buy aftermarket beer. And I’ve done a lot of research on this is mybeercollectibles.com.
Tim Ferriss: Now you say aftermarket, it makes it sound like you’re buying a spoiler for your Miata or something. What does that mean?
Kevin Rose: So what that means is that this is bottled number 233. Maybe they made 500 bottles in this year. So it’s impossible to find, you can’t buy it new. You just can’t buy.
Tim Ferriss: I got it. So the site that you mentioned is like the eBay of beer.
Kevin Rose: Exactly. It’s the eBay of beer. And so you can get Pliny the Elder on there. This one I got on there too. This is called the SR-71, by the same manufacturer, this one’s ranked, I think number 12 or something like that. You can’t see, but there’s like a little Blackbird stealth bomber on there — or not itself, but it’s SR-71, actually. And then all the ingredients and everything are written in binary on the side. These are so cool. They’re like culty little fun beers.
Tim Ferriss: So you gave a price anchor on the wines, right? Thousands of dollars. You can go tens of thousands, probably hundreds of thousands, right? Wine gets super, super crazy. So what does one of these very well ranked beers go?
Kevin Rose: Okay. So it’s wide-ranging. So for example, I got some of them that can’t be aged. You have to drink them fresh. So the number one ranked IPA, or I think it’s the number two ranked IPA in the world is called the Julius by a brand called Tree House. Okay. So the King Julius by Tree House right now, a four-pack on this site is going for $39.99.
Tim Ferriss: That’s amazing.
Kevin Rose: And that’s the number-two ranked IPA in the world.
Tim Ferriss: That’s so cool. How fun! What was the name of the site again that you mentioned?
Kevin Rose: mybeercollectibles.com.
Tim Ferriss: That’s such a great URL.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. It’s such janky site, but they’ve got a lot of great beers on here.
Tim Ferriss: It’s on GeoCities.
Kevin Rose: Yeah.
Tim Ferriss: That’s cool. That’s super cool. The affordable vices, right? There are certain things where you can get the best in the country or the best in the world for less than 50 bucks. Right? I mean, there are certain categories of thing where you can go very high end. I mean, I think really good chocolate would be an example of that. If you really wanted to have a treat, I mean, you don’t necessarily have to break the bank to do that. But if you’re like, “Oh, I want to get the fanciest car, the fanciest boat, the fanciest wine.” I mean, you better have inexhaustible funds or you’re screwed.
And at the end of the day, if you think about it too, it’s like that stuff ages really poorly, right? Neither of us collect that kind of stuff. But if you think of, we know people who do, and it’s like four weeks after they’ve bought something, it loses its luster for most. And instead, if you have this, in the cases of we’re talking about right, the beer or the chocolate. There’s something really special about the perishable nature of it. And it’s an experience.
Kevin Rose: Right? Well, that’s the key, it’s an experience like what’s been linked to happiness is actually having experiences with friends. This is sharing something like that. Right?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah.
Kevin Rose: It’s great.
Tim Ferriss: Cool. Love it. I love it. I don’t have anything. I don’t have any big ones on my list or anything that’s coming to mind.
Kevin Rose: One thing I want to ask you before we wrap. I don’t know if you’ll share this actually.
Tim Ferriss: Oh, boy.
Kevin Rose: You may not, we might have to cut it. So the stock market is so freaking crazy right now.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, it is.
Kevin Rose: Gold is going up and individual stocks are going up. And I’m like, well, that doesn’t make sense. What are you doing? What’s the Tim Ferriss 4-Hour finance versus this —
Tim Ferriss: Oh, boy. Yeah. Be careful everybody, earmuffs, earmuffs, cover your ears. I can tell you what I’ve done.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. What are you doing?
Tim Ferriss: And it’s not so much doing, it’s more what I’ve done. And I’m glad you asked this, because I recently turned 43 and a while back, I spoke to my parents, looked at the genealogy, asked a lot of questions and determined that the average age of death of males on both sides of my family, if you adjust for some outliers, is 85.
