- Hardcover: 704 pages
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Tim Ferriss, Arnold Schwarzenegger (Foreword by) edition (December 6, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1328683788
- ISBN-13: 978-1328683786
- Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 2 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1,851 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers Hardcover – December 6, 2016
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"A Poor Richard's Almanack for the 21st century, Tools of Titans is a practical and inspiring guide to being your best."
About the Author
TIM FERRISS has been listed as one of Fast Company's "Most Innovative Business People," one of Forbes's "Names You Need to Know," and one of Fortune's "40 under 40." He is an early-stage technology investor/advisor (Uber, Facebook, Shopify, Duolingo, Alibaba, and 50+ others) and the author of four #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers, including The 4-Hour Workweek and his latest, Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers. The Observer and other media have called Tim "the Oprah of audio" due to the influence of The Tim Ferriss Show podcast, which has exceeded 100 million downloads and has been selected for "Best of iTunes" three years running.
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Top customer reviews
DISCLAIMER: I am a Tim Ferriss apologist. I've listened to almost every episode of his podcast. Own his books. Have been following him since 4 Hour Work Week came out.
Tim's podcast has rewired my brain. My life is measurably better because of what I've learned. Literally. I have hereditary cholesterol problems and my forays into a ketogenic lifestyle dropped my particle count from ~1950 to ~1225. There are many other great things that have come as a result of my exposure to Tim's podcast, too many to list here.
When he announced TOOLS OF TITANS, I was ecstatic. I pre-ordered this book in September.
I'm sad to say that I'm non-plussed, borderline disappointed.
On one hand, I love having a "totem" of something that has changed my life so profoundly. To that end, I am happy to own the book.
On the other hand, it does not deliver on its promise. This is supposedly a "recipe book" (according to page xvi in the Foreword).
It is no such thing.
If I want to bake an apple pie, I go to the Table of Contents, I look up apple pie, I turn to that page.
You cannot do that in this book.
Tim has amazing things to say about meditation. A few guests on his podcast have amazing things to say about meditation (Sam Harris, Naval Ravikant, Kevin Rose, etc.).
But there is no central place to which you can turn to find out the collected wisdom of the many guests who have delved into this topic.
The same goes for investing. The same goes for particular health hacks.
In fact, there's not even one central place in the book that gives a list of the commonalities between the guests. That's a HUGE missed opportunity.
Make a second edition. Soon. It doesn't even have to add new content. Just tighten this up and make it so that you can read about certain topics in a centralized place. If there are parts that don't fit, maybe have an author section at the back... but, dang.
Millionaires become millionaires (in part) because they've learned to say "no." They have the discipline to turn down the good, so that they can pursue (and achieve) the great.
This book is just too too too much good. It doesn't tell you what is great. It will leave you chasing dozens upon dozens of random tactics and thoughts in a dozen different fields.
It might teach the tactics and routines and habits of world-class performers, but there's FAR TOO MUCH here to make it valuable in showing YOU how to achieve those heights. And, if there is ONE person that you could model to become like them in their field... there is FAR TOO LITTLE here to actually help you on your way.
So I wrote the first part of the review at the end of the Health section. I've since gotten into the Wealth section and things have been better. It feels as though there's more actual insight and information being shared rather than just personal quirks. For me, the section on Derek Sivers alone made Tools of Titans worth the read. So if I get nothing more out of the book, I'd still be happy with.
With that said, there are still moments that feel kind of thin, just like what I talked about in the initial review. And the Health section isn't without merits or great tips. It just left me feeling like there was way more meaningful information that could have been included but wasn't.
I'll continue to update!
I'm currently 1/3rd through the book and I have to say that it's been a weird experience.
On the one hand, I do feel like I've gotten a lot of health insights that I wouldn't have otherwise known about.
But some of these "chapters" are just absurd.
In one, the conversation is with Adam Gazzaley, a neuroscientist and director of a cognitive science lab. You think you're about to receive some interesting information from someone who knows a lot about neuroscience and cognition. No.
There are six parts to this chapter. The first is called "Behind the Scenes" and is about 60 words total and details a bet Adam has with a friend about Virtual Reality. "Adam is bullish and Kevin is bearish." We're then told the bet is over a bottle of whiskey you can only get in Japan. That's the entirety of that part.
The second part is called "Humans use only 10% of their brains? Not quite." That's two sentences from Adam who just says we use all of it and it's complex.
Part 3 is "How he hires for coveted spots in his lab." Less than 100 words. Boils down to connection and being interested in what excites the person, not their resume.
Part 4 is "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." This is the longest part. Two paragraphs. The first paragraph explains Adam hosts a part once a month for 40-80 friends. He likes rye whiskey. The second paragraph is Adam talking about rye whiskey.
Part 5 is "Favorite documentary" and is Adam giving one quote about Cosmos.
Part 6 is "Advice to your 30-year old self?" and that's be fearless and do research other people think is risky.
I've written in this review about as much as there is in the chapter about renowned neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley. If I were to tell you one neuroscientific thing from Adam then I would have provided you more information on Adam's main area of expertise than Tools of Titans does.
Beyond that, there are times where Tim references something and then says, and I quote, "YouTube is your friend." That's the method of explanation. Which, on the one hand, yes. It probably is quicker for me to YouTube it than for him to try and describe it. But it also makes the book feel superficial rather than giving you the "tools of titans".
I still have a decent amount of the book left. So maybe there will be a lot of revelatory sections and information. But I can't help but feel there were a lot of corners cut. The counter to that is that some will argue it's purposefully brief in order to become more "koan" like, something you have to think on and meditate on. "The Adam Gazzaley section may seem simple but there's a lot you can extrapolate from it." Maybe. But it also seems like there's too much that's left off the table that would be more beneficial than the riddles put forth.