Cal Newport and Tim Ferriss Revisit “The 4-Hour Workweek” Plus Much More! | The Tim Ferriss Show | Transcription
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Introduction: The Discussion Topic
Cal Newport and Tim Ferriss Revisit “The 4-Hour Workweek” Plus Much More! (00:00)
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I'm a cybernetic organism living tissue or a metal antoscopy. Me too. Paris show. Hello boys and girls ladies and germs this is Tim Ferriss welcome to another episode of the Tim Ferriss show where does my job to deconstruct world class performers to tease out the routines habits etc. You can apply to your own lives this episode can be a little bit different in this episode past podcast guest and excellent writer Cal Newport interviews me for an article he ended up writing for the New Yorker titled revisiting the four hour work week how Tim Ferriss is 2007 manifesto anticipated our current moment of professional up. He will so the call itself was for material we were having a conversation for this print piece that ended up coming out and I really enjoyed the conversation and thought you might as well so who's Cal Cal Newport you can find him at Cal Newport dot com C al N E w P O R T dot com is an associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University who previously earned his PhD from MIT his scholarship focuses on the theory of distributed systems. While his general audience writing explores intersections of culture and technology Cal is the author of seven books including most recently deep work digital minimalism and a world without email. He is also a contributing writer for the New Yorker and the host of the deep questions podcast you can find my interview with Cal me interviewing him that is at Tim dot blog slash Cal Newport and you can find the 2007 talk at South by Southwest. It launched everything so my talk at that festival my first ever keynote on the content and the concepts in the four hour work week at Tim dot blog slash s s w and with all that said please enjoy. Tim thanks for taking some time to talk with me today.
Reflections On The 4-Hour Workweek: Insights, Challenges And Outcomes
Some of the first cracks in my post-Princeton life that hinted at the unsustainable nature of Silicon Valley workaholic culture and led me toward a realization that The 4-Hour Workweek might be a book worth writing. (07:36)
I pleasure excited to dig in yeah so I really want to focus you know as we've talked about before on the conception and immediate reception of the four hour work week and just to remind you of the context i'm interested in this idea that. That books reception in 2007 was actually a warning shot of sorts about what was happening in the world of work becoming less sustainable and it was a warning shot that was largely forgotten. And now we are feeling it today the after effects of this thing that you are pointing out early so i want to get into a little bit of story of the book and reception i'm gonna ask you about that. Get your thoughts about why in some sense that warning shot faded out of people's perception for a while so that's the route i'm gonna take it that's a minute both to you. That's absolutely amenable i'm game. I want to set the context of the times and a culture before you start conceiving this book so. Right off the bat you graduated Princeton i have this right right around 2000 most the actual year you got it exactly 2000 okay. And did you go straight from Princeton to true sand was that your first job i did i did okay yeah i had the desk in the fire exit very much not up to code. Over over over capacity so exciting time to get land in Silicon Valley. And you were there for that first crash that 2001 yes absolutely absolutely so when did you begin. To notice signs of unsustainability about the work culture out there was it true sand was it later. Start up and what was it like out there because and just as context is 2000 to 2005 roughly this is when as far as i can tell. Something tipped in the culture especially silicon valley towards this sort of hyper community of unsustainable so i know somewhere around this was happening you were there what were you seeing on the ground back then i'm seeing what i suppose. Many people were seeing and engaging in which is a. Heroic sprint or what was intended to hopefully be a sprint to cash in cash out with these. Incredibly fast growing startups this was. The new new economy all the rules were thrown out at least that's how it was presented in the media and i think everyone there was inclined to believe it because it was a. An appealing fiction that you could sprint for a few years and everyone could make a ton of money and cash out turns out that is harder to do then it would seem on paper but when things crashed at least what is up for the tech startup implosion. Was people coming into the office on. The day before thanks giving or thanks giving and working late into the night and so on and that in and of itself is not. Intrinsically unsustainable for everyone but it's unsustainable for a lot of people right if you're Ruth better ginsburg yes you can do that for the entirety of your whole life if you're a Henry Kissinger you can also do that. But i think the vast majority of us can't sustain up incredibly long period of time so i took the behaviors that i had. Developed working in the startup culture working in a very fast growing startup and then applied it to my own business starting around. Say 2001 my tenure truss and last very long because truss and last very long and i was. Working across multiple times i was waking up early going to bed very very late and clocking i would say at least 12 hour days typically and. What i began to notice this is very early from a tech perspective right if you wanted to access. Certain say files on your computer this is pre drop box you might have to use something like go to my pc to log in remotely and so on so. As far as mobility and remote access is very very early days we have flintstones tools at the time. Compared to today but the breaking point for me was about 2004 and i was dating wonderful girl who i thought was probably going to end up my wife and she broke up with me and gave me a not exactly a plaque but i do know this trifold. Photo holders you get a target or something like that the wire brushed and so on it so she had created. Collage of sorts it showed me photograph my head cut out and pasted onto this. Paper body in a business suit with a briefcase with stuff flying out it said business hours and at five p.m. issue is that keep this for your health put this on your desk and at the end of that relationship. What i realized was that outside of the pre. Startup crash euphoria and the quick flips and so on if i tell us go out. And if i'm not really getting to your answer tell me but this is a microcosm of the macrocosm if that makes sense if i tell us go out a year five years ten years. And looked at the behaviors they were not sustainable and the problems that were small we're going to get bigger the little. Physical issues that i had from sitting in front of computer for those types of stretches were just going to compound so on and so forth and so that is when i decided to either. Completely rethink and remake the business or shut it down and that led to. A commitment to back when you can buy a one way ticket overseas without too much trouble i bought a one way ticket to the uk where i stayed with a college friend crashed on couch. I committed to spend four weeks there to figure things out and ultimately even with the rudimentary tools at the time was able to really. Automate. An outsperson incredible amount at the time using things like you lance and again remote access tools like go to my pc where you still have to go to an internet cafe mind you. I guess it's easy internet or easy cafe which was the internet cafe equivalent or cousin of easy jet if that rings any bells and. I just continue traveling because i had to remove the need to be physically in one location and that led me to travel around the world for. Around a year and over that period of time was guest and i'll stop in a minute because i'm not sure if i'm going to the right direction but over that time and for actually many years prior from 2000. Was the date i want to say it was two thousand three to two thousand thirteen i guess lectured at Princeton twice a year in high tech entrepreneurship class and i was the bootstrapping example. And i began to codify the rules that i had borrowed or refined for myself in this huge experiment and that much later turn into the for work week. Just by the way as an aside where was the business school at Princeton so who were they hiding this high tech entrepreneurship class i'm assuming it was probably phenomenally popular. It was very popular and relatively new all things considered it was in the. It was in two departments is really for anyone so it's an electrical engineering and even though it was decidedly non technical it was within electrical engineering and also i believe it was so. I believe it was called it may have changed in name or operations research finance financial engineering operations engineering. So i believe it's straddled both of those departments and so you had undergrads and graduate students in that class and it was phenomenally popular the professor Ed Shao z h a u. Is an incredible. Human incredible teacher incredible character he's worth looking up i don't know how much you want me to get into right now but he was a former competitive figure skater had. Been a congressman had taken a couple of companies public was one of the first computer science teachers at Stanford had then taught at Harvard business school of course chronologically all these things are. Out of order and he was tremendously inspiring and also encouraging and so he helped connect me. Ultimately with the people who led to the job of true son. And was he and was he taught you the product principle that right. It's a good question i'm not sure if Ed taught me pareto's principle the pareto principle could also have come from a lot of reading i mean i've always been a voracious reader so it could have come from any number of. Someone you cited yet in your two thousand seven speech maybe was a different ed was there an ed louis there a different of a red. If i had mentioned. And probably would be a show so i'm perfectly happy to attribute it to add. We'll get in the credit rewinding just a little bit though so i like this idea that you have this you know.