So 43 puts me past the half-mile mark. And hopefully I live until 120, but I’ve also lived aggressively. So my system’s taken a beating and I don’t assume I’m going to live that long. So I’ve been doing a lot of introspection and this birthday hit me kind of hard, usually age I’m just like, “Oh, whatever, it doesn’t matter.” But crossing past that 50 percent mark hit me unusually. And I’ve been doing a lot of journaling, a lot of thinking. And I realized that number one, and you’ve seen this over the years. I don’t have a high burn lifestyle. I don’t buy lots of stuff. If I have the ability to hike with my dog, my dog, and my girlfriend are happy and healthy. And occasionally I’ll splurge on nice food or something, but I don’t really —
Kevin Rose: You’re not a flashy guy. I’ve never seen you with a sports car. I’ve never seen you with a fancy watch. I’ve seen you with fancy horse saddles. That’s the only thing I’ve seen you splurge on.
Tim Ferriss: That’s true. That was probably the first time I ever splurged people think that he’s joking. He’s not actually joking. So for The 4-Hour Body, because I killed myself on that book in more ways than one, and I was super proud of it. And I made a promise to myself because I very rarely celebrated. And that’s been a weakness of mine is I don’t celebrate. I’m very hard on myself.
Well, the story I’ve told myself for a long time, is you become complacent if you overcongratulate yourself. So I tend to really not pause and smell the roses, so to speak — not you guys, the other roses. I smell you guys too, though. And “celebrate” has been this kind of word of the year for many years for me. And when I finished writing The 4-Hour Body, I promised myself if it hit number one New York Times that I would —
Kevin Rose: Horse saddles.
Tim Ferriss: Well, I didn’t think about the horse saddles specifically, but I said I’ll get something special for myself that relates to Japan because I used to live in Japan. I have this deep love for Japan and the Japanese people.
And I had around the same time, maybe a little bit afterwards, you might remember this. I did a TV show pilot where I went to Japan and attempted to learn horseback archery in one week. And I’m pretty sure you can find it online. If you go into YouTube and search Trial by Fire, you might be able to find it. It’s wild and it’s fucking dangerous as hell. So I did that and I had been thinking, maybe I’ll get a sword. Maybe I’ll get some type of armor. And then I thought to myself, actually, because I had this experience, I’d really like to get either a saddle or stirrups of some type.
Initially, I was just looking for stirrups because I thought they’d be cheaper and just easier to deal with and ended up finding a beautiful wooden carved saddle. So I do have a Japanese saddle, which at the end of the day, wasn’t that expensive. But for me, it was one of the first times I’ve ever treated myself to anything.
So yes, aside from all that. And so to zoom out, back to the question about investing, I realized when I was journaling around my birthday that thinking about money generally does not make me happy. It makes me more anxious. And at the same time, I feel like I’m pretty good at it because I’m hyper-analytical and over-analytical, you might say. I’m pretty good at fussing around and optimizing, but the optimizing at this point in my life I figured out a lot of things that make me happy.
I figured out a lot of things that don’t make me happy. And most of the things that make me happy don’t require a lot of capital. So this is just a long way of saying, I decided that I wanted to make all of my investing decisions or like money decisions by my birthday. It didn’t quite work out. So I gave myself a grace period to the 1st of August and then to take a six to 12-month break on all of that stuff.
Meaning, I’m not allowed to consider new deals. I’m not allowed to look at stocks. I’m not allowed to do any of that stuff. And so I’m glad I’m saying it publicly, because I want to make myself accountable. So I’ll tell you what I did. It’s pretty simple. I’ve thought about, and it’s been made more complex as you said, because it’s Alice in Wonderland in the markets right now.
Stuff is happening just by any kind of rational prediction, pre-COVID, just should not be happening. There’s all sorts of weird stuff. And then I’m not sure what’s happening right now, but certainly previously, you had the Fed buying high yield bonds, like all this stuff that was off the playbook. And there’s such a dislocation between the market and the economic reality of millions of people in the United States. I mean, tens of millions, the entire country for that matter that I only wanted to put money in places where I felt I had some informational advantage or not just in my head, but in my heart and gut just had some conviction that I couldn’t quite explain. Does that make sense? Where I’m just like, this feels like it makes all the sense in the world and I don’t have that very much.
