BIG NEWS and Sneak Peek – Tim Ferriss TV Show Debut 12/4


The debut of my TV show — “Trial by Fire” — will air this Thursday, 12/4, at 11pm ET/PT on The History Channel. It’s been two years in the making.

I’ve been told that the times are 11pm ET, 10pm CST, 9pm MT, and 11pm PST. Double check to be safe on the History Channel schedule.

This could very well be the only time you are able to see this show. It’s a pilot and not guaranteed to become a series, so please tune in and also Tivo!

In this post:

1) The concept

2) Live Q&A following show – join me after the broadcast to ask your questions and learn about how to pitch a TV show, the “reality” behind reality TV, behind-the-scenes details, omitted scenes, and more. The Q&A won’t make sense unless you’ve seen the broadcast.

3) Immediate competition and prize for rallying the troops (sooner is better)

The Concept

The concept is simple: I have one week to attempt to learn what is usually learned over 5-20 years. I either crash and burn — or survive by the skin of my teeth — in a final test (trial by fire) each time.

If it’s made into a series, which depends entirely on viewership numbers on Thursday night, I’ll deconstruct a new complex skill each week. It will show you exactly how I approach learning, and no fake TV drama will be required to make the stakes real.

This episode was shot in HD in Tokyo and the mountains of Nikko, where I rolled the dice on Japanese horseback archery, or yabusame: full gallop, no hands, no safety gear, with wooden poles lining the track on either side of the horse. Please don’t do this at home. I had access to the best in the world, and you’ll get to see some never-before-seen footage of a rare and brutal samurai sport few non-Japanese have ever attempted. The show preview is here.

Live Q&A After Broadcast Thursday

I’ll be holding a live Q&A on this blog after both broadcasts (11pm ET for ET, CST, MT; 11pm PT for PT). Note down questions during the show on things you’d like to know. No-holds-barred. Just keep an eye on this blog and my twitter page for more details.

Immediate Competition to Rally Troops

This is a one shot, one kill affair. To become a series, this show needs massive viewership on Thursday to prove to History Channel that people want more.

The competition, limited to the next 48 hours, is simple: promote the below links and leave a comment here with 1) what you did to spread the word, and 2) what challenge you think I should tackle next.

Some options: Facebook, e-mail, Twitter, blogs, FriendFeed, etc. Bonus points go to people who act sooner vs. later.

The links:

The preview (first choice):

This post (second choice, if video is removed):

Prize to best promoter: my favorite travel bag in the world, the $500 retail Victorinox Swiss Army 25″ Trek Pack Plus. I used an older version during my 15-country world trip in 2004, and the latest model is even better.

Thanks in advance for your help with spreading the word! More to come soon! Woohoo!

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with over 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.

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357 Replies to “BIG NEWS and Sneak Peek – Tim Ferriss TV Show Debut 12/4”

  1. already hit up twitter, facebook, gmail, tumblr, myspace, aim away msg and direct messages to all friends that i know are interested (LOTS!). great feedback so far! I look fwd to enjoying the show Thursday night. go Tim!!

    Next Challenge: male stripper??! i don’t know. i’m just hoping!

  2. Great show idea. I’m excited to see it. I published the link to my 379 twitter followers. That tweet also displays on my blog. When the show gets picked up, I’d like to see you break in to the music business.

  3. Wheee! I’m stoked to see this Tim! I’ve posted to my facebook profile, and favorited the vid to my youtube acct. I’ll also message all the friends who I think would be interested and ask them to comment or host the link. And I’ll start a thread on a filesharing website about it.

    for your next adventure, what about that german fraternity fencing? you know the one they do with live blades and you aren’t allowed to move?

  4. Tim,

    You may want to also think about “hacks” which will help show interest to The History Channel. i.e. actions viewers could take which would show interest in this show being made into a series.

    A few that come to mind:

    – TIVO (since data from Tivo could be reported back)

    – finding friends who are current Nielson families (a bit tricky but not entirely impossible)

    – comments on The History Channel’s official forums about the show, especially after it airs that show people actually viewed the show

    – a bit more complex but perhaps try to show trending interest in topics from the show (i.e. google queries, twitter comments about the term “yabusame” which I’m guessing doesn’t get a lot of current traffic

    (oh and btw – I’d go buy yabusame as a Google Ad-words buy ahead of time and link people to your show’s official page and/or this post)

    Good luck – the trailer is good and the show sounds like it could be quite interesting – if likely also a tad compressed. If I were advising The History Channel I’d suggest a few things:

    1. Make a lot of the outtakes and additional footage available online (and for that matter make the whole episode available online – at the very least for purchase via iTunes but even better for immediate viewing via Netflix on-demand, etc)

    2. For each episode link to more detailed information about the challenge as well as discussions of the technique(s) you used to attempt it. Stuff like how someone might learn the subject in a non-compressed manner as well as how they might apply similar techniques to challenges closer to home.

    Anyway looks great!


  5. I love shows like this. Survivorman is my ultimate favorite since I’m outdoors person. I’ll be sure to watch and tell people I know to watch as well! Good luck!

  6. Perfect! This is show is exactly what I’ve been wondering the most about you, Tim. How do you exactly approach learning? I’m extremely interested in how you dissect and map out the massively complicated. I have a feeling that there is a lot to your method that isn’t covered in the book.

    I’m eager to see you at work against these challenges, because I’m sure the show will give a more detailed glimpse at how you attack them.



  7. Congrats on the pilot! It looks like a good show. I do have a suggestion that might make the show a little more interesting. Instead of you lifehacking each challenge it would be more fun to watch you train a beginner or a group of beginners how to lifehack. That would keep the show from getting stale.

    I bet the pilot gets picked up, so maybe this idea for season 2.

    good luck.

  8. Tim, as I’m in Australia, I’m unable to watch it directly. (I will however tell my US friends about it).

    Other than direct promotion to US watchers, how can I (and more international viewers) increase ratings? And how can we watch the actual show, syndication or not?

  9. Tim,

    This is AWESOME!!! I knew you were at this level “playing a bigger game”.

    I’ll shoot out the link to the masses as I have the selfish desire to see this become a series.

    You Rock!


  10. Your next challenge should be Pecha Kucha. No idea how that popped in my mind, but the show would be fun to watch. I tweeted your show, shared it on gReader, and might write a blog post today. (would have done all of that regardless of the competition, althought the bag does look cool)

  11. Tim,

    Awesome idea for a show! I’ve rallied all of my friends via Facebook (200+),, MySpace (200+), Friendfeed, Twitter, and Google Reader (share). I also just sent out a Foonz voicemail blast (125+) telling them to find the show in their TV listings and Tivo it.

    I think your next challenge should involve learning how to drive a racecar and competing in an actual race in a matter of days. With your love of all things that go fast, I would think you’d enjoy it.

    Best of luck!

    Dave Gambrill

  12. First Link (YouTube) has COMMENTS TURNED OFF, so can’t tell you how promoted.

    1) I have promoted on Twitter to “Willow Glen Extra” for the fame of it’s recent resident. Will go put announcement on TRIBE.NET

    2) Next Challenge? Howabout an easy one? Self promotion. Get yourself on the Colbert Report (didn’t get it yet, right?)

  13. Very cool! Not only looks like an interesting show (congrats on that) but it’s on one of my favorite channels.

    I will twitter, facebook, blog and send an email to the 6200 identities I have from my various events.

    Your next challenge?

    Learn Ballet and Perform the Nutcracker at the Bolshoi in Russia.

  14. Dear Übermensch:

    Loved the idea! Man, isn’t it everything that a curious life-lover who admires the greatness in man would want to do for life? Are you kidding, mastering a new exciting subject after another? Spetacular.

    Tim, I have a question for you.

    As a structured, rational and anxious-to-cut-the-BS-see-the-big-picture-and-get-quickly-to-the-point auto-didact myself, I am not so startled about the feasibility of squeezing 10 years in one month or such. What puzzles me is finding the right teacher.

    So my question is: in your experience, how do you manage to find experienced, patient teachers and convince them that you could learn in days or few weeks what took themselves many many years to master? How do you approach and negotiate it with them? And after you start, do they cheerfully accept your unmerciful deconstruction of the subject and your learning on your own terms instead of their slow, step-by-step approach?

    As for suggestions for next programs, I have THE challenge for you. You’ll just love it, seriously. I will send you an e-mail until tomorrow. Tell Amy not to filter it. 😉

    Thumbs up, proud for you. Will spread the word, and wish you success.

    Cheers from hot, sunny Rio.

    André Branco

  15. Congratulations- the show sounds awesome!

    And… the debut sounds like a *great* excuse for a gathering (a la the Obama debate watching parties!).

    Friends + Japanese Food (given the show’s theme) + Tim’s show= an awesome dinner party!

    Who else is going to have a get together?? Would be great to coordinate a whole bunch of them!!

  16. Posted the video to Facebook. As for the next challenge? How about something non-physical. How would you get a school, that has been around for 125+ years, to raise $1M at an annual gala event that has yet to bring in 100K. Sort of a double learn, or perhaps better said learn and teach — not only would you need to become the expert in fund raising during a horrible economic time but you would also need to break all previous fund raising efforts by a factor of ten.

  17. Great score, Tim! I want to hear all about how you pitched the series. I posted the preview on my Facebook page. As a suggestion for things to do in a week, I’d like to see you take the test used to score the worlds greatest athletes (the Decathlon). That’s probably unfair because it’s 1 event with 10 disciplines, so I’d settle for watching you learn the pole vault if you were game.

  18. Tim,

    if we want this to go viral like the book we have to be simple, I just emailed my brother, told him I was busy on Thurs. and to Tivo the show, I’ll swing by later and watch it with him. Rinse and repeat with a couple other friends and I have a weekend of sitting around drinking beers and talking FHWW with people I like.

    The era of Super Bowl commercials is over, one real person talking to one real person, marketing and movement have become one. Thanks for leading this tribe and keep up the good work.

  19. Hey Tim – that’s awesome news about the show! I’ll be watching for sho. You’ve done some good posts about investing this year so I recommend trading with real money as the basis for a show. If you’ve ever seen the show Wall Street Warriors on Mojo then you can do something similar for a week.

    …I can imagine it now.. Tim yelling and hollering in the commodity pits at the CBOT.. “Buy pork bellies! Pork bellies I say !.. …. now sell !!!”.

    Cheers & Good Luck,


  20. Tim,

    Cool show, I’ll check it out on Thursday.

    1) I posted the link on facebook

    2) Skills I’d like to see:

    –air to air combat (maybe at one of those places where you can pay to dogfight with MiGs)

    –high end pastry chef work, like sugar or chocolate sculpting


    –tightrope walking (or some other type of acrobatic skill)

    –Acapulco cliff diving

    –big wave surfing

    –indy car racing

    –floor trading on NYSE

  21. I tweeted it, I facebooked it and I emailed it to a fellow life hacker that’s currently living in Northern Labrador.

    My challenge? a sub 8 minute 30 second lap time on the “ring”. No, not watching that horrible American remake of a Japanese movie. I mean posting a time under 9 minutes on the infamous bonus points if you train using a Playstation 3 like many race drivers do.

    As a reward my team, will work with you to create a Tim Ferriss photoshoot of your choice and we’ll offer you life time rights to the images. But you gotta post sub 8.30, which shouldn’t be hard, the top time is 7:22, that’s over a minute slower…

  22. I’ve Tweet’d it (, favorite’d the video on YouTube and I’ve shared and starred this blog post in Google Reader…all of which will also appear in FriendFeed ( and on MyBlogLog (

    Also Buzz’d it up, which broadcasted it, via Yahoo! Updates, to my Yahoo! connections through my Yahoo! Profile ( I also posted the link on Facebook, just in case I missed any friends, family or coworkers.

  23. @ André Branco: Great questions. I’d love to hear answers to those from Tim as well.

    Tim, I am stoked for the show!! Just like you, I am a night owl and 11PM EST is perfect for me 🙂 I love the idea and hope it turns out great.

    I will do the usual twitter, FB, etc etc to get the word out.


  24. That’s gonna be a great show Tim!

    I am posting this on my FB status and letting as many people as possible know about it.

    My challenge:

    participate in a Russian ballet! ;-P

  25. Tim,

    You’ve inspired me to think differently. I’m proud to be the first commentator for the article on the DIGG website. I’m brainstorming right now and on how to find way to generate larger viewership.


  26. Ok Ok after watching the trailer I know this is going to be the sh*t.

    I really really really want to get a series so here I go:



    -Emails to all my contacts (there’s a few :))

    -Texts to everyone in my phone

    -I have access the school’s email list and will send out the link (hope this is legal. As you said better to do and then ask for forgiveness) 7000+ students is the perfect target audience

    -Post a super excited post and link to the video in all my prominent forums and ask my friends in those forums to do the same

    -Get a retweet from my twitter friends. @megmroberts is one and she works in a PR firm in D.C. and has 500+ subscribers. I’ll def get her to write up a press release for it and post it on my blog and website (

    -Make a YouTube video and link it to my most popular videos (BenWannaBee)

    Whew! Ok my social media/internet sluttyness will be at an all time high in a day. Exciting. Hope it works and we can get a SERIES!


  27. I’m really excited to see the show.I’ll publish an afternoon post on the show tomorrow on my site. can you put up some more information on the show for the post, such as:

    What lead you to come up with the concept for the show?

    What skills are harder to acquire quickly? (ie language,martial arts, programming, etc)

    If someone could only take 2-3 courses in college, which would you suggest would be the most beneficial?

    How can you find great instructors in a short amount of time? (Many of my readers are college students and are looking to ind mentors/professors)?

    I also tweeted the link for the show already and will put it on Facebook.Do you have a event for it already on FB? If not, do you mind if someone else puts one up?

    My challenge: Started a successful (5,000+ subscribers) blog with an anonymous name in 30 days or less.

