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THE TIM FERRISS SHOW | by jurvetson
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Tim Ferriss commands 90% of my podcast attention. Unlike the arbitrage media du jour, he aims for timeless nuggets of wisdom from a panoply of top performers. So, it is a great honor to have our almost 3-hour (!) long-form interview go live today, with a wide range of fun topics. Enjoy: Our Episode (we start at minute 6:19 with a deep dive on quantum computing. A wider range of fun topics starts at minute 27)


You never know how long conversation like this will be received. And none of it had a second take; it was just one big stream of consciousness. Well, I was blown away by the comment stream on Twitter.


“The Tim Ferriss Show is generally the # 1 business podcast on all of iTunes, and it’s been ranked # 1 out of 300,000+ podcasts on many occasions. It is the first to pass 100,000,000 downloads, and it has been selected as “Best of” iTunes for three years running. Each episode, I deconstruct world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, sports, business, art, etc.) to extract the tactics, tools, and routines you can use.”


SHOW NOTES [program time]

On the power of quantum mechanics and the potential for quantum computers. [09:23]

What is a quantum computer? [11:34]

How big is a quantum computer? [14:20]

An explanation of Rose’s Law. [15:10]

How useful are quantum computers now, and how much more useful can we expect them to be in the near future? [19:50]

What is quantum chemistry, and what problems does it potentially solve? [21:06]

Quantum applications for deep learning. [22:22]

Musings on quantum entanglement. [23:15]

What Steve sees for the future of business as we move from theoretical and experimental exploration in quantum physics toward its practical application. [25:37]

What existential challenges of rapid technological advancement are we most likely to face? First: bridging the accelerating rich-poor gap. [26:54]

Protecting Earth from asteroids. [28:33]

Addressing the increasing ease with which weapons of bioterrorism can be synthesized. [30:09]

How might we cope with the effects of climate change through hibernation? [32:07]

In what ways can we prevent or mitigate social unrest resulting from a widening rich-poor gap? [34:14]

If life-saving drugs are to become cheap and affordable to everyone in the future, how does Steve see the incentives for research and development adapting? [41:00]

How did Steve get through his undergrad at Stanford in two-and-a-half years? [42:28]

Why did time and budgeting become less of a concern when Steve began his master’s program? [44:45]

Why did Steve decide to get an MBA, and would he still make that decision today? [46:00]

How did Steve enter the world of investing? [48:39]

What mistakes does Steve see otherwise smart venture capitalists making often? [49:53]

What helped Steve succeed early in his career? [53:13]

The simple rule Steve began to implement around early-stage investing. [55:26]

When did Steve start to see signs pointing toward a likely dotcom crash circa 2000, and how did his investment strategy change? [56:59]

At the time, why did Steve choose nanotechnology as the next big thing? [59:16]

On machine learning, cellular automata, and the difficulties faced when trying to reverse engineer an evolved structure to understand how they work (like a teenager or a human brain). [1:02:15]

A deep dive into deep learning and neural networks — and how GPU technology once designated for video games has pushed the field forward in unexpected ways. [1:06:08]

With an education and background in electrical engineering, why did Steve get involved in product marketing at Apple and NeXT? [1:14:23]

What are the check boxes that help Steve mitigate risk when he’s weighing investment opportunities? [1:18:52]

The question that weeds out “the charlatans and the arbitrage-seeking opportunists.” [1:22:04]

The uncertainty of enormous markets. [1:23:36]

Where did the name for Hotmail originate, and how dedicated to “free” were the founders? [1:24:32]

Wildly successful companies that were initially regarded as bad ideas. [1:25:19]

Why does Steve never sell shares once he’s invested in a company? [1:26:07]

Commonalities and differences observed between Steve Jobs and Elon Musk. [1:31:18]

In what ways does Steve believe Elon Musk is the “most risk-immune person” he’s ever met? [1:36:09]

Elon’s “battle mode” of focus during crises. [1:42:26]

On Steve Jobs’ architecting of the way people communicated, and enforcing the ideal number of people in team sizes and meetings. [1:47:18]

Steve addresses recent bad press. [1:48:54]

What was Steve’s self-talk when these allegations arose? [1:52:15]

Who helped Steve throughout this time, and why was he advised to keep mum about the allegations — even in his own defense? [1:56:59]

What other particularly trying times has Steve endured? [1:59:31]

What helped Steve through the grieving process when his father passed away? [2:00:32]

How Steve prepared to become a parent, and what analytical thinkers can gain by trying to see things from the perspective of a child. [2:04:59]

What Steve would put on his billboard. [2:07:11]

How children are like scientists. [2:07:38]

Steve is so enthusiastic about model rockets that he even gave a TED Talk about them. [2:09:15]

Drones and how to eliminate the TSA. [2:10:36]

As a technology investor, how does Steve budget for regulatory or political opposition from incumbents? [2:15:01]

The current and future science of synthetic “clean” meat and why it’s important. [2:18:27]

Could this technology be adapted to produce human tissue and organs for transplants, or is 3D printing more feasible? [2:28:13]

How might the layman become more scientifically literate? [2:31:13]

How long does Steve estimate it would take for someone to familiarize themselves enough with deep learning to get involved in the field? [2:35:04]

Steve talks about the commencement speech he gave at his old high school, what it covered, and what was most strongly received. [2:36:20]

Personal strengths don’t always come from obvious places, and their combination into “talent stacks” can result in unforeseeable breakthroughs. [2:38:25]

How “every great idea is a recombination of prior ideas,” and the part technology plays in increasing possible pairings of these prior ideas. [2:40:52]

Parting thoughts and what’s next for Steve. [2:42:51]

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Taken on March 10, 2018