Everything in 4 hours!

In his bestseller, Timothy Ferriss shares his personal experience to offer, unsurprisingly when you consider the book’s title, a critique of the value of work, when work is equivalent to pain, stress, alienation, etc. In this regard, his vision approximates that of Paul Lafargue (French socialist politician and writer, 1842-1911): progress – technical for Lafargue and technological for Ferriss – is presented positively, because it is used as a tool of liberation: liberation of the workers for Lafargue, personal liberation for Ferriss.

That said, the parallel with Paul Lafargue and his The Right to be Lazy (1880) stops here, as, unlike the son-in-law of Karl Marx, Timothy Ferriss is not an ideologist. He gives no economic or social criticism. For that matter, he offers virtually no criticism at all. Ferriss simply presents his experience and explains how his method, which for him was a guarantee of success, may be extended and adopted – wholly or partly – by others to make life easier while maintaining or even increasing their financial resources.

Key information

  • Reference: Ferriss, T. (2007) The 4-Hour Workweek. Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich. USA: Crown Publishing.
  • First edition: 2007
  • Author: Timothy Ferris (American author, entrepreneur, investor and speaker, born in East Hampton, New York, USA in 1977).
  • Context: New information and communications technology, entrepreneurship, personal development.
  • Keywords:
  • Personal development: a practice that originated in ancient philosophy and humanistic psychology and aims, as its name suggests, for self-fulfilment;
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT): in its most basic definition, this is computer and technical equipment for information and remote communication. By extension, it is not only the use of these technical means, but also their practical developments (including social networking and real-time communication applications);
  • Optimisation: how to get more (money, pleasure, satisfaction, etc.) with less (resources). This is the meaning given by Tim Ferriss to the Pareto Principle, which states that 80% of effects (or satisfaction) comes from 20% of the causes (or resources).
  • Outsourcing: transferring all or part of your work to an external partner. In Tim Ferriss’ case, outsourcing can even be virtual, in that he has no direct contact with his ‘assistants’.


The author