  28. Posted this on twitter, facebook, two martial arts forums (sherdog and mmajunkie), and one nutrition forum (rosstraining)and dugg it.

    I’ll be working on a few other aspects, but I really hope I get the bag. I’m going to do missionary work soon, and a nice sturdy backpack is near the top of my list of “to-gets.”

  29. Hey Tim,

    Congrats on the new show. I hope it’s a tremendous success. I wish I could watch it but I checked our TV guide for the History Channel in Canada and it’s not listed. Do you know if it’s on any other channel or will it be available online?

    Also, any idea when you will be coming up to Canada (Toronto area)? I know you have tons of Canadian fans that would love to meet you.

  30. I posted it on my facebook and tweeted about it. I would love to see you plan a large nonprofit fundraiser (maybe for Donor’s Choose), play the trumpet with Wynton Marsalis, or join the cast of Bring in the Noise Bring in the Funk. (high stakes challenges don’t have to always involve you risking your life, you could also risk your pride, much funner for the audience to watch)

  31. Hi Tim. Here’s what I just did to promote your new show:

    1) Changed my Facebook status to “Aaron is 4 Hour WorkWeek Pilot…COOL”

    2) Shared it as a link in my Facebook account with a personal comment

    I have over 1300 friends on Facebook so your link will get much exposure. I hope the show makes it. It looks like this is fulfilling a deep passion of yours.

    As for the challenge: I’d like you to win a competition versus professional Japanese car drifters. First off, it’d be incredibly entertaining to watch, both in the US and those overseas. And second, you already have a strong connection with Japan. I’d LOVE to see that and watch you kick some butt with little training.

    Much success,


  32. So far, twitter, blog, and myspace. And I’ll have the show TiVo-ed as soon as I go home. 😉

    How about a road race against a professional (like at Infineon Raceway here in California)?

  33. Part II: Write an album songs, including music and lyrics. Open up for a famous musician that most amateur, yet trained musicians, would find impossible to accomplish. Most songwriters train all of their life to write music, you only have 20 days–with no professional music background–to make this happen.

    Also commented a dugg your article. Cheers!

  34. Awesome! Been waiting for a Tim Ferriss/life hack show. Should be great. I’ve posted to my Facebook, myspace, and am tivoing. I’d like to see you hack long distance running. (see Dean Karnases) Good Luck!

  35. Hey Tim!

    1.) Tweeted about the video and TV show.

    2.) Posted a link on the top of my Facebook feed (exposure to 1,700+ friends)

    3.) Posted a story and link in my blog (

    4.) Sent an email to EVERY person who originally recommended your book to me.

    I’d love to see you try out The NYC Urbanathlon ( or something involving the up and coming sport of Parkour (free running). It’s a huge body challenge, and a lot of fun in addition to an already great exercise. Even if you don’t do it for the TV show, you should check it out!

    I’ll continue to email more people tonight, and even get the word out at the office tomorrow, as our job essentially allows for the 4-Hour Workweek to be achieved :). Love consulting.

    Best Wishes,


  36. Dang, my comment got moderated, because of my link. Sorry!

    I blogged it. The link is at my name.

    I Tweeted it.

    I posted it as a link on Facebook.

    I am now thinking I will give it a “thumbs up” on Stumbleupon as well.

    Oh, and I’m going to put a reminder on the show so I can watch it.

  37. OMG- this is so crazy, the preview to your show seems awesome!

    1. I just sent an email blast to ALL of my University classmates, friends, professors, & cool business colleagues. I used the same format to your competition but made it my own and changed the prize to see how many of them can pass the word along by using facebook, twitter, blogs, etc.

    2. Not sure of the challenge just yet. I’ll wait on the feedback from those people I emailed. I made it a requirement to answer questions 1 & 2 for my prize.

  38. Good luck, Tim. I hope it is a success and I will be watching.

    Here is the way that I spread the word:

    1. Twitter

    2. Facebook

    3. My blog (

    4. Posted on digg in the Television section and dugg this post.

    5. PokerRoad Forum ( Posted in the entertainment. Off topic section of the forum. This is a highly traffic forum so it should get some good exposure.

    6. Emailed the video link out to my friends

    Also here is a couple of ideas that I had for future episodes:

    1. Winning a chess competition after a week of training with a grandmaster.

    2. Participating in a professional pool tournament after a week of training.

    Just a couple of thoughts. Good luck with the show!


  39. I ‘shared’ it on my Google Reader — which is usually only reserved for my favorite articles, not for promotion. So people read it.

    I also promoted it on my Facebook and MySpace.

    Hope it goes well.

  40. Can I just tell you what a crush I have on you?

    Consider it Tivo-ed and I have posted on a few of my favorite message boards. Fingers crossed this takes off so you can visit me (through the TV) in my living room every week!

  41. Tim,

    I understand you probably don’t want to be lumped in with Reality TV shows (most of them anyway), but you do mention them in the blog post.


    I have emailed tips (gossip) to the following sites about your upcoming show: (I have the tip in my Sent folder for verification) (I sent this through a form on their site, I don’t have an email trail, but I have a print screen showing that I submitted a tip to them). (Sent an email to Marc Berman, The Programming Insider/Mr. Television and have the item in my Sent folder)

    I think your next challenge should be that of a Master Sommelier. People should not assume this show is only about physical feats.

  42. Awesome. I posted it on my blog, twitter, and facebook.

    The challenges I’m thinking of go to the physical, so really aren’t possible in a week, but I’ll throw ’em out there anyway: olympic decathlon, olympic pentathlon, or lead an iconic climb in yosemite…

    Also stunt flying, breath hold diving. And no, I am not trying to get you killed!

  43. An addendum, so I’ll recap all three:



    –All my good friends’ facebook walls

    –Shared on Google Reader, which is usually reserved only for sharing very insightful articles

    –E-mailed all people I can count on to watch it

    I’m a silent lurker… love the blog. I’m doing your style of workout right now.

  44. It looks pretty interesting Tim, unfortunately being in Oz and without cable I can’t +1 your ratings but I’ll definitely watch first chance that arises.

  45. Tim,

    I have added the link to my facebook page and sent out a mass email to all of my coworkers who I have had read your book. I knew your book was a big hit in a Fortune 500 company when I was asked by our VP why he has had so many people asking for a work from home arrangement. Luckily I got to him first as a guinea pig on the idea. I’m sure your show will be as big of a hit as the book.

    Next Challenge:

    I think that a big challenge for you would be competitive eating. I know your big ideas on health and wellness, but it would definately be a challenge. It would also be a great segway into one of your great weight loss/muscle building lessons.

    Good Luck,


  46. Hey Tim,

    I passed the info to my SXSW friends, posted on Twitter and Facebook. I’ll talk up to my friends as well in person – already set the TiVo.

    For a challenge, I’d love to see you write, plan, direct, shoot, and star in a short film – not a documentary. Tons of new stuff to learn and master plus you have a cool product at the end.

  47. Tim, I just spent an hour and a half creating a facebook event to promote your tv show. I invited all 426 of my friends…one…by….one (facebook has no “invite all” feature). My delicate little dell mini laptop started to shake as gallons of facebook invites were dumped all over the world.

    On top of all that, I’m going to have to deal with a tsunami of facebook messages, wall posts, and friend request from every yodel I knew in high school whom I reluctantly included on the guestlist.

    Tim, what I’m trying to tell you is that I REALLY want that travel bag, as well as a personal correspondence from you (my role model). I’m going back to China next month for study abroad and begin my second vagabond stint, and I was just browsing online yesterday for the ultimate travel bag.

    That travel bag was destined to be mine, Tim – there’s no use in fighting destiny. It’s my personal legend (just read The Alchemist on your recommendation).

    As for my suggestion for the next challenge. I’ve always been curious to see how good of a “Pick up Artist” you would be. I’ve also learned many skills and languages, but this is completely different from purely physical and mental skills- it’s a social skill.

    You can 80/20 the vast wealth of information out there and learn the theory and techniques in a few intense hours of studying, but to actually become a “master” takes many many hours in the field, approaching and getting to know (and getting rejected by) hundreds of women.

    I have many ideas for how you should go about investigating if your curious, but I’ll leave you with a few leads to follow in case you have no idea what i’m talking about:

    Anyways, good luck with your show. No hard feelings if I don’t win.

  48. Tim – Great idea on proving your life dissertation. Really looking forward to the show. Since you have done some swimming, perhaps a channel swim or some extreme temperature type swim.

    My Digg

    I’m limiting myself to two hours of TV this week and this show will be half of it. Tim takes a big risk by recording his attempts to hack his way to world class levels in five days. Thanks for showing us where there is a will there is a way. My new motto (inspired by Tim) – Hacking not Slacking.

    My Tweet

    @tferriss puts his life where his mouth is and on TV nonetheless w/ “Trial by Fire” this Thursday on History. HD DVR set.

    Good luck.


  49. Spectacular! I can’t wait to see it – got the DVR programmed to record. I’m going to pass this around the office, because hopefully the folks who would otherwise never crack open the 4HWW (despite my repeated attempts to persuade them otherwise, including buying it myself for some) might start to realize that you’re real…and you’re serious. In a fun way, of course.

    Presumably since you posted you managed to avoid a life-ending clash with the wooden poles – always a good thing. In terms of ideas for the next skill, I’d vote for parenting six boys for a week at Disneyland. Good luck on that – I think you’ll find yabusame is substantially easier. 🙂

    Seriously, though, I liked Gordon’s ideas of Bull Riding or snake charming.

  50. Hey Tim,

    On Cox Digital Cable the channel guide shows a re-run at 3am Pacific on Friday morning. Not sure if that’s true elsewhere but FYI.


  51. Tim,

    I’ve posted about your show on our website and emailed my friends.

    I think you should train for a Red Bull Air Race. Not a pilot yet, maybe get your license in a week instead.

  52. More Ideas:

    Spoon bending.

    Moving Qigong Energy.

    Stripped of everything-dropped in the middle of a city-must get new ID and convince a bank to loan you 100k.

    Dress as a bum and earn $500 a day as a panhandler.

    Get a total of 100 women to call you for a date in a week.

  53. Tim,

    Congrats, you are now an official f*cking celebrity. Beyond that, the concept of this show is f*cking awesome. I need to figure out how to get cable to watch this thing.

    Hell, we should rent out the theater and have a release night.

  54. Feelin’ Tarzan? When I read, “no flesh-and-blood human has the musculature to fling himself from tree to tree as monkeys do” it had Ferriss written all over it:

    Or how about kickin’ it from the hip like the Aztecs, where “placing the ball through the ring was a rare event”

    Ahhh – giving a woman a good ‘ol fashion orgasm – for an hour – with just the tip of your index finger & the upper left quadrant of her clit (aka “OM”ing):

    I posted to transformational community/ network lists, my community & friends, joyously spreading the word to hundreds (thousands?) hungry for lifestyle design.

    The bag will be a welcome addition to my mini-retirement gear.

    Congrats on the pilot Tim!

  55. I just budgeted $200 of targeted ads on Facebook to advertise this page and the show to about ~250,000 people who either have the History Channel listed in their profile (so you know they can actually watch it) or have an interest in Japanese culture – to start running immediately.

    You can see the ad preview here:

    It lists the time & channel so even if people don’t click the ad, it hopefully attracts their attention.

    I also tweeted, dugg, and am telling my fellow 4hww friends. Congrats and good luck with the show!

  56. Props on the show Tim!

    I went all out for you and the bag. I REALLY hope it is a success!

    1. Changed status on Facebook to “Nate is stoked for the premier of “Trial by Fire” on the history channel on thurs (check it out –”

    2. Posted about it on my blog –

    3. Changed gmail status to “check out –

    4. Posted a news feed on my companys Outlook (one of largest law firms in Pac NW – This will go out to all employees in Portland, Seattle, Wash DC, Bend, Salem, and Vancouver.

    5. Sent out a chain e-mail (that my dad – with nothing better to do – will send to millions…haha)

    As for future shows:

    1. Hook up with mystery or Neil Strauss to try and master the “pick-up arts” (this would be fantastic television!)

    2. Try to master Donkey Kong – watch the documentary “the king of kong” for more info.

    3. Try to learn to play YEM by phish on the guitar. (or another rediculous song of your choosing).

    Congrats on the show!!!

  57. Did 3 things to spread the virus:

    1) Twittered it with clear instructions to “retweet” often as possible. Around 100 followers.

    2) Put it as the lead story on my blog Nothing to do with my typical blog content but what the heck.

    3) My favorite – posted it on my company’s Intranet under “prayer request” section.

    “One of my favorite new authors is Tim Ferris, author of 4 Hour Work Week. Tim has done some amazing things in his lifetime with no formal training and in a very short period of time. He’s got a pilot on Thursday night on the History Channel. The concept is simple: Tim has one week to attempt to learn what is usually learned over 5-20 years. He either crashes and burns — or survives by the skin of his teeth — in a final test (trial by fire) each time. Pray that he survives. – for a preview – tell them Patrick sent you.”

    Hey, you’ll have around 80 people praying that you don’t die sometime in the future attempting other stunts. That’s got to be worth a $500 bag, right?

    Next challenge:

    Turn around the car industry with no government money in 7 days. If you can do that, the rest of your life is a piece of cake.

  58. Oh I almost forgot to put what I think you should do next: luging or fencing (being trained by and going head-to-head against an olympian) 🙂


    -Video is being uploaded now to youtube and other video sharing sites

    -Emails sent to my 440 regular email contacts with request to pass along

    -Retweets from 2 subscribers with large followers (500+)

    -Post on website (

    – Facebook status put up to see by my 1,218 FB friends. Will reword and repost tonight and tomorrow.

    Status is: “Lee is super excited for this show!! Be sure to watch 11PM Thurs night on the History Channel and help turn it into a series!!!”

    That’s it so far. More to come tomorrow 🙂

    Let’s go people I want a Tim Ferriss TV Show!

