Please enjoy this transcript of another episode of The Random Show with technologist, serial entrepreneur, world-class investor, self-experimenter, and all-around wild and crazy guy Kevin Rose (@KevinRose).
In this one we discuss the books that we are currently reading, outdated behaviors, healing with men’s groups, masculinity, Kevin’s new Moonbirds project (a collection of 10,000 utility-enabled PFPs), my first NFT, and much, much more.
Transcripts may contain a few typos. With many episodes lasting 2+ hours, it can be difficult to catch minor errors. Enjoy!
Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, or on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.
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Tim Ferriss: Well, hello boys and girls, ladies and germs, and Kevin Rose. Welcome to a new episode of The Tim Ferriss Show. But this episode is a Random Show episode. Kevin, nice to see you.
Kevin Rose: Dude. Good to see you, brother. Been too long.
Tim Ferriss: It has been a little while. And as I’m sitting here I’m holding this $80 mic in probably what is a stand that cost 15 cents to manufacture. And we were laughing a little bit before recording, because you mentioned that you had a family plan with some piece of software instead of the business plan, because it saves you like $3 a month.
Kevin Rose: Right. Yeah.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, I was wondering where are you unreasonably cheap or sensitive? Because I still have a bunch of stupid, completely outdated behaviors around saving. Literally a dollar here, a dollar there, $20 here, $20 there. And the reason I’m holding this mic is because my cable is too short to have power and this mic in this confined space at the same time. After 600 episodes, maybe it’s time for me to invest in a better rig.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. You have budget for that, I would imagine, with the —
Tim Ferriss: I do. Of all the things that I should put a little coin into, that would be one. Is there anything that you’re stupidly frugal about?
Kevin Rose: Oh, dude, there’s a ton of things. This is the weird thing is I think it comes down from being raised with not a lot of cash, and then having a little bit more disposable income as you get older. And when you think about — one of the things I did is I signed up for the Spotify couples plan, because there’s a five pack or something in the family plan, but there’s a special couples plan where it’s just two people. And so I did that because it saves me like $3 a month. But the other thing, though, that sucks is then you can’t tie any other accounts to any other devices. So for example, my Sonos is my account, and my wife’s account is in her Tesla. And then my Tesla’s my account. And so I’ll be driving around and it’ll get switched off because somebody turns on the Sonos or something like that. And it’s all because I don’t want to spend an extra $4 so I can have those extra couple of accounts.
Tim Ferriss: I just want to point out for people who missed it, two individual Teslas, but at least you’re saving those $3 a month.
Kevin Rose: Right. Exactly. Yeah. Saving that three bucks.
Tim Ferriss: Old habits die hard. Old habits die hard, man.
Kevin Rose: We don’t have the expensive Teslas. We have the inexpensive ones.
Tim Ferriss: It’s okay. You’re allowed. I would also say, I grew up where we would eat — we had a lot of TV dinners growing up.
Kevin Rose: Oh, yeah, same.
Tim Ferriss: We did not have a lot of money, and I became very sensitive to wasting food. So I would say if I look back at the food poisoning or anything bordering on food poisoning that I’ve had in the last two years, I’d say at least 50 percent of it is self-inflicted. And it’s from not wanting to throw away food, and then like forgetting about some equivalent of chicken tenders or something that I got in takeout. And then I eat it like four days past the expiration date, and then I’m floored for two or three days. So stupid.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. That’s not fun. I used to love Dinty Moore Beef Stew. We did a lot of Tuna Helper at my house, which was odd because the Hamburger Helper was way better than that damn Tuna Helper.
Tim Ferriss: That sounds terrible. I’ve never even heard of Tuna Helper.
Kevin Rose: It’s horrible. There was Tuna Helper back in the day. I hope they discontinued it, because it was absolutely horrible. But some reason my dad was like, “Oh, tuna’s better for them than hamburger,” or something. It was always when Dad was cooking. When Mom was cooking, it was a good meal. When Dad had to step in the kitchen, out came the Tuna Helper or Dinty Moore Beef Stew, or whatever that was in the cans.
Tim Ferriss: What a mess. All right. So we’ll segue away from outdated behaviors. We could do a whole episode on those. Where would you like to start? I could kick it off, if you want, with a bunch of books.
Kevin Rose: Yeah.
Tim Ferriss: Because I’ve been doing a lot of reading.
Kevin Rose: Awesome.
Tim Ferriss: Let’s start with books, and there’s a little something for everybody here because I have been reading a lot, and in some cases it’s more of a show and tell than reading. So I’ll show you the cover of one that I think you’ll particularly like. This is a book called Visions of Japan, and the subtitle is Kawase. That’s K-A-W-A-S-E, Hasui, H-A-S-U-I. Kawase Hasui’s Masterpieces. So I’ll just show the cover here.
Kevin Rose: Awesome.
Tim Ferriss: It’s a beautiful collection of woodblock prints. And some people will recognize, for instance, at least one piece of art by Hokusai, who has the very famous piece of these almost fractal-like waves coming over from left to right. These oarmen in boats that are coming into these huge waves. And a lot of people would recognize this particular image.
Kawase’s style is very different. Specializes mostly in landscape, trees, and uses snow to tremendous effect. So the assistance he had, ultimately in his workshop, who were helping with the development of the wood blocks, had to develop new techniques to accommodate the complexity of the snow. And I was introduced to this particular artist through Maria Popova, who created Brain Pickings, which is now called The Marginalian, which doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. But so it goes. It’s a newsletter and a site that has millions and millions of subscribers. Now she’s been on the podcast a few times. Started is a casual email to, I want to say, six friends at a time, and it’s grown into this behemoth. She’s an incredible writer and prolific, prolific writer. And she had a post on Kawase Hasui. So that’s number one.
And it’s almost all visual, as you can see here.
Kevin Rose: Crazy.
Tim Ferriss: It has beautiful pieces from every era, every chapter of his life, and every possible season and condition in Japan. So this brought back a lot of wonderful memories. So as a coffee table book, something that’s easy to dip in and out of, that you don’t have to read start to finish that. That’s one.
I also recently finished a book called AMORALMAN, or A Moral Man, depending on how you read it. And I know that is deliberate. So it’s one word, A-M-O-R-A-L-M-A-N, which was recommended to me by Dr. Mark Plotkin, who is an ethnobotanist and expert primarily in Central and South American medicinal plants, but has a fantastic podcast where he goes into one plant, or, say, set of plants per episode
Kevin Rose: These aren’t psychedelic. These are full medicinal.
Tim Ferriss: They’re both. So there’s some psychedelics. He knows those very, very well, but he’ll do an entire episode on tobacco, then entire episode on cannabis, then an entire — which will include hemp, and the history of hemp in the United States. He’ll do an entire episode on coca, an entire episode on wine, for instance. And it goes back and covers the entire history from day one of human history as we have it recorded. Fascinating show. Really fun. Really, really fun.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. Man, I want to hear that tobacco one. I wish tobacco was better for you. And I say that because I don’t — I’ve never smoked at all. But I have had a tobacco-infused cocktail one time. Oh, my God, dude, those are amazing.
Tim Ferriss: Strong.
Kevin Rose: It’s strong. I was at this restaurant in San Francisco, and they had taken tobacco leaves and they infused it in this bourbon. And they’re not supposed to do this. This is totally illegal.
Tim Ferriss: You’re totally not supposed to do that.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. And so I ordered. I’m like, “That sounds interesting. Tobacco-infused.” And they’re like, “No, no, no. It’s real tobacco leaves. Are you cool with that?” And I’m like, “Well, I’m not smoking it, I guess.” But then I later read, obviously any form of getting tobacco in you is bad for you. And so I drank it, one cocktail, and I stand up and I felt I’m going — my feet were sinking into the ground. I almost fell over. I was buzzed, like super high. I was like, “Oh, my God.” If you never do nicotine, and then you hit that nicotine, it’s real.