So just to be clear to people, I’m not one of those people who uses the word intuition as justification for lots of haphazard shit, that’s just not me. But you and I think as a way, honestly, to kind of distract us from the stress and uncertainty, at least in my case, like talked about quite a bit of investing stuff over the last few months, but we haven’t talked in maybe the last, I don’t know, two months about this stuff.
And you had some predictions that I think turned out really well. I don’t know if you’re open to talking about them, but like Peloton, right. Where I thought maybe that was already baked in. So I was like, “I’m not going to buy a bunch of different things from Peloton. I don’t have enough room.” I do have one bike and I love the bike, but I’m not going to buy a bunch. They’ve ended up doing really well, this last I saw.
So the question I asked myself was which companies, if we’re talking about the stock market. Because I don’t think it helps people if we talk about more esoteric stuff like distress debt, or SPACs, or weird stuff that most people aren’t going to have access to. But when I looked at the stock market, because my biggest, I would say my most, my highest conviction bets have been in the stock market, which you know is crazy for me. I don’t play in that sandbox. You do that all the time. I just asked myself, this was around mid-March and I listened to an interview with Chamath, I can never say his last name, but interview on investing and sort of his framework for looking at different investments. It catalyzed a bunch of questions for me. Some were the same questions he had listed out. I put this interview in Five-Bullet Friday, the newsletter that I put out. I think the interviewer was Pomp is his nickname, or Pompliano?
Kevin Rose: Yeah. I think we both talked about this podcast together. Maybe I sent it to you, I don’t know.
Tim Ferriss: You might’ve sent to me. There’s a very good chance that you sent it to me. I mean, this is the kind of thing that you would send to me. So everybody listening, send your interviews to Kevin.
I began to wonder which companies, technology companies, would do extremely well if COVID were protracted or if COVID were somehow magically resolved in three months. Which companies would benefit from a short period of dramatic online acceleration, even if it ended in three months and especially if it continued for a year, year and a half. At the same time, I was looking closely at other countries like China, where I might be getting the numbers wrong, but they’re something like 79 percent all e-commerce and we’re 17, something like that, and it’s a lot of money.
Kevin Rose: A lot of room to grow.
Tim Ferriss: A lot of room to grow, and I wasn’t trying to do any fancy spreadsheet analysis and I know people are going to say, “Well, then you’re speculating,” and there might be some truth to that, but I only really considered a handful of companies. I ended up deciding this is when, and I can tell you what the prices were too, so Amazon at about $2,000 and Shopify at about $3.80 per share. This would have been in very, I want to say early April, but some point in April. I decided to — initially, I was looking at a bunch of different companies, and what I decided for myself was that if I was dividing my bets, because I had low conviction, I shouldn’t put money into any of those bets. I’m not saying that’s the right approach, but that logic made sense to me and I said, all right, I have high conviction around Amazon and Shopify. If one dominates the other, then perhaps I still break even. Right? But what I noticed was when I went — I use Amazon all the time and certainly my spending has increased dramatically after COVID.
I remember when Amazon was limited to essential goods and I couldn’t get anything else, right? I would go to order, like, coffee filters and it was like four-week delivery. I thought to myself, “These companies are fucked.” Right? If these people are largely dependent on Amazon and they don’t have an elegant or effective e-commerce plan B, they’re going to need to do that immediately. Who’s that going to be? As somebody who isn’t it, you know, one of the first advisors to Shopify and then — one could argue stupidly, but it made sense to me at the time. I ended up selling shortly after lockup period when they IPOed, so I became an advisor and they had eight to 12 employees. Now they have whatever, 2,000. I always kicked myself, right? Because I love those guys and they know what they’re doing. They’re good guys, they’re very strategically intelligent, they’re great at executing, so I was always kind of kicking myself and when they suspended their guidance for 2020 and they got pummeled, I just thought to myself, all right, if you really believe that and you’re seeing this kind of trend, then this would be the time to push some serious chips in.
It’s like either put in enough where if it grows — and I kind of in my mind thought, “Okay, two to three x in share price over the next three years.” Did not expect it to happen in three months. I mean, that’s just bonkers, right?