  59. I posted the link on Facebook. No wonder you’re freezing your little swimmies and swimming in the SF Bay!

    I would suggest: tight rope walking across the Grand Canyon (ha!), walking across fire, kite surfing (water, snow, sand), real hard core ballet (no joke), gymnastics or circus-type events, astronaut training, spend a week with the Deadliest Catch guys (ooops wrong channel), drop you off with Jon and Kate + 8 for a week – Jon and Kate (I’d be there in a second!)…

    Snake charming/gathering venom, feeding sharks, crocodile wrestling, boxing kangaroos, feeding giraffes (oh wait that’s just my dream line – sorry)… Cliff jumping, deep sea/under water cave diving, white water rafting – Class 6, tornado chasing, living in an ashram (anti-climactic?)…

    Now I really feel like I’m trying to do you in! However, I will selflessly volunteer to follow you around the world and take care of every bump, bruise, burn and bite. 😉

  60. Hey Tim,

    I am excited and interested to see how the show turns out. I have always been interested in the idea of learning new skills in an efficient and quick way and totally agree that they can. Your posts on deconstructing languages really appealed to me, especially being someone who has gone through high school and college language courses to find that there are much better ways to increase fluency.

    Now to the contest:

    1) I am an RA at a university with 40,000 undergrads where I am responsible for 1300 directly. So beyond the internet suggestions about getting out the word through e-mail, facebook, etc., I put up 100 flyers around campus advertising the show and put a spot on the listserve e-mail that goes out to a large amount of students, staff, and faculty. I also put together a program for any residents to come to my apartment to have free food and watch the show (11 PM, perfect time for us college students). However, I am telling them that before they come over, they must turn on their TVs to the show so the History Channel gets the true viewership numbers. All of this was done tonight!

    2) As far as ideas for the show, the possibilities are endless. Some ideas I like are gymnastics, diving, cattle herding, or basketball as well as the previous posts about poker with the pros and olympic events like a decathalon.

    I’ll continue thinking about these two questions but until then, good luck on Thursday!



  61. Hi Tim,

    1. So far, I’ve posted the link on my facebook profile (where I have 450+ friends) and written posts about the show on two forums. The first is Steve Pavlina’s Personal Development forum, so the people there are the types who would be interested in your ideas. (My hope is that some of them will join in on the promotion challenge.) The second is a private forum where I’m a decently well-known figure. I’ll be spreading the word verbally to as many people as I can tomorrow.

    2. I’m surprised to see that no one has suggested any musical challenges. What about learning to play an instrument in ten days – and, if that doesn’t sound hard enough, perhaps composing something specifically for that instrument to perform at the end of the ten days?

    What about building or designing something? Perhaps designing, building, or learning about fuel-efficient vehicles? Or setting out to make political change – for example (to continue the car example), setting out to convince politicians to install plugs for electric cars all over a city/state and then helping with the execution? (Maybe that’s not skill-oriented enough for this show, but it could still be tweaked into something interesting.)


    Tim, to be honest, I’m entering your challenge with the hope that instead of considering me for the travel bag prize, you’ll consider meeting up with me for some yerba mate (or even plain old coffee) the next time you’re in NYC. While the travel bag looks great, I’d rather have the pleasure of your company – plus I haven’t had many chances to share mate with someone since I was an exchange student in Argentina.

    Since I know your time is precious, I’d be happy to email you an agenda in advance, or we could keep it casual.

    Perhaps that’s too much to ask? Still, I’d kick myself if I didn’t at least ask the question.

    I understand if you don’t have time to respond (or any interest in doing so), but I’ve been curious for a while about how your alternative lifestyle has affected your relationships.

    While you talk about dealing with social isolation in mini-retirements in your book, you never really address how you approach your long-distance friendships (or your views on friendship in general). Have your relationships diminished, grown stronger, changed? How would you describe your social world, and how does your low-information lifestyle affect your relationships?

    Thank you for your time, Tim. I can’t wait to see your show on Thursday.

  62. 1) I have sent my combined email lists of 15,000 (real estate agents and entrepreneurs) about the show… they are already very familiar with the 4HWW as I recommend it repeatedly through my autoresponder series. I have also posted on my facebook page, linkedin and tweated about it as well.

    2) I think you should tackle starting a new muse (online preferably) totally from scratch AND/OR learn to play the guitar and ‘open’ for a rock band (think Seven Dust or Metallica).

    Doug Bertram

  63. I haven’t been following this blog at all in the last year, but I’m stoked about the pilot and the chance you have to spread your wings. I love the DirecTV in HD with the DVR. I think I’ll view it after the gym Thursday night.

  64. Tim,

    1) I don’t quite have the online clout as some others who might be marketing for you, so I decided to use my strengths and go offline with the campaign by designing a poster. It’s specifically tailored to fit into the bus card advertising slots on the inside of MUNI buses, but also works just as well packing taped to a telephone pole.

    I chose MUNI so I could get a nice captive audience on their way to work.

    I’m off to Kinko’s now to print a bunch up, but I thought I’d let everyone else who doesn’t have a massive online network get in on the fun as well. I’ve uploaded the file to my blog (click my name to link to it) so anyone can download it, print it out, and show their support for what is sure to be a killer show.

    Also, the link you requested we direct people to works well in the digital world, but not so well in the physical. Who’s going to remember a code like that? So, I snagged a domain, which would be easier to remember (even though it’s longer) and set the URL to redirect to the preferred link you provided.

    I hope it helps! I’ll comment again once I post pictures.

    2) I would very much enjoy watching you master a musical instrument, especially the trumpet, and then rock out on stage.

  65. I just emailed all of my friends who I know will be interested about the premiere of your new show. I also created a Facebook group to publicize the show and invited some of my closest friends to take a look and spread the word. I’m a college student, and I just made plans to reserve the campus student activity center on Thursday night to get as many people as possible to start watching.

    I’m a huge fan of the lifestyle you promote, and have bought copies of your book as birthday presents for several of my friends. As your next feat, I think you should take on fire juggling. That would be rather fitting for a show called ‘Trial by Fire’.

    Best of luck!

  66. Totally stoked that you and Daniel H Wilson will be on the same channel! Seems like this will be a shoe-in for you, but if you want to compare notes with him, he’s pretty accessible through his blog. Then again, maybe you’ve already met.

    As for new challenge ideas… I think it would be interesting to deliberately choose a field that you consider most difficult for you (i.e. probably not a physical challenge, or anything business-related). Obviously, you don’t want to choose something you’d hate, but maybe something along the lines of a personal ‘weakest link’ – whatever that may be.

    Anyway, good luck with it!

  67. I am really happy that TV may actually have some worth here soon. I hope everyine watches this show. I took a moment to post in facebook, twitter and Buzz up.

    Let’s keep the promoting going and stay committed to Lifestyle Design.

    Love, Peace, and Swirl

  68. Since lots of websites will ban that url you created i made another one at

    Even if the whole serie will be about you completing the trial by fire i think that for now, to promote the promo, i should concentrate on the american-guy-interested-in-samurai-tradictions.

    So this is what i did –

    Submitted your site to a Japanese Folklore Website created by an American guy

    Submitted your site to this yabusame video as comment

    Submitted your site to this another video as comment

    Would be cool to promote it by submitting them as reply to yabusame videos, do it NOW!

    Submitted to because lots of peoples video search on google end up there by mistake

    Submitted to these vimeo videos

    because they were made by foreigners (USA) interested in japanese tradiction

    Submitted video as comment to these Facebook Groups


    Japanese Marital Arts Champions


    Dai Nippon Butoku Kai

    Finally added my video to my own website, to ensure more people watches it and increment the viewers count.

  69. Currently I have put the links on Facebook and on the signature of my emails to clients… lol bit of topic for them… but… life can be a little of topic.. Plus I figured that most of the top nobs I ave to deal with in banks and law firms etc as far as I can tell don’t use any social networking sites… but I’m pretty sure they watch the History Channel…


  70. 1) Piped the link through Twitter to Facebook, Friendfeed, and my blog. Also personally called my Dad, another 4HWW Acolyte and my little brother (loves Japan, studying Japanese in college) and told them to get word out.

    2) Master Push-hands Tai Chi

  71. Fantastic! I loved this concept the last time I saw it done (UK TV in the eighties; a show called “In At The Deep End”, although I suppose Channel 4’s “Faking It” was pretty similar.) It’d be nice to see it updated, especially with someone like Tim!

  72. Tim, so excited will facebook. My thoughts:

    – Most shows like this are too one dimensional and get old quickly (particularly Discovery shows). Today Tim learns one task, tomorrow another. I’d think of it as the Tim Ferris Show with a loose theme of learning and beating challenges. Today archery tomorrow, publishing a new magazine or starting a company. Maybe the next sailing the French reviara or picking up supermodels. Watch Top Gear on BBC for example, it’s a show about cars, but it’s hilarious. They play soccer with cars, they race buses, they make fun of each other, they interview celebrities.

    – Keep the artificial drama to a minimum. Tim is going to die if he doesn’t learn to speak Swaheli in 5 days, there’s plenty of real entertainment in meeting a good challenge or in the details of how to do and how to learn something interesting. If you watch American Chopper you have to ask why everyone fights over deadlines when they’re all independently wealthy and can do whatever they want. It’s not congruent. It’s enough to see cool bikes built and fake drama takes away from that.

    – Show as much of the real content as possible. Your viewers will want to learn what you are learning not just hear about how difficult the task is. Also consider the Tim Ferris audience over the average person. Blog readers will flood to your show along with the masses, but I’d guess the intelligence of your viewers will be above average.

    For the interview I’d like to know about the earliest stages of pitching the show. Before you ever pitch the show how do you get to pitch the show? How do you get the foot in the door? What mistakes did you make? How did you get others to help you? What was the overall time line?

  73. Hi Friends,

    I’m dying to see if someone can top this competition by doing a Pre- Show Email Blast: sponsor an email blast (buy a quick list, be creative) and use a 50,000+ opt-in database (anywhere in the world) to drive people to Tim’s Show!

    Victory is sweet.

  74. Oh, also, here’s what you should do next! Cultivate a new society. (sort of like in Beaches). Buy an island or piece of landlocked land and run a society that lasts for 5 days. Implement politics and whatever unique ways of living. ” A Life Hackers Compound/Paradise!”

    Here’s my Previous Post from last night(im number 31, i think)

    RALLIED THE TROOPS!!! Im so excited for you Tim. I have promoted the show (youtube clip) by embedding it on my, Tweeting the link (msuniqueslounge), and posting on one of my blogs:

    Congratulations and I know it will be a big hit! Well, it already is.

    Thanx for the book, its helped me a lot.

    Ms. Unique

  75. Also if the show does get picked up consider putting together longer term projects that cumulatively require ~5 days of actual time, similar to the weight loss article. So maybe you’ll prep for a triathlon (ironman?) which takes months, but your training time is condensed into 120 hours over those months. You could have a kick off show and spread updates over the course of other shows, or simply do a single time laps of all your training in a single show.

  76. Very Quick,

    Somone contact a t.v, radio, club, newspaper & magazine, travel, food, sales, e-marketing, publicity, industry association or network group promotor & have them blast an email to their opt-in databases about Tim’s Event.

    Just find the niche person with the sources, it makes it so much easier to win.

  77. @duane stevens: Awesome suggestion! Although I’d say not just a male bellydancer… but a Suhaila format dancer. That is VERY hard!!!! Maybe getting to level II in 30 days or less? 😉

  78. Good luck Tim. I did a post and got it on all of my social media channels. Shall I write the heads of History Channel for you..? Looks like an awesome show I know I will be watching.

  79. Posted the link on my blog.

    Really cool idea Tim, I would love to see it become a series. I will spread the word about watching it.

    Some show ideas:

    1. Become a Navy Seal.

    2. Pass the Bar Exam.

    3. Build a successful company, on target linearly to make a million dollars in the first year profit, so a little over 19k profit in a week.

    4. Become a Cirque du Soleil performer that performs as one of the performers through a full show.

    5. Become a software programmer: So say program an iPhone app that is reasonably complex in a week.

    6. Pass the certification exam to become a doctor.

    7. Pass any of the other exams with a reasonably high score for acceptance into grad school. engineering, mcat, etc.

    8. For fun: next christmas: show us how Santa delivers all of those presents:-)

    Personally I am more interested in the mental type tasks than the physical ones. I don’t think there has been anything like that on TV. It could be very valuable to see how to teach large amounts of knowledge in 1 week.

  80. Sounds cool, Tim.

    In addition to the history channel, could you distribute on iTunes as a video podcast?

    It would be so much more convenient and international.

  81. 1) I have sent out emails to my entire email list to have people watch the show. I also posted the invitation on my facebook page and sent invitation to all my facebook friends. AND I sent amy an invitation to make sure she doesn’t forget to watch. (I was going to send it to you, but I figured that you wouldn’t forget to watch!)

    2) I would like to see you train and ride in the Tour de France cycling event, probably the toughest physical challenge for athletes. When I can’t ride much faster than 26 mph and Lance Armstrong rides at 46 mph, it’s an amazing feat. (Of course I’m 27 years older than he is!) But even at my speed, cycling will help me live to 100 and still be able to do a century ride at 100!

  82. Tim, I posted the link in my “what are you doing now section” on Facebook:

    I am a classically trained violinist and I think you should attempt to master the violin in a week, or better yet, every instrument that is utilized in a full string orchestra: violin, viola, cello.

    I also think it would be funny if you learned how to be a Geisha, minus the whole patron part of course :).

  83. I would have blogged this anyway, but I posted to my blog a little plug. Also sent over to the one bag one world folks who are always interested in traveling around the world lightly.

  84. Big Tim,

    I’m actually laughing out loud at how cool I think all of this is. . .super-sweet. Only trouble is, I don’t own a freakin’ TV! So, alas, I’ll have to wait to catch it on line at some point. I’m furiously searching for someone I know who has a Tivo and can record it for me locally here in Chicago. Any volunteers, let me know?!

