Thursday, April 14, 2011

The 4 Hour Work Week - no middle ground here

When it comes to Tim Ferriss, there seems to be no middle ground. People either love him, or detest everything he propounds.

Consider this comment in this blog from Mike:
I can see from your sidebar that you're reading the 4HWW. Please, save yourself the time. Tim Ferriss is, in my opinion, a digital snake oil salesman and his book is the worst kind of vague, bombastic hype.

I do see Mike's point. Each time I read a chapter of the book, I can't decide if Tim Ferriss is doing an infomercial, or if he really has figured out a few things the rest of us haven't. (More on that later.)

I did find one level-headed review is Charles Broadway's blog C. In the post titled "Is Tim Ferriss A Scam Artist?"

Charles writes:
The only person who can live the Tim Ferriss lifestyle is Tim Ferriss, but the value of his book and blog comes from his zany way of looking at problems and all the ideas you get from his lifestyle experiments. He is a lifehacker extraordinaire.

The entire post is quite good, and Charles is full of ideas and sentiments I agree with.

So here's my own take on the 4HWW:

I actually got quite a bit from the book, especially in terms of different perspectives. 4HWW is also full of great resources for marketing, especially if I ever dabble with an internet business of my own. In a sense, Ferriss is like Jacob of Early Retirement Extreme. These guys hold such extremes of their points of view and with such utter conviction that they force us to re-evaluate our opinions. It is good to be jolted like that from time to time.

What I don't like about Ferriss is that he mocks the timid and the conservative. Surely, he knows that his ideas are not for everybody.

Plus, I actually got the entire 4HWW as an e-book for free in some promotion that Ferriss did. (Wired magazine named Ferriss the self-promoter-of-the year!) I recommend that people check out the book (search the web for a free copy of the e-book) and decide for themselves.


Steph said...

Great post!

Anonymous said...

I actually am a Tim Ferris "middle ground-er." We took so much away from 4HWW, particularly the points on mini-retirement and work vs. life. On the other hand, I think that 4HWW's section on starting your own business and automating it is pretty snake-oiley.

That said, I frequently recommend the book to friends. I think that his unconventional ideas are a good influence to people who might want to break out of their box.