The fatal flaw in my first startup that ensured I wouldn’t be able to easily sell it. (17:22)
The new new thing culture in silicon valley late nineties early two thousands everyone wants to gym clerk. Hyperion yacht you know i think i'm gonna end up right and so you go and you go to your start up you know this is how i'm gonna push now because that's what you do. Now in your case you mentioned some i think maybe the far work week which i just read last weekend thanks for that you mention cryptically. What's great i love the book and i still remember my first listening of it after a common friend remit set he called me was like. My friend Tim has this book you gotta read it today and i listen to it on audible or whatever it was back and reporter. Good narrator yeah great was great yeah. She does a lot of thrillers now to yeah he's perfect. You mentioned you mentioned the book that you made a fatal flaw. With your company that meant that you weren't going to this wasn't something you're selling three years and by the yacht. A little bit of a side of this curious what was the fatal flaw that made the company something that wasn't going to be quickly sold. Well i think that if you start with the end in my perhaps i started with the wrong end and by that i mean. My relationships and contracts and so on would not. Necessarily transfer over to new leadership so a lot of the business was dependent on me ultimately i created the business because i understood. That. I had a very large margin of safety with the actual profit margin and it was also an area i understood really well but the the flaw was not there were many there was more than one flaws the short answer but there's a good book actually that. People can read which gives them pretty much the just in the title and that is built to sell. And more extreme example of something not built to sell would be say the timfer show the podcast right it is so intrinsically intertwined with me there's a key man in this case dependency. There's a bunch of that built into the business. End that made it more difficult the other piece that made it difficult in a sense which can be a very elegant solution for. You know has to call it a lifestyle business because some of these so called lifestyle businesses are really just cash flow. Healthy businesses that are privately held right i think they get maybe an unfair knock. But with many of these lifestyle businesses certainly a lot of the businesses that exist now and a lot of businesses were created after people read the four hour week. You would have one or two owners and then you would have lots of contractors. And if you have an assembled a management team that would. Effectively transfer as an aqua hire even if the price were larger to another company there are all sorts of complexities involved so. That's a bit of a meandering answer but there are a bunch of weaknesses because i created it first and foremost. Having never sold the company having never invested in startups having never even really considered how one would build a company to sell i started it first and foremost to produce. Cash flow and that's the. Long and short answer right exactly that in some sense because you've mentioned before for example at some point people tried to knock it off and successfully and that's because it's not just the idea or simply to write contractors. It's the intense focus on operations that the founder runner you inject into it that i am here seven a.m. Midnight doing all the things keeping the things up carrying your the operational cog. Yeah absolutely you can hire all the contractors and set up a relationship with the manufacturer but if you're not paying attention to it. Cal may i add actually one more thing yeah sure of course i was just gonna say i think it's important to note that because we're talking about sprints. And i mentioned that word at least and sustainability and so on i think it is all things equal critically important if you are opting in to say the venture back startup game where there are some zero some scenarios. That you work your ass off i do actually think that's important if you're playing that game. And it is in some ways very similar to professional sports it tends to favor the young who are really going to put those to grindstone and are willing to. Engage in that type of full contact sport. But even within that type of intense environment things very often take two or three times longer than you would like them to and cost two or three times more so it makes sense to have systems and habits and principles that. Support those types of contingency plans that makes sense.
A snapshot of Silicon Valley in the early 2000s: a prototyping and testing ground for new technologies and a hotbed of hustling. (22:16)
Well yeah and i think glad you brought that up because this sort of brings me to my next question which is. You have this culture emergency silicon valley where there's people making a run for. Startups that going big for the first time this capital was there everyone saw what happened in that scape and then the firing gun had had been fired. But then what interest me this right on if you have an answer not. Is step attitude. Matastised out of people who were employee number three on a startup trying to hit an IPO schedule and it grew to just. I'm a programmer i'm in the marketing department at this larger company and then it grew out of silicon valley in the knowledge work more generally this let's get after it let's print this hustle culture. And the other place it had shown up or it was sort of necessary was in high finance in the eighties i guess you might go Lewis now. For him looking at silicon valley of course you have liars poker see you also was that culture was coming out of the managing director. Push in high finance in the eighties and nineties and then we get this push for your start but it's spread. And it spread the people who i'm not in line to i don't own 30% of a company that my efforts going towards that i'm gonna make a lot of money when this thing sells and yet everyone. Again working more and more like that rarefied model of the founder trying to make. There's start up successful i don't have an answer i don't have an answer but i don't have a thought on it but why. Is this just silicon valley's cultural influence because this is what i saw that idea spread and people began treating work became more and more that type of sprint even when there was a clear finish line that you're sprinting towards. It's a good question and i can only take an educated stab at it but it's still speculative i would say. I think what happens in silicon valley often is twofold there are. Companies and people who are lionized and put on a pedestal and therefore culturally. There is a lot of imitation of silicon valley i do think that's a piece i do think though it's possible and even. Larger piece is that silicon valley certainly at that time and there are more places like silicon valley now. Whether that's new city came bridge shang hai Beijing if there are more places like it will if we flash back to the early two thousands silicon valley was also the prototyping and testing ground for new technologies and you had. Bleeding edge early adopters even if technologies are available i think of the. William Gibson quote which is very overused but it is app here which is the future is already here it's just not very evenly distributed that's true. In silicon valley so for instance years ago you could go into a coffee shop in. Palo Alto and they were actually attempting. Give us koopa cafe co u p a they were attempting to allow you to pay in bitcoin. For your coffee i don't think they had many takers but nonetheless that was an option and similarly i think. Whether it's internet cafes remote work arrangements virtual organizations a lot of these were tested really on and you also had people buying tools and. iPhones and so on all the i phone may have come later with a certain density and silicon valley and when you have all those tools and you have certain cultural norms but you they're enabled by. A certain pervasive technology fetish if we look at where we are now it's easiest to make the point that. When you can always be connected and when you don't have a single physical office you can work all the time. And in fact it's incredibly challenging and you need strategies and rules. Maybe even technological constraints so that you don't work all the time it bleeds over. I think that's a byproduct of not just the culture and the narrative although that's a big piece of it's also by product of. Silicon Valley at the time at least being ground zero for density of new tech use which then proliferated out to other places. I like this because i think it's the alternate hypothesis and it's a hobby horse hypothesis of mine that the other way to understand.