Tim Ferriss: It can knock you on your ass.
Kevin Rose: Yeah.
Tim Ferriss: And just safety note, so there’s an entire book. It’s very academic and dense. So I don’t recommend it necessarily, but there’s an entire book, and I’m going to come back to AMORALMAN, but there’s a book called something like Tobacco Use in South American Shamanism, and it’s an older book. I want to say it was published in the ’70s or ’80s. The author has a name along the lines of like Johan, or Johannes Wilbert, I want to say. I’ve read this entire book. And tobacco use is highly prevalent across most of the Amazon. It’s consumed in different ways. This is true in North America as well. And if you —
Kevin Rose: When you say different ways, what do you mean by consumed in different ways? What are the different — there’s oral.
Tim Ferriss: The different means there’s smoking, but there are many different ways of smoking. There are snuffs. So you have insufflation, so inhaling tobacco in one form or another, often combined with other things. You have blowing tobacco, either smoke or ground tobacco into the anus. That’s one.
Kevin Rose: You’re being serious.
Tim Ferriss: I’m being totally serious. You have drinking of tobacco juice, which is the one I wanted to mention as, in addition to several others, very dangerous. So a number of people have died in the last few years in South America, as let’s just call it psychedelic tourists, who have ingested tobacco juice. You can end up with tachycardia, then heart attacks and all sorts of issues. It’s very dangerous. You can die of nicotine poisoning. So you need to be extremely cautious about it.
Kevin Rose: Have you tried any of these?
Tim Ferriss: I have stayed away. I have experienced insufflation. A lot of people — now it’s trendy. I think it’s actually too trendy, in the sense that it can do quite a bit of damage if you’re overusing it. But people listening may recognize a word called rapé, or hapé. Some people say it with the hapé, like the Brazilian pronunciation, because they don’t want it to sound rapey. Rapé. But it is a pulverized tobacco, often mixed with other things that people will blow into their own nostrils. So there’s a V-shaped joined pair of tubing, and you stick one in your mouth and you’ve already compressed some version of tobacco into the other side, and then you blow it into your nostril and it shoots up into your sinuses.
Kevin Rose: When you say mixed with other things, what is it typically mixed with?
Tim Ferriss: It really depends on — it’s like a cocktail. It depends on who you’re purchasing it from, which tribe. A lot of these are of dubious origin, in the sense that many psychedelic or psychedelic related paraphernalia and compounds are spun a yarn of this incredible history of indigenous use, whereas for instance, toad, so sometimes referred to as bufo, the molecule in question is 5-MeO-DMT, 5-methoxy-DMT. There’s this entire story now. Versions of a story spun about indigenous use. And there seems to be no compelling evidence that there’s actual indigenous use of the bufo alvarius toad. Goes a number of other Latin names, but the sonoran desert toad. There seems to be no compelling evidence that this specific toad was used as a source of 5-MeO by any indigenous group. And in fact, it was Ken Nelson, an amateur biochemist, who was a genius in many respects, who ultimately, through trial and error, developed smoked venom from bufo alvarius as one means of consuming 5-MeO-DMT.
Now 5-MeO-DMT is found in other things. It’s found in other plant species, many plant species. In different types of tree nuts, for instance, something called yopal. There are many different sources, but I guess the point I want to make, which is a long answer to your question, is that a lot of these tobacco cocktails that are being sold to blow up your own nostril, or nostrils, I don’t think have any basis in indigenous news. But sometimes it’s mixed with things that are not psychotropic. I advise generally against this. There are potential uses, blah, blah, blah. But I know people who, just as you can with cigarettes, become addicted to rapé. But because they’re in Venice and doing a yogahuasca retreat, and everyone’s talking about how highly evolved they are by blowing it up their nostril instead of smoking it, suddenly it’s socially reinforced. And then you have people who are going through like an entire canister of this stuff every week, because they’re addicted to nicotine.
Kevin Rose: Wow. And it’s still proven that this is bad for the heart and causes cancer. This different delivery mechanism doesn’t get around that in any way, right?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. You can definitely do plenty of damage. I don’t know. There may in fact be medical applications. I am not well enough versed in contemporary medical applications of nicotine. I know that there’re almost certainly potential medical applications which would be administered in some way that is not smoking. Because lung cancer will kill you. Let’s be clear.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. I know that there was a — I had read something around a study that was done on the nicotine patches, and it was more around heart health and there being some potential negative effects around that. But I know a lot of the biohacker community, at least a few people that I bumped into, they like the nicotine patches. They’ll slap one on and it’s a nice little booster. You take it with your coffee in the morning and it’s like you did a rail or something.
Tim Ferriss: Oh, it’ll light you up. And it will also put you on the ground. I’ve experienced rapé a number of times. It’s not my go-to Tuesday wake me up or anything. And I remember doing it with someone who — at the time with someone who was using it probably, I don’t know, 10 to 15 times a week. Somewhere in that range. Twice a day. And he had a really high tolerance and he packed my tube with — and he’s also mid 200s probably in body weight. So he packed this tube, and I blew it up my nostril, and I immediately broke out into a cold sweat. Room is spinning and I needed to lay on my back for like 45 minutes. It was awful. It was absolutely terrible. So don’t take it lightly.
This is a detour we took off of Mark Plotkin. Check out his podcast, Plants of the Gods. He also wrote a book called either The or A Shaman’s Apprentice, which is very, very good about his adventures in places like Suriname. Really knows his stuff. He was a protege of an incredible father of ethnobotany in the United States called Richard Evan Schultes, who was at Harvard. I’ve had Mark on the podcast before. Fascinating guy. Also runs a nonprofit called the Amazon Conservation Team, which does really interesting work in helping indigenous communities in particular, not only to secure their land as protected, but also to monitor it using Raspberry Pi and technology and so on. Because if you can’t enforce the boundaries and prevent poachers and illegal logging and so on, there’s not really much value to a place being protected, if it makes any sense.
Kevin Rose: Yeah.
Tim Ferriss: But Mark recommended this book, AMORALMAN, by a guy named Derek DelGaudio. So Derek DelGaudio, D-E-L-G-A-U-D-I-O, I recognized because there’s a one-man show that he did on Hulu, or it was available on Hulu. It was performed in New York City with storytelling, slight of hand, stage mentalism. Although a lot of it was just brute force, incredible memorization called In & Of Itself. So if anyone hasn’t seen Derek DelGaudio’s show In & Of Itself — Kevin, you would love this. It’s awesome.
Kevin Rose: Awesome.
Tim Ferriss: It’s so good. So Derek DelGaudio, In & Of Itself. I recognized the one-man show, and AMORALMAN goes into his entire life story of growing up with a single mom and then learning about magic. Ultimately becoming a card mechanic in illegal games. High-stakes card games. And the whole story is really good. I was very impressed with the writing. So that’s one.
And then the last one I’ll mention is a novel, it’s called Ka, just K-A, by John Crowley. And it is a long book. It’s, I would guess, I read it on Kindle, but probably four to 500 pages about a single crow who basically — I don’t think I’ll give away too much here by saying it’s reincarnated over and over and over again, and develops the ability to communicate with humans. And it’s a cool book. I will warn you in advance that it takes literally 100 pages probably to get warmed up to the point where you’re like, “Oh, this is actually now interesting.” So there’s a lot of setup involved. So be forewarned.
But John Crowley is interesting to me because he wrote a book, another book that takes about 100 pages to get warmed up with called Little, Big. Little, Big. And that is one of the best novels I’ve ever read in my life. It leaves you in an altered state for — at least left me and I know several other people in an altered state for a few weeks after you read this book.
Kevin Rose: Wow. Wait. Which one was that called? I’m taking notes here while you’re saying this.
Tim Ferriss: It’s so good.
Kevin Rose: Little, Big? Okay.
