The following is a conversation with Mr. Beast,
the mastermind behind some of the most epic
and popular videos ever made.
And now, a quick few second mention of each sponsor.
Check them out in the description.
It’s the best way to support this podcast.
We got House of Macadamias for a satiating
and delicious snack,
8sleep for, you guessed it, naps,
and BetterHelp for mental health.
Choose wisely, my friends.
Snacks, naps, or mental health.
And now onto the full ad reads.
As always, no ads in the middle.
I try to make this interesting, but if you skip them,
please still check out our sponsors.
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Maybe you will too.
This show is brought to you by House of Macadamias.
It seems like it was just yesterday
that they became a sponsor,
and I became aware of their existence
because before they became a sponsor,
they sent a giant box of delicious snacks.
And it seems just like it was yesterday
that I ate all of those snacks over a period of a few days
and was a happier man for it.
This month, I’m much stricter on my diet
and trying to be much more responsible
with my consumption of snacks.
I think moderation is key for that.
But in general, I think, first of all,
macadamia, to me, I think,
is one of the more delicious nuts,
but it is definitely the healthiest
or at least one of the most healthy.
I think it’s pretty much the healthy.
I remember when I first started keto,
many, many years ago, I did a bunch of research
on which nuts I can and can’t have,
I guess, if I wanna be ultra low carb.
And everybody recommended macadamias
as the one that has all these nutrients
and all that kind of stuff.
I’m sure there’s a lot of science.
You can look it up.
I think there’s omega-7s or whatever,
those different kinds of fats.
It doesn’t matter.
The points are delicious.
And the raw ingredient of the macadamia nut
that House of Macadamias provides is just delicious.
And of course, they do all kinds of snacks around that.
And my task, whenever I do an ad read
or talk to anybody, like my neighbors or friends,
about House of Macadamias is not to do any sexual innuendo.
That’s job number one.
My brain is that of a silly person.
At heart, I’m still a child
and I will forever remain a child.
Like that Tom Waits song, I Don’t Wanna Grow Up.
Maybe that’s not even the name of the song or the lyrics,
but I’m just gonna go with it.
And this is a good chance to mention
that Tom Waits is somebody that I’ve dreamed of talking to
on this podcast for a long time.
He’s a very difficult interview to get.
He’s dropped a few crumbs to me of hope.
You know, saying like, yes, maybe one day.
So I hold on to that hope.
Like a hold on to the delicious House of Macadamia nuts
with childlike joy in my eyes.
Go to houseofmacadamias.com slash Lex
to get 20% off your first order.
This episode is also brought to you by Eight Sleep
and its new pod three mattress.
There’s been a few days over the past,
let’s say three weeks where I’ve been extremely stressed
because of several things going on in my life.
You know how life is, it’s an up and down process.
Both the ups and downs contribute
to the beauty of the whole experience.
Anyway, when things were kind of difficult,
I sought escape in friends, in books,
in moments of simple joy, in moments of peace.
And I think the best escape is a good nap.
A full night’s sleep, of course, but also a good nap.
It’s kind of magical how much your mind
can just become completely refreshed.
The beauty of the world can be richly rediscovered
through the process of a nap.
It’s incredible, just 20, 30 minutes, it’s kind of amazing.
At least my brain is like that.
So sometimes when I’m feeling crappy,
I’ll just give it a nap.
I’ll give it a good night’s sleep
and see how I feel again in the morning.
And almost always, if not right away,
just maybe a couple of times, I’ll feel better.
Anyway, that’s why you wanna really make sure
that the surface, the mattress, all kinds of technology
that you surround yourself with in terms of sleep,
you use the best stuff.
And that’s why I look forward to sleeping
on that cool surface that an Asleep cover provides.
It’s just incredible.
I look forward to naps and sleeps
just because of that Asleep cover.
Check it out and get special savings
when you go to asleep.com slash Lex.
This episode is also brought to you by BetterHelp,
spelled H-E-L-P, help.
Speaking of the ups and downs of life,
I think it’s interesting,
you know, the kind of rollercoaster your mind can go on.
At least my mind can go on.