Cal says I mentioned email four times in the opening six minutes of my first South by Southwest talk. In retrospect, what bigger problems did this portend, and how was my approach somewhat transgressive, considering the audience? (26:44)
People getting more busy work seeming less sustainable we have that my original hypothesis which is there's this culture of over work that came out of silicon valley but i what you're saying here is the other i think competing hypothesis which is maybe even more. Right i mean i just read a whole book about this it was the tools and that when you give people always on low friction digital communication there's weird dynamics to occur and i note for example. And you're two thousand seven sort of coming out south by south west talk south by south with interactive talks i want to get to a sort of the core of this books release. I just re listen to it email is mentioned you mention email four times in the first six minutes of that talk it is your personification in some sense of. Unsustainable work right the whole opening this talk is about how work is become unsustainable and email is brought up multiple times as the example so this is the competing hypothesis which is. Once email spread and again we can blame silicon valley in the sense that they probably prototype like a we should all be on email talking all the time that's where that came from. It became a. Accidental by product we can reach another all times there's no governor on that behavior and the whole social. Cultural economic business culture environment just spiral out of control and suddenly no one knew what to do we were constantly in emails we didn't know what to do with it no one was putting a. Cap on that no one was asking how should we do it so that's another hypothesis that maybe that one's more accurate i do because you mention email so much when you're talking about this book in the time. I'm taking it that's important to you that's important piece of part of what was making work less sustainable back then. Oh for sure i mean i think that well few things number one i would love to hear that talks i haven't heard it since i gave it i wasn't even aware that they had a recording so if you could send a link to that i would love to. Listen to it i have to remember your power point broke you remember that i absolutely remember that i do remember that it seemed like a metaphor for something very profound. Very very very meta so let me just as a backdrop say i think silicon valley in its best versions shows us the bright optimistic enabled. Better future that we can have you get glimpses of things that might only be seen on. Main street five ten fifteen twenty years later so in that sense it is a the limps of things to get. Conversely it's also the canary in the coal mine for new maladies for new neuroses for new. Afflictions related to new technologies and developments and cultural changes also if they're associated with technology is the email at the time. Was the email addiction and sorted issues with was the easiest to point to. And twitter is just an example i think you and i spoke about this some time ago but my understanding is that twitter launched. Officially that same self by self west and i remember there being a huge big screen tv on the ground floor of the convention center where they had self by self is interactive which at the time is really the red headed stepchild of the entire event it's tiny it was so small. And now it's the connective tissue that binds everything it's out by self was together. But at the time is very small and you could see all of the tweets being published in real time in the world. On one big screen tv and you could watch it you could watch it slowly click through and see it scroll is incredible and kind of crazy to think that you could do that at that point two thousand seven. But twitter wasn't ubiquitous social media work ubiquitous in the same way that they they are today so email at the time. Was. A clear example of a tool that was designed for defense purposes if we go back to like arbanet and so on best i can tell that was now being adapted to be used as. An instant messaging tool by millions of people and i recall i don't know if i mentioned this in the talk but. Time robert scoble was a big figure in this corner of tech and he had said something to me along the lines i may have only mentioned this in later talks i don't know if i mentioned that one but. The only way to receive your emails is to not respond and that he had noticed when he responded to email for every email he responded to he received something like one point seven five email and response. And that is the very definition of insurmountable it's use the word metastasize earlier in the conversation i think that's. A very appropriate here and if you begin to tell the scope out just looking at if we take that math as roughly true for a lot of people in some fashion it was very clear. That we. Had either a broken tool and or a broken approach to handling this tool and everybody empathize especially the people in this audience is south by south west i mean these are tech early adopters. Who have maybe been waiting through the briar patches and quicksand of high volume email by that point perhaps for a few years longer. Then the mainstream that acute pain perhaps had not been felt by a lot of other people which is part of the reason why i think that for work week really. Was deliberate on my part also but it really took off among tech savvy and tech immersed knowledge workers in a handful of cities first and right i think it's because they felt the pain most acutely. And that matches my research the hard to find now but i used to have people were posting notes their notes from your session and the email. It's too much tell people you're not gonna answer you know except all that elimination ideas was just ask strict exclamation point scobles interview with you let's get into the email you definitely. Felt that this is where that tipping point was happening but no one known was yet saying this was unsustainable. My whole theory on this is that when i went back and did all the research on email spread it spreads in the early nineties because. We needed more cost effective a synchronous communication was replacing fax machines and voicemail and it's cheaper and it did it well and it's good for that and then we got what you said. Which was what was this uses the main medium to which all collaboration happens hyperactive high minded back and forth conversation that doesn't scale that that fried our brains and tech out there first. What the problem was tech was the wrong place for that to hit first because there's such techno instrumentalist in that world like okay it's all about user habits if i can just get a custom them macro suite setup just properly right this is the era of merlin man in box zero that like if emails a problem is because i don't have the right. Set up another configuration and the right processing system for and so they were going at it by saying i'll just build better tools because the tech people. Tech is quite neutral it's all about how you use it so that we must just be using this tool run but i think you're right and i agree with that theory. That no no the whole way is that organizations were using email like this is how collaboration happened there's nothing you could do to your inbox configuration. That was going to save you from having to answer a lot of emails you have to actually change how the work happened. Which is basically what a lot of what you were preaching and maybe that's what made it transgressive at the time or release but i'm glad you had that same. Reaction because that's so strongly how i remember your talk. Is the email thing just landed you know like that was a punch that just landed in the audience was like yes. Oh yeah email and the idea of auto responders and the risking auto responders and case studies of people who implemented. Interval based management of email say checking everyday ten am and four p.m. and providing phone number if they're needed more urgently etc. Mean these types of approaches and the actual experiments and case