Tim Ferriss: Little, Big. And I think an alternate subtitle, or a sometimes included subtitle is The Fairies’ Parliament, or something like that. But the pro tip with Little, Big — it’s so good. It is — I’m telling people in advance, it’s some heavy lifting in the beginning, because you have to establish a bunch of context. Once you get to the talking fish, you’ll know that you’re about to turn a corner into the really wild, fascinating stuff. But there is a family tree in the beginning of the paperback edition, which was given to me as gift by my brother. And I put it down. I tried to read it and put it down like three times. And I’m just like, “Why’d my brother give this to me? It’s not that interesting in the beginning.” And then when it finally turns the corner, you’re like, “Oh, my God, this is one of the best books I’ve ever read.”
Kevin Rose: Wow. So you’re back in. You gave up reading new books for a while.
Tim Ferriss: Well, I gave up — this is a technical point that I think is worth underscoring. I gave up, and I still am giving up reading new books, meaning books that are published in this year. But I am reading books. I’m reading books, but John Crowley’s book Little, Big as well as Ka, these were published many years ago. And the reason I made that decision and policy is because I get deluged with dozens of books a week that I don’t request. They get sent to me and then —
Kevin Rose: People want you to plug them. I get the same thing. You get them in the mail and you just like, yeah.
Tim Ferriss: And sometimes they’re friends. Very often they’re friends. It’s like, I’ve done 600 episodes so it’s like of those 600 people, how many of them write continuously and have books coming out? A lot. I can’t accommodate all of them, even if I can have one of them on the podcast. If all I did was read one out of every 10 books sent to me, I would never have time to do anything else. There’s this blog post I wrote quite a while back called, I think it’s “Finding the One Decision That Removes a Thousand Decisions,” something like that. If people search it, they can find it. If they go to tim.blog/newbooks, they’ll see it because I send that now to people so it doesn’t feel like a personalized —
Kevin Rose: Right. And that’s a rolling 12 months people. Don’t send him books all in December and expect it to happen.
Tim Ferriss: Well, I put something at the beginning of it, which was like, “This has been extended indefinitely. Basically if you’re about to send me a book that is like sent in any new year, forget about it. It’s going to be a tough sell.” But those are some of the books that I’ve been enjoying. And I will probably go into, I think John Crowley has a collection, like a three-part series that is Aegypt, or A-E, Egypt spelled with an A-E. I may dig into that next, but his, I think the book that mesmerized the most people that I’m aware of is the Little, Big and I left something out. In the beginning, there’s a family tree. Do yourself a huge favor and take a photograph of that, or shit’s going to get really confusing. Take a photograph, even if it’s on Kindle, take your phone out and take a photograph of the family tree because you’re going to want to refer back to it. Fantastic book. That is some of my information diet at the moment.
Kevin Rose: I’ve got one book to mention.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, go for it.
Kevin Rose: Peter Attia, mutual friend, obviously been on your show a bunch, turned me on, he actually had an episode of his podcast, The Peter Attia Drive, where he interviewed Terry Real, which is this fantastic therapist, mainly focused on actually male therapy and issues around that males run into. And I got invited to join a men’s group with Terry actually. I’d never done one of these. I don’t know if you’ve done men’s groups before —
Tim Ferriss: I’ve never done.
Kevin Rose: Have you ever done men’s groups with — it’s really interesting. Yeah, so I hadn’t either. And I was invited to join one of these men’s groups and essentially it is — picture eight people over Zoom. Terry’s there as well, so you have your therapist in the room and I’d never done any type of group therapy thing before. I’d done individual therapy and couples therapy, but never group.
And he kicks it off by saying, “Okay, we’re going to go around the room and we’re going to spend — everyone gets 10 minutes to just tell me what’s on your mind, what’s going on?” And there’s none of this bullshit like, “Well, I took my kids out.” That’s like, no, no, no. What is hitting you at a deep level that you are struggling with? And he calls you on your bullshit. If it’s such generic answers, because everybody has their shit. Like their thing they’re struggling with, like my spouse did this or there could be any slew of different things that you’re running into. Right now for me, it’s my mom’s dealing with cancer, so that was the thing that I went into. And you spend those first 10, 15 minutes and it’s really eye-opening and they put you in a group of peers that when you look around the room, you’re like, you’re kind of in a similar stage in life.
And you have these really deep conversations and one person can be, got caught cheating on their wife or whatever it may be, and you realize instantly like, “Oh, my God, so many people actually struggle with the same things that I struggle with every single day in my head, which is nice. It’s refreshing.” And then the people that are having the most pain for that particular session, you do these a couple times a month. It’s a two-hour-long session. He’ll go deep with those people. So say, “Okay, you’re the two people today we’re going to go deep with.” And then you just watch as he dissects and just ninjas around and gets them oftentimes to tears by the end of it and really, really goes in deep into some of these issues that these men are bringing up. And I had never really thought about doing that.
And it was a really beautiful thing and you’re very supportive. Like they always say, “Does anyone want to comment on what this person just said?” And it’s never about judging them or saying, “Well, I think you’re doing this wrong.” It’s more like, “This is how this landed on me.”
Tim Ferriss: Is that a rule that was established up front?
Kevin Rose: It is a rule. There’s a rule. There’s a handful of rules.
Tim Ferriss: No opinions. Yeah. What are the rules?
Kevin Rose: Yeah. You comment on how it landed on you and how you see it through your lens, but this is only applicable to you. You can say general supportive things like, “I thought you were really courageous for saying that. Thank you for sharing it with me.” Things like that. You can always pass at any time. If anything makes you uncomfortable, you can always pass.
There is 100 percent like what happens in this room stays in this room. We’re talking about some very kind of crazy topics here that maybe some people haven’t disclosed that to even closest friends or partners. There’s all kinds of issues that I heard came up where I was just like, “I can’t believe we’re talking about this, but it’s nice.” It’s nice to know that other men are struggling with this stuff. And so that was fantastic. And I’ve been doing that for a few months now and it’s led me to just, I don’t know, there was some great insights in there that I just came away with. Then it led me actually to Terry’s books as well, because these are quite expensive kind of groups as Terry’s a pretty sought after type of individual therapist. And so he has this book that he turned us onto called Fierce Intimacy.
And it says —
Tim Ferriss: That’s one of his books?
Kevin Rose: Yes. Fierce Intimacy. And it’s great. He reads his own audio books. So it’s on Audible. And it’s how to communicate with love and respect even when you argue. And this has been just a game changer for me when it comes to how I can relate, how I can prevent self sabotaging habits, just how to deal with your partner in a way that is constructive and moving forward and not judging and being able to know when to let information in and take it in and digest it and let it hit your stuff internally, and when to know that the other person is just venting and actually it’s coming more from them and it’s okay to put a wall up sometimes and block that information because it’s where they’re coming from and it shouldn’t land and hit you in the wrong way.
And it’s such a beautiful, simple framework that I absolutely love. And the other thing I love about him is he was kind of a pioneer in this space. He’s not a therapist that just sits there and listens to both sides and like, “It sounds like what you’re saying is this.” He takes sides in therapy. He’s like “No, that’s fucking wrong. You’re doing this, like she’s right here.” And so you hear a lot of that happening in the conversation. And I’m like finally, I like a therapist —
Tim Ferriss: Pick a side!
Kevin Rose: Sometimes I know I’m right sometimes. I just found this guy to be really refreshing and probably some people are laughing because they know this is a really popular person. First I had heard of him was six months ago, but he is a very famous therapist. But anyway, highly recommend Fierce Intimacy. Darya and I both listened to it, my wife and I both listened to it and it’s already improved the way that we communicate with each other, the way we have conversations, the way we let information flow in and actually land on us. I’d put it in there in terms of books to recommend.
Tim Ferriss: How long is that book?
Kevin Rose: I did it on Audible so I think it was like seven hours or something like that.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. So it’s probably like 250 pages, something like that.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, somewhere around there.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. Pretty easy. Do you think you have found it helpful because you are also in the group or is it do you think it’s effective as a standalone, the book?