    Okay, so to help with the cause I’ve used my newly minted powers (thanks to GaryVee for that tip!) and messaged the heck out of all the networks I’m in with one deft click of the mouse. So, that includes LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, Udderli, Twitter, Pownce (what’s left of it), and on and on. I think there are something like 15 networks in all. Some followed, some mere real estate, but the Google Juice should help, I imagine.

    Ideas for next time? Hmm. . .how about:

    Mastering Eddie VanHalen’s “Eruption”?

    Getting two opposing world leaders to meet when they would rather kill one another?

    Captain a yacht in the America’s Cup?

    De-poison a puffer fish? (Maybe that’s a bit too risky. . .we want you around for awhile)

    Co-piloting a 747?

    These are wacky, but so is Japanese archery!

    Good luck, man. . .this seems like one helluva’ great concept!



  85. Update:

    -Email to 7,000+ in the school wide email system a success!! I’m sure I’m going to get a nice call from the dean, but I will ask for forgiveness and explain to him that the email is for educational purposes (Hey it is!!)

    -My mother (Carol Burrell) is the COO of Northeast Georgia Medical Center. See here: She knows I’m a huge fan of the 4hww, so I asked her to send a company wide email. No problem. But then I got to thinking, so I made this happen:

    Hospitals have tons of tv’s right? So I implored (aka beg, entreat, beseech, appeal to, exhort, urge, enjoin, press, push, petition, bid, importune) my mother to email the head of the nursing dept. and ask her to instruct the nurses to turn on the tv’s in all the filled (with patient permission of course) and non-filled rooms to the History Channel this thursday.

    To my surprise the head of nursing said no problem!! 500+ beds w/ 5000+ employees. Wow I love my mother 🙂

    I would really love to see a Trial By Fire series and have a kickin new bag to boot!!

  86. Hey Tim,

    I just posted an entry to my blog (about 2,000 readers on entrepreneurship) to promote the show:

    By the way, I just finished listening the the 4HWW on audio book for the second time. I have my first “lifestyle design” trip planned next year first week of April to South America. I’ve been spending the last year or so getting my business ( as automated as possible so that I can take this trip.

    This is part of the reason the backpack was an exciting prize for me since I’ve been researching it. I even left you a comment on your “travel the world with 10lbs or less” post about what backpack would be best, so this answers the question!

    Anyway, I think the show will be a great way to build your brand, especially since so few people actually read these days. That is assuming filming a TV show fits with your lifestyle!

    All the best,


  87. Almost forgot: regarding next challenge – I think learning to act and booking a big part/audition would be great. This is a fantasy for a lot of people and I think it’d get good ratings.

  88. Hey Tim,

    Great idea and concept, can’t wait to watch it! Will def link the preview to FB…an idea: few months ago you completed your 1k open water swim, how about documenting the training and competing in another race, perhaps the Swim to Alcatraz or the annual swim around Key West? With Michael Phelps and US Swimming gaining such popularity right now, might lead to some good viewership numbers…

    Take care, and good luck!

    Ron Turner

    USA Swimming National Team Coach

  89. Hey Tim, love this idea. My influence does not contribute to hundreds of people but I can contribute some ideas. I second the motion to put the show on or some online source, as many more people want to watch it than there are who can stop what they are doing (with their 20%) on thursday night.

    On top of that, the music business is a subject I am interested in a lot (performing, producing, etc). Perhaps doing your own Princeton challenge will fascinate people. You can get a quest along the line of contacting someone ridiculously out there like the secretary of state for kazakstan, or a member of the spanish pop group RBD. Basically something that would be harder than just an american celebrity.

    I do not have the history channel but will be looking for this show online, and hopefully the history channel takes into account online viewership. Thanks for the show.

  90. Hi, Tim:

    I posted your pilot’s info:

    On myspace as a headline, in the profile with a full description and with a link, and as a bulletin.

    On facebook as a message, in my profile as a link, and on my status updates.

    On twitter.

    Will email out later. Best of luck. You can do it!

    Your book is amazing. You’ve changed my life.



  91. Ahh,

    Yes, almost forgot.

    Hacking into the music business would be bad ass if you can sing, too. It’d be funny if you couldn’t.

    See ya!

  92. Hey Tim,

    Great looking show. I’m doing the share via google reader, twitter, facebook status, friendfeed thing.

    For your next lifehack, I came up with a few options:

    -pass the physical tests that astronauts are put through for space shuttle flight

    -climb Mount Everest (with some help from Kevin Rose of course…)

    -hit a home run in an MLB game

    -race in the Iditarod which is 93 days away…

    -learn to play an instrument and change places with a professional in a public event to prove no one can tell the difference…

    Good luck and I can’t wait to watch the show!


  93. Tim,

    Some ideas for future shows when the series is picked up…

    -Since you seem interested in investing, how about trying to win the CNBC $1mm investment challenge. They have several througout the yr.

    -Ski Jumping…etiher acrobatic or for distance

    -Deep sea diving. The kind where you see how how deep you can go on one breath

    -Performing on Cirque du Soliel.


  94. Tim,

    I emailed my closest friends about your show, that’s my part…

    Here’s some other things I would do to try to get some instant publicity (since I’m in a marketing mindset right now):

    — Go to your blog buddies immediately, and get them to make a blog post/mail their email newsletters right away telling people to tune into history channel or tivo it that night…


    — Alex Mandossian, a guy who interviewed you, and Yanik Silver, Joe Polish, Yaro Starok, etc are all internet marketers who have LARGE email lists, have interviewed you and if you asked them to mail out a quick email newsletter telling people to watch your show it would definitely increase your rankings because of your “ethical bribe” of answering questions after the show — all their subscribers would want a piece of that.

    — Adding onto Shannon Clark’s suggestions above, go and buy adword ads for anything to do with your name and companies keywords, “Tim Ferriss, “four hour work week”, etc and run google ads pointing to your promo video. Run the ads on yahoo search marketing as well…

    — Schedule as many radio interviews as possible in the next night or two, these could be offline radios, but I bet a lot of quick “internet radio shows” would love to do a quick interview with you…

    — Go to your amazon publishers page and post on your author’s blog about your show coming up soon as your amazon page is probably getting a lot of traffic (and do it over at barns and nobles or any other online retailer of your book as well that has a system like that)…

    — Those are some of the things I would do to get more viewership…

    And I’m assuming you’ve already made announcements on all your own social media sites you belong to, twitter, facebook, myspace, etc…



  95. Tim: congratulations! I am so very much looking forward to this! Though: I looked at the schedule and at least Sweden seems to have another program? Couldn’t find your show, so I’m a little concerned. Hope to find it on the web – and more shows to come, even to Europe:) Good luck!

    And: had you done any horsebackriding before you started? If you’re a total beginner with a horse… let’s just say that it can take some time to be comfortable with that:P

  96. I added the show to facebook, FWIW. My suggestion, you have to do this right now.

    Hit the wire services with a PR, and make the tag something of interest to their readers/viewers, but really off the wall, as you are so good at, such as “Tim also offers to make a $xxxx donation to the collective viewers favorite charity if he gets enough viewers”, and then set up a web page to register votes for which charities. (and include my soldiers families please.)

    Also, if you can pull strings to get on a National morning talk show Thursday morning, pull them.

    Finally, I don’t think your 25″ backpack is legal carryon anymore, it is way over the 45″ total limit, could be wrong. would love to be wrong.

  97. DUDE, YOU ROCK!!! Sorry, I am yelling again. I can’t wait, got the Tivo set. I pulled the following info off of DIRECTV’s website for all that have the best service on the Planet. Good Luck…

    Results: Showing programs starting over next 24 hours

    Title Channel Time Date

    01 Trial by Fire 269 HIST 10:00 PM CST 12/04/2008

    02 Trial by Fire 269 HISTHD 10:00 PM CST 12/04/2008

    04 Trial by Fire 269 HIST 2:00 AM CST 12/05/2008

  98. Great idea. I’ve been writing about stuff like this on one of my blogs for a few months, but it should be fun watching somebody do this for a much larger audience

    I’m going to give promotion a shot. I’m taking a 5-minute break from authoring a post at to type this comment. Hopefully it’ll help you out.

    Good luck,


  99. Hi Tim! Already added the video to my Facebook profile, e-mailed all my clients and coworkers the YouTube link (some of them will probably freak out, but that’s ok), sent a message to all of my MSN Live online contacts (and an e-mail to the offline ones), so probably a good 500 people will see at least one way of contact with your YouTube video.

    -I have screenshots of everything for verification- and of course also Digging it!

    I think your next challenge would be to learn Mexican “Ball Game” (Juego de Pelota) it is an ancient Pre-Columbine game that some cultures in Mexico (the Mayans and the Aztecs, for example) used to play. One of the teams (can’t remember if it was the winner of the loser) was sacrificed at the end of the game; it is played with a hard “rubber” ball so you have to be very careful on how you play or you could get really hurt.

    Great luck with your show I know it will be a great success!


  100. Ah, also left comments on Gizmodo and Engadget (hopefully those won’t be erased by the moderator).

    Hehe… Good luck !

  101. Here’s what I’d like to see:

    1 Fighter Pilot

    2 Escape artist – like a Houdini throwback

    3 Safe cracker

    4 Pastry Chef – high end wedding cakes

    5 Wall Street – not just a stock broker, something more complex – derivatives trader – use it as a tie in to our current economic mess.

    6 Tailor – make a hand made suit – I heard a story on NPR where a)it’s a dying art and b) it takes years of apprenticeship to get it right

    7 Any type of craftsman trade where it takes years to become a master: Carpentry, Brick laying etc.

    8 Olympic sports that take years to perfect – platform diving, freestyle skating. Or deconstruct the decathlon arguably the manliest of all Olympic sports.

    9 Vehicle based racing: indy car, NASCAR, drag racing, drift racing, motorcycle racing.

    10 Enough brawn, how about some brains – There are competitions for spelling, Scrabble, NY Times Cross Word Puzzles.

    I’ve got tons more but ten is a nice round number.

    I think this is an awesome concept. I can’t wait to watch the pilot tomorrow.

  102. Hello-

    This show looks great. It should definitely provide an unique insight into how the learning process works and what one can accomplish if they put their mind to it. I created an unofficial facebook group for the tv show. If you’re interested in joining, it’d be a good discussion forum for the tv show. Don’t know if this wil even work but why not try? I haven’t found any other facebook groups about this show yet. Here’s the link to the facebook group:

    Just made it and just invited all my friends to join it.

  103. Tim, that’s great! I can’t wait to watch it on Thursday. I’d want to see that show keep going and my pick for a challenge would be for you to learn Icelandic in a week… that autistic genius did it.

    Keep up the good work Mr Ferriss.

  104. Posted first link and recommendation into HelloTXT. From there it aggregated to Myspace, Facebook, Friendfeed, Pownce, and Twitter. Took less than a minute to do.

    My challenge – Run the modern Pentathalon (swimming, running, horseback riding, pistol shooting, and fencing).

  105. I posted on my blog about the show and gave notice on my gchat status, twitter, and facebook. Oh, and I told a couple of my law school friends to tune in.

    Good luck, I hope History picks it up. I’ll be tuning in tomorrow.

  106. Ok, here’s what I have done.

    1 I inserted the link into my company’s monthly e-newsletter that will be sent out tomorrow morning at 9 am to our 70 employees, and 400 other staff affiliates (the newsletter was written by an outsourcer from elance, of course). I’m the final one that checks to make sure that all the links on the newsletter are correct, and changed the link on the first page of the newsletter, where we give on a required to fill out a company survey, to the link about your show. On Friday, after your show of course, I will send an email expressing my profound apology for such a thoughtless typo and send the correct URL.

    I’ll of course also do the obvious of changing my status of facebook, myspace, gmail chat, etc.

    2. What you should do next is seduce men as a ladyboy in Thailand (just kidding, that is WAY too easy)….You should go scuba diving in Antarctica. If you can handle the most intense cold you will be able to see some of the most fantastic life on this planet that is unlike anything we have ever seen before.

  107. Good luck Tim,

    I forwarded your announce to couple of friends over ICQ , gtalk and will post it on livejournal.

    It would be curious to see you doing some Russian traditional martial arts. One variation of this is called Kadochnikov system

    If you think martial arts is not challenging enough look at no contact fighting at yourtube

    I bet you can’t learn it in one week

  108. Congratulations Tim!

    Book just arrived from Amazon, and now this. I hope it all works out well for you. I hit up Twitter, Livejournal, Myspace, Facebook, my MSN Messenger status and direct email to my gmail address book. Trying to get the word out for you. Hope it takes off, sounds like a great concept.

    Good Luck!

  109. Hey Tim,

    I announced the pilot on my Sirius Satellite Radio show. Some nebulous number out of 18.5 million subscribers should now be keen to hear what you’re up to when your show airs.

    As for the challenge, I’d like to see you learn to bull ride. It’d be fun to learn and it sounds right up your alley, despite your normal risk-averse mentality.

    If you like this entry, I don’t want the prize, but would love to see it given to my friend Rob Murgatroyd over at, who is also a huge fan of this blog.

    -Jordan Harbinger

    SiriusXM Radio

  110. Already ahead of you on the promotion. Posted on my Facebook, Twitter MMA gym forum (also trying to post on Sherdog but the forum is buggy) and I’ll email a few folks.

    I don’t want the bag though, unless you think it might be good to study for improvement my future bags 🙂

  111. I’ll find a tv to watch that pilot here in Denmar :o)

    Tweeted (also to Facebook) this and gave it a big mention at work.

    Next show candidates: tightrope walking, break a bobsledding record, solve a unsolved mathematical problem.

    Cheers from Denmark :o)

  112. Hey !! I love it !!

    I like it and I am really interested in watching it !!!

    Too cool – I am interested in the accelerated learning !! Almost Matrix style 🙂

    I have a challenge for you – big wave tow in surfing..

