My top-10 most popular episodes of The Tim Ferriss Show, as of September 1, 2017, are below.
But achtung! I didn’t rank episodes in descending order of total downloads. Due to rapid growth, there would be a misleading recency bias — in other words, a newer decent episode could be “more popular” than an older blockbuster episode that was 3x the average at the time. To correct for this, we used a better methodology, and I owe special thanks to my brother for the help.*
1. Jamie Foxx on Workout Routines, Success Habits, and Untold Hollywood Stories (#124) — tim.blog/jamie
2. The Scariest Navy SEAL I’ve Ever Met . . . and What He Taught Me (#107) — tim.blog/jocko
3. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Psychological Warfare (and Much More) (#60) — tim.blog/arnold
4. Dom D’Agostino on Fasting, Ketosis, and the End of Cancer (#117) — tim.blog/dom2
5. Tony Robbins on Morning Routines, Peak Performance, and Mastering Money (#37) — tim.blog/tony
6. How to Design a Life — Debbie Millman (#214) — tim.blog/debbie
7. Tony Robbins — On Achievement Versus Fulfillment (#178) — tim.blog/tony2
8. Kevin Rose (#1) — tim.blog/kevinrose [If you want to hear how bad a first episode can be, this delivers. Drunkenness didn’t help matters.]
9. Charles Poliquin on Strength Training, Shredding Body Fat, and Increasing Testosterone and Sex Drive (#91) — tim.blog/charles
10. Mr. Money Mustache — Living Beautifully on $25–27K Per Year (#221) — tim.blog/mustache
*Explanation from my statistician brother: “I first modeled the growth of the podcast over time. I used a linear regression model after a logarithmic transformation. (A logarithmic transform, which implies that the downloads have been growing exponentially, was the near optimal box-cox transformation.) I calculated the standard error at each point using the 95 percent prediction bands. For each podcast episode, I then calculated the residual (the difference between the observed downloads and the regression line) and then standardized this difference by the standard error. I then ranked episodes according to this metric, by how many standard deviations they exceeded the mean trend line.”
The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 500 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.