Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said he secretly lived in Argentina for a month after reading 'The 4-Hour Workweek' by Tim Ferriss

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Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said he secretly lived in Argentina for a month after reading 'The 4-Hour Workweek' by Tim Ferriss
Wales cofounded Wikipedia in 2001. Getty
  • Wikipedia cofounder Jimmy Wales appeared on The Tim Ferriss Show podcast.
  • He was asked for book recommendations, and said that he moved to Argentina after reading Ferriss'.
  • He didn't specify when, but said that no one knew he was there.

Jimmy Wales, cofounder of Wikipedia, revealed he secretly moved to Argentina for a month after reading Tim Ferriss's book "The 4-Hour Workweek."

Wales, a futures and options trader before founding Wikipedia in 2001, appeared on August episode of The Tim Ferriss Show podcast and was asked which books he gifts or recommends to people more than others.

Wales didn't include Ferriss' book, but did say "The 4-Hour Workweek" had "a huge impact" on him and encouraged him to take a step back. He ended up moving to Buenos Aires, Argentina's capital for a short period.

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"You've got this whole rat race thing going on, you're following all the normal things, and you just step back and go 'Hey, is there a radical, different way of looking at this?'" Wales said of his decision.

"The 4-Hour Workweek" is based on Ferriss' own experiences and offers tips and tricks on how people can manage their time and cut down on their workload without significantly losing income. Ferriss is famed for his productivity and life hacks, and interviews business people and celebrities on their productivity habits and careers.

Wales said he used a Vonage phone whose number was registered to New York, fooling callers and coworkers.

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"So I got into my apartment in Buenos Aires and nobody knew I was there," he said. "They all thought I was in New York because I was working remote anyway."

Wales added he ran into difficulties when organizing travel from from Buenos Aires to speeches he was giving in Korea and Milan. "It's like, you've got to fly around the world twice to get to that place," he said.

Wales didn't say when this took place. He has given several speeches in Korea over the years, including in 2008, 2012, 2015, and 2018.

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The two books Wales did include on his most-recommended shortlist were, he said, "quite simple'' and "quite common."

The first is "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," a runthrough of traits that define successful people, authored by the late management professor Steven Covey, and a favorite among management gurus and business leaders since it was first published in 1989. The habits include "starting with the end in mind", "being proactive" and "thinking win-win."

Wales said that he hasn't applied all of Covey's principles, but found the book helpful as a person who is prone to following whatever interests him at a given moment. "It's like, okay pull myself together, and here's a system for getting things done," he said.

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Wales second recommendation was "Your Money or Your Life" by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez.

"It basically sets forth the argument that you don't need as much money as you think to live," he said. "A lot of how we live, which is very expensive, collapses into things that we would rather not be trapped into like commuting, or having to wear certain clothes."

He also said that he had also tried and failed to apply the method outlined in "Getting Things Done" by the consultant David Allen.

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It involves organizing tasks based on their likelihood of completion and how relevant they are. Wales said that although he found it interesting, he couldn't buy into the concept.

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