    Mark Visser is a great guy and one of the worlds best. Let me know if you need to contact him. I talk to him almost every day – he is a fit enthusiastic guy like yourself.

    You might like to see how he prepares for big waves by blowing out all his air and sitting on the bottom of the pool for 1:30 then swims 50m..

    The idea is to simulate getting held under 2 or 3 massive sets and not getting a chance to take a breath before he went under..

    Cool best of luck with it all !!

    Cant wait to see it


  113. Here is facebook, somewhat tough to put yourself out there

    Dennis asks everyone to watch Tim Ferriss on History Channel tomorrow at 9 – for more:

    hit up Tuckermax messageboard, – largest picture forum in the world.

    It would be neat to try:

    stockmarket picks – HA HA HA



    deep sea diving


    rally car driver

    the circus type show with ropes and hanging on a rope doing tricks

    I have a lot more, since I had an idea for this kind of a show in the past – why not email me and may be I can help you out with it?

  114. 1. Knock a homerun off a real MLB pitcher in less than X pitches (using his full arsenal).

    2. Learn to play Joe Satriani’s Summer Song (impossible!).

    3. Come close to matching free diving world record.

    4. Survive 5 rounds with a professional boxer.

    5. Become a bullfighter.

    6. Master ping pong; come close to beating a Chinese champion.

    7. Become freestyle rap champion.

    8. Install a stable Haitian government (nevermind…impossible).

    9. Get elected to US House (you’d have to take a few years off your show if it made this far).

    10. Raise $10M for a good cause.

  115. Tim,

    Awesome and congrats! I have e-mailed all my clients and it will be going onto an e-mail blast that hits about 120,000 people on a list serve tomorrow. My suggestions are:

    (1) Successful cliff-skimming with a wingsuit jump:

    (2) Defeat a gold medal member of the 2008 US Olympic fencing team.

    (3) Swim the English Channel…

    (4) Learn to fly either a Mustang or a Spitfire…solo.

    This will be awesome…TIVO is set…good luck!


  116. Sounds like a great idea, Tim. Like some others, I don’t live in the US. Any way us expats can see the episode? Also, I am very interested in how you approach learning, especially when it comes to languages. Hope the show is a success.

  117. Hey Tim this is Q,

    I WAS IN NIKKO IN THE MOUNTAINS LAST WEEK! When did you shoot this???

    Your biggest challenge…TIME…Delegating the law of multiplicity. So 80% of your work is done…but we still have some time left. Lets hit the MASSES quickly and effectively….So here’s what I’m doing

    1A. Sending 100+ emails to your closest friends using a mail merge feature. (and I’m telling people that “I will get a reward if I WIN THIS COMPEITION TO MEET TIM FERRIS, And if I win, I will be donating the cash value of my prize to Women’s Breast Cancer Medical Centers in Developing Countries”. I will ask them to forward this to anyone they know…which won’t be that effective, but might gain some additional audiences. (“If you can’t FORWARD THIS MESSAGE, THEN AT LEAST WATCH THE SHOW!)

    1B. FACEBOOK, MYSPACE and other social programs…GO DEEPER!. Anywhere you have CREDIBILITY , Groups or what not…Send a massive post/announcement/message so it hits all members. And then once again, use the previous message from above. SUBJECT: “Holy shit, this is cool” …and for a good cause.

    2. You have to stick with what the audience wants of course…and that’s exotic destinations…and something new and creative, but yet something your audience would be completely in tune with..and you need to pull in the WOMEN audience! How about learning Flamenco dancing in Sevilla, Spain…THAT’S AMAZING! And a VERY hard challenge, but you could pull it off.

    Good luck Tim



  118. Hey Tim this is Q,

    1A. Sending 100+ emails to your closest friends using a mail merge feature. (and I’m telling people that “I will get a reward if I WIN THIS COMPETITION TO MEET TIM FERRIS, And if I win, I will be donating the cash value of my prize to Women’s Breast Cancer Medical Centers in Developing Countries”. I will ask them to forward this to anyone they know…which won’t be that effective, but might gain some additional audiences. (“If you can’t FORWARD THIS MESSAGE, THEN AT LEAST WATCH THE SHOW!)

    1B. FACEBOOK, MYSPACE and other social programs…GO DEEPER!. Anywhere you have CREDIBILITY , Groups or what not…Send a massive post/announcement/message so it hits all members. And then once again, use the previous message from above. SUBJECT: “Holy shit, this is cool” …and for a good cause.

    2. You have to stick with what the audience wants of course…and that’s exotic destinations…and something new and creative, but yet something your audience would be completely in tune with..and you need to pull in the WOMEN audience! How about learning Flamanco dancing in Sevilla, Spain…THAT’S AMAZING! And a VERY hard challenge, but you could pull it off.

    Good luck Tim



  119. Tim,

    Great to hear about the show and I really hope it stays on. Loved the book and have no reason to believe i wouldn’t love your show.

    Anyway, I’ve put the link in my facebook status, created a facebook group, put up a myspace bulletin,shot emails to all my friends who enjoyed your book when i put them onto originally. Also sending out an email at work tonite so people can have all day tomorrow to forward it to their other working stiff friends like myself 🙂 . Nothing like an email about TV and an interesting life to get the office folks forwarding on and on to all their other friends asap!

    Oh yah, i have two suggestions for future skills to master. Ocean free diving — as in no scuba gear or snorkel — or big wave surfing as in 20 plus foot waves

    Best of luck to you,


  120. This just arrived in my email today?!

    I have to go find someone to record this for me. I’m nowhere near the US and Trial By Fire is not showing up in my local THC listings.

  121. Hey Tim,

    Read your book, did what you said, now I’m in Tokyo writing my first comment at a cafe in Shunjuku. Hope I can find the show online somewhere, or have a friend back in the States record it for me. Anyhow…

    I hit up the usual channels, Email, Facebok and MySpace. I also hit up the World of Warcraft community (12 million strong and growing).

    Some ideas for your next skill to deconstruct, how about:

    * Attain a very competitive level at a video game (1st person shooter, RTS, PVP in a MMO, etc)

    * Poker

    * Learning to play an instrument

    * Pass the test a special forces soldier must pass to become a (Navy Seal, DELTA Force, etc)

    See ya!


  122. Fantastic. I sent it to twitter, facebook, Macgroup, AIM, MSN and forward to distro list.

    Next challenge: Capoeira in Salvador, Bahia, Brasil. I’ll translate. Cheers.

  123. 1) I added the youtube video to my Facebook account and emailed all non facebook friends with the link.

    2) Master sign language, hundreds of people could benefit from seeing how you break it down and learn it in a quick hurry.

    This show concept is awesome, I hope there is a huge turn out.

  124. Dear All,

    Ladies and gentlemen…. you guys ROCK!

    Seriously, have I mentioned that you all kick ass? Have I? Kicking ass and rocking hard, like early G&R? Well, you make Paradise City look like a black & white polka.

    Thank you all so much for the support. Tomorrow will be a blast. You’ll laugh, you might cry (probably not), and you might just decide I’m a total fool. I’m cool with all of the outcomes. It will be fun no matter what.

    Please keep on rallying the troops, please don’t forget to Tivo (even if you watch, as I hear Tivo reports numbers), and talk soon!

    Live Q&A info to come in the ‘morrow.

    Kia kaha, my lads and lasses 🙂


  125. Tim – you de man. This show will ROCK the planet. I’m an uber fan of your adventurous zest for life and whole “do your dream now” philosophy! 😉

    It was such a pleasure to meet you at BlogWorld – I just love who you BE.

    I’m spreading the word for your new TV show – it’s going to be a series, I’m sure of it!!! Here’s what I’ve done so far:

    * Tweeted multiple times to my fab 6500+ followers. 😉

    * Dugg & commented, Stumbled – both to FriendFeed.

    * Posted your YouTube video to Facebook, added your YouTube video to my favorites – pushes to FriendFeed. Commented on FriendFeed – goes back into feed.

    * Wrote on your Facebook wall; commented on your Facebook status update (goes into feed of my 5k friends).

    * Posted your YouTube video link in my Facebook status update.

    * Commented on the Facebook pic of you and myself taken at Blog World. (w00t!) – goes to News Feed.

    As for a challenge I’d love to see you tackle: Learn to play the bagpipes. lol! 😉

    Big hugs,



    + 1 for “learn a musical instrument”

    + Learn magic tricks.

    Basically, learning things that other people could actually go out and learn themselves.

    And in the far future, perhaps the student will become the master: You could do a show where you take a viewer and help *them* learn something.


    +1 for “how do you find teachers”.

    I suspect that convincing them to teach you is the easy part. (Nothing is more flattering or more fun than teaching a willing pupil. Most people don’t realize that a good teacher *loves* teaching. Our school system would be completely different if all students were there by choice. People would be begging to be teachers).

  127. Tim, you’re an animal.

    This is an awesome idea for a show and even if I don’t win the contest, I have a lot to gain with the show.

    So far I’ve posted this on my blog,

    added it to Facebook,

    “Digged It” (and had to join Dig to do it) I do it all for you man.

    “Buzz Up”ed it (again, had to sign up just for the contest)

    Posted it on Twitter (know one’s following me yet though) Hope I get points for trying

    And I’m going to send out a message to my list (newsletter).

    Here’s an my idea for a show. Learn the concepts/principles of constructing a hip hop song from a hip hop legend such as Jay Z or Eminem.

  128. Wow, lots of comments, good stuff! Also so happy and proud for you! 🙂

    I have posted an announcement on the 4HWW message board, the 4hwwfan myspace group, and my personal social networks as applicable. Also posting where I work – a big software company – (yes I still “work”) and instructing all to tune in!

    Tim – how do ratings work these days? Is “tuning in” going to count on satellite and cable? I have not read all the comments, sorry if this was addressed.

    Stoked to watch tomorrow and congrats! ~Marcie

  129. Tim,

    I’ll give you a link on my personal site, not huge, but getting around 10,000 hits a month right now. Great concept on the show, keep it up. You continue to be a great motivation for people to keep being innovative, and moving forward find new and different life experiences.

  130. YOU ROCK! 🙂 Cannot wait to see it! Sent out on Twitter, FB, MySpace, and my gmail accounts.

    Thoughts are with you! 🙂



  131. Love the idea! I’m rallying the troops (a.k.a. friends via word of mouth).

    PLUS: I’m giving my Masters in Information Systems (MSIS) presentation the day of your show but prior to (2pm CST) and since I use a quote on “efficiency” from your book I am also going to mention your show in the presentation. 🙂

    Good luck fellow life hacker!

    -Sincerely Life Hacker in training, always :o)

  132. Tim- last minute idea .. ask any of ur JV’s to help .. Jeff Johnson ( who is a fan of urs) and Eben Pagan .. they have huge lists. and post ur video to for $47 will reach ALL video sharing worldwide

    or if ur really desperate for immediate links – post to and sell for $1 and give away 100% commission, this will generate ‘000’s of d’loads in space of an hr.

    suspect video sharing is best way to go … good luck


  133. man…Tim, you have NO idea how cool it is you have a tv show. Ok, maybe you know it’s pretty cool. Either way, I’ve been a HUGE FAN of the four hour work week, and have been an avid follower of your blog for years. All I can say, is that I enjoy your written word (occasionally dotted w/ the vid), and that I’ll think the world will enjoy your tv show. I’m happy you’re getting a shot, and I’ll end up promoting your show to all my friends.

    Great job Tim, and you’ve actually changed my life.

  134. Sounds exciting. What’s next for Mr. Ferriss? I posted it on Facebook and am sending messages to friends and student groups. Good luck!

    I’m in the midst of law school finals. That’s a challenge for you: Ace law school in a week. Though it would probably make for some bad tv. 🙂

  135. Very cool concept for a show, Tim. I’ve just put out the word about it with a blog post on – most of our readers live in North America, so they should be able to enjoy the program.

    For you next challenge, how about the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling in the U.K.?

  136. Morning Tim,

    Surprised TLC channel didn’t pick the show up to become a series. If anyone knows what the Canadian timing for this is, please let me know! History channel in Canada doesn’t seem to have anything, did a title search, and came up with “trail and error”: the movie.


  137. You should develop a phobia (unless you have one already “in your pocket”) and then learn how to un-do it, quickly and permanently (though I suppose the permanent part would be hard to prove for a TV show but those of us that subscribe to your blog could follow along)….good luck with the show.

  138. Hey Tim,


    Sent the link to 221 members of my meetup group (Lifestyle Design – Living the Four Hour Work Week) that I founded (but don’t run anymore) and 1350 members of the NYC Original Chinese Language meetup that I joined when you motivated me to learn Chinese.

    I also hit the 67 people who follow me on twitter about my golf blog and the 21 friends in my facebook.

    Also have a friend tweeting it for me to his 1965 followers (FitBusinessman)

    See if I can come up with a few more before the day is out.


  139. Just added it to the wall of the Six Degrees of Seperation group on Facebook, there are 1,844,928 members.

    Also mentioned it to some of the big facebook players I am connected to, 1000+ guys, in my wall posts. Don’t know how many people are reading other peoples walls but what the heck.


  140. Hi Tim,

    This is John Graden, founder of The Martial Arts Teachers’ Association ( This show reminds me of the UK program, “Faking It,” which is a favorite of mine. It also ties in with my new book, “The Impostor Syndrome,” which is the feeling that you are faking it in life.

    I’ll blast this out to over 20,000 martial artists today and certainly will be tuning in. While my first instinct for a challenge is some kind of MMA gig, I have two better ideas:

    1. Train for a week and perform an authentic stage hypnosis show in Vegas.

    2. Train for a day with Neil Strauss (“The Game”) and go out into the field and number close a “Ten.” I’d say kiss close, but I think you are now married :0)

    Good luck. We’ll be watching.