studies which. Allowed people to see how infrequently the worst case scenarios manifest landed in a very very big way and just to build on what you said it's very tempting to think that you can make. Surface level changes to the tools and tactics. That already lay on top of what you're doing and it turns out i think certainly in hindsight if we look at the last twenty years since two thousand. I would imagine that if what i've seen is any reflection of the broader experience that. Instead of having an inbox now you have five crowded inboxes different messaging apps you might have i message you might have multiple emails you might have. Any number of other applications to sit on the desktop or on your phone and it's clear to me that. You really at least i mean millions of people who have read the four hour week about it more. Helpful to start with first principles and questioning assumptions and identifying. Possible worst case areas how to mitigate them and then running experiments. A little higher up the stack if that makes any sense or or further upstream just to mix all my metaphors at the end of the day. If you have an unsustainable approach you can window dress it. With an upgrade or application switch but you're not typically addressing root causes and i think that's why. Even now since you just read it last week i mean you can say is credibly is anyone that the resources in the four hour week or out of date and many of the examples how to market test how to. Launch what people now call an mvp. Have all changed but the book still sits in the top few hundred on amazon generally to this day somewhere in the top thousand and i think it's because of the principles is because the principles in the stories and the pain are still present. And can still be used or in the case of the pain minimized by kind of revisiting the fundamentals. Right you're saying it's not go to my pc and he's a fan that's right that's right yeah those those those are no longer relevant and if this is actually great point if you think the latest. App is gonna save you. You're just going to have to repeat the drill six months later twelve months later there's very little durability to. A tactic based or tool based approach in my experience. Right you're not one slack plug in away from productivity nirvana from nirvana right. Just a quick thanks to one of our sponsors and will be right back to the show. This episode is brought to you by linked in jobs small business owners juggle a hundred balls and don't have time to interview unqualified or even under qualified job candidates linked in jobs makes it easier for you to find the people you should interview faster and for free. Create a free job post in minutes on linked in jobs to reach the world's largest professional network of more than seven hundred and seventy million people. Then add that job and the purple hashtag hiring frame to your linked in profile to spread the word that you're hiring so your network can help you find the best applicants for the position. Simple tools like screening questions make it easy to focus on candidates with just the right skills and experience so you can quickly prioritize who you'd like to interview and possibly hire. It's for all these reasons and more that small businesses rate linked in jobs number one in delivering quality hires versus leading competitors. Linked in jobs helps you more quickly find the candidates you want did you know that every week nearly 40 million job seekers visit linked in. Post your job for free at linked in dot com slash Tim that's linked in dot com slash Tim to post your job for free terms and conditions apply. One of the things you talk about in the for work week is an elimination you talk about.
Defying the cult of productivity to be more effective than efficient with the 80/20 principle (aka Pareto’s law). (39:43)
I don't like productivity and i think most time management is you know in some sense a waste of time this is smart people to us time trying to be more efficient instead of trying to be smarter about what they do. And i recently did this big piece for the new yorker on was called the rise and fall of getting things done and it was about the rise of. The productivity prong movement which was this movement that felt like with the right high tech tools and scripts and database backed applications you can basically make work you can tame all your work and it would be easy interesting thing about that timeline is that that movement. Ticked up all of its speed in the three or four years before the far work week came out and around the time before work week came out. The main one of the main organs of that which was a merlin man's forty three folders blog which was really important thing at the time i was hugely influential. Basically set up a redirected away from this isn't going to work that has kind of the point of this article to follow merlin story but it was like okay we're not going to solve work by just having quick silver scripts and kg t like actually we need to rethink work. All that was concurrent so when you're looking at. Productivity is not working time management is not working. Is that what you were seeing that moment of that brief moment of optimism or we thought with like the right mac configurations we can make our overwhelming work effortless without having to actually ask the question of what are work is. You might not remember i mean this is a while ago no i remember a lot of it i think that last portion. Is true for me at least in the sense that the cult of productivity. We have to be very careful that term and you've written about this i read your recent piece actually which was very good we have to define productivity carefully. Yes last we become. You know the greyhound chasing this rabbit around track not knowing why we're there in the first place but i think. Technologists. And those who are. Mesmerized by technologists technology are very prone. To getting extremely efficient at doing things that are not important. I and sometimes sometimes they do apply to things that are important but. The thrust of the four hour week i would say to not shell is. What you do is more important than how you do it and put another way being effective. Is more important than being efficient so let's think really hard about. The eighty twenty principal otherwise known as pratas law. Such that if you focus on the highest leverage. Things even if you fuck up every which way from sunday. You have such a margin of safety and such a disproportionate. Output for the time that you put in it's okay. Does that make sense so if you look at. Churchill trucker a lot of these figures who were massively. Productive by almost any definition i mean taking naps you got like you listen as grand alcoholic you know it's not like they were sitting in front of a typewriter or dictating or active frenetically active all the time that was just not the case. So yeah yeah i agree with you and i think. Anyone who is attempted to. Kind of address the malaise of over work by adding. More tools and tricks and scripts. Realize is pretty quickly that the waters always going to fill faster than you can bail it out with that type of approach at least in my experience yeah. I think that idea is very influential for me to i got it from you. I'm pretty you know i got that from the far work week but i thought about it recently wrote an essay over the summer. Where i read a book about the history of all the lot of great scientist the history of science and i wrote this essay that was saying. Gala didn't work that much and yet we see him as being incredibly productive but he was never. Is really busy that's a far work week idea. I just want to say one more thing because it's so tangible for folks a lot of. People don't identify with scientists or maybe even writers but this is true of a lot of the world's best investors also. I mean warm buffet don't just do something stand there instead of just in there to something and very laziness bordering on sloth i think is how i hear monger describe their investing approach. You don't have to do a lot if you get a few things right if you really pick your targets wall.