Kevin Rose: Yeah.
Tim Ferriss: But those are the only — I don’t think I’m omitting anything, but I think those are the two stocks that I put a lot into, but it was really thinking about what would do well no matter what. Of course there are lots of unknowns. There’s key person risk in both of these companies, but they’ve both been really, really smart. I don’t know about you, I think you do this too. I mean, I base a lot of my investment decisions — this is true for early stage and it’s also true for later stage, just based on my personal day to day experiences and how I’m spending money and how my behaviors are changing. If I see those same behaviors changing in a dozen of my friends, I’m like, “I think this is the thing.”
Kevin Rose: Well, I mean, that’s the beauty of being an early adopter, which you are and which I am. You’re early. Right? If that’s true and if all of our friends are early adopters and we’re all early on something, we should be buying that stock, right?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, so I follow the same kind of strategy in that I have two buckets. One, we should both say neither of us are registered investment advisors and this is not investment advice. This is just what we do personally. Two things. My sister, what will I tell her? I’ll tell her, don’t buy any of the individual stocks. Buy Wealthfront, go into Wealthfront, get a bunch of index funds, play it safe, do your thing, set yourself up for retirement, you’re done.
One bucket of my portfolio is like that. It’s just like ultra-safe, low growth, nothing fancy, lots of index funds, blah, blah, blah. Then there’s the, “Okay, let’s take this,” and this is different for everyone in terms of what their allocation would be, but some percentage of your overall net worth and say, “I’m going to take that and invest it in something that I hope will have a blended three x over the next five years, right?”
Tim Ferriss: Yup.
Kevin Rose: Or four x, whatever you’re kind of aiming for. For me, it’s the same bucket. So I was thinking, okay, heading into COVID, what are the things that are going to do better? Which would be a Peloton? Because gyms are closed, it’s a fantastic product. The churn is effectively zero because when someone else buys a bike that is being sold used, a new subscriber is then activated, which is crazy. It’s one of the very few products that has like zero churn. You have to imagine they were working on, and they’ve hinted at this publicly, they’re working on other types of equipment, right? So it’s not just a one-trick pony. They already had a treadmill, they pulled it back. They said they’re revamping it. It’s a, like right now, even today, it’s a $19-billion company. If you think of this more as a technology subscription play and the future of fitness, I think there’s a much larger business to be built here. We were talking about this when it was under $10-billion in market cap. So that’s interesting.
Amazon, obviously, to your point about e-commerce penetration being relatively low in the United States, there is no bigger Goliath. There is no bigger giant than this beast of a company, and it’s like, they’re just going to continue to crush everything. So for me, that’s not a three x because it’s already a $1.8-trillion company or whatever it is now, there’s still some growth to be had there. It’s like, I’m not betting against e-commerce ever, and especially in a COVID world, people are going to be shopping and do more shopping online. I like that.
Square, I love how they diversified their product offering. Square Cash is a fantastic app. So it’s not about brick and mortar, it’s now about, you know, they’re doing stock trading, they’re doing Bitcoin purchases, which they’ve made a ton of money off this last quarter. It’s about building out that suite of personal finance tools for the unbanked directly in that cash app, which is, I just think — to my point earlier about the three to five x, you have to look at lower market cap companies. You can’t be looking at an Apple or an Amazon for those types of returns over time. Square’s a $67-billion company. I believe there’s more room for them to grow there. Like you want Shopify for everything you’ve said. Tesla, same thing. I think it’s expensive right now, but I mean, they’re continuing to build up these massive gigafactories. There’s a reason why every other week they’re like announcing a new gigafactory. The demand is there and they have a fantastic product. Yeah, I just love, it’s hard to bet against them.
Here’s one that’s interesting that I haven’t told you about. I don’t know if you know this, but Intel is kind of screwed right now. They’ve had a really hard time with their chip manufacturing and getting this new process down, these smaller die chips. AMD has been crushing them, but here’s what’s interesting. Apple also moved away from Intel chips, is now doing their own chips, right? So Apple and AMD, but Apple is not using AMD. Apple is using their own silicon and doing everything. So who makes all these chips? It’s a company called TSM, out of Taiwan, that makes all these next-generation — they’re like the better version of Intel. So TSM, I think is going to be, I mean, they’re already at $375-billion company so they’re not tiny, but TSM is massive.