Kevin Rose: Absolutely, because Darya listened it not being in the group obviously and she found it effective as a standalone as well. And the reason I like it is it just doesn’t dance around this like we always have to be head over heels in love.
It’s like every single day that you wake up, one person might be up, one person might be down and it’s always about finding your way back to that middle safe, comfort zone. And relationships are nothing but this, you have these moments of beautiful things and bliss happening, but largely it’s about the other points and how you get back to those states.
Tim Ferriss: The flux.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, and returning back to that state of health and understanding and how to both know that you’re on the same team and have the same goals in mind and working with the framework that supports that. So I don’t know, I really loved it. And I’ve really struggled, I’ve listened to a couple other relationship books because I’m always trying to improve. I’ve been married nine years now and Darya and I are in a really good place now, but you know me, Tim, we’ve had these conversations like one on one, there’s bumps with all these relationships. And it’s like Darya and I had did couples therapy for a bit, especially when you introduce kids into the equation, my God, that changes everything. And so it’s like this is the first time I read a book where I was like, this is speaking to me and working, so wanted to throw it out there.
Tim Ferriss: That’s great. That’s a big deal.
I have considered men’s groups a number of times. I think I probably have on one hand like an unfair judgment although I’ve seen this before, so it’s not totally unfounded, like some men’s groups are like, “All right, we’re going to go in the woods and like wear furs and bang on drums and yell and scream.” And I’m like, “Eh, I’m not sure that’s the medicine I need right now.” And then I’ve had some misgivings at different points, but the meta commentary that I would make, and this has been a conversation and it’s a conversation I’ve had actually with quite a few women because I’ve just observed that women I think are in general, again, I’m painting with a broad brush, but better at social cohesion and gathering and that type of communal intimacy.
And there are very few places outside of a sports team or the bar, or fill in the blank option C where men have those communal experiences. But if you look back at our just history, if we look back hundreds of years, thousands of years, that was an inbuilt feature of different communities. And I think that society at large ends up in a very precarious, volatile situation when men, especially younger men, don’t have that. It’s like, okay, if you have somebody who is feeling alienated, who is pumped full of hormones, like let’s just say kind of 16 to like 22, with no sense of social belonging and a lot of physiologically driven or at least informed aggression, that is a significant societal problem. And so I have thought about that.
Kevin Rose: The other thing too I’ll add on top of that is traditionally, when you think about men getting together and shooting the shit, it is that bar setting, it is that sports game or whatever it may be. And it’s very high level. At that point, you’re just like, “Ah, how are things?” Like, “Ah, wife’s doing this,” blah, blah, blah. You don’t have the permission really, like in my group, I was like, “My mom had her cancer return. I’m going to miss her when she’s gone because I’m her little boy. And I will miss the feeling of my head on her shoulder.” And stuff that is like so deep and intimate to me because I love her so deeply and it’s like, you don’t get that over a beer necessarily to be able to go and to see other men around the table doing the same thing, because we all at that point have set the ground rules.
It’s a safe space and we can just really, really let it out. And lots of tears come. And one of the things Terry always says that’s really interesting during it, people start to cry, men will start to cry and tears will start to cry. And he goes, “What are those tears saying? What are those tears saying right now?”
And it’s like, give me more, give me more. Open that door a little bit further than you’re comfortable opening up. Yeah, I triggered something, here come the tears. But unpack that further. And then it just goes from there and it’s deeper and deeper layers and it’s release, man. You know how this is. Psychedelics help with this a lot. When I did my high dose mushroom experience, I was sobbing after because my father had passed away. It was like, it gave me that permission to let that stuff go. And it’s a very special thing when you can do it because it’s so healthy.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, I’d love to actually ask you, because you can probably correct or at least inform my initial impression. I listened to that episode on Peter’s podcast or I listened to the first half, so maybe I didn’t give it enough time, but I listened to the first half and other people I know have listened to that episode and immediately bought a bunch of books. I may be peculiar in this way, but I listened to the first half and he seemed, my impression was that Terry had a real ax to grind maybe on masculine strength, if this makes any sense. He talked a lot about like toxic masculinity. Okay, fine. Talked about sort of the counterparts to that and seems like he didn’t grow up with say a kind of healthy interaction with exemplars of male strength, didn’t seem to have the sports background.
He mentions his dad wanted him to be this jocular athletic kid and he wasn’t that. But I came away feeling that he had maybe very partial view of masculine strength. And I do feel like it is a mistake and it’s also conformist group think to automatically excise male strength from the topics that we can discuss as important. I do think there’s a place for that. So I’d just be curious to hear your thoughts because my impression in listening to the first half, I was like, “Oh, wow, this guy’s like rah-rah kind of feminine energy. The future is feminine.” That’s fine. But if it’s to the exclusion of trying to cultivate strength in men, even if that does look on some level traditional even cross-culturally, we see certain sort of typified behaviors, not saying they’re all good. All things in excess can become the opposite of what we’re aiming for. How would you speak to that? Because that turned me off and it probably says more about me than about Terry.
Kevin Rose: No, it’s actually, it’s funny you should mention that because when I listen to that episode, I immediately thought I don’t want to go any further here. It wasn’t necessarily for me either, but I trust Peter. And I know that Peter’s a very masculine dude. I watch videos of him shooting his bow out of his house like into the backyard from the center of his house. I’m like who shoots bows in their house into the backyard? He’s crazy. Peter is as masculine as they come and I listened to that episode and I think we unfairly got a very small slice of what Terry’s all about. And when I listened to this book, I was like, “Oh, thank God,” in some sense. I’m glad it’s much more, it seemed a little one-sided there. Yeah, yeah. I agree.
Tim Ferriss: Okay. Got it. All right. That’s helpful.
Kevin Rose: I felt the same thing you did, dude. I absolutely felt the same thing you did. I was like, “Okay, is this like,” I’m not going to say what I was going to say, but yeah, worried.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. And I think also for those people are interested, you can kind of look at Marc Andreessen’s commentary on the current thing. He has a lot of thoughts on the current thing in quotation marks. And I don’t want to speak for Marc, but I used to start every presentation I did with a quote from Mark Twain. And in this case, I do think it’s actually verified. I know it’s like Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, and like Gandhi and Groucho Marx get like 90 percent of all quotes on the internet.
Kevin Rose: Exactly.
Tim Ferriss: Or Mae West. But the quote was, and I think I’m getting this right, “Whenever you find yourself the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.” And just to identify like how much of what I’m actually not just saying, but believing are conclusions I’ve come to from first principles or actually following some logical process or from direct experience. And how much of it is just conditioning? How much of it is a subconscious or conscious fear response because I see people having gasoline poured on them and being lit on fire on the internet, metaphorically speaking, whenever they voice the opposite.
And I think it’s very, very important to pay attention to that, not just with respect to where we segued from with Terry, but it’s whenever you’re too in line with what the majority are saying, like it might be true, but very often we’re absorbing beliefs or perspectives or positions that really we haven’t earned, if that makes sense. We haven’t earned those positions.
Kevin Rose: The same goes true for food. You’re like, “Oh, shit, I’m eating McDonald’s. Everyone else is eating McDonald’s, maybe this isn’t the best thing for my body.”
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. It’s certainly one way. Yeah, that would be one example. Speaking of herd behavior, I’ll go the other direction. Should I talk about my first ever NFT?
Kevin Rose: Oh, dude. I’m so excited. You’ve jumped in.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. I jumped in and I hesitated partially because as you know, since you’re responsible for pulling my attention, I’ve been tracking this stuff for a while. And thankfully, you got me off my ass because you’re like, “Hey, I’m going to be doing this thing. Don’t tell anybody.” Now we can talk about it. “It’s going to be called Grails. And do you want to be part of it?” Do you want to explain just very briefly what Grails was, what it is, and then I can hop into it?