On slow productivity and playing your own game while understanding the rules by which other people play (44:33)
Okay good now you brought it up let me just as an aside pitch you this this idea of been developing on my podcast recently slow productivity. Yeah and here's my whole concept and i'm a let's see if this makes sense productivity depends on scale. So when you say what i want to do is maximize what i produce on the scale of weeks. You're going to be very very busy with get things moving emails going back and forth jumping on calls or what have you but if you change the scale to years. I want to maximize what i produce over the next five years to be as impressive as possible it's like a completely different game because now it's like i want to produce three great things in the next five years which means your Wednesday you might do nothing right it's like scale so. This is my new thing maybe scale the scale at which you're talking about producing changes the. Rhythm of what your everyday everyday feels like but this is all aspirational for me because i have too much going on. So i love that phrasing slow productivity or like patient productivity is maybe another way to to look at it and not to. Revert back to investing over and over again but money is such a. Important tangible scary alluring thing to people that it's useful as an instrument when talking about some of these. Principles and read a book recently will listen to a book called the psychology money by morgan household and i was quite impressed by it and one of the chapters explored. The importance of playing your own game and not other people's games but that entails knowing what games they are playing so for instance if you have. Momentum traders who are in very short positions who really don't care if. Let's use an arbitrary example if google has a higher price a year from now but they do care. They don't care about fundamentals anything like that free cash flow what i don't care about any of that what they do care about is market sentiment or behavior driving up the price they can sell tomorrow or week later and. It's important to kind of know the motivations in the games of other participants. Because if you have a different time horizon your way of relating to that is totally different. For instance i can i guess. This is not investment advice but i can i guess. Can i guess correctly whether stocks can go up or down by what. Percentage over the next week now over. A year no probably not any kind of cataclysm kit but. There are certain trends over time was like yeah do i think there are certain technologies that. Inescapably are going to become more pervasive in a five to ten year stretch and if i invest in companies that are investing heavily in those areas. Do i have a pretty high degree of confidence can i go up yep and that's all the homework i really need to do this make sense. And similarly with productivity if your time horizon is like how can i. Get the most important things done over the next five years and that's reasonably well thought through. What you're reading interviews with people on the cover of magazines that's even a thing anymore. Who are in a mad sprint in a zero some startup game to dominate market share and. Do god knows what you're playing different games they're just different games.
How the launch of this podcast was, in a sense, a reexamination of what my own game was after working on The 4-Hour Chef turned out to be more a labor of labor than love. (47:57)
Was that your mindset when you moved in the podcasting. Now we're doing a long game. You have a lot going on and seems like you simplify things and at first it must have been the first month you're doing that. Is not an empire. Oh yeah the podcast will be here's i'm not sure it's gonna be relevant but i'll tell you the podcast came about because the four hour chef just about killed me it was such a complex project done in such. I'm such tight timelines it was one of the most grueling things i've ever done physically very very difficult project and when i launch books i'm basically doing it in a 20 analysis and looking at what is. The different channels and forms media that are decreasing in influence but are thought to have. Still very high influence by the majority and thus kind of overvalued in some fashion this could apply to pay to position to and then i'm looking at the neglected darlings that are undervalued in some way uncrowded in some way. But growing importance and so podcasts every book launch and the podcast came out pretty uniformly as having a massive impact this is in 2012. Do this in one of the twelve planning this so i did a lot of podcasts for the book release. And they had tremendous impact and i really enjoyed the format. And decided that i wanted to test podcasting for i think i can six episodes but here's the rationale rationale was. Rather the question that i would ask myself is like is there a way that i can win doing this even if i fail. And the way that i win doing something even if i fail is if i develop skills and relationships or deep relationships that transcend that project is a failure that makes sense yep scott at him's right so that's really well. End in the case of the podcast i thought to myself i'm gonna take a break from books no matter what given the type of books i write i do interviews i ask questions. I would like to get better at asking questions and navigating those conversations. I'm going to have these types of conversations anyway also so why don't i determine what i think the minimum effective doses. For podcasting like how many episodes when i actually have to do to start to get better at speaking and interviewing i was like i have six to ten probably great let's commit to that. And then i was off to the races and it's become a lot more sense but that's how it started.
My mindset going into that first South by Southwest speech in 2007 and how I tried to make the pain points of efficiency relatable rather than presenting them as judgment against my go-getting, startup-hustling audience. (50:41)
Interesting yeah i was just curious about that so that's a i'm glad we got that that detour but okay so going back to. Work being unsustainable warning shot when you got this opportunity to speak at south by south west two thousand seven at south south of interactive. This was potentially a hostile crowd as far as i can tell right because these are silicon valley types i mean is that this music festival but this is where all the khaki pants were all the best were. These are people who were. Going after crushing it you trying to get their start ups turned around so it kind of could have gone both ways so because this was ground so so were you. Are you worried about that or you you knew everyone enough people in this world like yeah everyone's going to be on board with this what's the mindset going into that crowd. The mindset was i really don't have much to lose. In the sense that if it works great if it doesn't work it doesn't work and i'm right back where i started and i felt like i knew. That crowd because i was a member of that crowd on some level if that makes sense and i also wanted to. Approach it maybe this is part of the mindset by telling my story and describing case studies i was you had no better than i excited heard it since i gave it but. I don't think i was saying you have to do this and everyone should do. X y and z. There's certainly prescriptions like you could do this this is what i've done this is what so and so did but it was it was really sharing a story and there's so much common pain i knew the pain was going to land. I knew it was going to land because i also. Workshop the material on classes for years of technologists and now these are undergrad graduate students but nonetheless i was living in silicon valley so i was surrounded by. Friends were co founders and people were using technology so i was very highly confident that the very least. Various pains would be something people identify with and also maybe a little known fact. Hugh forest i thank pretty much every time i speak it south by southwest gave me a shot i did not have a proper room. The talk was given in basically an overflow room i want to say that also acted as a mini cafeteria and there was a cancellation there was some type of cancellation and. To my memory he was like hey you still want a shot we got a spot here's this little stage and i want to say the capacity was something like a hundred. Maybe a hundred two hundred fifty people somewhere in that range. And no one knew how i was and it was packed it was packed and that had nothing to do with me had zero to do with me it had to do with the pain and the. Tential of some. Toolkit that would help alleviate that pain but it was standing remotely and that that is purely from. Subject matter the structure of the talk was.
If prioritizing your own self-care inconveniences other people from time to time, so be it. (To the people pleasers in the audience, please reread that last sentence to yourself a little louder until it sticks.) (53:50)
Six minutes seven minutes pain like let's get into the pain and then relief in you know we can radically rethink what work is and now talk to you like different ways you might do that. One of the things i picked up relissing to it recently to is the other thing it seemed a land in there was the examples you gave about. It's okay to do things that might make someone else is life temporarily less convenient for some reason i really like put an auto responder and say. I'm not going to respond to right away or fire a client those two things really seem to land you think that gets at the pain and pretty clear way like a for the frustration. I definitely came away with that because i heard those two things i remember those things land you when i first heard your talk and they landed whatever this is now 14 15 years later it's okay the basically. Tell some people you have to be inconvenienced here so there must be something going on like everyone could just. Grab you in your time and there's a helplessness and that frustration was palpable when those examples real i think those examples really got to it. For sure and it's also you know the sort of interpretation is in the eye of the holder here but in one way to look at it would be. It's okay if you inconvenience other people the other way to look at it is. It is not just okay but it's imperative that you prioritize your self care. And if you don't. You're not going to be a player in this game very long and if you don't establish boundaries and. Ask for what you want indicate what you don't want the world will be happy to program all that for you. And chances are it's not going to turn out very well so you can sort of develop a. What i would consider a positive assertiveness. Or you can build resentment and a crew fatigue until you break and it's not only those two options but i think it's perhaps useful to. Think of the two in opposition and that definitely landed for folks and the tools are important right i don't want to say that the tools are important but ultimately. It's asking better questions it's testing assumptions and it's really reorienting yourself with different. Philosophies and a different psychology because if you don't believe it's okay. For anyone to wait an hour or two or three or even a day or two or three for a response in some instances it doesn't matter what will you use. It just doesn't and impatience will just swell to fill the void if you allow it on behalf of everyone who is being trained to be impatient.
