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Tim Urban

Writer/Illustrator of Wait But Why

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 Tim Urban Biography

Tim Urban is the writer of the blog Wait But Why, where he creates illustrated long-form articles for a loyal fan base that includes Tesla CEO Elon Musk and TED curator Chris Anderson. Driven by an infectious curiosity and armed with hundreds of hours of research, Tim brings otherwise dense subjects to life with an entertaining blend of intellect, humor and his signature stick figure drawings. His unique approach to storytelling earned him a spot on the main stage at TED2016, where he spoke about the realities of procrastination. Anders Janmyr, head of Sweden’s Øredev conference, called Tim’s recent talk on artificial intelligence “the best keynote in years.” Tim’s speaking audiences include Facebook, the U.S. Navy, MIT, Harvard and conferences around the world. His posts have been republished by Quartz, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, TIME, Business Insider and Gizmodo, and there have been feature articles about Wait But Why’s success in Fast Company, Singularity U and Vox.

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Videos
Books
Wait But Why Year One: We finally figured out how to put a blog onto an e-reader

Wait But Why Year One: We finally figured out how to put a blog onto an e-reader

Speaking Topics
  • The Secrets Behind Communicating Complex Concepts in a Way That Delights

    The most common praise Tim Urban receives for his writing is about his ability to synthesize complex concepts and present them in a clear, digestible, entertaining and highly memorable way. He has broken down in-depth topics like the situation in Iraq, climate change, the car industry, the space industry, the timeline of history, human evolution and a number of the psychological battles going on in the heads of all humans. Urban has managed to write long, 10,000+ word articles that millions of people read until the end and share enthusiastically, leading Fast Company to write, “Wait But Why is disproving the notion that thoughtful, long-form content and virality are mutually exclusive.” In a talk often given to companies, marketers and writers, Urban discusses how he chooses topics. He describes how he thinks through, researches, brainstorms, outlines and ultimately communicates his ideas so effectively.

  • Where Are All the Aliens? The Mind-Blowing Truth of the Fermi Paradox

    In 1958, physicist Enrico Fermi looked up at the night sky and famously asked, “Where is everybody?” The sheer numbers of sun-like stars and Earth-like planets in our galaxy suggests that we should have seen plenty of evidence of the existence of extraterrestrial life—and yet, we haven’t seen any…ever. This is called the Fermi Paradox, and Tim Urban’s 2014 article on the topic has been shared over 300,000 times on Facebook and has been posted over 40 times on Reddit. Urban’s talk on the Fermi Paradox walks through the 13 most likely possibilities for why we see no aliens and leaves the audience in a full existential headspin.

  • Cooks and Chefs: What It Means to Be a True Original

    One day in early 2015, Elon Musk called Tim Urban on the phone. He told Urban he liked his blog Wait But Why, and asked Urban if he’d consider doing some writing about the industries he’s involved in with his companies Tesla and SpaceX. Urban accepted the offer and went on to write four epic blog posts that Vox’s David Roberts called “the meatiest, most fascinating, most satisfying posts I’ve read in ages.” While the first three posts dug into the full story with Musk and his companies, in the final post, Urban brought together six months of thinking, writing and talking to Musk and his staff that got to the core of the question, “Why is Elon Musk able to be so successful?” Urban believes it’s not Musk’s intelligence or wealth or drive that separates him so far from the crowd, but rather the way he thinks. Urban compares Musk’s way of thinking to other world-changers like Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, Henry Ford and John Lennon in a post that explores the simple truth about what it means to be an original. Urban’s talk on the subject galvanizes audiences by leaving them with the belief that it’s fully in their power to be more original—simply by absorbing the epiphany that the world they live in was built by people no smarter than they are.

  • Why Procrastinators Procrastinate: The Never-Ending Battle in Our Heads

    In college, Tim Urban’s procrastination problem got so bad that he found himself writing the first word of his 90-page senior thesis only 72 hours before it was due. After spending years trying to understand how his own mind worked, he finally put his thoughts down on paper, creating three cartoon stick drawings—the Rational Decision-Maker, the Instant Gratification Monkey and the Panic Monster—to represent the major “players” in his head that battled over the steering wheel. The reaction to this post wildly exceeded Urban’s expectations. Urban has received over 10,000 emails about his procrastination post, each lamenting their unique struggle with the problem, and most saying some version of “How do you know what’s going on in my head?” Urban has since dug even deeper into the issue, writing two follow-up articles, and procrastination has now become one of his most popular speaking topics. A hilarious talk that consistently delights and inspires the audience, Urban was asked to perform the talk at TED2016 in Vancouver.