One moment I feel blissful and happy
and everything is beautiful.
And one moment I feel cranky and just a little bit down.
And one of the things I’ve learned
is to just kind of allow the passage of time
to cure all things.
But I think that’s not necessarily the full picture
because you should probably treat your mental health
very seriously and talk through it with a therapist.
You know, there’s some deep ocean of feeling there
that may lay unexplored.
And it’s, I think, beneficial to explore it
with a good therapist.
I think one of the most accessible, easiest ways
to get access to a good therapist,
a licensed professional therapist, is BetterHelp.
That’s why I’m a big supporter of what they do.
I mean, that’s really the first barrier
is make it super easy.
And of course, make it affordable.
And that’s what BetterHelp does.
Check them out at betterhelp.com slash Lex
and save on your first month.
This is the Lex Friedman Podcast.
To support it, please check out our sponsors
in the description.
And now, dear friends, here’s Mr. Beast.
I’m here with Mr. Beast, the brilliant mastermind
behind some of the most popular videos ever created.
Do you think you’ll ever make a video
that gets one billion views?
I think maybe one of the videos we’ve already made
might get a billion views.
Probably like the squid game video with Enough Time.
I mean, it’s only a year old
and it’s already on 300 million.
Or some of the newer ones we’ve done
have gotten like 100 million views in a month.
So those four are projected over 10 years
because YouTube’s not going anywhere.
Probably one of those.
So over time, they don’t necessarily plateau.
What’s interesting, we’re literally jumping right in.
I love it, it’s good.
So I’m a firm believer that it’s much easier
to hypothetically get 10 million views on one video
than 100,000 on 100.
And part of why it’s much easier, in my opinion,
is if you make a really good video,
it’s just so evergreen and it never dies.
Because YouTube, when you open up YouTube
and look at the videos,
they’re just serving you whatever
they think you’ll like the best.
And so if you just make a great video,
and it’s constantly just above every other video,
even two years down the road,
then they’ll just keep serving it and never stop.
Which is why it’s much easier to make one great video
than a bunch of mediocre ones.
What about one billion subscribers?
You’ve passed PewDiePie as the most subscribed
to YouTube channel.
When do you think you get a billion?
Let me do some math real quick.
So around 120, do you think about this?
No, I don’t, honestly.
Because one thing you’ll find
if you want to gain subscribers,
if you want to get views, if you want to make money,
almost any metric in this video creation space,
if you want something, it all comes back to,
okay, well then just make great videos.
So instead of focusing on all these
arbitrary vanity metrics,
I just kind of focus on the one thing
that gets me all that, which is make good videos.
And I do think we will one day hit a billion subscribers.
I don’t have a plan on going anywhere.
Even though we’re only on 120 million right now
on the main channel,
I think we’re doing around 10 million a month now,
and YouTube just, yeah, I just don’t see it going anywhere.
And I don’t see any reason
why I’d ever get burnt out or quit.
So I think with enough time, yes.
I wanted to ask you those family-friendly questions
before I go to the dark questions.
So now, what is it?
We have dark questions, but if you wanted to hook them,
you would start off with the dark question.
That’s how you get them.
Okay, well, let me ask you about a Twitter poll you posted,
a $10,000 death poll.
You tweeted, if someone offered you $10,000,
but if you take it, a random person on Earth dies,
would you take the $10,000?
And 45% of people said yes.
That’s, at least at the time I checked,
850,000 people committing murder
for just $8.5 billion in total.
So what do you learn about human nature from that?
That’s a good question.
Honestly, it was late at night when I threw that up too.
I was just like, huh, this will be a funny thing.
I assumed it’d be 90% no and 10% yes,
but there are a lot of serious people.
For you guys listening, I just did this random Twitter poll
where I was like, would you take 10 grand
if it meant someone random in the world died?
And a lot of the replies on the tweet were like,
hell yeah, why not?
And I was just not expecting that.
And so I don’t really know.
I feel like your take would be better than mine.
Was it disturbing to you, surprising to you?
A little bit, yeah.
But obviously a lot of people were trolling,
but when you read through those replies,
I do think like 10% of them were dead serious.