Kevin Rose: Yeah, absolutely. And for those that are listening that have no interest in NFTs that read the headlines out there, rest assured that I can tell you that I too, being so deep into NFTs believe that there’s a lot of hype in the sector. There’s a lot of, anyone armed with Photoshop right now can publish an NFT to the blockchain. And that means that there’s going to be a lot to sort through and sift through to find the gems. But as an underlying fundamental technology, it is a sound one in that there’s proven scarcity, there’s durability of the asset, meaning it doesn’t degrade with time. You can transfer it. There’s a bunch of great things about it that it will be around forever, I have no doubt. Now that said, there was a lot of hype going on into the world of NFTs here, and there still is, six or so months ago. And I thought to myself, “Let’s create an NFT project, call it Grails. And the reason it was called Grails, it was Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail, where he has to choose that cup, that very famous episode there, “Choose wisely.” And if you choose the wrong one, you turned and shriveled up and died.
So the thinking there was that so much attention at that time was on flipping NFTs. Oh, I’m going to grab this one, buy it for five grand, sell it for 100.
Tim Ferriss: Also, I’m just going to interject for a second. Also, some people refer to what they might consider the blue chip NFTs as grail NFTs. There’s also that use of the word.
Kevin Rose: Right.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. Continue.
Kevin Rose: That’s right. Yeah. So the thinking there was, okay, let’s put the emphasis back on the art and allow people to look and consider each individual piece. And then they have to make a decision. So 20 artists, 20 anonymous artists all up on the site, as a member of my little group called the PROOF Collective, you got to choose one. So you could go in there and just pick one that you wanted. And then we would do the grand reveal. And so afterwards, we would reveal who the artists were. 100 percent of the sale of the NFT and the royalties went directly to the artists, so I did not profit at all. And you were kind enough to say “I’m going to be one of those artists that people have to guess if it’s me or not.”
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. So there are 20 — basically, imagine you go to a website, there are 20 thumbnails of different types of artwork. Most, if not all, artists who are established did something that was non-identifiable. A lot of them did something completely different stylistically, so that you wouldn’t know it was them.
And then people were guessing. So there’s a lot of speculation in various Discords and so on about who might be the artist behind which piece. And when you initially offered it to me, and I’ll skip to the punchline real quick. People want to see this, what the output was, they can go to tim.blog/nft, and I’ll just forward to a page on OpenSea where you can see what this looks like.
But I bounced around a whole bunch of ideas. And then I realized, wait a second, about a year ago, a bit over a year ago, I wrote a short story. And I’ve never published fiction anywhere. So I’ve never had a fiction blog post that I can remember. I’ve never published any fiction in book form. I’ve never had a magazine article that was fiction. And I decided to take that, which was about, I want to say 1,400 words. And the name of the piece is “How to Start a War,” I’ll come back to why it’s called that, because this was written, keep in mind, more than a year ago. So it has nothing to do with the current conflict, but “How to Start a War,” it’s 1,400 or so words, and decided to make that the background of this piece and then to layer images on top of it.
So I ended up thinking on my own, and then along with this designer, Lisa Quine, about how to create something that would actually make a nice, say, poster in a frame on a wall or a print. And I wanted it — I needed some parameters. I needed some constraints. I was like, okay, let me not blue sky this totally. It has to look decent on a wall, if someone put this up on a wall.
And it’s called “How to Start a War” because it is based on a real experience I had, which — I’ll let people read the piece who want to read the piece. So the only place you can find this first published fiction piece by me is as this NFT. That’s the only place you can find it. And it’s an easy read, but the way it starts is with someone handing me a business card and saying, “If you want to start a war, call me.” And then the whole thing goes down a pretty deep rabbit hole. And most of it is a composite, but true to life, which made it pretty easy to write.
And that’s it. That’s how it started. And it’s been really a fun experience for me. So thank you, Kevin, for getting me off my ass. All the proceeds from this NFT go to my foundation. So they’ll end up funding scientific research and other initiatives related to primarily mental health, possibly longevity and life extension or health span extension, but predominantly mental health. And I feel really good about it. So it’s been a fun little experiment and a chance to also understand how some of the plumbing works. You know what I mean? There’s a point — you can only read so many books about playing soccer, and then you got to get out there and actually kick a ball around. You’re not going to really have a feel for it until you start screwing around with the actual mechanics and plumbing and having to do things.
Kevin Rose: And you’ve had some good success, man. One sold for 115 ETH, which at current prices is around 50k. You’ve had a bunch of good secondary sales.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah.
Kevin Rose: People were pretty pumped.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. It was fun to also have the reveal. So, I think a lot of people minted and ultimately, I hope that there will be some durable value because it’s not only my first NFT, but it’s my first published fiction piece. So you get a two for one. So we’ll see. We’ll see.
Kevin Rose: Let me ask you a question. This is meant to be cut out if you don’t like it. No, but a lot of people are actually adding utility to their NFTs. Meaning that if you own this original Tim Ferriss piece, something you do in the future, like let’s say you do another NFT drop, you get some extra special rights, or maybe they come to one of your live shows. They get to do a meet and greet. Have you had any thoughts around maybe offering some perks to people that own and hold your NFT?
Tim Ferriss: I have. I have thought about this. You’re not going to like my answer, though!
Kevin Rose: “I don’t want to do it!”
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. Yeah. Well, this leads me to a question for you, actually. So I decided I want to under promise and over deliver, or at least not under deliver. So as it stands right now —
Kevin Rose: Under promise and never deliver?
Tim Ferriss: Or just never promise.
Kevin Rose: Never promise, never deliver.
Tim Ferriss: Never promise. And therefore, you don’t have to deliver. I wanted it to have, to the extent that it can — again, this is not investment advice. All this stuff could go to zero. Who the fuck knows. But I wanted there to be intrinsic value as a first. And there is, I think, to the extent that there can be.
I did not want to make any additional promises. And I asked you a while back, and I’d love to talk about it on the show if you’re open to it. I have a friend, I’m not going to mention the name, but this friend has started different projects in Web3 NFTs and has made these promises that are ongoing promises. And then the value of whatever he has created is tied to the ongoing delivery of more and more things.
And it’s ended up being a huge stressor for him because he feels like, A, I have to do this forever. B, I can’t figure out how to extricate myself. B, if I don’t do that, then when the music stops, the last people left holding these NFTs will just lose all their money. So he has tremendous guilt also and stress around that.
So I’d love to just hear how you think about this and maybe common mistakes that you see people make, because it does seem like more and more promises are being made. And so, when you launch a project now, and again, this comes back to the Mark Twain thing. Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect. But I’ve talked to yet different friends who are like, “Hey man, if you launch a project now, it’s table stakes. You have to do this, this, this, this, this, this. Private community, this, events, access, Q&As.” And I’m like, “Well, hold on a second.” I’m not convinced everybody can or will deliver those things. And if the table stakes just keep getting larger and larger and larger, that is not ultimately scalable indefinitely. Things are going to break. People are going to lose money.
Kevin Rose: Yeah.
Tim Ferriss: How do you think about this stuff?
Kevin Rose: Yeah, it’s a great question. So what you’re describing is what’s becoming a pretty normal thing in the NFT world where it’s called utility NFT, where it’s not just about the artwork. So many people have heard the name of Beeple or any other, the bigger — XCOPY — the bigger NFT artists. And that’s pretty straightforward. It’s JPEG. It looks great. You collect it, you hang it on your wall, done deal. You’re never getting anything else, but it is a piece of art, right?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah.
Kevin Rose: So the utility NFT world is one where, when you do buy the NFT, it comes with additional unlocks. And those can be both online, offline. They could be things like with the Bored Apes, when they have their token that they launch, so you got some ape token that came along with it that had some liquidity to it. It could be a whole slew of different things.