    John Graden

  141. I can’t say my promotion style was original: I shared the video on facebook and through email. Unfortunately I’m living in Copenhagen at present, so running around sreaming wouldn’t work so well. I realize it won’t win a bag, and that’s fine–I just want to see this show take off so I can see what you do and learn from your example.

    As for what you could do in another episode, here are two of my ideas:

    -Master an uncommon musical instrument, like a Swedish nyckelharpa (I saw one played in Budapest, and it was one of the most amazing instruments I’ve ever seen)

    -Learn parkour (if your experience is like mine, you will be sore for a long time after trying to learn this quickly)

  142. Wow man. You’re one interesting fellow. I soaked up your book in about 6 hours and like most of your ideas. This show is going to be interesting, even though I don’t watch television, because it’s really challenging to just jump in head first in to something you have no idea about. Good luck.

  143. Great stuff Tim. Looking forward to the show.

    Alright, regarding the competition:

    – I posted both the youtube video link and this blog entry link on 300+ (three hundred) social news sites in the entartainment, lifestyle, tv shows and cool stuff categories.

    You can see the full list here

    – Dugg it

    – Changed my MSN status/phrase

    – Emailed it to all my contacts

    – Posted on forums

    – I’m telling all my friends about it

    – Talking on IRC about it

    Challenge: Learn some urban ninja/blade running skills!

  144. Updated my Facebook status to the link for the preview, this was actually far more effective than i thought it would be. I had several people talking to me the next day about how the show looks cool.

    Next I started a facebook group, which pitched not only the show, but also the competition. I think you’re right when you say that the best way to get people involved is to give them something to look forward to. I will have to tweak my technique, since the response from this wasn’t as great as I’d hoped, but I’m sure that in the future it will be. I stated that if the group had 10,000 members by 9:59 I’d donate my next paycheck to some charitable foundation, but that didn’t really excite people, since the group now has 38 members.

    I also mentioned the show in a speech I was giving in my public speaking class. THe speech was about the new trend in life hacking and focused heavily on both the Life hacker websites and four hour work week.

    Finally I sent out an e-mail to everyone in my contact list stating the basic information about the show, when its on, what channel, etc, and included links to both the blog and the video.

  145. My TIVO is set and ready to go. TIVO is really having to work its arse off to remain my favorite gadget now that I have a Roomba and Scooba.

    Next feat: Become a Vegas showgirl

  146. Great show idea! Will be checking it out tonight. Thanks for the heads up!

    I sent your email & announcement to approx 100 friends…or at least I hope they like me!

    Good luck!

  147. Don’t worry Tim. If they don’t pick up your pilot you can mobilize your massive online army to email & call them until they realize the errors of their ways.

  148. HEY TIM!

    I triple dog dare ya to perform A CIRQUE DE SOLEIL act , prime example would be:

    Hope you muster the strength and confidence to challenge it.

    Good luck!


    FYI: History Channel Profile is: Skewed to 35+ age group, slight male bias (59%), 86% High Income, 94% LSM 8-10*

    Suggested target market: DStv Adults, male bias


    Made a contact with a Co. that handles terrestrial as well as satellite commercial airtime sales and on-air sponsorship across a variety of dynamic media brands. Someone there agreed to assist me. Am taking their advice to top this competition, hope I get it in time for the deadline. If not, I give props to the best promoter.

    Wishing everyone the best,


  149. Tim,

    Looking forward to the show! Do you fall off the horse?

    Promoted on 2+2 forums, twitter (updated to my blog) and facebook. Will be watching with the girlfriend!



  150. I know the 7000+ student list I emailed isn’t the typical target audience but with finals coming up next week I’m sure my email heading and description will entice them to watch:

    – Barely study 3 days and get an A on all your finals??

    So you didn’t go to class as much as you should have and you REALLY need an A on your finals, but don’t have time to study??

    Well, watch Trial By Fire on the History Channel this Thursday, December 4th, at 11PM EST and let Tim Ferriss show you how to master anything (like all your finals) in 3 days or less.

    He will show you how to Deconstruct, Streamline, and Re-map your way to A after A after A.

    You can see the trailer here:

    Be apart of something great and watch the History Channel this Thursday.



    I’ve gotten amazing responses from everyone I see on campus!! It seems to have really worked. Tonight’s the night people!!!

  151. Hi Tim,

    I’m a big fan and REALLY want to see your show.

    The problem is, I’m from Belgium and I don’t have “history channel” on my television here. I went to the history channel site and saw that people in Belgium can watch the channel. However, I think you need to pay an extra.

    I put in my nickname on msn and facebook to ask if ANYBODY has History channel and response is all negative. I also called some friends and family to ask.

    Guess it will be impossible to watch the show here in Belgium?


    Good luck with the show!


  152. Tim,

    Good luck to you. Looks very interesting. Here’s what I was able to do for you:

    TOTAL IMPRESSIONS: 1742 People ;

    Emailed everyone on my email list: 599 recipients;

    Status on facebook: 411 Friends;

    Told girl to facebook status and wall post: 630 Friends;

    Updated my blog: 2 subscribers (haha);

    Asked friend to place on her blog: (should be at least 100 subscribers);

    I’m supporting you because I believe what you do can help a lot people.

    Next Idea for Challenge: Mastering the skill of Communicating with the opposite sex. This can involve dating, courting, or the often difficult task of managing serious male-female relationships.

  153. We upgraded to HD a few weeks ago and although I had a hunch the DVR is included, I had never actually checked – until now! SCORE! DVR is set and I’ll be watching you in HD at 11pm. 🙂

  154. Tim,

    Congratulations and much success for the broadcasting and debut of your show. I read your book in September and I still carry it around with me in my backpack. As for promoting your show, I’m not sure if I did this correctly (I am by no means tech savvy) but it was worth a shot. I belong to a for profit organization that launched in June of this year, however it has grown by leaps and bounds. Here is one of their marketing tools called “Automated Marketing Center.” I have cut and paste what this system does

    ” Our Automated Marketing Center is a powerful marketing tool that allows you to automatically spread the word about your business, book or personal with millions of potential customers. Our system allows you to upload your press release, article, blog or ad and broadcast it to our partner websites that receive over 73.2 million unique monthly visitors.

    Our scientifically-designed process helps you gain significant online visibility and traffic to your web site. Then we will syndicate and update your message on hundreds and thousands of social media sites worldwide. And do it again. And again. Until you own your market.”

    Due to the fact that I broadcasted this information today, I know that it may reach others late, however if it promotes you, your book or website, then it served it’s purpose. I will now email and post your link on facebook. Hope it works!!

    As for a suggestion, why don’t you do a “Dancing With The Stars” theme but instead of the star being trained by the professional, you (the tango record holder) choose one of your fans to train in a week!!

  155. Hi Tim,

    Awesome idea. I love these kinds of shows. I can’t get the history channel but I will look for it. I wish you much luck on a successful series.

    I would like to nominate myself as your trusty sidekick on the show’s adventures. I could provide the clumsy comic relief and make you look really, really good.

    Cheers, and good luck.


  156. Posted the news on 3 personal development forums…. should get me the prize, eh?

    BTW- next task should be a mental thing, not physical. While I would be partial to business type task (buying a house- no-money down, in a strange town, something like that), others may want you to solve a crypotgram in a dunk tank. Don’t make it? Down you go……

  157. My wife rolls her eyes every time I mention you, so I may have to TiVo to watch on the sly. And while I don’t have as large an audience as many of your fans, I’ve still updated my Facebook (robertkelen) and Twitter (rkelen) pages to spread the word.

    Keep up the great work!

    And as a possible next challenge? How about a piano concerto at Carnegie Hall (streamlining the ‘practice, practice, practice’ part)

  158. Totally awesome! I’d love to see how you learn a Samurai art in just one week (or if you or anyone can). If so, that’s more proof that our limits are just figments of our imaginations.

  159. “Princeton”

    Tim, I enjoyed your talk today at Princeton (I was the one who asked about corporate blogging). Since I found out about the promotion competition after it was already about 36 hrs into it, I figured I would need to be pretty creative if I wanted to compete. Rather than promote your show, I decided to promote your promotion. That is, promote other people to compete for the prize, which in doing so is actually makes their referrals indirect referrals by me. I made up a little figure to help explain: This creates a domino effect that links a huge amount of last minute rallying to me.

    Facebook Ad ($200 limit for today only, up to 1,000,000 impressions):




    Lifehacker comment:

    Facebook Link and Status (of course)


    Laughing Squid comment:

  160. Great show concept! I’ve actually been studying techniques of efficient learning so this show feels like it was designed just for me! Can’t wait to see it.

    I left a comment on my Facebook page with a link to the preview. Don’t have many friends on there yet as I just started using it but a few of my friends are what Malcolm Gladwell would call connectors, so I hope it helps spread the word.

    Ideas for future episodes:

    learning a musical instrument

    some corporate job that people think requires years of knowledge and experience

    any olympic event

    poker or some type of card game


  161. If History Channel doesn’t pick up the show you should shop it around. Who knows, Revision3 doesn’t have anything like this. It could be a cool web based show also if things don’t work out with the History Channel.

    Can’t wait to tune in tonight!

  162. Hi,

    It was an interesting talk that you gave today!

    Anyway, I tried to promote your show by targeting the top 13 business schools in the US as I figured they are the ones who have read your book and have been impressed with your achievements thus far.

    With the help of friends from various universities, I was able to send out personalized emails with information about your show to the business, entrepreneurship, finance,…societies at the top 13 business schools in US.

    In addition, I also sent emails to the top 3 business schools in Singapore.

    Lastly, I’ve also used facebook’s status update to promote your show (I have 725 friends) and have just set up a facebook group for you.

    Let me know if you would like to look at the draft of the emails 🙂


  163. Tim, super excited for your show tonight!

    Just saw the post now, so I’m sure it’s too little too late but here goes

    Emailed friends, posted to Facebook, MySpace, Propeller, Digg, Del.ic.ious, Technorati, Stumble Upon, Twitter, Furl, Mr. Wong, Indian Pad, Google Bookmarks and A1 Wemarks.

    Although I’m sure people have done a lot more and are more deserving of the bag, just wanted to let you know you’ve got tons of support. I’m sure the show will do awesome. Best of luck tonight, I’ll be watching for sure!

  164. I posted on several Reality TV forums —,,…

    Just have a suggestion for a tagline should your show be syndicated/serialized! Something along the lines of:

    “He works 4 hours a week. What does he do with the other 164?”


    “He works 4 hours a week. What does he do the rest of the time?”

    Since your book is really famous, I thought it would be nice to play up a numerical theme of sorts.

    No real suggestion for challenges, but I do hope that you don’t go the way of David Blaine, ie. pointless stunts.

    Either way, the show’s premise seems pretty cool. Best of luck!

  165. So what are the “brutal consequences” that you will suffer if you don’t pass the test?

    By the way, if this show doesn’t work out, I’d love to see something that documents your travels and your attempts to learn cerebral and physical things (whether tv show, book, website or whatever).

    Best of luck!

  166. Hi Everyone,

    1) 1.5 million reached in 1 hour 20 mins, w/ an iPhone

    Just to preface, the tools at my disposal for this competition were an iPhone and 1 hour & 20 mins of spare time, that’s about it (no tethering, laptop, or even good reception). I managed to reach around 1.5 million Americans about you, the book and the new show with that 1:20 total time invested (18,750 people per minute).

    I was in the middle of rural Illinois on a hunting trip with my brothers and father, I read the blog via my phone last night and knew I had some time on the road trip home to come up with something. After considering the best use of time and resources and some web searching on my phone (about 20 mins), I called into the nationally syndicated Dennis Miller radio show. It’s in the top 35 by listeners at ~1.5M and was one of the few with a program mix fitting both your book and show (considered Mike&Mike and others but just not best fit) radio facts here . Riding through IL I waited on hold (aprox 1 hour) and really thought the signal would drop in those hills, but by 11:30 CST I was asking Dennis Miller his take on your techniques and how a 4HWW has worked pretty good for you. He asked me to catch him up to speed and in one minute or so I recapped your outlook, spoke of #1 spots and the new show. He made a light hearted joke about working 4 hours and we were done. Not the most detailed pitch, but hey I’m on the road, didn’t even have full internet access here. And I didn’t see the post until the night before, and basically thought it over before hitting bed early for the drive home, and got it all done this morning BEFORE lunch as you say in the book. Imagine what we could have got done with 7 days notice!

    2) Your Next Challenge

    I say hold your own with a professional in the game of Jai-Alai, see here . If I remember right there was an episode of Jackass where they took a few in the legs using Oranges as a ball, intense. I also vote with pro bull riding and whoever mentioned commodity trading (heck, lately even pro’s in latter don’t know what to do).

    Anyway, I made it home to Louisiana just in time to post this entry on a friends dial-up connection (yes terrible I know) and get to the TV for the show. Looking forward to it, hope I’m seeing ya every week on History channel! Launching a few muses in next 2 weeks (been prepping since July) and looking forward to some good times.

    Many Thanks,

    J. Raley

  167. “Team Tim” has done serious guerilla marketing for this pilot!

    For my contribution, I:

    Sent messages to 300+ friends on facebook

    Have it in my status bar

    Have it on my profile

    Posted a bulletin on myspace for my 250+ friends

    Posted the message on my profile

    I just finished sending out 250+ emails, too, which I had to copy and paste in batches and with at least an hour in between because Yahoo! wouldn’t let me as a precautionary spam measure.

    Posted on Twitter.

    Posted on my Skype.

    And IMed and Skype-IMed like crazy about it…

    … because I like it! I really hope it becomes a series. And, because of 4HWW, I really respect Tim’s mind.

    I did feel like a weenie doing it. ha ha But I’ve also laid down in public several times, alone, so it doesn’t really matter.

    Have a great show!