Well, I think sometimes the trolling and the lulls
reveal a thing we’re too embarrassed to admit
about the darker aspects of our nature.
So I don’t know if you listen to Dan Carlin’s
Hardcore History podcast, he has a episode
on painful attainment, which he describes
throughout history how humans have been really attracted
to watching the suffering of others.
So public executions, all that kind of stuff.
And he believes that’s in all of us,
that for example, if something like a YouTube
or a different platform streamed a public execution
or streamed the torture of another human being,
a lot of people would say that’s deeply unethical,
but they would still tune in and watch.
And that we’re attracted to that drama,
and especially the most extreme versions of that drama.
And so I think part of the lulls reveal something
that’s actually true in that poll, that like-
Your answer is so much better than mine.
Do you think about that, maybe even with the squid game?
So I think, how many views does the squid game
currently have, 300 million?
Yeah, something like that.
So just imagine, thought experiment,
how many views that video would get if it was real.
Yeah, assuming YouTube was like,
ah, we’ll turn a blind eye, we won’t take it down.
Yeah, I mean, obviously, it’d probably have
billions of views.
How do you think you’ll die,
and do you think it’ll be during a video?
Probably doing something dumb like going to space
when I’m older, or trying to go to Mars,
or something like that.
I know for a fact it won’t be on a video.
Every video we do, we have safety experts
and stuff like that.
It’s not really risk, but yeah, I could see myself,
like after a million people go to Mars
or something like that, I’d probably be like,
you know what, let’s go, and something like that, maybe.
So not in the name of a video, just for the holiday?
No, heck no.
Are you open to taking risks when you shoot videos?
You just went to Antarctica.
I mean, you’re putting yourself in the line
a little bit, right?
Of course, but we had that video in the works
for three years, and then we consult with tons of experts,
radar the entire path we’re gonna walk beforehand
to see if there’s crevasses.
So we know there’s no crevasses, we do training,
we consult with experts, and we have survival guides
there with us, and monitor the weather and everything.
So it’s like, any variable where we could get harmed,
we just pre-plan for it.
Same thing with buried alive.
Like, I had David Blaine, spent a week underground,
and so I consulted with him, and consulted with basically
anyone who ever buried themselves alive.
You know, the coffin we used to bury me,
we did so many tests, like that coffin was buried
10 times before I was, for way longer than 50 hours.
It tested the airflow and everything,
to the point where I was safer in that coffin underground
than I was above ground.
So we just tend to just not leave anything up to chance.
Another strange question then.
So you recorded these videos to yourself,
you know, five years, 10 years from now.
Have you recorded a video that’s to be released
once you die?
Well, first off, I am just glad that not every one
of your questions have to do with, like, views
or things like that.
It’s nice getting different questions.
So this is good.
It’s a little dark.
No, no, but it’s fine, because a lot of people
just be like, how much money do you make?
You know, it’s just something I just,
everything’s always about money now,
when people talk to me.
So it’s nice.
But for the videos I’ve made, for you guys
who probably don’t follow me too closely,
when I had 8,000 subscribers and I was a teenager,
I filmed a bunch of videos and scheduled them
years in the future.
And I said, I filmed one where I was like,
high me in a year, and the video went up a year later.
And it was just like, hey, I think you’ll have
And then I did one where I was like,
high me in five years.
I was like, hey, in five years,
I think you’ll have a million.
And then one that hasn’t come out yet,
but comes out in two years, was high me in 10 years.
And I tried to predict 10 years later
how many subs I’d have.
That’s what he’s referring to.
And yes, there are some that are scheduled
like 20 years in the future.
And so if I don’t die, I’ll just move them up.
And I remember, because I filmed these though,
like seven years ago, but it was,
I remember saying a line like, you know,
if I’m dead, then I’m currently just in a coffin
and like, whatever, blah, blah, blah.
And because the only way the video would go up
is if I’m not alive.
And if I’m not alive, then I won’t be able
to push back the schedule upload date.
So it will go public automatically.
And so, yeah, I have a couple of those.
