Training in horseback archery in Nikko, Japan. (Photo: David West)
2008 has been one of the most exciting years of my life. I did more dealmaking and met more people than in the last 5 years combined. This produced many surprise insights about business and human nature, especially as I uncovered tons of my own false assumptions.
Here are some of the things I learned and loved in 2008. I’ve linked to posts that I wrote when exploring some of the concepts in more detail… Read More
The above video is of my presentation at the Entertainment Gathering, titled “How to Feel Like the Incredible Hulk.” In a short 17 minutes, I explain exactly how I conquered fears of swimming, language learning, and ballroom dancing by questioning “obvious” guidelines and dogmatic teaching.
I explain three approaches (first principles/assumptions, material over method, and implicit vs. explicit) you can immediately apply to your own lifelong goals, or lifelong fears, to become the new-and-improved you in record time in 2009.
This is one of my favorite presentations I’ve ever done. Perhaps because it was so short! Special thanks to Terry Laughlin of Total Immersion for the photographs of swimming biomechanics.
For students of Japanese, the closest equivalent to the featured kanji poster that I could find online is here.
I hope you enjoy the talk as much as I enjoyed giving it! Read More
In October, I was contacted by a film team from USC about doing a Cisco-sponsored profile of my home for a series titled “Digital Cribs.” See all of the homes filmed here on the right-hand side — some are incredible.
Mullet power: John Inzer deadlifts 780 lbs. at 165 lbs. bodyweight. (Photo: Powerlifting USA)
Pavel Tsatsouline, former Soviet Special Forces physical training instructor, has made a name for himself in the world of strength.
He wrote the below article, outlining the simple routine of Russian Master of Sports, Alexander Faleev, for Built magazine, which folded before publication. Pavel contacted me to publish the piece here, and I am pleased to offer it to you as an exclusive.
Though I often suggest training to failure for maximal size gains (see “Geek to Freak: How I Gained 34 lbs. in 4 Weeks”), the pre-failure approach detailed here is excellent for maximal strength development, and the repetitions can be further reduced for relative strength (per-lb. bodyweight) development.
It’s a vastly superior book, and new material includes:
• More than 50 practical tips and case studies from readers (including families) who have doubled income, overcome common sticking points, and reinvented themselves using the original book as a starting point.
• Real-world templates you can copy for eliminating e-mail, negotiating with bosses and clients, or getting a private chef for less than $8 a meal
• Fully revised resources – the latest tools and tricks, as well as high-tech shortcuts, for living like a diplomat or millionaire without being either.
I wanted the launch for this new expanded edition to be as elegant and effective as possible, as I’m also on deadline for the new Becoming Superhuman guide to hacking the human body.
Instead of the usual 4-week launch plan with extended marketing and media, I decided to compress almost all of it into one week. This week.
To make it all work, I would have to combine pre-orders and sales from this week. Weekly New York Times lists are tabulated from Sunday to Sunday.
Alas, that’s when things got all screwed up, hence Plan B.
- Late last week, readers began to tweet that the book was already shipping, despite the official on-sale date of today. I’ve seen a few friends screwed in the past when their pre-orders were split between two weeks. They missed the NYT lists, which is critical for any snowball effect.
- Three national media spots were canceled this week due to scheduling conflicts and producer mix-ups.
Time to reset and bring out the big guns.
Sometimes, size matters.
Now is one of those times, and I’d like to ask you a favor. Please consider the following.
This is for the next 24 hours only. It expires 2pm PST on Wednesday, 12/16/09.
If you’ve ever wanted to give The 4-Hour Workweek as a gift, or if you think you will, I’ll offer the following, with goodies attached and important details at the end:
Buy 1 copy (or use your older edition) – Participate in a 2-hour live Q&A with me on 12/22. It will focus at least 50% new material. No email receipt needed, but familiarity with book will be important.
Buy 4 Copies – Free signed, advanced copy of Becoming Superhuman when it comes out later in 2010. It will be one of Random House’s biggest releases, and you will see it even before most media.
E-mail Amazon receipt to email@example.com with subject line “4 copies”.
Buy 10 Copies - The above signed copy of Becoming Superhuman and 1 full year ($120) of DropBox’s 50GB back-up and synching service for free, which I use and which appears in the book.
This makes the ten copies, in effect, free.
E-mail Amazon receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line “10 copies” (we will have to confirm quantities, of course).
Buy 100 Copies (limit 20 spots) – Buy 100 copies here and get all of the above (Superhuman, 1-year DropBox), as well as a VIP invitation to a private bash I will be throwing in San Francisco on Friday, Feb 26th.
Dine and hang out with me and my best friends from tech and all over the world. It will be an evening to remember much like this, which was hosted on a functioning WWII warship, but even cooler and crazier.
Buy 1,000 Copies (limit 1 spot) - Buy 1,000 copies here and get all of the above (Superhuman, 1-year DropBox, VIP dine/party) and a full day of consulting with me on whatever topics you desire. I will fly you from anywhere in the world to San Francisco, where I will cover all meals and entertainment for 24 hours. One friend or business partner is welcome to attend if they cover their own travel and hotel.
Again, the above are valid for the next 24 hours only, ending at 2pm PST, Wednesday.
What if I already ordered the new book?
No problem. Just combine the Amazon/online receipts in one email to email@example.com with “4 books” (for the 4-book bonuses) or “10 books” (for 10-book bonuses) in the subject line.
What if I want the bonuses but don’t need 100 or 1,000 books?
Also no problem.
I’ll find a home for them, or you can sell them, or you can give them to a non-profit. There may well be a tax write-off if you do the latter, but you’d need to chat with a real accountant first to get it right.
Do Kindle and audiobook versions count for the Plan B bonuses?
Unfortunately, not for anything other than the live 2-hour Q&A next week.
Kindle and audiobook sales do not count for the New York Times list (f*ing ridiculous, I know), and this is an emergency list-recovery measure to compensate for the Amazon mix-up and cancelled major media.
Obviously, if you buy one of the formats that don’t count towards the list, have ever bought the book, or even read the blog, I’m still thankful!
[UPDATE: Please check www.history.com/schedule for future air dates or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org! The chat is now finished, but there will be more. It was a blast. Thanks to all those who tuned in!]
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 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.
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!