  • The AI Revolution and the Road to Superintelligence

    When Tim Urban began digging into research on artificial intelligence, he could not believe what he was reading. It hit him pretty quickly that what’s happening in the world of AI is not just an important topic, but by far THE most important topic for our future. In what Vox called his “epic series on artificial intelligence,” Urban took readers on a deep exploration of what AI is, how it works and why it might dramatically change our lives. The article was widely shared, even catching the eye of Elon Musk, who shared the article twice on Twitter, commenting “Excellent and funny intro article about Artificial Superintelligence! Highly recommend reading.” Urban has since turned his exploration of AI into a gripping talk—one that the head of Sweden’s Øredev conference tweeted was “the best keynote in years.” After watching the talk at Social Media Week in New York, conference founder Toby Daniels wrote that Urban “was brilliant, inspiring and terrifying at the same time, and left most of us speechless, breathless and in a mixed emotional state of wonder and awe at what the future holds.”

FAQs
  • HOW TO BOOK Tim Urban?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Tim Urban for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Tim Urban, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Tim Urban or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BOOK Tim Urban?

    Booking fees for Tim Urban, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Tim Urban, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • WHO IS THE AGENT FOR Tim Urban?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Tim Urban for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Tim Urban for your next private or corporate function.
  • WHAT IS A FULL-SERVICE TALENT BOOKING AGENCY?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Tim Urban or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Tim Urban or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.
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This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

Tim Urban

Writer/Illustrator of Wait But Why

Travels From:
New York, NY, USA
Speaking Fee:

Tim Urban Biography

Tim Urban is the writer of the blog Wait But Why, where he creates illustrated long-form articles for a loyal fan base that includes Tesla CEO Elon Musk and TED curator Chris Anderson. Driven by an infectious curiosity and armed with hundreds of hours of research, Tim brings otherwise dense subjects to life with an entertaining blend of intellect, humor and his signature stick figure drawings. His unique approach to storytelling earned him a spot on the main stage at TED2016, where he spoke about the realities of procrastination. Anders Janmyr, head of Sweden’s Øredev conference, called Tim’s recent talk on artificial intelligence “the best keynote in years.” Tim’s speaking audiences include Facebook, the U.S. Navy, MIT, Harvard and conferences around the world. His posts have been republished by Quartz, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, TIME, Business Insider and Gizmodo, and there have been feature articles about Wait But Why’s success in Fast Company, Singularity U and Vox.

Tim Urban Videos

  • Tim Urban of Wait But Why - YouTube
    Jan 3, 2018 ... Tim Urban - https://twitter.com/waitbutwhy - cofounded the blog Wait But Why - https://waitbutwhy.com/ - with Andrew Finn ...
  • The Road to Superintelligence - Tim Urban - YouTube
    May 19, 2017 ... From the most-watched TED talk of 2016 and the only TED main stage talk to reach 10 million in its first year after going online to...
  • Tim Urban: "Wait but Why? The Road to Superintelligence" | Talks at ...
    Aug 22, 2016 ... Tim Urban has become one of the Internet's most popular writers. With wry stick- figure illustrations and occasionally epic prose on...

Tim Urban Books

Speaker Lists Featuring Tim Urban

Tim Urban Speaking Topics

  • The Secrets Behind Communicating Complex Concepts in a Way That Delights

    The most common praise Tim Urban receives for his writing is about his ability to synthesize complex concepts and present them in a clear, digestible, entertaining and highly memorable way. He has broken down in-depth topics like the situation in Iraq, climate change, the car industry, the space industry, the timeline of history, human evolution and a number of the psychological battles going on in the heads of all humans. Urban has managed to write long, 10,000+ word articles that millions of people read until the end and share enthusiastically, leading Fast Company to write, “Wait But Why is disproving the notion that thoughtful, long-form content and virality are mutually exclusive.” In a talk often given to companies, marketers and writers, Urban discusses how he chooses topics. He describes how he thinks through, researches, brainstorms, outlines and ultimately communicates his ideas so effectively.

  • Where Are All the Aliens? The Mind-Blowing Truth of the Fermi Paradox

    In 1958, physicist Enrico Fermi looked up at the night sky and famously asked, “Where is everybody?” The sheer numbers of sun-like stars and Earth-like planets in our galaxy suggests that we should have seen plenty of evidence of the existence of extraterrestrial life—and yet, we haven’t seen any…ever. This is called the Fermi Paradox, and Tim Urban’s 2014 article on the topic has been shared over 300,000 times on Facebook and has been posted over 40 times on Reddit. Urban’s talk on the Fermi Paradox walks through the 13 most likely possibilities for why we see no aliens and leaves the audience in a full existential headspin.