Like if I knew I was gonna die of like cancer
or something, and I had like three months to live,
I would vlog every day.
I’d film so many videos.
And then I would just schedule upload a video a week
for like the next five years.
So it’s like, I’m still alive.
And I would completely act like I’m still alive
And I think something like that would be cool.
I don’t know why, but I’ve fantasized,
not fantasized, but I’ve dreamt about that a lot.
Like, I don’t know, if I only had 30 days to live,
what would I do?
And for me, I would try to make like a decade’s worth
of content and schedule upload it
so they automatically go public in the future.
And so it’s just like, I never died.
I’m just there.
Yeah, it’s a kind of immortality,
but it’s also a kind of troll on the concept of time.
That you can die in the physical space,
but persist in the digital space.
I actually, I recorded a video like that
because I had some concerns
and I just thought it’s also a good exercise to do.
A video would like to be released if I die.
And it was actually a really interesting exercise.
Like it shows like what you really care about.
I guess it’s like writing a will,
but when you’re younger,
you don’t think about that kind of stuff.
Mine was just dumb.
Like I’m bones in a coffin.
Yours is probably so serious.
No, it’s fun actually.
What you realize is like,
there’s no point to be serious at this point.
It’s a weird thing.
I guess you’ve done this,
but it’s a weird thing to address the world
when you, the physically you, is no longer there.
So like, you know this would only be released
if you’re no longer there.
That’s a weird exercise.
You know what’s funny?
Of all the people listening to this,
you know, we’re probably the only two people
that have made videos for when we die.
It’s like such a niche thing
and the fact that we’re bonding over it’s kind of funny.
I think people should think about doing that.
It’s not just about YouTube,
it’s also social media.
Just think about it.
Like there’s gonna be a last tweet
and a last, I don’t know, Facebook post,
a last Instagram post.
And yeah, I feel like there’s some aspects
that’s meditative to just even considering
making a post like that.
And also it’s a way for the people that love you
to kind of like celebrate.
Do you think that would help them cope or not?
Like if someone randomly watching this did film a video,
you know, for if they accidentally died
in some freak accident to be given to their family,
do you think that would?
And it was like a genuine.
I think it would really help.
I mean, it depends.
Like how would you even intro that?
Like, hey mom, if you’re seeing this,
you know, it means I’m probably dead.
That’s how you intro it.
That’s the opener.
Oh, I just wanted you to know.
Yeah, I guess.
Yeah, and I guess you could say in a kind of funny way,
but and just talk about the things
that mean a lot to you.
Because otherwise you’re at the risk
of the last post you have is like,
like, I don’t know, talking shit about like McDonald’s.
And then you’re dead.
That’s it, 100 years.
I don’t know.
I do recommend it.
It’s like the Stoics meditate on death every day
in the same way you kind of meditate on your death
when you make a video like that.
Because it’s actually not just even talking to yourself,
it’s talking to the world.
And it like, for some reason, at least for me,
they made it very concrete that there’s going to be an end.
And I’m like, it’s almost, it’s over for me.
If I’m making the video, it’s over for me.
It’s an interesting thought experiment.
I recommend people try it.
Are you afraid of death, by the way?
It’s hard because like, what if you just die
and then you just see nothing forever?
Yeah, the nothingness.
It just fades to blackness and you’re just like that
for trillions upon trillions to billions squared years.
And it’s just, it’s scary.
But also before you’re born,
you don’t remember those X amount of years either.
So that gives me a little comfort,
but no, it’s definitely very scary.
Something I’d rather not think about until I’m like 80.
I’ll deal with that problem then.
I don’t know if I told you this,
but I’m kind of hopeful that someone like Elon
or one of these like freak smart people
would just like be like, you know what, screw it.
I’m going to figure out a way where we can slow down aging,
get it where, you know, we can live to be two, 300 years old
and just like set their sights on that.
And then just kind of save us.
So it’d be really nice.
It’s almost absurd to think that in our lifetime,
they won’t figure out a way
to just even slightly slow down aging,
where we can live to be like 120 or 130.
And then that extra time,
they won’t figure out some way where we can live to be 200.
