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Personal Growth

Silicon Valley’s Self-Help Mentor

An entertaining read about self-help author Timothy Ferriss, who urges the would-be New Rich to check e-mail no more than twice a day and set automated "unavailable" responses.

What’s the Latest Development?


Self-help author Timothy Ferriss had an epiphany in 2004. Working 12-hour days, 7-days-a-week, he realized he’d prefer to spend his time learning the tango in Buenos Aires. He found that, by automating his business life as much as possible, he was able to pull it off. Ferriss advises the would-be New Rich to check e-mail no more than twice a day and set automated responses advising correspondents of their unavailability.

What’s the Big Idea?

Ferriss professes to be untroubled that his own freedom to live “outside of the inbox” is bought by transferring drudgery to the inboxes of less fortunate individuals in the developing world. “There are people I have outsourced to in India who now outsource portions of their work to the Philippines.” One of his favorite new startups is a company which outsources internet-based work such as transcription to refugee camps and other impoverished communities.


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