Now also consider this. We’re going into the fall. Two things are happening. PlayStation, the new PlayStation, the new Xbox that are coming out. Both of them, AMD architecture, both of them being manufactured by TSM in terms of the chips themselves. I’m excited about TSM. Then I buy some gold to hedge all of that and then that’s pretty much about it. Oh, you know, Spotify, dude. I think Spotify is going to be seen as the Netflix of audio, and eventually, we’ll get into video as well. I think it’s going to be — there’s a reason they haven’t launched Joe Rogan in the app yet and I think it’s because they’re revamping — my gut tells me they’re revamping the player and they’re going to announce video at the same time and it’s going to be like, Spotify is going to be like the next Netflix.
Tim Ferriss: I think that was — I agree with you and I — one of the publicly discussed but under-discussed aspects of that deal was the inclusion of video, that his show would be coming off of YouTube and going into Spotify. Right?
Kevin Rose: Interesting.
Tim Ferriss: That’s the thing that people were like, “Oh, yeah, and they’re doing the video thing,” but okay, but look at the audio and look at the price of the deal, and I’m like, no, no, no.
Kevin Rose: Right.
Tim Ferriss: That video is super fucking important.
Kevin Rose: Right, exactly.
Tim Ferriss: Pay attention to that. That’s a big, big, big deal.
Kevin Rose: It’s huge.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. Yeah. Those guys are smart. They’re really smart.
Kevin Rose: They have the Michelle Obama podcast now that’s exclusive to Spotify. It’s funny, I was talking to talk about like the speaking of early adopter stuff. I was talking to my wife Darya and she’s like — we just had this conversation last night — she’s like, “Ah, Google Podcasts is crashing for me.” She goes, “You know what, I’m just going to use Spotify because everything’s there and they’ve got some exclusive content now,” and I was like, ding, ding, ding, ding! That’s just, it’s going to be the default.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. They’re smart and they’re being very, very aggressive in ways that some of their competition really can’t. I mean, they technically could, but they’re just not designed to be aggressive in the way that Spotify is being aggressive. I’ll be super curious to watch this space, obviously because I play so much of the podcast world, but —
Kevin Rose: Do you think you’ll ever join them?
Tim Ferriss: I don’t know. I don’t know. It would have to be an incredibly good offer. I’ve thought about this quite a bit, I mean, as it relates to different options, right? Because there have to be some responses or reactions from the big players, right? Like Apple, Amazon, and Google are all going to put a lot of capital and energy into this space because there’s money to be had. If anyone’s playing with music, they recognize that the margins and advertising dollars are much more interesting. The economics are so much more attractive for podcasts and spoken word. Right, I mean, look at Audible, right? What a monster. So dominant. Another reason that I’m bullish.
Actually, one of the reasons I was really bullish on Amazon, as I said, and this actually came from a friend of mine, Mike, who pointed it out and he said, what is going to happen with live sports? How are they going to broadcast sports to millions of people? Who is equipped to handle this right now? And he’s like, Amazon with Twitch is equipped to handle this in some fashion, right? There’s infrastructure within Amazon that can be adapted for all sorts of gaps in the market.
Kevin Rose: Well, the beautiful thing is that Amazon gets paid no matter what, because guess what happens when Google taps out their data centers, what they’d light up next?
Tim Ferriss: AWS.
Kevin Rose: They’re lighting up Amazon — yeah, exactly. Everybody’s lighting up AWS when this stuff goes big.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, exactly. Let me ask you a question about — a couple of things real quick. So yes, confirmed that we are not registered investment advisors, and I think it’s really important for me to provide a little more context around my comments, where I said I put in enough chips where it would be meaningful with say Amazon and Shopify. Man, you said Spotify, I always confuse the shit out of those two. When I put money into both of those companies, I had roughly 14 times more in cash reserves. This is really important to keep in mind. In other words, at the time, if I put two percent of my liquid net worth into those stocks, I had something like 30 percent in cash or cash-like reserves, right? I’m playing it, from my perspective, it’s kind of safe in that respect. I do not recommend people stock pick, in general. I just think it’s a terrible idea.