So it is a slippery slope, and it is something I would certainly — it’s buyer beware, for sure. Unless they are taking it serious enough to build a real team around it and considering it a business. What we do at PROOF with the PROOF Collective membership is, it’s very much a business for us. It’s a corporation. We have employees, we have payroll, we have all of that. And it is a new type of media company that we’re building from the ground up. So I don’t see it as something — I can imagine when it’s put on the shoulders of an individual — if it was just you doing a Tim NFT where you have to manage a Discord and do meetups and all of that, that sounds horrible. Right?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah.
Kevin Rose: And the other thing too, is you do have to think about end of life for these particular utility NFTs. So I think the ones that — you’re right in that you can imagine a world where if you have a utility NFT and it ends at three years, what happens to the price at two years and six months? Do people start bailing on it? And who’s the buyer, if there’s any buyers at all? It just plummets in value, and people lose all this money. So our solution, and what I came up with the PROOF Collective — and again, this is like with Tim’s NFT. I’m not telling you to go buy this. First of all, they’re outrageous right now. It’s 1,000 memberships, the current price is $300,000 for a membership.
Tim Ferriss: Man, that’s amazing.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. But we set a three-year limit on this actual, on the benefits. So we’re four months into a three-year membership. So what happens at year two to this insanely crazy asset? So we’ve figured out that there’s two things that happen. And for us, one, we are working with — well, we will be working with a very well-known NFT artist to convert and swap out the artwork from a membership card into a real piece of art. So at 1,000, you can do that. You can make them scarce and rare, and you can make them actually individually collectable. And we’re going to have to pay this artist because the one that I’m thinking of that we’re talking to, it’s going to be a very expensive, million-dollar plus check to write, to go and have this artist do something really unique. But then when it expires and that swap happens at the last day, you’re like, okay, I have value here, because this is a real-art NFT.
And then of course at the very end, you do things like there’s a season two. Maybe they get a half discount off into the next season or whatever it may be. So there’s ways to mitigate some of that. There’s no perfect solution. But I think that is the best that I’ve come up with to date, is really making it something that can stand on its own even when membership goes away or the benefits go away.
Tim Ferriss: I think it’s super smart. When you described that to me, it was the first time I had heard of that type of time-bound conversion event. Super clever. It’s very clever. And I think it highlights also how, as you said, if you’re going to participate in anything that has a value predicated on future deliverables and roadmaps, make sure that you do the diligence to evaluate the team behind it.
Kevin Rose: Yes. 100 percent.
Tim Ferriss: Really make sure you do that, because holy speculation, Batman, there is a lot of action in the space, and you need to — if you don’t have a good way to assess teams or if you don’t have an approach to that, then don’t do it.
Kevin Rose: A lot of people talk about something called FUD, and they don’t like it. It’s this fear, uncertainty, and doubt. And in the NFT world, they’ll be like, “Don’t spread FUD, don’t spread FUD.” But I’m actually of the opposite of the spectrum, in that I believe FUD is actually a good thing. We need to have fear, uncertainty, and doubt in each of these projects and properly evaluate them. There’s multiple fears when it comes to NFTs raising money. There’s a fear around the use of proceeds. What are they going to do? Are they going to disappear after they receive the money? There’s fears around execution risk. Are they going to actually deliver on their promises? There’s market fears, like crypto is very lumpy. Does this drop in value by half? You need to really evaluate these things and make sure there’s a credible team behind them before you go into them.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah.
Kevin Rose: Yeah.
Tim Ferriss: And also, pointing out risks is not FUD.
Kevin Rose: No.
Tim Ferriss: So FUD, just to use this in a context where I have exposure to it. So fear, uncertainty, and doubt, usually when I’ve run into it in tech — so my first job out of college was selling storage area networks, fiber channel, in competition against network appliance and EMC and so on. And the bigger companies would use fear, uncertainty, and doubt, but it wasn’t always based on fact. They would just — if we were close to winning an account, they would say, “Hey, they’re a startup. Yes, they have funding, but how long do you think they’re going to be around? You just don’t know. They might be around in five years, but they might be out of business. What happens to your service contract? Who manages the upkeep if you have issues with the firmware? What’s going to happen when you need to swap it out, if they run out of funding?
So that type of intimidation through uncertainty is one type of FUD. But if we are off a certain coastline in South Africa, and there are seals in the water, and it’s full of great white sharks, and I’m like, “Maybe you don’t want to go in there because there are a lot of great white sharks.” If your response is, “Stop selling me FUD, man. Everything’s going to be okay.” Then you might just have your arms bitten off. There’s actually a factual —
Kevin Rose: And you’re going to bleed out at that point. Yeah.
Tim Ferriss: Oh, yeah. You’re going to bleed out. It’s not a good situation. Very hard to swim with no arms.
So, I will say that, not to get all — I’m surprised I’m so amped up. I haven’t had that much caffeine today. I’m feeling pretty good. That you need to be very cautious, to quote Warren Buffett, because you can’t really lose quoting Warren Buffett, so why not? “Don’t ask a barber if you need a haircut.” So if someone has a vested interest in something, and they’re telling you everything’s going to be all right because their wallet is going to take a hit if it doesn’t go up and to the right, they are not an unbiased source of information.
And a lot of what’s happening in the NFT world, just to mention it real briefly, there was this story I heard long time ago. It was actually an anecdote that this guy told, this pretty shady cat. This guy who was involved in infomercials. And I happened to be sitting around a table, and he was telling the story to someone else. This was way in early 2000s. And he was telling it like this grand lesson that he was bestowing upon his children. And I was like, “Oh, wow, this guy’s really unethical.”
And he told this long story about this guy who caught this amazing tuna fish, and he canned it, and he sold it. And then it sold for $10 and then it sold for $100, and then sold for $1,000 and then $10,000 and then $100,000. And then one day, somebody who owned this $100,000 can of tuna fish opened it, and it was totally rotten. And so he reached out to the person who sold it to him, and it was like, “Hey, you sold me this tuna fish. It’s totally rotten.” And the guy said, “That tuna fish isn’t for eating. That tuna fish is for selling.”
But I think there’s a lot of that going on.
Kevin Rose: Oh, absolutely.
Tim Ferriss: It’s the greater fool theory of investing. “All right, well, as long as I can find someone who does even less diligence than I did, it’ll all work out.”
Kevin Rose: Yeah. You’ve got to be careful. Well, especially, the other thing too, and something I’m trying to figure out because I am building in the space, is there are a lot of projects that are coming out, and they’re serving very large audiences. The reason why the PROOF Collective stuff, we only did a thousand, is because I don’t think I could handle more than a thousand people with this type of stuff that we want to do on that side. Some of these other projects —
Tim Ferriss: Not to interrupt, but I will again, because apparently that’s my thing today. And you have a company-building experience, right? But managing expectations and inbound and requests and complaints from 10,000 people, that is a lot to actually handle well.
Kevin Rose: Right. And so that’s — we have another project that’s coming out that is 10,000 people big. But the way that we’re we’re doing it is completely different than what’s been done today. Because basically what happens is when you promise 10,000 people the world, and you have a budget of X, and you divide up that budget, and you send them — you make good on your promise and you send them something in the mail, they get an engraved pen and a hat. There’s not a whole lot of budget to go around to all these people.
So the way that we treat things is we actually, in this next project, we do it almost like the airline miles way, that you get different status based on your engagement with the community, how long you hold the NFT for, so that we can put out different tiers based on how you actually have committed to the community. We call it — it’s a long story, but the project’s called Moonbirds and it’s called nesting, but you actually lock up your asset, and you unlock additional benefits as time goes on. So it’s a way to divide and conquer, versus trying to promise these massive benefits to the entire world, if that makes sense.
Tim Ferriss: So do the people who hold Moonbirds commit to, I don’t want to say — it’s not a vesting schedule — nesting period in advance? Is that something they commit to? Or is it just however long they hold it, and each day they can decide if they want to buy or sell? Or I guess sell in this case?
Kevin Rose: Yeah. When they lock it up at the contract level, it prevents it from being sold.
Tim Ferriss: I see. Okay. So they do decide up front.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. But they can back out in two seconds, at any time they want. It just stops their continuous streak and their status level, basically.