After the South by Southwest speech, what was the general reception like? What points seemed to resonate most with people? (56:44)
What was the private reception if you remember so now you're given the talks to only your socializing the parties etc that makes up self by self what do you remember what were people. Talking to about growing to about excited about. I would say that the vast majority it's been a while right so to my memory the vast majority of. The conversations began with a confession of some type people came up to talk about their pain or their situation or. The unrealistic expectations that are made of them and how they feel. Like they have digital handcuffs of one type or another almost always started with. Some type of confession and commiserating right because i've been there and done that so i wasn't an outsider in that sense i was. I fell patient that makes sense and people are also excited and nervous to test things so they. We're looking for reassurance that these work experiments worth doing with limited downside which is always how i painted i said what is the i would ask questions and you've heard this again i haven't heard the talking since i gave it but what is the. Absolute worst case scenario if you put up an auto responder. Are you going to be fired site unseen because you created a responder okay then you determine what you think the worst case is how could you mitigate the risk of that downside maybe talk to your boss in advance. Maybe you tested only for half a day on Fridays when your boss leaves at 3pm and you can get to see how coworkers respond to it and then. How would you reverse the damage if the worst case scenario comes through you take the auto responder down. What is the residual damage of that really and if the damage is. Containable if it's fine and you look at the potential upside of. What could mean to you if it works. That is a gamble or taking. It's just an asymmetric and so i tried to frame it that way i was like look i'm not saying. Anyone should commit to doing these things forever because a lot of the concerns in the pushback would be like what if this what if all these scenarios. I can't account for all the scenarios but i do know that in my own life and in the life of the people who served as case studies. A short test 24 hours 48 hours is very valuable because it provides you with more information and it either confirms or questions. A lot of the fears associated the anxieties associated with it so a lot of the conversations around that and people got right to it in the south by southwest last a while. So there were people who began to test auto responders the next day and so people then start coming up to me. To share their kind of hallelujah i thought all these horrible things are going to happen and none of them happened. At the same conference at the same conference i think that's a very important point that the freedom to experiment is the meta value like in other words like the book and your talk is a microcosm of the book. First lays out here's this pain that was a bit articulated and so people say thank you right no one's articulating this they're all saying got me a good after it and the second part is. You have a lot more options you think you can even be relatively radical and re engineering what work means. Go out there and try things and then the book had specific things to try but my paraphrasing or summarizing the reaction how you're thinking properly when you're saying it's not that. You have to build a particular automated news that uses the is very particular way is you should be doing that type of experiment like be willing to say what if i did this let me try this and you. And you might not end up selling for sale shirts. But i forgot about that. Yeah yeah yeah.
How a mutual friend put concepts presented in The 4-Hour Workweek to work and changed his own life, how some of those concepts that were radical when the book was published 15 years ago are now considered commonplace, and which concepts I hope continue to gain momentum. (01:00:56)
But you can almost certainly end up with a much better work configuration might look much different in my the person who always comes to mind i want you to say i didn't ask permission is a common friend of ours. And was really big you know on your book when it came out. I met up with them at some point in 2008 in Rio and i was there presenting a paper to computer science conference he was there for carnival. Yeah lifestyle designer and when i first met up with them he was showing me okay i've written this. Code it was like very in line specifically with the examples in the book it goes to the google ad words automatically find like what underperforming you know value add words i can. Click this button and it automatically sends a email to my my v a's in the Philippines for good English speakers who then write 25 articles on this topic and put it on hub spots we can get a high price for these he wanted you know very automated. And i met up with them a couple years later. And what he was doing was much more sustainable he was a computer program is like you know i found that i'm working remotely hourly but for european company and i'm getting paid in euros and i'm living mainly in South America there's a great. Are you arbitrage going on there and it was. This spirit of rethink your work life you know his first attempt was let me exactly follow one of the examples in the book and then where he ended up was actually i'm. Getting mobility i'm getting geo arbitrage those there's bigger concept and then he ended up by going to incubator and doing a startup because he had time to think about things and what he wanted to do and. No so that to me that always summarize that point you're making there. That you can do radical things that are different than the thing is very unsustainable now. You have to go take action experiment and that's okay and even some people get mad that's okay but there's a wide variety and especially as time changes and tech changes and like let's say today people are not. Incredibly nervous about asking for a remote work arrangement but when that book came out that was incredibly avant-garde you know so the times have changed yeah but that general principal approaches that applies. Even two years ago a lot of people would still relate to remote work very differently than they do today but both as employers and employees and i want to take if it's okay with you just take a step back for a second because. The point you made about. Timescale and. How you think about say productivity. Leads me to want to also just mention at the very least that. The far work week started with. Some over arching kind of macro principles and. The definition section there's the definition elimination automation liberation all that the definition section. The purpose of that was to. Uncover perhaps unexamined assumptions like these invisible scripts that are running a lot of our decisions and long term planning. End to question them and then to offer alternatives so for instance taking a very close look at what i call the book the deferred life plan the deferred life plan which is this. Slaves a retire i will redeem my decades of work for this utopian vision of leisure in my older years. End that will work for me and be great has dozens of unexamined assumptions inside of it and then offering alternatives like many retirements instead of distributing. Retirement throughout life since long life is not guaranteed and there are all sorts of other issues with assuming you have. Enough for retirement with no income etc there are others that i'm just gonna mention because they may be. Interesting to take a closer look at one would also be and this is very relevant now that. Will two things one is that there is absolute and then relative income so determining how much you make per hour is actually quite. Important in the sense that it's easy to say so and so makes $200,000 a year so and so makes 75,000 years another person makes 500,000 years. Therefore the last example is the most successful and no doubt they have the greatest of lifestyle output for. What they make but the lifestyle or life value of each unit each dollar is really dependent on. Other factors and to what degree control them the where with whom how etc. Determines a lot of that which is part of the reason that you are a trash or geo are was another thing that was. I don't know if it was put on the map but it was definitely. I trust into the zeitgeist by readers of this book the idea that you can. You are a judge which you can do in a single country or even a single state right doesn't have to be scattering different. Income and expenses around the world it could be you know you've you've gone through covid you lived in Manhattan you decided this makes no sense to escape the city went to. New Jersey or long island or connect get her who knows where right upstate New York you realize you prefer that quality of life and that you can get. Four times the value for money in insert locations even just within a radius of a few hours. I just think the definition section is super super important we have to dwell on it but i just want to mention some of these over arching. Approaches to deconstructing assumptions that under a lot of issues making.