Kevin Rose: The other thing too is if you’re going to play in this world, there’s no such thing as timing the market and you just never know what’s going to happen. Always dollar cost average your way into any position. That means if you have $500 to invest, rather than say “Tomorrow, I’m going to go buy some Spotify for 500 bucks and just call it a day.” Maybe divide that into five $100 investments over the course of five months or three months. You’re not buying at the bottom, you’re not buying at the high, but you’re getting that blended dollar cost average and a lot of people do that as a little mini way to hedge, because who knows what’s going to happen, given how insane this market is.
The second piece that I think is important to mention is, and I think, Tim, you’re in this boat too, but I wouldn’t be buying anything that I wouldn’t want to hold for the next five-plus years, so it doesn’t really matter —
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, that’s super important. I should have said that. I was planning on not touching these for three to five years.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. So I mean, if something drops by 40 percent, will I be crushed by looking at the price? Of course, but I think long-term, I’m going to be in a fine position. That’s the way you kind of — you alluded to this too. It has to be something that you’re comfortable losing at the same time, right? So it shouldn’t be the life savings, right?
Tim Ferriss: We should also say, it’s like we’re talking about companies that we actually really fucking know.
Kevin Rose: Right.
Tim Ferriss: At some level, right? I mean, this doesn’t mean that — it’s a different type of knowing than reading every analyst report. It’s just a deep product knowledge and the fact that we both — I know dozens and hundreds of companies that use Shopify, right? As their eCommerce solution. I use Amazon every day for one thing or another. I think that’s important to keep in mind. Question about — I think my dog really has to pee so I’m going to take her out in a minute. She’s —
You’re being very good, you’re being very good.
Kevin Rose: We can wrap things up.
Tim Ferriss: We can wrap things up. This would be a good way to expedite the answer to my question, which is, you said you’re buying gold. How do you think about gold versus crypto? Because you’ve been very involved or knowledgeable of and tracking crypto for quite a long time. And are you buying ETF? Are you buying bars in some vault in a foreign country? What are you doing? And why gold versus crypto? How do you think about them differently?
Kevin Rose: Well, on the gold side, I like to look at the ETFs that do warehouse their own gold and actually have full transparency reports about actually owning the bars. I actually buy the iShares Gold Trust, which is IAU. I like that a couple — that one, they’re — the biggest one out there is GLD, but their expense ratios are higher. IAU, I believe there was a couple of things I looked into that is also like providence, like where they’re keeping their gold as well, and IAU was keeping it in Switzerland and I think one, I think the UK as well. I want to make sure where they’re storing it is also safe and secure and not in some kind of crazy war zone or something else that could potentially go really bad on that front.
Tim Ferriss: Bank of Sierra Leone?
Kevin Rose: Yeah. It’s like, you know? I went with that one. I’m sure they’re all, the big ones are all probably pretty decent. But in terms of crypto, I have a bunch of cryptocurrency that is not yet tradable, that I’ve invested in over the last few years and so that hasn’t hit the market yet. So I already see my crypto bucket as being pretty full. I don’t think holding Bitcoin or Ethereum is a bad idea. I just wouldn’t make it any substantial portion of my overall portfolio. It wouldn’t be 10 percent or something crazy, you know?
Tim Ferriss: Why do you have less confidence in crypto than gold? That’s a leading question, but I’m just making an assumption here. Not to imply that I am a Super Bowl with crypto, but it seems like in some respects, you are more confident in gold as a disaster hedge versus crypto. Why would that be the case, if it’s true?
Kevin Rose: Well I just — it is true and I believe that you have to look at what are the safe asset choices that institutional investors have direct access to. There is no easy way, ETF, to buy cryptocurrency. It’s just not there yet. It’s not to say that people won’t turn to crypto and the prices won’t five x by the time this video is released, who knows? But I know that gold is so time-tested that I feel it’s a proper hedge and I’m okay with having some portion of my portfolio being gold.
