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Inspiring Biography of Tim Urban

Tim Urban is an author, speaker, and a popular blogger.

His blog, ‘Wait But Why,’ receives hundreds of thousands of visitors every month.


Tim Urban was born on 12 November 1982.

He hails from Boston, Massachusetts, United States.

Tim has two sisters namely, Lindsay Urban and Jordan Urban Paul.


In 2000, Tim attended Harvard University to study for an Artium Baccalaureus (AB) in Government.

He graduated in 2004.

Being curious-

Tim has been very curious since a very young age.

At 3, he had a lot of curiosity about dinosaurs and planets, and he didn’t lose this curiosity even after he grew up and this is apparent by his mentions of dinosaurs and planets in his ‘Wait But Why’ blog.

From 5, Tim started analysing the things around him and this quality later greatly helped in the success of his blog.

At 11, he had a deep desire to grow up to create something creative and connect with thousands of people and later, he realised this passion by starting blogs.


Initially, after graduating from Harvard University, Tim along with his childhood friend, Andrew Finn, started a couple of startups.

Andrew has been his friend since five.

In August 2007, Tim founded ‘ArborBridge’ along with Andrew.

ArborBridge is a test prep firm based in Santa Monica, California.

Apart from this, they also had a podcast app.

Underneath the Turban’-

Even though his company was running successfully, Tim yearned to do something creative and share it with thousands of people.

One of his friends, Will, started a blog and as he liked the idea of publishing onto the internet, Tim too wanted to start a blog and share his creativity with the world.

So, in July 2005, he started his blog, ‘Underneath the Turban‘ and started publishing blog posts on it.

During that time, Tim’s priorities were his company and music and not his blog.

Colloquialism & stick figures-

For Tim as his blog wasn’t his first priority, he used to write blog posts in colloquial language.

He used to write blog posts as if he was communicating with his friends over an email.

Even though Tim’s blog posts were fun, over the time, his blog didn’t attract more than a couple of thousand visitors.

Once, while writing a blog post late at night in his company office, he noticed drawing tablets and so, he took one of them and started drawing stick figures for inclusion in his blog post.

His readers liked his drawings and demanded more from him and so, even though the drawings took way longer than writing blog posts, he continued it.

Initially, Tim was just spending five hours working on his blog and later, he decided to commit 60 hours a week to his blog to see where it goes.

Thanks to his interesting blog posts and stick figures, his blog started getting traction.

Initially, Tim used to publish short blog posts but over time, he started publishing longer, in-depth blog posts on his blog.

Wait But Why’-

On 9 September 2013, Tim published a blog post on ‘Underneath the Turban’ that he started his new blog, ‘Wait But Why.’

He started this new blog with Andrew and Andrew oversees the business side of the blog whereas Tim publishes blog posts and does illustrations.

Later, Tim started focusing mainly on ‘Wait But Why’ and Andrew started focusing on ‘ArborBridge.’

Similar to his initial blog, he started publishing in-depth blog posts with colloquial language and stick figures on Wait But Why and thanks to this, his new blog also became very popular.

Tim draws simple, unpolished stick figures for his blog and this gives the impression that the blog is run by an individual rather than a corporation and as people are more likely to connect with an individual than with a corporation, this too is one of the reasons for the success of his blog.

Elon Musk & Tony Hsieh-

Over time, Wait But Why started receiving millions of visitors and also attracted readers like Elon Musk and Tony Hsieh.

As Elon Musk was a fan of his blog, in 2015, he invited Tim to visit SpaceX and Tesla and he spent six months with Elon Musk and wrote The Elon Musk Post Series.

Later, he met Elon to discuss Neuralink and other big things.

Tony Hsieh reached out to Tim after reading his post on artificial intelligence.

His dream is having a conversation with Bill Gates and Sheryl Sandberg.

TED talk & thousands of patrons-

On 6 April 2016, Tim delivered a TED talk titled- ‘Tim Urban: Inside the mind of a master procrastinator;’ this became the most viewed TED talk of 2016.

As of December 2023, this TED talk has 54 million views.

Thanks to his blog, Tim also got speaking opportunities at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stevens Institute of Technology and several organisations like Google, Y Combinator, etc.

Over time, Wait But Why got thousands of patrons who support the blog through Patreon.

As of December 2023, this blog has 2,070 patrons.

Wait But Why also has an online store which sells merchandise and this blog is also available in Mandarin.

Wait But Why YouTube channel & his books-

On 27 September 2013, Tim started his YouTube channel, ‘Wait But Why.’

As of December 2023, the channel has 35.7K subscribers; currently, he is inactive on this channel.

As of December 2023, ‘Wait But Why’ has 409K followers on Facebook page, 810.8K followers on Twitter, and 204K followers on Instagram.

On 23 February 2015, he published ‘Wait But Why Year One‘ book and on 7 June 2022, Tim published ‘The Story Of Us.’

On 21 February 2023, he published ‘What’s Our Problem?’, a self-help book.

Tim hasn’t revealed his net worth.

Currently, he doesn’t have a Wikipedia page.

Personal life-

On 18 October 2020, Tim married Tandice.

They initially met in 2011.

Tandice is a co-founder of The Lanby.

Tim lives in New York, United States.

Some interesting facts about Tim Urban-

  • Tim is good friends with Philipp Dettmer, of Kurzgesagt.
  • His favourite podcast is World War One in Blueprint for Armageddon VI by Dan Carlin.
  • Contrary to the rumours, Tim doesn’t suffer from ADHD.
  • His favourite book is ‘A Little History of the World.’

So, how are you inspired by the success story of Tim Urban?

Share with me in the comment section below.

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Hello folks, I'm Naveen Reddy.
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