Tim Ferriss: Okay. Got it. That’s interesting.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. But then, it allows me to carve it out. Because if you think about, let’s just say you did an NFT to 10,000 of your fans, you could say, “Okay, well, the people that have actually been with me for…” Let’s just say you did this years ago. You could say, “The people that were with me for the last three years and have stuck with me and been members for that long, I will do that private dinner with you.” Because it’s going to be 25 or something. It allows you to segment things.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. I have this private Facebook group for people who supported my subscription podcast alternative business model years ago. And that’s still around.
Kevin Rose: That’s amazing.
Tim Ferriss: It’s a much smaller group of people. So I could see possibly doing something along those lines. I don’t want to mention the name, but I think you will agree that the potential name that I’ve been coming up with ideas for the last two years for this NFT project is pretty phenomenal. I think you’ll agree.
Kevin Rose: You have a top-five PFP name in your repertoire there. Tim has this idea for a big NFT drop that is powerful.
Tim Ferriss: It would be very hard for people not to write about it and I expect at least 70 percent of the internet would go, “Oh, my. Oh, my. How could he? How could he?”
Kevin Rose: I’d give you a 10 percent chance of being canceled with that one going on. It’s a Tim-after-two-glasses-of-wine NFT project.
Tim Ferriss: Probably four or five glasses of wine. It’s Tim after four or five glasses of wine. And there is part of me that is like, “Do I want this to be the most dominant feature of my Wikipedia page?” Maybe not, maybe not.
Kevin Rose: Right.
Tim Ferriss: If that’s my current activities, I don’t know. I don’t know. I do think it would be ultimately hilarious. It would be largely absurdity focused. So we’ll see if that ever happens. I don’t know if it’ll ever happen. I’m actually super —
Kevin Rose: Why not though, man? It’s like you’re —
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, why not?
Kevin Rose: You have nothing to lose. Well you do have a lot to lose. It’s like canceling you.
Tim Ferriss: Okay. Well the nice part is — what would canceling look like for an NFT project that upsets some people? What does that really look like?
Kevin Rose: For you it’s like —
Tim Ferriss: Lots of ways.
Kevin Rose: A thousand people stop listening to your podcast or something.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. Like, I mean really like, if you’ve been listening to the podcast long enough or listening to these random shows long enough, If you are still listening, like we’ve had ample opportunity to talk about any number of things that might cause somebody to get canceled.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. You literally talked about anal tobacco earlier today, like that was on today’s show.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. We already talked about anal administration of tobacco. We’ve talked about when I took that like 30 day — no, what was it? It was like no booze, no masturbating experiment with the audience.
Kevin Rose: Oh, that’s right.
Tim Ferriss: And talked about like my, “Hey, before you go on this porn fast, here are some recommendations.” They’re like, “This isn’t exactly family programming.” Well, it depends on your family. I guess I don’t (laughing) —
Oh, my god, I’m definitely putting Tuna Helper in the name of this episode. (laughing).
Kevin Rose: Amazing!
Tim Ferriss: You have some pretty cool stuff coming up, very cool stuff coming up, and you’ve been working so hard. I think it’s just hilarious that like the less you need to work, the harder you seem to work. Have you observed this?
Kevin Rose: It’s funny. Have you ever met Bill Harlan or no? Do you know him at all? Harlan Estate, the wines?
Tim Ferriss: Are we talking about —
Kevin Rose: You know Will?
Tim Ferriss: I know Will. Yeah that’s what I —
Kevin Rose: Yeah. You never met his dad, Bill.
Tim Ferriss: I may have met Bill at, I can never pronounce this word, it’s too fancy for me, coming from Long Island, is it Promontory?
Kevin Rose: Promontory, yeah.
Tim Ferriss: Promontory. Jesus. I can never say that word.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, the winery.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. I may have met Bill when we did a site visit ages ago. I may have. But let’s just assume not for the purposes of this.
Kevin Rose: So for people that don’t know, know Harlan Estate is one of the most premier culty wines in Napa Valley. It’s insanely sought after, multi-year wait list just to get access to an allocation. I’ve been very fortunate —
Tim Ferriss: It’s like the Moonbirds of wine basically.
Kevin Rose: Right? The Moonbirds, like the NFT. Yeah, the high-end wine. Exactly. Very, very hard to get. So I’ve been very lucky to be on that board and it’s given me exposure to just a world that I would normally never have any insight into. And they have properties too as well, like Meadowood, and the restaurant at Meadowood, which is a three-Michelin-star restaurant. So they have a bunch of different things that I always learn about at these board meetings, learn from and hopefully help on the tech side a little bit and helping them form their thinking around new ways to embrace current tech.
So one of the things that he said to me at a dinner just like a week ago. We were at this dinner, and Bill’s in his eighties now, and we were talking about NFTs and how they’re applicable potentially to the wine world in some really interesting ways there. Which I believe will absolutely happen. And he goes, I’m paraphrasing, but he’s like, “Kevin, I get it.” He goes, “When you see these markets and you see it before anyone else,” he goes, “you push in really hard and you get the outsized rewards.”
And for him, that was real estate in Napa Valley 30 years ago. And he goes, “Then you sit around and you wait until you see the next one. And it might be a decade or longer until you see this next big moment when it’s time to push your chips in again.” And for me, I have been sitting around waiting since Web2, 2004. And granted I was really active in Web2 and there was mobile and there was a few other amazing things that happened. VR was stupid, but then — (laughing)
Tim Ferriss: You are really doubling down on the VR is stupid thing, huh?
Kevin Rose: It’ll eventually get to the right size and price that people will like it. I had a big fight with one of your other guests, Adam Gazzaley. He told me that VR was going to take off like five years ago and we bet a bottle of Hibiki 30 when it was a lot less expensive and he still hasn’t sent me the bottle of Hibiki 30.
Tim Ferriss: No, it’s just going to keep getting more expensive.
Kevin Rose: Oh, yeah. It’s getting more expensive. It’s like five X the price since then, so Adam, cough it up, man.
So anyway, the long story short is — well I’ll give you a great example. I was working on the Moonbirds project till midnight last night. And I woke up naturally, and this was weird for me, at 6:00 a.m., got out of bed and started working again. Because there is this excitement, there’s this blue ocean. There is so much that can be done in this space.
Tim, it’s like when you came to the NFT conference with me and we were sharing a room and you were sleeping on the couch, which was awesome. That was hilarious. You wanted the bed, I would not let you in the bed. This a true story.
Tim Ferriss: I was fucking freezing. Just a side note, so it was so fucking cold. This is in Marfa, Texas, got down to like 40 degrees at night. And I’m sleeping on the couch with a towel on top of me. It doesn’t even cover like the lower half of my legs, shivering, dying. And I’m like, “Kevin, are you sure there aren’t any blankets?” He’s like, “No, man, no extra blankets.” And then the last day I’m like, what’s that huge drawer on the other side of the bed? Pull it out, comforters galore, everywhere.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, exactly. Sorry about that.
But anyway, when we were there, you and I were both feeling it. We’re getting up early, talking about NFTs. And it’s not just about the hype cycle, it’s about this, there’s a new technology that is just taking shape and yes, it’ll be many years before it’s fully realized, but this is when you want to start paying attention. It’s when there’s the most risk of course but early investors, you embrace risk, ’cause that’s where the most upside is. So that’s what’s exciting about it.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. I would also say, just to reinforce that, definitely of the feeling like, okay, we’re on the beach in Northern California and this is kind of the first Burning Man. It had that feeling. Or South by Southwest, like 2007, where interactive was just like the redheaded stepchild. Sorry, trigger warning for redheaded stepchildren. Redheaded stepchild of —
Kevin Rose: Canceled.
Tim Ferriss: South by, nobody cared. It’s like nobody cared about interactive. And now it is just as, not to make this like the Andreessen-themed show, but like software eating the world. Now interactive is like the glue that holds everything together.