Tim Ferriss: Now do you view that as a hedge against hyperinflation, a hedge against general equity collapse? What are you hedging with gold?
Kevin Rose: I would say a little bit of both, but mostly general equity collapse. Like just something — I’m hedging in that I believe if all — let’s just say we have a vaccine that doesn’t work and this turns into a three or four-year process instead of a one year and change process. Jobs don’t come back. That’s going to be a pretty brutal place to play. Right? The markets, I think, at that point might start to sour. It’s very confusing why they haven’t today, but in that case, I would like a little more something, something that’s a little more concrete, like having gold as part of a portfolio. But that’s just me. Everybody’s different. I have some friends that won’t touch the stuff so — and then I have some friends that actually have bars in their — like actual, physical gold bars! You know some of those people as well.
Tim Ferriss: I do. Yeah, I know people.
Kevin Rose: You probably have some.
Tim Ferriss: No, I don’t. I don’t, actually, but I’m just like, if it gets that bad, where it’s like Mad Max and marauders, or you going to drive your fucking dune buggy with machine guns down to the 7-Eleven and take a razor blade and shave off a sliver of gold to get your tampons? No, you’re not.
Kevin Rose: Right, like Tim’s on the corner with a little hatchet, he’s etching off some gold and trading it for some lentils.
Tim Ferriss: If it gets that bad, you’re going to have to use your gold as a weapon because it’s not going to have any functional value. But I mean, who knows? Maybe it’s — maybe — God, it just feeds every, not paranoid, but sort of apocalyptic, scenario-planning compulsion that I have, which I try to not get wrapped up in it.
Kevin Rose: It’s hard though.
Tim Ferriss: It’s so seductive. It’s so seductive.
Kevin Rose: Yeah.
Tim Ferriss: Cool. Thanks for answering that. Yeah. I think people should be prepared for a long haul. I think it’s very dangerous to try to do any short-term trading. I actually heard an anecdote. I’m not going to mention any names, but one of the best-known hedge fund investors in the world who has an incredible, incredible track record. I mean, the guy, his compounded annual returns over decades are just ludicrous.
He came in, this was a couple of weeks ago, and basically said to his team, he’s like, “Guys, it’s too fucking hard. Just take a vacation. We’re not going to try to deal with this right now.” If that is happening in one of the top shops in the world, I don’t think it’s a good idea for 99.999 percent of people to do any short-term trading. You’re going to get eaten alive, either by other traders who do this 24/7 or high-frequency folks, or you’re just going to get murdered by the market. Right? As the saying goes, the market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. It’s crazy when you read these Reddits, subreddits about these Robinhood traders that are using that app to leverage their positions. These kids are going in there and just getting these crazy leveraged positions on certain things. I mean, they’re driving up bankrupt companies like Hertz and all these to new record highs. And you’re just like, this is not, we shouldn’t be playing. Don’t play with this stuff. Well, that one kid, that poor kid. I don’t know, did you hear about what happened?
Tim Ferriss: I don’t know. There are a lot of poor kids these days. Which one are you talking about?
Kevin Rose: This one got — Robinhood, the app, it’s a fantastic trading app. It’s a great piece of software, but it allows people to opt into options trading and leveraged trading with like, three clicks. It’s super simple.
Tim Ferriss: That’s terrifying to me.
Kevin Rose: Oh, I know. So these kids go in and this one kid put in, I don’t know what the dollar amount was, but he got on the wrong side of being leveraged and he saw — I mean, he didn’t know these things were going to expire and he saw a negative — I don’t know. I’m making up a number, but it’s something like a hundred thousand dollars negative account, and he killed himself.
Tim Ferriss: Oh, my God.
Kevin Rose: All over Robinhood. Just a misunderstanding of what was going to happen in the end and just got so wrapped up doing it. It’s — ooh. It’s playing with fire.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, it is. Honestly, for me, another reason why I’m just hitting pause on all this stuff is that for me these days, the function of investing, and that can be applied to time and energy, but certainly capital, is to increase your quality of life. Right? If one agrees that that is, let’s just take that as the primary objective. If you’re making investments that cause you to lose sleep and chew your fingernails and to have cortisol pour out your eyeballs, it’s a bad investment. It doesn’t matter if you’re two xes 10xes, or 100xes. If for a protracted period of time, it’s going to have that psycho-emotional effect on you, it’s not a good investment. I’ve learned that the hard way too. I’ve chased returns, certainly, in the startup world and all this stuff and I was like, “This fucking sucks. This is not fun.” Even if you’re good at it doesn’t mean you should do it.
