AUSTIN, Texas — Face it: if you’re at the uber-hip, uber-geeky network-fest that is South by Southwest, which kicks off this weekend in Austin, there’s probably going to be a little bit of booze involved somewhere down the line.
Tim Ferriss, Silicon Valley guru and bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Chef, wants to help attendees minimize damage, reduce hangovers and increase their capacity to go to more sessions the next day.
His suggestions? Avocados, vinegar, burned toast (with the burned bits scraped into yogurt if you’re trying to avoid carbs), lots of water, and only drink expensive tequila with club soda and lime. Burned toast creates activated carbon, which enables your body to soak up more booze, according to Ferriss.
“I don’t want to stop you from getting drunk or dragged out of a club,” he said at a talk entitled “How to Rock SXSW in 4 Hours.” “This is about minimizing the damage.”
Ferriss, a serial entrepreneur, got his start as a well-known author via the connections he made at SXSW in 2007, the same year Twitter hit it big at the show. He still counts the friendships he made at that event as his strongest.
Ferriss’ three big rules for the event: Don’t dismiss people; don’t be a dick; don’t rush.
“Behave like everyone has the potential to get you a cover story at the New York Times,” he said. Some of his biggest breaks came from chitchatting with random people who turned out to be related to big-time bloggers and influencers, he added.
On the boozing front, Ferriss used research from The 4-Hour Body to inform his suggestions. In particular, he wants to ensure that attendees have as much of the hormone vasopressin — which is suppressed by drinking and dehydration — as possible.
“If you’ve ever time-travelled on alcohol, you’ve had a lack of vasopressin,” he said. “It’s the reason you piss like a racehorse, too.”
So how can you fix it? “Have a bunch of guac before you go out” because avocados have more vasopressin-boosting potassium than bananas, Ferriss explained. He also advises meditating for 20 minutes every morning.
Surprisingly, Ferriss sees himself as an introvert who needs to take long breaks from other people, and minimize his networking time.
“if you do SXSW properly once, you never have to network ever again,” he said. “Just make one meaningful connection with one person, and your job is done.”
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.