Like obviously not immortal,
but I don’t see how in my lifetime,
the life expectancy doesn’t just expand.
Well, it also could be that the immortality
is achieved in the digital realm.
Like it could be long after you’re gone
as a Mr. Beast run by a Chad GPT type system.
Yeah, that consumes everything I ever said,
everything I ever wrote.
I don’t want that.
I want to live.
What are you smart people out there?
Figure it out.
I’ll keep you entertained,
but I need you to figure out how to keep me alive.
Give me till 200.
That will make me happy.
Well, that’s funny.
Who owns the identity of Mr. Beast
once the physical body is gone?
Like, is it illegal to create another Mr. Beast
that’s Chad GPT based?
I don’t know what the laws are on that.
I mean, once I’m dead, I don’t care.
Well, you just said you did care.
I mean, there could be a AI,
like many Mr. Beasts that are created after you’re gone.
I mean, that’d be cool to be able to like train up a model
and let them loose.
So my content lives on, I guess.
But it somehow feels like it diminishes
the value you contribute.
It’s inauthentic, but it’s also,
there’s some aspect to the finiteness of the art
being necessary for its greatness.
The second that thing starts spamming out videos,
the videos lose all meaning and it’s pointless
and it’s a money grab.
If you ran YouTube for, how long should you run it?
For a year, how would you change it?
How would you improve it?
It’s hard because, you know, obviously I’m biased
because we’re doing really well,
but I feel like when I open up YouTube on my television,
I get the videos I want to watch.
I don’t, I don’t know.
I don’t, I don’t ever open it and wonder like,
what are these?
What are these 10 videos on my homepage?
When I click on a video, I don’t ever wonder
what these are.
Like I, I, and maybe it’s because I’m very adamant
about like the kind of videos I watch
and I try not to watch videos
that I don’t want to get recommended more
because I just, that’s how I think.
But I’m very happy with how it is at the moment.
I think one thing though, that I just hate
with the passion is the comment section on YouTube.
It’s just so bad.
But that, I know that’s not something
that’s going to 10X the growth of the platform.
But if you think about it, you go to Reddit to read comments
and somehow like the, you know, usually the top 20 posts
on a popular Reddit post are not spam.
You know what I mean?
Like, have you ever clicked on something
on the front page of Reddit?
And then most upvoted reply to it is like,
go check out my site right here.
And it’s like trying to scam you out of $1,000.
Yeah, I can’t even think of one instance
I’ve ever had that happen.
So like Reddit, it’s so nice to click on posts
and just see what people have to say.
And I almost wish like you had that same feeling
when you read the comments on a YouTube video.
Instead, it’s like, it’s so many people
just copy and pasting, so many bots
that just grab the top comment for your previous video
and paste it over.
So the top comments on every videos are the same.
And the things that break through that
are just scammers trying to get you
to give them $1,000 for a fake ad.
That comment section is one of the most lively
on the internet.
So it’d be amazing if YouTube invested
in creating an actual community,
like where people could do high effort comments
and be rewarded for it, like on Reddit.
Like actually write out a long thing.
That would make me so happy.
Cause like when I upload a video,
I usually go to Twitter to see feedback.
Like I read my comments and I’ll flip through newest,
but it’s just, I feel like Reddit and Twitter
just give me so much better filtered feedback.
Especially now that with Twitter Blue,
because people pay $8 a month,
I’ve noticed like any tweets I get from verified users now,
they’re usually not just garbage troll takes.
Like these are people paying $8 a month.
Like they’re usually relatively sensible.
And so it’s been pretty nice.
Like after I upload a video,
I just go on the verified tab on Twitter
and just see what people have to say.
And anyways, I live for the day that YouTube’s like that.
What do you think about Twitter?
What do you think about all the fun activity
happening recently since Elon bought Twitter?
I think he should make me CEO.
Like I tweeted.
Well, I should say sort of,
we just like a couple hours ago had a conversation
with Elon and you guys sent an exchange
of some excellent ideas.
So yeah, I legitimately think,
obviously you’re exceptionally busy,
but I legitimately think it would be awesome
if you somehow participate in the future of Twitter.
