I learned the following questions from Tim Ferriss when he was writing the Four Hour Chef.

These questions helped me learn many skills.

I also quickly understood several disciplines because of these questions.

Tim Ferriss Deconstruction Method

  1. Who is good at “skill/field” despite being poorly built (or at a disadvantage)?

Who is good at (skill/field) who shouldn’t be?

  1. Who are the most controversial or unorthodox players? What do you think of them?

  2. Who are the most impressive lesser know teachers that you know of?

  3. What makes you different? Who trained you or influenced you?

5a. Have you trained others to do this?

5b. Have your students replicated the results?

6a. What are the biggest mistakes and myths in “skill/field?:

6b. What are the biggest wastes of time (for first timers)?

  1. What are your favorite instructional books or resources on the subject?

If people had to teach themselves, what would material would you suggest that they use?

  1. If you were to train me for four weeks for a (fill in the blank) competition and had a million dollars on the line.

8a. What would the training look like?

8b.What if I trained for eight weeks?

This is from another set of questions:

  1. What are the biggest mistakes novices make for specific skill?

What are the biggest mis use of time?

  1. Even at pro level what mistakes are most common?

  2. What are the key principles for better and more consistent results for “specific skill?”

What are the variations?

  1. What are the progression of exercises look like?

What are the skills that look extremely difficult that’s actually easy?

What are the skills that look extremely easy that are actually hard?

What are commonalities among the best competitors?

Which of these aren’t being actively taught (i.e., implicit) in most classes?

Which neglected skills (answers to #2) could I get good at abnormally quickly?


  1. What are the top six (skills, movement, steps, tasks) that I should learn first?

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