  168. Tim,

    Since the show just ended (awesome by the way, glad you found your konjo), I figured I would fill you in on what I did for the competition. First of all, if the competition was to get word out about the show to as many people as possible, I’m not sure if I came out on top. However, you mentioned today that the actual challenge was to “get the most eyeballs on the TV show.” Since the History Channel will only be able to measure how many people actually watched the show, that is what I had in mind when promoting it. So here’s what I did:

    First, I tackled some basic Princeton avenues. I know that a bunch of people in my eating club delete club emails on sight, so I printed flyers out for the show instead and brought them to dinner. Also, 99% of people eat at the club on Thursday nights for Member’s Dinner (booze), and I thought this would hit more people. I also got access to another club’s email (since I couldn’t do the flyer thing there), and this was especially good since the club has a bunch of athletes in it (definitely interested in your type of show). Other than that, I didn’t focus on Princeton too much: kids here don’t have time to watch TV!

    My second step was to penetrate other schools. I did this by creating my own facebook status message, but also enlisting a bunch of my close friends to both watch the show and put up the same status message for friends at their school to see. This got some promotions into bigger schools like Arizona State, Michigan, Boston University, etc. I have screenshots and numbers too if you need them.

    My final “mass media” move was to post in a couple of the largest facebook groups around. So I posted in the Colbert group (thought you would find that funny) which has over 1,000,000 people, and also the Petition Against Shutting Facebook Down group which has over 2,000,0000 people.

    This is where I got a little more focused with the promotions. I saw an earlier post where someone posted your links on a bunch of blog sites, news sites, etc., but I wasn’t convinced that this would really hit your target audience. So, I went to YouTube to do some posting. I started with the Top 20 most watched videos and made posts. This wasn’t specific enough though, so I started searching for videos from shows in the same adventure genre as yours: Man vs. Wild, Survivorman, Human Weapon, Fight Quest, Mythbusters, and other Discover and History Channel shows. I made posts on the most popular of these videos (approximately 50+ posts in total), because I think the view post/watch ratio will be MUCH higher because these are people already interested in your type of show.

    The next thing I did was go to the History Channel website to check out their forums. They have a bunch, and so I made a post in the ‘History Now’ forum, and by 11PM the post had gotten 25 views and a few replies. I also made posts in the ‘On TV’ forum, which has show listings for discussion (not yours yet, unfortunately). So, I went to a couple of the shows that are on before Trial By Fire, and made posts in those forums to stay tuned for your show: my Modern Marvels post had 20 views and my Cities of the Underworld (right before your show) post had 32 views before 11PM. These aren’t huge numbers obviously, but I think that these views are from people who are now actually going to be watching your show. In the ‘History Now’ forum I even got into a comment battle with one person who wasn’t convinced about the show. I think he/she may actually watch it now, if only to argue against my support on the discussion board. Whatever works, right?

    With regard to what I think you should try next, I have two suggestions, one physical and one non-physical (well, semi-physical):

    The physical trial would be to become a master at using the sniper rifle. Have a professional sniper determine some sort of skills challenge that only a professional would be able to perform. Bust the skills challenge.

    The semi-physical trial would be to train your wine tasting skills up to the level of a sommelier. (I’ve always been skeptical of this skill, so it would be cool if you could bust it).

    Definitely shooting for that prize, but either way I had fun participating in the challenge. Thanks for the opportunity and the lecture today.


    Alex (Princeton)

  169. Just watched your new show “Trial by Fire”. LOVED IT!!!!

    Superb!! BRAVO!!

    THis show kept me glued to the tube. TIm has a wonderfu way with explaining what he is doing. When he hit those targets I yelled out loud!

    Right on!

    Will now get his book. I really like this guy!

    Hope for more shows to come.

  170. Tim – great show. My wife and I just finished watching it. I put the link to the preview on my blog. Admittedly my blog is reaching a micro audience of my friends…

    But I have an idea for a future Trial By Fire (hoping there are future episodes): Master a modern grand prix car over a series of laps at a grand prix track.

    The BBC show Top Gear sent Richard Hammond to do that a few seasons ago. He drove the world championship winning Renault, and proved once for all what beasts these machines are. The balance of every component from driver to the temperature of the brakes must be managed perfectly just to execute a turn, or even rolling off from a standstill. It’s a beautiful thing – human skill showcased through engineering and extreme talent, control and courage.

    Good luck with the History Channel, hope it takes off.

  171. Good job! I just watched your show. I sent facebook messages to my friends and updated my status to promote your show since I didn’t have enough time to do a lot of fancy stuff. I also called a few close friends. So far I got 4 screenshots (another friend was over in London and couldnt watch it but he watched the youtube clip)…I will let you know if I get more later. In any case, keep the challenges going!

  172. Tim –

    I really enjoyed your talk today in class – thank you for coming down.

    I took you up on the challenge and publicized your show. Since 4pm today, I have collected a list of 88 people and their contact information who correspond to 88 different TVs that either tuned into your show or recorded it. While I did reach out directly and indirectly to many more than 88 people, all who I think for one reason or other would be interested in your show, I managed to get confirmation from 88. Please email me and I ill forward you the list of people and a further explanation.

    It was awesome getting to meet you today and good luck with the show!

  173. Tim,

    I did not Tweet your show… That is, until I watched it tonight. You can know that as of now I will be Evangelizing your new adventure… Trial by Fire. GREAT WORK. I hope to see many more episodes. You have been mentoring me from a distance for the past year. Keep moving forward.

    Have you thought about the olympics? I have long thought about finding an event that may be “deconstructed” so that you or I may be able to compete with the worlds greatest athletes. I have a few events in mind. I would love to work with you to add GOLD MEDAL to your little intro teaser!!!

    Take care

  174. Hey Tim!

    Great talk today in Prof. Zschau’s class. I was really inspired by a lot of what you said, and found a lot of your advice (particularly about seeking and reaching out to mentors) very helpful.

    I like how you stayed true to form and essentially outsourced the task of promoting your new show to fans of your blog and my classmates! I decided to use a similar approach in promoting Trial by Fire and getting “as many eyeballs” as possible.

    The first thing I did was start with my immediate community – Princeton’s campus. I sent emails out to the 3 clubs I am most involved in, which include the Pre-Business Society, Club Lacrosse Team and the Slow Food Club. Being a top officer of 2 of the three clubs, I have good faith that my emails did not go unnoticed, as people are more likely to pay attention to something sent out by the President of the club than just a random member. I have screenshots of the emails as well as of the listserve account that shows how many members are on each email list. Rough estimate of the number of people reached by this method is ~600.

    I also reached out to the eating clubs. Aside from emailing my club, I had friends send out emails to two other eating clubs. This should also have reached about 600 students. I tried to focus on clubs that matched your expected viewer demographic, with a high male membership, interest in athletics, and people that tend to be more social and adventurous.

    Next I considered trying to expand my campaign nationally. I contacted well-connected friends at various universities across the US via phone and email/IM/facebook and asked them to send out emails to the biggest groups on campus (frats, sports teams) as well as class email lists. I wanted to reach out to schools in different parts of the US working under the assumption that the History Channel would also monitor viewer location. I managed to get the word out at UCSD, Stanford, Berkeley, Univ of Missouri, WashU, LSU, and BC. I have a screenshot of a message from a friend at Stanford as an example.

    I next focused on social-networking sites. Obviously, I started with facebook. I created a facebook “event” that advertised the show and featured the youtube clip, and sent invites to every one of my 1200+ friends. I also asked my friends to invite THEIR friends to the event, thereby creating a domino effect and expanding the network beyond my immediate contacts. This resulted in over 3000 people being sent invitations to the event. I have screenshots of the facebook event which show you the number of people invited as proof.

    I posted the youtube link to my facebook status, as I felt this was less gimmicky than a shout-out directly promoting the show. Studies have shown that people like to “discover” cool things on their own rather than have it shoved in their face, so my idea was to cater to people’s curiosity which would lead them to click on the youtube link. I also think the video is really eye-catching and lets the show sell itself.

    While I am a member of twitter, I don’t have many followers yet, but I have friends that do, so I asked them to tweet about the show.

    I also tried to reach out to the (few) “high-profile” friends I have, such as people involved in the movie industry, past olympians, DJs, etc. because they have credibility and more of a fan-base than I do.

    I considered commenting on videos related to your show’s genre (mythbusters, man vs. wild) that are featured on internet-tv sites such as YouTube,, Surf the Channel, and TV Links, but after a few posts I realized this would not help much considering the very limited time-frame we had for the competition and opted to use my time more wisely, by promoting the facebook invites.

    I REALLY would have liked to get Gary Vaynerchuk give you a shout-out in a winelibrarytv video but the timeframe was to short. He is just so good at getting people fired up.

    All in all I had a lot of fun promoting the show, and rewarded myself by watching it! I liked the mix of physical/mental challenge, cultural exploration, and action, all of which I think make it a show that many people can watch (well, maybe except Martha Stewart fans). Since everyone has been posting suggestions for your next challenge, I thought of a few. From my completely unexperienced perspective, I think it’s important to tie in a cultural component with each challenge, to keep your show from just being an sensationalist “look what i can do” type of thing or everyday adventure show. I think people these days are more aware of globalization and are curious to learn about other cultures/societies. Along this train of thought, you could try to master Spanish bull-fighting, a tribal ritual from Papua New Guinea, or Brazilian Capoeira.

    Anyway, I’m really excited to follow the progress of your show and I’m especially looking forward to your next book! As I mentioned when talking to you yesterday, if you need a guinea pig, just ask!

    Best of luck,


  175. Hey Tim,

    here’s the next challenge: in one week you are to find a way to make your show viewable from anywhere on the planet for a fee…maybe with that internet tubes thing ?? It will end there in crappy quality anyway.

    D’you see what I mean ? How the heck are we supposed to watch your show from, say, Europe ? We’re missing all the fun ?!

    Will you be selling DVDs at least ?

  176. Is there any chance this will come out in the UK? (Or anywhere online?). I’d definitely be tuning in to watch it! 😀

    I’ve Tweeted it (About how much I wish it will come to the UK!).

    As an idea, I’d love to see how you learnt about a new city you were travelling to for the first time. Would take years to get used to one for most people, but as you travel a lot, do you have a good way of getting to grips with a new place? 🙂

  177. I used:

    Twitter and sent e-mails out to all friends/family in the U.S. as well as ??, I also used affiliate marketing blogs and my own sites to promote. I loved the first show and I can’t wait to see the upcoming shows!!

  178. Hey Tim! So Glad to hear you have a new show on History Channel:

    This is what I did to promote your show:

    1. Posted an event on facebook inviting all my friends to come watch the show at my dorm (About 8 showed up)

    2. Posted a few fliers in different bathrooms across campus advertising the show (Made a quick B/W page with the details of the show)

    3. Created a MySpace Blog on why I think people should watch the show and the details…

    Thats it for now!! I love guerilla marketing and this is a similar technique I have used to promote my websites before! Hope this helps


  179. Great show last night. When the show get picked up, I’ve got a few suggestions for tough skills to learn in a week: the first would be skateboarding vert. You could learn from Tony Hawk, Bob Burnquist, or any other famous vert skater to help boost ratings, and then compete or do a demo at an actual competition (like an X-Games qualifier).

    Also you could try your hand at balance with my favorite, flatland BMX.

    I was also thinking about the circus if you wanted to try a little trapeze, lion taming, or riding a motorcycle around the Ball of Death!

  180. One of the best shows I’ve watched all year. I wish I still had the youth for this. Having played Judo most of my adult life (34 years), it was easy for me to follow along with the customs of the Japanese and I could feel the tention of the first two passes with your instructors, then also the elation they must have felt. A very well thought out and well put together show.

    Domo Arigato!

  181. Hey Tim

    You said you recomended a book on learning last night but I didn’t get the name. What was the name of the book ?

    Awsome show last night.

  182. Tim,

    I’m a great fan of yours, following your diet and workout plan (1st week and lost a waist size already!) Thanks for everything!

    Unfortunately, I was unable to catch the pilot, and would like to add in my vote for some sort of way to catch it online. Thanks!

  183. I don’t have cable, but I did notice it was just posted in alt.binaries.boneless for those in my position as well. I’ll watch it when I get home tonight, sounds pretty badass.

  184. I would’ve thought they’d reject someone trying to squeeze a lifetime skill set into a week on principle, but if you got them to give you a chance more power to you.

  185. Watched—this afternoon—the show I taped. (Don’t know if a taped viewing helps the ratings, though.) The little tidbits about what’s at the crux of learning were fascinating (rehearsing slowly, Tim duplicating his scuba movements, etc. ) And I have to say, I loved Tim’s book, but I also thought BrainQuicken was snake oil (I’m still suspicious) and that Tim was probably a snake oil salesman. But in the show (and the bit of his internet chat I watched last night) , he came across as a very down-to-earth person, and not at all slick. Anyway, I’d definitely watch future TRIAL BY FIRE shows, so I hope it gets a run.

  186. Watched the show today. Thought it was very interesting…but would like to see the next episode doing something that more people can relate to…as I’m sure most had never heard of the sport you showcased. It was cool to see you speak Japanese though!

  187. Update: purely to spite me, the person on the History Channel forum did watch your show in its entirety. Just thought you would appreciate that the human version of the Grinch tuned in last night. Probably not a repeat viewer, though….

  188. Love this idea Tim. I wanna see you do sumo wrestling, wushu, free running, capoera, muay thai and more. How about a guest episode where you go up against an Iron Chef? I am telling all my friends about this.


  189. I really dig the premise of the show. To promote it, I told everyone at work about it, including my boss, who first introduced me to (where I heard about the show). I also made my girlfriend watch the show, in its entirety, with me.

    First off, congrats on accomplishing your goal for the first episode. It definitely seemed like a monumental task for one week. And what’s with the Japanese that they feel their stirrups need to be crafted like that?!