And I’m not saying that’s going to be the case with NFTs necessarily, but you definitely had that. And it’s more, for me, of like a physiological feeling. You’re like, okay, we’re in a really small group, there are a lot of very smart people here who have decided this is what they want to dedicate all their time to. So if you agree with some investors who would take the position that like what the nerds do on the weekends now is what everybody will be doing in like five years or 10 years.
Kevin Rose: Dixon said that, right?
Tim Ferriss: Dixon, maybe. Yeah. And it’s like, yeah, okay, I do think there’s something to that. And there is just this like electric feeling, which is hard to put words to, but it’s kind of a physiological response, for me. And I talked about this a little bit in the podcast with Dixon and Naval, but that’s definitely true for this. And I would also say, it is risky to — what are the cool kids saying? Ape into, whale into a position.
Kevin Rose: Like ape into, yeah.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. If you just take like half your net worth, and you’re not sure how you’re going to make your mortgage payment and you push all those chips into something that’s hugely speculative, that’s risky. But I don’t view that as intelligent risk taking. That’s just foolish and has tremendous downside potential.
I do think you can begin to like place little bets and think about mitigating downside. Because absolutely if right now we’re in a phase where there are opportunities for like 5x, 10x, 100x investments, I know a lot of people have become spoiled over COVID where they’re like started trading on like Robinhood and this, that, and the other thing. And they’re like, “Oh, if it’s less than a thousand percent a year, like, I’m not interested. I’m going to look for the next best thing.”
I think that’s going to burn a lot of people, but you can then start to think about like actually studying some of these older investors and learning about portfolio construction. And really taking a risk intelligent approach to playing only with chips you can afford to lose. And I think you get smarter that way.
Because if you go into it and you’re like, “High risk, high reward, baby,” and you use that as a smoke screen to cover up your complete lack of due diligence, to cover up the fact that you have no understanding of the technology to cover up the fact that you didn’t do any homework on the team behind X, Y, and Z, that you saw trending on Twitter, because you think that you’re going to make a fast buck, you’re just going to lose your money. Sooner or later, you will lose your money.
But I’m also seeing people who are really taking this as an opportunity to basically like go to grad school. And they’re like, okay, I’m going to play with just enough. I don’t know if you agree with this or not, but from my perspective, I waited, whatever it was, a year and a half after we started talking about NFTs to launch my first NFT. Why? Because I don’t think you need to rush. I do not think you need to rush, like it is so early. It is still so early.
Kevin Rose: If anything it’s now is the time to dabble and just have the foundational knowledge so that when you’re ready to have an informed decision and push in and do something you aren’t starting from zero. I oftentimes tell people, they’re like, “How do we get started in NFTs?” And I’m like, “Okay, it’s easy, you have to learn how to use MetaMask and you have to learn how to send one ETH to that wallet or $200 worth of ETH to that wallet. You have to learn how to safeguard your secret phrase.” Like there’s some foundational knowledge that’s going to be essential for this world and now’s the time to start. Even if you don’t want to spend anything on NFTs, now’s the time to get that base knowledge down, so when you’re ready, you can pull the trigger.
Tim Ferriss: I was just laughing because I went to this conference recently, I’m thinking about you and just how cutting edge you are with all these things, and so neck deep in everything, and able to look around corners. And I was at this conference because I haven’t been to conferences in forever, with the exception of the Marfa thing, but that wasn’t really a conference, right?
Kevin Rose: No. It was tiny little —
Tim Ferriss: I was just hanging out and having barbecue and just bullshitting and talking about the potential amazing future that we have ahead of us with respect to these technologies.
But I went to like a conference conference and I was kind of going to these sessions and going to these dinners and everybody was asking me, you’ll appreciate this, it’s going to sound weird to a lot of people listening. Everyone had like their new big project, like yeah, my new big project, and so they’d be like, they’d look at my name badge, and they’d be like, “Oh, Tim Ferriss, podcast. Okay. You have podcast. What’s your podcast about?” And I’d be like, “It’s an interview podcast.” And they’d be like looking over my shoulder for like another finance person to talk to. And they’d be like, all right, this guy’s boring.
And then they’d be like, “So what’s your new big project? What’s your gigantic new project you’re focused on?” And the best thing I could come up with, in part because I didn’t really want to talk to these people, but it’s kind of true, I was like, “I’m mostly trying to figure out how to talk to animals right now.” And they were like (laughing) “What? What?”
And then they’d be like, “Oh, that’s fascinating.” And then they’d like walk off with their little hors d’oeuvre —
Kevin Rose: Oh, for sure.
Tim Ferriss: — and glass of champers to find somebody else to like give a TED Talk to.
But yeah. I feel like I’m kind of going the opposite direction. Like I’ve become super fascinated and I have been fascinated by like animal tracking specifically. So leap putting aside like the animal communication piece, that’s a whole separate can of worms, but like tracking, one of the oldest human skills imaginable. It’s also an animal skill, of course. But it’s like, okay, who are the best trackers in the world? Like if you need to trust —
Kevin Rose: Oh, that’s so much fun. What a fun hobby.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. I’ve been reading book after book, after book. And as one would expect, there’s a lot of horse shit and a boatload of charlatans who claim to be like, “Oh, I was trained by, whatever, a such and such scout from such and such tribe.” And you’re like, okay, there’s no way for me to possibly verify that. You know what I mean? It could just be ghost stories this person is telling me.
But there are still folks who are exceptionally good. So that’s something I’m leaning into. So if anybody has any thoughts on that, where you can actually verify these people, know what they do, hit me up on Twitter @tferriss.
Anything else you’d like to mention, Kevin, before we cut out? Because I know we’re coming up on time.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. I guess the only thing is I’m @kevinrose, If you want to follow all my adventures on Twitter, mostly around all things crypto and NFTs. Moonbirds is our new launch. It’s coming out. Most likely you’re just going to have to find it in the secondary market because it’s been insanely oversubscribed, but it should be a really fun utility NFT that you should check out.
Yeah. And always good to see you, brother.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. I’ll be along for the Moonbird ride, so I’m excited about that. I really appreciate that you’re always willing to be like the first monkey shot into space, at least between the two of us, with stuff like this so then I get to front seat [crosstalk 01:18:37]
Kevin Rose: Just watch as my capsule comes back down and what’s going to happen.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. Yeah.
Kevin Rose: Like does it burn up?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. Yeah. That’s awesome. So thank you for that.
Kevin Rose: You’re like, “Cool, you made it in the space. Okay. Let’s see what that capsule does.”
Tim Ferriss: Let’s see how the return goes.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, how the return goes. Exactly.
Tim Ferriss: I’m so excited for you, man. I’ll just say real quickly in passing and I’ve said this to you before, but it’s so fun for me to see like a playing field and a sport and a set of technologies that is so perfectly suited to like all of the circles that overlap to form the Venn diagram that is Kevin Rose.
Like you said, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen you this excited about something. Where this is all you’re doing. Of course you have family and you’re a good dad, good husband. You’re doing all of that. You’re not neglecting everything else. But like you are on fire right now and it’s so fun to watch. It makes me happy to see you so it excited about something.
Kevin Rose: Thank you. I appreciate that. I’m telling you, this is the way it’s always been for me, and I’m sure you can relate, is when you find something that you like really personally love, getting up at six doesn’t matter ’cause it doesn’t feel like you’re working at all.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. Yeah. You have bigger batteries that last longer.
Kevin Rose: Exactly. Yeah.
Tim Ferriss: Good for you, man. Well, it’s good to see you brother and thanks for taking the time to jam.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. Let’s hang in person soon.
Tim Ferriss: Let’s do it.
And folks we’ll have links to various resources and so on in the show notes as usual, tim.blog/podcast. And until next time, thank you for tuning in. Okay. Bye.
Kevin Rose: Take care.
Tim Ferriss: All right, cool.
The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 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.