Kevin Rose: Watch, after this podcast comes out, venison futures are going to shoot up and like — did I mention, venison is the future?
Tim Ferriss: Venison is the future. Maui Nui, get after it. Cool, man. Well, it’s awesome to see you, brother.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, good to see you too.
Tim Ferriss: Miss hanging out and it’s a bummer to not be able to spend time in person, so hopefully we’ll be able to do that before too long.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. Agreed, dude. It’s been too long. I’m actually really glad that you got to visit us just before this whole COVID thing happened. It wasn’t that many months before. It was good to see you then, but it’s been, it’s tough. It’s tough. Stuck in the house all — it’s a hard with significant others too, you know? It’s like you really realize what your relationship’s made of, but —
Tim Ferriss: You get to see all the stuff.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, exactly.
Tim Ferriss: And all your stuff. I’ve got no shortage of my stuff. It’s a daily project. Anything else you want to say before we wrap up?
Kevin Rose: No.
Tim Ferriss: Where people can find you, anything like that?
Kevin Rose: Yeah. I mean, I’m not on social, really, these days. I do tweet every once in a while @kevinrose, but — yeah, I would say one thing I would like to mention is if people want to check out that Zen interview I did on my podcast with Henry. I thought it was quite good. You know how — and I’m sure, Tim, you get like this too. You probably, obviously don’t say it publicly, but you record episodes and you’re like, “It was just okay,” you know? It’s like — you know, sometimes you’re like —
Tim Ferriss: Every once in a while, you get one of those, yeah.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. So this one, I was like, “Wow, I actually, I think I did a pretty decent job with this one.” I was pretty proud of it. I think people will enjoy this one with Henry Shukman. You can find that at podcast.kevinrose.com
Tim Ferriss: Sweet. For me, I really loved doing the Hugh Jackman interview.
Kevin Rose: That must’ve been huge for you.
Tim Ferriss: It was amazing. Yeah, it was just a dream come true. I mean, he’s been on the wishlist forever and he just was so game. People want to check that out, I think it’s just tim.blog/hugh.
Kevin Rose: I haven’t listened to it. I’ve got to listen to it because Darya was like, “Did you hear that Tim interviewed Hugh Jackman?” I’m like —
Tim Ferriss: Oh, you’d love it!
Kevin Rose: The first thing out of my mouth was, “He must’ve been shitting himself.” Like that’s like your dream episode.
Tim Ferriss: I was nervous. I was super nervous. It was great. It was great, so hopefully people —
Kevin Rose: Did you ask him about his training and stuff?
Tim Ferriss: I did, yeah.
Kevin Rose: I knew you would have, yeah. Doing Wolverine and everything?
Tim Ferriss: I was like, “If you could only choose one exercise, what would it be and why and what would the protocol be?” He really gave the details and got into specifics.
Kevin Rose: Oh, that’s exciting. That’s awesome.
Tim Ferriss: It was awesome. So that one, I’d recommend people check out. If you just search my name and Hugh Jackman or go to your podcast app of choice. Then also, I’d say one thing that I am still doing that I’m still really enjoying is Five-Bullet Friday, which is the newsletter that goes out to between one and 2 million people every Friday. It’s free, it’s just five bullets of the five coolest things that I’ve come across that week or that I’m thinking about using, experimented with, pondering. You can find that at tim.blog/friday.
Kevin Rose: Sweet.
Tim Ferriss: That’s it for me, man, but give a hug to the fam for me. Miss you guys.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. Miss you guys too and yeah, let your dog go pee.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. All right. Molly thanks us for getting off.
Kevin Rose: All right.
Tim Ferriss: All right, brother. All right, see you. Let me hit stop here.
The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 600 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.