  • Cooks and Chefs: What It Means to Be a True Original

    One day in early 2015, Elon Musk called Tim Urban on the phone. He told Urban he liked his blog Wait But Why, and asked Urban if he’d consider doing some writing about the industries he’s involved in with his companies Tesla and SpaceX. Urban accepted the offer and went on to write four epic blog posts that Vox’s David Roberts called “the meatiest, most fascinating, most satisfying posts I’ve read in ages.” While the first three posts dug into the full story with Musk and his companies, in the final post, Urban brought together six months of thinking, writing and talking to Musk and his staff that got to the core of the question, “Why is Elon Musk able to be so successful?” Urban believes it’s not Musk’s intelligence or wealth or drive that separates him so far from the crowd, but rather the way he thinks. Urban compares Musk’s way of thinking to other world-changers like Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, Henry Ford and John Lennon in a post that explores the simple truth about what it means to be an original. Urban’s talk on the subject galvanizes audiences by leaving them with the belief that it’s fully in their power to be more original—simply by absorbing the epiphany that the world they live in was built by people no smarter than they are.

  • Why Procrastinators Procrastinate: The Never-Ending Battle in Our Heads

    In college, Tim Urban’s procrastination problem got so bad that he found himself writing the first word of his 90-page senior thesis only 72 hours before it was due. After spending years trying to understand how his own mind worked, he finally put his thoughts down on paper, creating three cartoon stick drawings—the Rational Decision-Maker, the Instant Gratification Monkey and the Panic Monster—to represent the major “players” in his head that battled over the steering wheel. The reaction to this post wildly exceeded Urban’s expectations. Urban has received over 10,000 emails about his procrastination post, each lamenting their unique struggle with the problem, and most saying some version of “How do you know what’s going on in my head?” Urban has since dug even deeper into the issue, writing two follow-up articles, and procrastination has now become one of his most popular speaking topics. A hilarious talk that consistently delights and inspires the audience, Urban was asked to perform the talk at TED2016 in Vancouver.

  • The AI Revolution and the Road to Superintelligence

    When Tim Urban began digging into research on artificial intelligence, he could not believe what he was reading. It hit him pretty quickly that what’s happening in the world of AI is not just an important topic, but by far THE most important topic for our future. In what Vox called his “epic series on artificial intelligence,” Urban took readers on a deep exploration of what AI is, how it works and why it might dramatically change our lives. The article was widely shared, even catching the eye of Elon Musk, who shared the article twice on Twitter, commenting “Excellent and funny intro article about Artificial Superintelligence! Highly recommend reading.” Urban has since turned his exploration of AI into a gripping talk—one that the head of Sweden’s Øredev conference tweeted was “the best keynote in years.” After watching the talk at Social Media Week in New York, conference founder Toby Daniels wrote that Urban “was brilliant, inspiring and terrifying at the same time, and left most of us speechless, breathless and in a mixed emotional state of wonder and awe at what the future holds.”

FAQs on booking Tim Urban

  • How to book Tim Urban?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Tim Urban for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Tim Urban, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Tim Urban or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • How much does it cost to book Tim Urban?

    Booking fees for Tim Urban, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Tim Urban, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • Who is the agent for Tim Urban?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Tim Urban for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Tim Urban for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service talent booking agency?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Tim Urban or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Tim Urban or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

Tim Urban is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Tim Urban for your event is $30,000 - $50,000. Tim Urban generally travels from New York, NY, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are James Veitch, Jennifer Kahn, Amanda Bennett, Steven Fischer and Eduardo Briceño. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Tim Urban for an upcoming event.

Tim Urban Speaker Videos

  • Tim Urban of Wait But Why - YouTube
    Jan 3, 2018 ... Tim Urban - https://twitter.com/waitbutwhy - cofounded the blog Wait But Why - https://waitbutwhy.com/ - with Andrew Finn ...
    The Road to Superintelligence - Tim Urban - YouTube
    May 19, 2017 ... From the most-watched TED talk of 2016 and the only TED main stage talk to reach 10 million in its first year after going online to HubSpot's ...
  • Tim Urban: "Wait but Why? The Road to Superintelligence" | Talks at ...
    Aug 22, 2016 ... Tim Urban has become one of the Internet's most popular writers. With wry stick- figure illustrations and occasionally epic prose on everything ...
    Campfire Chat with Tim Urban - YouTube