How the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly made the work-disrupting scenarios posited in The 4-Hour Workweek viable alternatives to the status quo rather than intangible, impossible thought experiments, though some challenges remain. (01:06:40)
Let's pull on that thread in particular thread about today this message was fifteen years ago worked on sustainable. Be willing to consider radical changes to. What work is what role it plays in your life there's the mystery of why that one shot was somewhat. Ignored in the semi immediate aftermath which will get back to a second but we fast forward to today especially covid post pandemic. Someone who's writing about these topics right now. This is exactly what's on everyone's mind. This book and what you're talking about everyone is going through not everyone but there's a very large fraction of let's say. Remote capable knowledge workers who had severe disruption what their day to day life was like do the pandemic are going to the thinking. You mentioned before you see the book is catching catching a new wave it's always sold well but it's fine in an audience now a new audience. It's never really stopped but i would imagine i would have to imagine it's finding a new audience in a friend of mine old friend set a photograph. From austin they said this makes me happy and he said it was a photograph of young guy probably late twenties reading for our work week the only hardcover edition. Where is it latest hardcover edition that exists which is the two thousand nine expanded and updated edition right so eleven or twelve years later post covid. This is still finding an audience and it's finding new audiences i think in part because. There were early adopters for this book and there were. People who really ran the tests and did the experiments in the book and then there's also of course it's called the four work week there was a lot of dismissing it. Based on the title even though i mean on some level it's really about maximizing per hour output right on some level it's about that but. For the title because of how popular it became in the subsequent year you know is on the new york times bestseller list i want to say for. I could get the exact duration like four and a half years five years straight as something like that and. It became part of the pop cultural conversation and i think that. There are many many i mean there have to be at this point just given the exposure of the book millions of people who have seen the book. They've heard about the book and they concluded this will never work. This can never work for me and then all of a sudden you know this discussion of time and mobility which is the centerpiece of the four work week. Has been pushed to the forefront of everyone's mind through this gigantic experiment called covet nineteen. And all of a sudden people who thought they want to be in an office people who thought they wanted to work in a certain way. After having experienced alternatives are saying wait a second. I actually don't want to go back to the office how do i figure this out. And they're also i want to say risks but challenges in working remotely in feeling like you have and developing community when you are fully distributed and these problems existed. Certainly when the four week was initially released they still exist so i feel like we are still in the honeymoon phase of remote work. Four millions of people. They think they found the promised land but i don't think they have experienced some of the harder aspects like the filling the void chapter in for work week talks about this right so i think for a lot of these reasons and more. The book is definitely seen a new resurgence of interest yam why in the enterprise mystery that.
Misinterpretations In Media And Pop Culture
Pop culture references to The 4-Hour Workweek and common misinterpretations of its primary tenets that come from casual skimming and second-hand sources. (01:10:38)
I'm curious about it in the interim between when i first hit work is unsustainable should try radical new things. In the interim the overtime the book in pop culture beyond people who are directly engaged with the book got associated with something different and i mentioned this you email but. I think about two thousand eleven the office brings up the book darry brings up the book the character dale. In the office and by that point in two thousand eleven when he's bringing up this book it has nothing to do with working on sustainable and radically rethinking work it is all just how do i be more hyper productive. Which is almost the opposite of what the book is about and i bet that for a lot of people who the book was on their radar but they didn't engage with the book. That's for a lot of people became associated with like being hyper productive by using you sort of. Radically inventive in the systems you use for the purpose of getting more done. Which is not what the book was about and so this is sort of this mystery to me is that this big morning shot was happening. We feel it today huge yeah works not sustainable we need to change it but in between somehow that warning shot for a lot of people got changed to. How can we use tech and innovative systems get even more done that's a damn fine question you know for a week became in mind i was kind of funny. This is pop culture productivity. Novel word again novelty in a way right sees so it shows up on the office or the cast from all supposedly the cast i mean it's probably a bunch of ghost writers but from it's always sunny in philadelphia wrote a book called the seven secrets of awakening the highly effective four hour giant today. I see what that is and i would love to hear your theory for why this is but i think it's deeply deeply uncomfortable. Can be deeply deeply challenging to really. Question the assumptions and plans that are the underpinning for much of your existence your waking existence i think it's very uncomfortable. And it's not as cleanly measurable perhaps as installing a new chrome plug in that helps you do a b and c and i cleared seventeen percent more email in the last hour that type of track ability. And that type of. Accountability is really alluring so the productivity porn like real porn is highly addictive and highly distracting and as new technical doodads and. Applications and approaches surfaced even if they're old approaches that are being reinvented right using no cards or index cards for various things it's a very graspable. Appealing novelty that i think almost everyone gravitate stores it's not surprising to me that before work week became. A representation of. A collection of productivity tricks or techniques or technologies because it did include that in fairness but i think that what is unfortunate. But not surprising is that the four were treated like a toolkit and a bunch of construction materials. But used without the blueprint and the approach and the guiding design principles that are explored in the first. Say two sections especially those two things right divorced where in my mind the blueprints and the design principles. Those are the most valuable most important piece and then the tools those are all going to change over time expect them to change over time that's what i've. Observed did you observe people doing that you just looking at the hacks and not or was it the. The perception of the people who were reading the book but just this is what i think it is. Because you are around this crowd a lot more yeah i think it's more the latter the book is written in a way. If you start at page one you cannot get around the sort of philosophical resets and questioning of assumptions and designs you can't get a true yeah. But if you are reading a blog post that is supposedly a summary of the four work week or you are. Reading any number of books that followed the firework week which were intended to capitalize on. That way of popularity they focused almost without exception on. The tools and the tricks and the latest websites and the best virtual assistant services and so on. Again not to say those don't have value they do have value but with out the underlying frameworks and principles. I don't think you end up solving many problems in fact i think you can end up creating a lot of new problems. Well and maybe some of that was your hundred percent right just read the book.
