I was listening to the Tim Ferriss podcast today, in an episode where he discusses caging his monkey mind along with many other things. (He’s being interviewed rather than interviewing someone else.)
He talked about the success of the podcast and mentions it as part of his long term vision. Speaking with and learning from top performers probably doesn’t get old.
He says at a certain point it’s sort of ridiculous for him to think that he needs to interview more people. There’s certainly enough information in the first 150 interviews to learn from and apply.
Hypothetically, he could crowdsource questions then send the best questions and a microphone off to the person he’s interviewing. Then they’d record and send it back. He’s actually pretty much done this and some of the results have been very good.
He discussed whether he would create a book or something similar that would compress the knowledge shared through his podcasts.
This made me think about the books I’m reading. A lot of the books have the same information and the studies cited start showing up across multiple books. It’s similar to noticing an author is doing the rounds on different podcasts.
As for a single takeaway from the episode, he says he constantly asks himself this question:
What would this look like if it were easy?
That’s how he got to the crowdsourced podcast idea. Most of his interviews aren’t on that extreme end, but they’re still very streamlined. He said a lot of people get to two episodes and quit. He knew if he tried to create a slick, heavily produced podcast, he’d probably stop at two episodes also. A podcast where it’s two people talking pretty much just needs to be mono and loud enough.
This episode sounds like audio pulled off a video recording and that had minimal effect on how informative it was.
Each podcast has a structure. He allows the conversation to flow but he asks similar questions. He’s interested in rituals. He’s curious about what people do first thing in the morning. If they write, what their process is. If they’re particular about nutrition or fitness, he digs for the underlying principles.
He mentioned something I heard in Grit about routines1: there’s some overlap between routines but there isn’t one single best routine for everyone. The key is having a routine at all.
(And probably meditation.)
What would this blog look like if it were easy? For starters, the writing would be better and it would write itself.
Until then, I’ll keep chipping away at the hard things.
In Grit, Angela Duckworth talks about the book Daily Rituals. The audiobook version of which was produced by… Tim Ferriss. ↩