Tim Ferriss is an author, investor, and entrepreneur best known for his podcast, “The Tim Ferriss Show,” which is the first business/interview podcast to exceed 100 million downloads. Born and raised in New York City, Ferriss turned his obsession with health and technology into the foundation of his first company, BrainQUICKEN, a digitalized nutritional supplements company. In 2007, Ferriss dipped his toes into the self-help space by publishing his first book, The 4-Hour Workweek. The book became a massive success and has now been translated into 40 languages with over 2 million copies sold worldwide. Since then, he has added to his publishing success with books such as The 4-Hour Body, Tribe of Mentors, Tools of Titans, and The 4-Hour Chef. Eventually, as he amassed a fortune, he began funding and advising numerous tech start-ups, including Evernote, TaskRabbit, and Reputation.com. For his novel approaches to problem-solving, and his wide range of successes in the business and publishing worlds, he has been invited to speak at some of the world’s most innovative organizations, including Google, MIT, Harvard Business School, Nike, Facebook, The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and Microsoft.
After graduating from St. Paul's School, an elite boarding school in New Hampshire, Ferriss matriculated at Princeton University. For the most part, he focused on East Asian studies and language acquisition. During his time at Princeton, he studied Japanese, Chinese, Italian, and Korean. However, he claims that a major turning point for him was when he took the high-tech entrepreneurship class at Princeton. The class, which was taught by Ed Zschau, who is considered to be one of the founding fathers of Silicon Valley, opened his eyes to the endless possibilities of strategic investments in an ever-changing tech world. In 2000, he completed his senior thesis, "Acquisition of Japanese Kanji: Conventional Practice and Mnemonic Supplementation," earning a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian studies.
Ferriss has remained attached to his alma mater over the years. Since graduating, he was selected as "Tiger of the Week" by the Princeton Alumni Weekly (PAW) in 2011. On top of that, the bestselling author and podcast star is an extremely popular guest lecturer at his alma mater. In 2006, for example, he stopped by to do a guest lecture in Professor Ed Zschau's high-tech entrepreneurship class, the same class that inspired him during his college days. The following year, in 2007, he was featured in an article for the student-run newspaper, The Daily Princetonian. "The skepticism that I learned at Princeton helped," Ferriss said, explaining the influence his alma mater has had on his career. "Princetonians are very good at asking hard questions about little things, but [they] often have trouble asking hard questions about more fundamental things. I was given the tools, but I had to practice them in a different context."