Book Review | Tribe of Mentors

Total Read Time: 4 Minutes

Tim Ferriss’ Tribe of Mentors

Tim Ferriss’ previous work, Tools of Titans was one of my favorite books of 2016. Before picking up the book, I never listened to Tim’s podcast. I was pleasantly surprised by what I found! Tribe of Mentors had a similar format and similar feel. However, the content wasn’t derived from his podcast, and many of the ‘mentors’ had never been on his show.


Each chapter in Tribe of Mentors is a self-contained unit. In each, a single mentor answers a list of Tim’s questions, which he outlines before getting started. Woven throughout are pages filled with quotes Tim Ferriss is pondering during a certain week of the year. What I really liked about this format was each chapter was between one and five pages, with few exceptions. This let me bite off a little and then chew while going about my day.

Both Tools of Titans and Tribe of Mentors are over 500 pages. The formatting does helps make the book seem to go faster, while allowing ample time for digestion. If you aren’t jiving with one of the mentors, just wait a couple of pages. If you read Tools of Titans and liked Tim’s banter between sections, you won’t find much of that in Tribe of Mentors. Another thing that’s missing is a complete list of the books the mentors suggested. My copy of Tools of Titans is highlighted as I make my way through the list. It’s actually very satisfying.

The Threads

The book lacks of a thread which strings the Q&A portions together, but I did gain insight from many of the mentors. In a book like this, if 5-10% of what I read is Earth-shattering, the book was worth every penny. If 25% is a pretty good read and interesting, I’m in. Tribe of Mentors succeeds here. Not every person was great for me, but I can see how each would be special to someone. Terry Crews was a real standout for me, along with Jocko Willink and Yuval Noah Harari.

I do wish, however, that Tim Ferriss would get away from these sort of omnibus tomes and create something original from within himself. Between Tools of Titans and Tribe of Mentors, I think I have enough to chew on so a third book might be unwarranted.

Tribe of Mentors vs. Tools of Titans

If you’re trying to choose between Tools of Titans and Tribe of Mentors, go with Tools of Titans. It has a great index, reading list, and tv/movie watch list that collates data from all of the interviews. Additionally, it has better, higher quality additions from the ‘Titans.’ If you’ve already read Tools of Titans, Tribe of Mentors is a nice companion piece, but doesn’t stand as well on its own.

Complete List of Mentors

Adam Fisher
Adam Robinson
Aisha Tyler
Amelia Boone
Andrew Ross Sorkin
Aniela Gregorek
Ann Miura-Ko
Anna Holmes
Annie Duke
Anníe Mist Þórisdóttir
Arianna Huffington
Ashton Kutcher
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Bear Grylls
Ben Silbermann
Ben Stiller
Bozoma Saint John
Bram Cohen
Brandon Stanton
Brené Brown
Brian Koppelman
Caroline Paul
Chris Anderson
Craig Newmark
Dan Gable
Daniel Ek
Daniel Negreanu
Dara Torres
Darren Aronofsky
David Lynch
Debbie Millman
Dita Von Teese
Drew Houston
Dustin Moskovitz
Ed Coan
Eric Ripert
Esther Dyson
Esther Perel
Evan Williams
Fedor Holz
Franklin Leonard
Gabor Maté
Gary Vaynerchuk
Graham Duncan
Greg Norman
Gretchen Rubin
Jacqueline Novogratz
Janna Levin
Jason Fried
Jérôme Jarre
Jerzy Gregorek
Jesse Williams
Jim Loehr
Jimmy Fallon
Jocko Willink
Joel McHale
John Arnold
Jon Call
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Josh Waitzkin
Julia Galef
Katrín Tanja Davíðsdóttir
Kelly Slater
Kevin Kelly
Kristen Ulmer
Kyle Maynard
Larry King
Laura R. Walker
Leo Babauta
Lewis Cantley
Linda Rottenberg
Liv Boeree
Marc Benioff
Maria Sharapova
Marie Forleo
Mark Bell
Mathew Fraser
Matt Ridley
Maurice Ashley
Max Levchin
Michael Gervais
Mike D
Mike Maples Jr.
Mr. Money Mustache
Muna AbuSulayman
Muneeb Ali
Naval Ravikant
Neil Gaiman
Neil Strauss
Nick Szabo
Patton Oswalt
Peter Attia
Peter Guber
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
Ray Dalio
Richa Chadha
Rick Rubin
Robert Rodriguez
Ryan Shea
Sam Harris
Samin Nosrat
Sarah Elizabeth Lewis
Scott Belsky
Sharon Salzberg
Soman Chainani
Stephanie McMahon
Steve Aoki
Steve Case
Steve Jurvetson
Steven Pinker
Steven Pressfield
Stewart Brand
Strauss Zelnick
Susan Cain
Temple Grandin
Terry Crews
Terry Laughlin
Tim McGraw
Tim O’Reilly
Tim Urban
Tom Peters
Tommy Vietor
Tony Hawk
Turia Pitt
Veronica Belmont
Vitalik Buterin
Vlad Zamfir
Whitney Cummings
Yuval Noah Harari
Zooko Wilcox

Easter Eggs

Something that wasn’t talked about during the press for Tribe of Mentors was the rejection (“I’m too busy”) letters Tim Ferriss received. He added their letters as good examples of how to say ‘no.’ These sections are at least as useful as the rest of the material in the book. A lot of people have trouble saying no. I know I can be one of them as well. These templates are great resources I’ll look to in the future.

The following people are featured for saying no well:

Danny Meyer (Restaurateur)

Neal Stephenson (Science Fiction/Cyberpunk Author of Snow Crash and other works)

Wendy MacNaughton (Artist)


Tribe of Mentors has a lot of offer, and at 589 pages and over 100 mentors, it’s thorough. I have a feeling it is worth a second read, which I will test out in the next year or two. I can see that I could connect with distinct mentors at distinct points in my life to come. Tim Ferriss has written a book that’s worth keeping on a shelf just for that purpose. Whether looking for business or cooking advice, there’s something for everyone. It is a great addition to 2018’s Book Club is January’s Book of the Month!

If you would like to read 52+ books per year like me, here’s a guide to help you complete your goal.

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