Tim Urban Speaking Topics

  • The Secrets Behind Communicating Complex Concepts in a Way That Delights

    The most common praise Tim Urban receives for his writing is about his ability to synthesize complex concepts and present them in a clear, digestible, entertaining and highly memorable way. He has broken down in-depth topics like the situation in Iraq, climate change, the car industry, the space industry, the timeline of history, human evolution and a number of the psychological battles going on in the heads of all humans. Urban has managed to write long, 10,000+ word articles that millions of people read until the end and share enthusiastically, leading Fast Company to write, “Wait But Why is disproving the notion that thoughtful, long-form content and virality are mutually exclusive.” In a talk often given to companies, marketers and writers, Urban discusses how he chooses topics. He describes how he thinks through, researches, brainstorms, outlines and ultimately communicates his ideas so effectively.

  • Where Are All the Aliens? The Mind-Blowing Truth of the Fermi Paradox

    In 1958, physicist Enrico Fermi looked up at the night sky and famously asked, “Where is everybody?” The sheer numbers of sun-like stars and Earth-like planets in our galaxy suggests that we should have seen plenty of evidence of the existence of extraterrestrial life—and yet, we haven’t seen any…ever. This is called the Fermi Paradox, and Tim Urban’s 2014 article on the topic has been shared over 300,000 times on Facebook and has been posted over 40 times on Reddit. Urban’s talk on the Fermi Paradox walks through the 13 most likely possibilities for why we see no aliens and leaves the audience in a full existential headspin.

  • Cooks and Chefs: What It Means to Be a True Original

    One day in early 2015, Elon Musk called Tim Urban on the phone. He told Urban he liked his blog Wait But Why, and asked Urban if he’d consider doing some writing about the industries he’s involved in with his companies Tesla and SpaceX. Urban accepted the offer and went on to write four epic blog posts that Vox’s David Roberts called “the meatiest, most fascinating, most satisfying posts I’ve read in ages.” While the first three posts dug into the full story with Musk and his companies, in the final post, Urban brought together six months of thinking, writing and talking to Musk and his staff that got to the core of the question, “Why is Elon Musk able to be so successful?” Urban believes it’s not Musk’s intelligence or wealth or drive that separates him so far from the crowd, but rather the way he thinks. Urban compares Musk’s way of thinking to other world-changers like Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, Henry Ford and John Lennon in a post that explores the simple truth about what it means to be an original. Urban’s talk on the subject galvanizes audiences by leaving them with the belief that it’s fully in their power to be more original—simply by absorbing the epiphany that the world they live in was built by people no smarter than they are.

  • Why Procrastinators Procrastinate: The Never-Ending Battle in Our Heads

    In college, Tim Urban’s procrastination problem got so bad that he found himself writing the first word of his 90-page senior thesis only 72 hours before it was due. After spending years trying to understand how his own mind worked, he finally put his thoughts down on paper, creating three cartoon stick drawings—the Rational Decision-Maker, the Instant Gratification Monkey and the Panic Monster—to represent the major “players” in his head that battled over the steering wheel. The reaction to this post wildly exceeded Urban’s expectations. Urban has received over 10,000 emails about his procrastination post, each lamenting their unique struggle with the problem, and most saying some version of “How do you know what’s going on in my head?” Urban has since dug even deeper into the issue, writing two follow-up articles, and procrastination has now become one of his most popular speaking topics. A hilarious talk that consistently delights and inspires the audience, Urban was asked to perform the talk at TED2016 in Vancouver.

  • The AI Revolution and the Road to Superintelligence

    When Tim Urban began digging into research on artificial intelligence, he could not believe what he was reading. It hit him pretty quickly that what’s happening in the world of AI is not just an important topic, but by far THE most important topic for our future. In what Vox called his “epic series on artificial intelligence,” Urban took readers on a deep exploration of what AI is, how it works and why it might dramatically change our lives. The article was widely shared, even catching the eye of Elon Musk, who shared the article twice on Twitter, commenting “Excellent and funny intro article about Artificial Superintelligence! Highly recommend reading.” Urban has since turned his exploration of AI into a gripping talk—one that the head of Sweden’s Øredev conference tweeted was “the best keynote in years.” After watching the talk at Social Media Week in New York, conference founder Toby Daniels wrote that Urban “was brilliant, inspiring and terrifying at the same time, and left most of us speechless, breathless and in a mixed emotional state of wonder and awe at what the future holds.”

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Speakers Similar to Tim Urban

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

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