    Secondly, please redirect the thinking of or fire whoever’s responsible for the “filler” on the show. The hazy, distorted scenes where they replay clips we’ve already seen with high-tension music playing are boring and completely unnecessary. If nothing else, force the person that created them to sit through the scenes strung together, end-to-end. Let them realize what they’ve done, like a puppy with a piddle. My suggestion is to replace them with random or related-to-the-episode lifehacking tips/info. Plug a book, blog, or person. Anything will be better than those silly scenes that really made the hour-long show feel like an hour.

    Lastly, good luck on getting the show picked up. I really hope to see it continue for my personal edutainment. Can’t wait to see what comes up in the next episode!

  190. One more thing: my girlfriend has promised to hold it against me if she has to watch another episode filled with those hazy scenes. Since we only have one tv without a dvr and we make sure to watch together when we do, this is a real issue. Please allow for online viewing or remove the filler, for my relationship’s sake!

  191. Also, if the show gets picked up anywhere else (other stations) could you let me know so I can update the article? Would appreciate it, glad to do whatever I can to keep a quality show like this on the air.

  192. Man, I was a day late and a dollar short on catching this. Tim, is there a contact at the History Channel to hit up for a rebroadcast? I’d really like to see it.

  193. Tim, I enjoyed “Trial by Fire” immensely. I watched it last night (12/5) and again today with my wife. Your uncle, Bruce Ferriss, told me about it and I recorded it and made him a DVD since he was flying that day.

    Good luck in the future.

  194. Pingback: Revue de presse
  195. Tim,

    I put my comment here because I just want this on the record. THANK YOU!

    Yesterday, somewhere between REREADING 4 hour Work Week page 30 – 50 or so) and putting up Christmas decorations with my Handyman shortly thereafter…I found my courage again! It all clicked!

    I read your book in early January when I was ready to take a leap of faith and switch businesses to follow the call of my heart. I started with anticipation and then I became paralyzed. I couldn’t seem to do the business I was in for 12 years or find a way to monetize what I truly loved doing. So I went through most of the year, hitting and missing, feeling utterly low in spirit (and income).

    Reading it yesterday, having experienced some growing pains (after the blend of high hopes and valley experiences) helped me to get crystal clear again. I could actually see how much I’d grown (and been stuck this year)

    Now that I know where I am and what I was thinking, I know exactly what I will do and I have products (information) Ito empower others. And the one benefit is that I am clear on buiding the system to support it and transform my life. This morning I’m researching taking a luxury train ride within the next six months!

    Sorry to interrupt the flow of conversation here with this topic, but I wanted to thank you on the record. Best wishes with all of your new “moving and shaking”. You like to “move it, move it!”

    Blessings and thanks,


  196. Tim,

    Great show.

    A bit off subject but what the heck. I have been trying to find more info on sailing, with my family, to New Caledonia. Can you direct me to any resources that spell out how it was done at that cost.



  197. Hi,

    I caught the show, by accident while channel surfing=lucky break for me. I really enjoyed it and hope to watch the repeat so I can write down all the things you did to shorten your learning curve.

    Also I wish I had seen this blog prior to the show, I would definately have helped promote the pilot episode. I hope it go enough viewers to be renewed, it was very well done and interesting.

    Best of luck to you,


  198. Tim –

    I have received awesome feedback on your show from the people that I got to either record your show on TIVO or tune into it. I am afraid some of them are going to try Japanese horseback archery now for themselves.

    Additionally, I wanted to update you on my numbers for the Princeton challenge. While I did reach out to many people, I fear that mass propaganda, especially electronically, sometimes goes unnoticed and dies sadly in ones trash folder. Thus, as I previously mentioned, I can produce definitively a list of now 99 names, up from the previous 88, that tuned into your show at 11pm on December 4th. I am hoping that more people did watch your show from the many that I contacted directly via email or indirectly using friends. While I can not guaranteed that every individual actually watched the show, my impression from class was that you needed the numbers for the rating system. I figured that the less I demanded in my request, the more people who would respond. Thus, I have a list of 99 names corresponding to their email addresses of people who represent 99 different television sets that could potentially be recorded as viewing “Trial by Fire” for the rating system.

    Anyways, just wanted to update you on the numbers. The show was awesome and I really hope to see more of it!

  199. Tim,

    The first episode was very solid, can’t wait to watch on a weekly schedule.

    I had a question for you, you seem to be extremely knowledgeable in muscle and injury recovery. In the last year and a half I tore both ACL’s in my knees playing basketball. The first seemed to be a freak accident and the second was probably from coming back too soon to play and favoring the good knee (which then tore). I am currently 8 months out of my second surgery and still in a bunch of pain. I’ve tried ice baths, massage therapy, tons of rehab (still doing it daily), the supplement Cissus and I still can’t get rid of pain and get back in action.

    Any secret tips or tactics you’ve found for recovery, especially related to the knees?

    Keep up the great work with the show!

  200. Tim,

    Would like to have seen your show, but found out to late. However I have 2 quick questions / ideas?

    1) Why only 2 days notice on your show? ……. the amount of viewers for your show would have been much greater, if you built up this show on your site for a month. The build up would have been huge, and would have had time to build up some massive momentum. There are alot of people who like what your doing, and judging from your book sales, website, and twitter following that number is substantial. Why not give them the time they need to help promote your success.

    2) Did you only know 2 days before, when your show would air?…..if you did, then the history channel misunderstood your ability to build up from your site, a large audience that would have promoted up a far larger audience. There was not enough time to compound your audience. Hopefully enough viewers tuned in, but if not I think they should air it again with enough notice so you can build some serious momentum… It would be nice if you had a email address (history channel) where everyone could send a short comment to prop up your show ….. imagine if they got 700,000 emails… nice…. when’s the movie? 😉

    enjoyed the book and site, boa fortuna

  201. Greetings Tim, and all you fine readers!

    I have just begun reading the 4 Hour Work Week, and already, it has me out of bed at 1:42am, writing to celebrities asking them for interviews.

    I saw snippets of the show, but I don’t own a TV, nor cable for that matter, so I will have to wait until it shows up online, or recorded at a friend’s house. I admire the effort, and look forward to more episodes. The premise itself inspires me to awaken ever more to my wildest dreams.

    I have already actualized much, but reading your book demonstrates exactly those areas that I have tolerated for far too long.

    Let’s catch up out there somewhere Tim! We could climb the Monkey Face in Smith Rock, Oregon, and then go on the 88 monastery walk around the island of Shikoku in record time.

    If you, or anyone else reading this comment, would like to get interviewed for my blog, I am up for the challenge. The only condition: Every interview will be an experimental exploration aimed at inspiration, enthusiasm, and life-changing linguistic dancing.

    Cheers to you, Tim. Thanks for your efforts, and for living a life of so much joy that it cannot help but radiate outward in every direction.

    Love, Wildness, Chaos, Joy….


  202. I loved the show. I have been telling everyone to watch. What background do you have? I work in Athletics and fitness found it very informative.

  203. I’m on the road at the moment so havent seen the show, but just the concept sounds fantastic and inspirational as ever!

    I’m crossing fingers at the moment to make it on a tv show in Australia to meet you actually – check out page 7, i’ll be the girl spouting flowery compliments bout you – video is called Finding Timothy Ferriss. lol. If i make it, I’ll have to prove this whole 6 degrees of separation theory is not a bunch of rubbish and somehow get to meet you through 5 other people. Challenge? Hell yeah, but I’m up for it! 🙂

    So if all goes well, I’ll get $12k, 18 days and 6 steps to meet you somewhere in the world. I’m crossing every single appendage at the moment and hoping you drink beer? Bring it…

  204. There are 2 books that I have recently that are I thought were quite credible in terms of mastery of anything-

    1.Talent is overrated by Jeff Covlin

    2. Outliers by Malcom Gladwell

    Both authors deconstruct the sucesses of Bill Gates, Mozart, Warren Buffet and other world class experts in thier fields.

    It seems that the benchmark of world class expertise tends to be around 10 years or 10,000 hours.

    Thier argument is that the secret to sucess has nothing to do with natural born talent or genuis. Thier arguments to thier point seem to make sense to me . However, I would love to see you prove this wrong.

    Good luck, Tim

  205. For people who missed the show, it’s already being sold in DVD on History Channel’s website:

    I couldn’t make it so I’ll buy it, for sure. Hope you become a sucess series too!

    best regards!


    NOTE FROM TIM: Fernando and all, please note that this DVD is from a documentary they did years ago, apparently, and it is not my recent show! Thank you taking the time to find this though — I wish it were 🙂

    All the best,


  206. Dear Tim,

    The use of the club as a training tool stretches back milenia. Physical cultures around the world have used it to hone their strength and skill. Most noted of these athletes are those of the Pahlavani traditions of Iran and the wrestlers of the Indian Peninsula. In the modern era, practitioners around the globe have rediscovered these ancient practices through the popularization of the Clubbell as part of the Circular Strength Training system. The ultimate test of the Clubbell athlete is called the Trial-by-Fire (visit to learn more). It seems serendipitous that your show would bear the same name. Please consider trying your hand at this ancient and challenging discipline as part of your adventure.



  207. Yo Tim,

    I’ve just recently heard about you and and what you do. Very intriguing. Especially since we live in a society (and increasingly a world) that keeps itself “busy”, as it is thought to hold some kind of value to the life you’ve lived. But, as it appears you have taken the bull by the horns on this one, the “busy” is actually what keeps us from being productive. I’ve striven, especially in the last couple of years (especially upon having begun a family) to be less busy and more efficient, more productive. To ensure that there is quality in the time that I’m able to give to my wife, my kids, myself, which most especially translates into the quality of time I am able to put into others, that they may find that for themselves too.

    From a physical training stand point, that’s taken me over the last few years thru the realms of Kettlebells and most recently in the last year, Circular Strength Training. After the last 15 years of trying all kinds of different stuff, this so far makes the most “sense”. It actually touches on methods for removing the blockages, to thus increase the rate and efficiency at which you learn. I think you would probably really dig it.

    So I’m going to second Mr. Steer’s above invitation to check out the Clubbell Trial by Fire challenge for your show (you can’t help but love how perfectly it fits with the name of your show). It is a test in neurological coordination, mobility, strength-endurance and mental toughness. That and it just bleeds old school warrior rites of passage. Who doesn’t get into that!

    Of course then you can balance it out with something like, learning to play the harp…….I’m not poking fun people……I love the harp…..really……

    Congrats on the show and hope it generates the critical mass to keep going. It looks like a blast!

    All the Best,


  208. Ok Tim,

    I hate to be the impatient one but I have to ask, when will we get an announcement on the winner of the lil promotional competition? Did you already announce during the post show Q&A (technical problems kept me from seeing the whole thing).

    Thanks for the newest post on strength training, love it. I’ve been doing CrossFit for last year or so and this might be a good ‘vacation’ for me to build more mass and strength. Speaking of CF, what’s your fav kettle bell workout?


    J. Raley

    J. Raley

  209. Great show, Tim.

    Hopefully they’ll pick it up. It’s interesting to watch difficult activities tackled within a short period of time using a particular ideology. There are so many other tasks around the world that would be worthwhile show topics. It can also be used for cultural understanding.

  210. Tim, have not hear if “Trial by Fire” has been picked up, but I strongly suggest that I consult you and make you a Magician or Mentalist in one week! It takes a lifetime to master sleight of hand and subtle mind and body magic. I’ve taught thousands of magicians effects and have best selling products on the market. I didn’t know how else to contact you and wish you the best… Bring me on for the magic and mentalism and we can accomplish some amazing things in a week. I’m a well known full time magician myself that thinks this show is a wonderful idea. Hope to hear back.. happy new year!

  211. hm, Tim. about the History Channel’s DVD, it’s weird that their description says it’s about this recent show: Have a look at the description: “Tim Ferriss, best-selling author and all around expert on everything from mixed martial arts to ballroom dancing and linguistics, will take everything we know about how to succeed and turn it on its head. Tim applies his methods of efficiency,organization and simplification to challenges he will face throughout the series. His method of learning will allow viewers to obtain a deeper understanding of the amazing skills people from around the world have mastered throughout history.”

    1. @Fernando,

      You are totally right — that is the show! Sorry that I missed that. There is another Trial by Fire DVD on the History Channel website that is an older show.

      Thank you for pointing this out!


  212. Tim if you have the cojones, then read these two words carefully. Standup comedy. There is NOTHING more brutal or mysterious than trying to get an audience to laugh. Your skill at deconstructing and mastering skills can’t crack this egg. At least in less than one week. The challenge is on.

  213. So did this series make it past the pilot or what? I’m a bit out of the loop! Either way, is there anywhere online I can watch the pilot (and other) episode(s)?

    Thanks 🙂

    Another quick question to Tim: You mentioned in the trailer that you learn new things by deconstructing, streamlining and remapping the challenge. Would you consider writing a blog on how you do these things and maybe a few examples of how you applied them to some of the different things you’ve done (kickboxing, tango, languages etc).

  214. Bought the DVD. Hopefully it will lend a helping hand in showing that there is indeed a demand for your show.

    If they don’t turn it into a show, you may want to consider writing a book on “accelerated learning.” This book, in my opinion, would be BIGGER than the 4HWW. The ability to learn skills, traits, and improve ourselves is what makes the human race so successful, yet most of us lack the ability to learn efficiently and effectively, as you apparently are able to do so well.

  215. Tim,

    My father is creating a media, telecom and advertising company that will finally offer converged, fully mobile broadband and TV services regardless of platform or location (I can share more about the company with you privately.)

    The company is currently negotiating with content owners big and small, and I think your program would make a great addition to their travel and culture channel. I am not sure what your contractual obligations are with the History Channel, but hopefully you retain some rights or can put us in contact with the appropriate parties. I know you are busy with your next book, but we need to move forward quickly. I look forward to hearing from you soon and helping to get your show the audience it deserves.

  216. Tim [or anyone else that might know]:

    I didn’t see the show when it came on. Is there somewhere online that you can view it at? [YouTube, Hulu, etc.] Thanks for your help.

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