Digging deeper, why do so many readers who pick up the bestselling productivity and time management books seem to miss the points they’re really trying to make? (01:15:57)
There's no other way to interpret the book if you read it is no other way to interpret it than this is unsustainable you have to craft the life that emphasizes the other currencies that are important. This is what the good life is built on now let's talk about. How you might do it and part of this side to theories although you part of this i think is. Don't underestimate the degree to which the the way you did talk about the systems when you got there was so new in compelling. That almost opened up a new. Genre and tone in productivity there is a i don't quite know how to. Articulate it but there was a precision and a brashness to you know it was like very declarative and precise and it's kind of hard articulate but the way you talk about. In the v should do this and we should and don't do it for this i can't do it justice was very compelling itself so i think you might have introduced a. Stylistic approach to giving advice that itself could be separated yeah you know from the context right that's a great it was a it's a very compelling. But very compelling the book is very compelling beyond the content so there's something in that tone. What the other thing is i think i talked last talk we come to us bring this up to you is that i've been covering recently i'm very interested in the anti productivity movement and it's very powerful right now. And i'm taken by the degree to which we read people. Who are in this movement. The way they characterize what is popular in productivity and time management is invented. It's fabricated like it when they talk about what productivity books are out there right now they will say it's like yeah it's all about trying to get 60 things done and find more time in your day to get things done and so i go over to okay. Time management in amazon let's look at the best seller list right what are the. Commonly the top three books there it it's usually shifting back and forth between for work week. My two thousand sixteen book deep work and great mccu is two thousand fifteen book essentialism. All of these books about working less getting away from distraction getting away from busy is trying to get the things that are more meaningful i mean you have to go down pretty far i mean david alan shows up pretty early but i think he's misinterpreted i think he's more about. I hate the fact we have so much to do but let's at least try to tame it so we don't go insane right you can't really interpret him as pushing for over work i can't find on the list of best selling time management books right now. Anything that is how do we get more done i think the last book like that the just straight up lion eyes that was maybe hyper productivity. From eight years ago or something like this and so that that also seems to be affected going on is that for people who are characterizing for work week or any of these books characterizing me or other people in the genre or engage in the books. They just projected this whole fabricated world where productivity were all for a drink when slow tailor. We stop watches and where you know twirling our must in trying to try to get people to move back and forth between if you put your keyboard over here you can type faster move your mouse faster whatever so i don't know what that means. What seems to be true that there is a fabricated world of what productivity literature is. And nothing like that is popular in thirty years yeah i think i think the narrative. This is true for a lot of things there's a delay in the narrative how we think about ourselves how we. Perceive the world around us what we think is popular is informed by our realities but there's kind of a lag time. And durability to. Narratives if that makes any sense if you grow up with like hyper inflation of a certain story around that you're in continue to have that story. Even beyond hyper inflation for a period of time might even affect your behavior for the rest of life who knows i think that. For a lot of people who are commenting on what they would consider productivity books or time management books. They have all the biases that you expect that they have privacy reasons they've got any number of other things that play. I think for many people who grew up in the. Say. Mid to late and i grew up professionally came up in the mid to late two thousands. Or actually it's not even it's not even that long it would be like the first like two thousand. To two thousand. Ten maybe. Thing seem to be pretty saturated with that kind of advice not necessarily in the form books but certainly online there is a lot of productivity porn. And you know i was a beneficiary of that so i can't slam it to hard on some level but i think that type of. Highly prescriptive hyper productivity. Instructional material is kind of lost it's luster for most people i would say. So optimistically then and i know we're running short on time so i'll give my optimistic take and you can see if you share my optimism.
Conclusion: Future Perspectives
Cal’s optimistic parting thoughts that society is finally catching up with what The 4-Hour Workweek was trying to convey. (01:20:58)
Here's the optimist story line then of far work week and today is two thousand seven. This book comes out the way we're working is becoming unsustainable be willing to. Consider radical alternatives it was aimed at for the tech crowd it was ahead of the trend on the unsustainability it landed very powerfully people who encountered it said yeah this is absolutely right. It's taken fifteen years to get to the wider world around it was not quite ready for that yet they were still really cool we're still doing. We still believe that maybe hardcore productivity and systems and if we just have the right planner that we can solve this problem we get the two thousand twenty one we get the pandemic to help accelerate this. Now. Knowledge work writ large is like that. 300 people and that overcrowded converted cafeteria in two thousand seven they now recognize things are unsustainable they're now really open to the idea of maybe. Radically new things are available that your book was a warning shot. We might have ignored it for a little while and by we i mean the people who didn't directly encounter it which is a large people. But now we're hearing the echoes of that warning shot reverberating because what you are warning about we're all there that you were fifteen years ahead of your time in my optimistic there is that. I mean that sounds plausible for sure i certainly what i saw an experienced other people saw an experienced. I just happen to be the one of many who could have written this book who sat down. After looking for this book for myself to write the book i couldn't find and i think. That a lot of the challenges. Discuss in the four work week have only compounded. And if compounding is the it's the greatest wonder of the world then it's remarkable and terrifying what that can become so. I do think i agree with you that it's you know same same but ten x same but a hundred x same same thousand x. And so one inbox we now have fourteen it's. It's clear to me and maybe this will always be the case but that a lot of what we consider work is just simply not working and it's never been more important to. Ensure that we are not getting really good at doing things that should not be done in the first place. And optimistically also we've never in a sense had more options the technologies never been better the flexibility with remote work arrangements have never been better so. The tools and options and unorthodox. Career and life choices that are available now have never been available to more people in my opinion. So i know we're at the ninety minute mark i promise so i'll just i'll just conclude by saying when i first read that book or listen to it i guess it was in. April two thousand seven i had that instinct that there's something prophetic about this in the sense that this is picking up on bigger trends that are going to be very important and a lot of thinking a lot of things are going to be based on for a long time to come and. At least it's my sentiment that. Fifteen years later i think that was that was true i'm glad you put those ideas out there when you did. Thanks i really appreciate that and really my work that you do and thinking that you do behind the work that you put out really i'm a big fan so thank you for taking the time to have the chat also. Thank you to. Hey guys this is tim again just one more thing before you take off and that is five bullet Friday with you enjoy getting a short email from me every Friday that provides a little fun. For the weekend between one and a half and two million people subscribe to my free newsletter my super short newsletter called five bullet Friday easy to sign up easy to cancel it is basically a half page that i send out every Friday to share the coolest things i've found or discovered or have started exploring over that week kind of like my diary of. Cool things it often includes articles and reading books and reading albums perhaps gadgets gizmos all sorts of tech tricks and so on they get sent to me by my friends including a lot of podcast guests and these strange esoteric things end up in my field and then i test them and then i share them with you so if that sounds fun again it's very short a little tiny bite of goodness before you head off for the weekend something to think about. If you'd like to try it out just go to tim dot log slash Friday type that into your browser tim dot log slash Friday drop in your email and you'll get the very next one thanks for listening. 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