Yeah, it would be fun.
Because there’s so much possibility of different ideas
first in the sort of the content,
like dissemination, hosting,
and all the different recommendations,
like the search and discovery,
all the things that YouTube does well.
I think the most exciting thing is he’s willing to move fast.
So I think there’s gonna be a lot of interesting things
that come out of it because he’s just moving quick.
And a lot of these more mature platforms
just take years to do the simplest stuff
and they’re very bureaucratic.
So it’s gonna, I mean,
it’ll be interesting to see which way it goes
when you just kind of take a move quick, break things,
whatever type approach to social media.
I’m actually pretty curious
to see what features he rolls out.
So what would be your first act as Twitter CEO?
I can’t spoil it.
I gotta get hired.
What do you think about video on the platform?
Yeah, do you think that’s an interesting,
or is it like messing with the medium,
the nature of the platform?
I think Twitter will always be closer to TikTok
than it is to YouTube,
at least in its current form.
I don’t see 20 minute, one hour long videos or whatever,
even 15 minute videos being watched over there.
I see it more as like the short and snappy stuff
closer to TikTok.
But at the same time,
Twitter is a really good comment section for the internet.
I mean, it’s almost weird why,
like why doesn’t Twitter allow you to embed YouTube videos?
Like why does, you should just ask Elon that.
Like, I don’t know if that’s a YouTube thing,
but when a YouTuber posts a video,
why do they have to link to YouTube?
Why can’t they just embed it on Twitter
and you just play it there?
I mean, wouldn’t that just solve a lot of problems?
Yeah, but then the two companies
would have to agree to integrate each other’s content.
I don’t know, but it seems like a win-win.
I mean, well, it’s more of a win for Twitter
because then people don’t have to leave the platform.
I mean, that’d be the easiest solution.
But who gets, like when you watch the ads
on a YouTube video that’s embedded in Twitter,
who gets the money?
It would still be YouTube, but at least then,
right now, people just post a link
and it takes you off Twitter
and it just kills your session time on Twitter.
That’s really interesting.
But yeah, because the Twitter,
whatever the dynamics of the comments,
especially once the spam bots are taken care of,
Twitter just works.
It’s really nice.
So Reddit is a nice comment section for the internet.
It’s like slower paced, more deliberate,
like higher effort.
Twitter’s like this high paced,
like ephemeral kind of stream,
but there’s the upvoting and the downvoting
works much better because you can do retweeting, right?
Because the social network is much stronger
than it is on YouTube.
Like the interconnectivity between-
On Reddit, you’re gonna get,
the top replies are gonna be the most refined ones,
whereas Twitter, stuff flows to the top
that’s not super refined.
But like you’re saying,
it’s more off-the-cuff stream of consciousness,
which a lot of people prefer
because it’s a little more personal.
How do you think Twitter compares to YouTube
in terms of how you see its future on role in 2023?
I mean, I think YouTube’s gonna be YouTube
and not much is really gonna change,
but it’s gonna keep growing just because,
that’s just what it does,
because it’s owned by Google.
But Twitter, I don’t know.
I mean, it’s one of those things,
like you can’t predict if a year from now
an economy’s gonna be in a recession or booming.
And I think Twitter’s kind of the same thing.
One thing’s for certain,
a lot of things are gonna be rolled out,
but who knows, honestly.
You responded to Elon saying Twitter’s unlikely
to be able to pay creators more money than YouTube.
Why do you think that is?
Well, yeah, because I think the tweet I responded to
is one where he was saying that users will jump over
if Twitter can potentially pay more than other platforms.
And I was just saying,
obviously because Google has Google AdWords,
and I mean, that’s Google’s whole thing,
it’s putting ads on stuff.
They’ve been doing it better than anyone else in the world
for a very long time.
It’s very unlikely in the next few years
that Twitter’s gonna just magically, or any platform,
give a creator the ability to make higher CPMs
than on YouTube.
It’s kind of crazy.
Like some creators in December,
Q4, because ad rates are higher
because of Christmas and everything,
some creators literally make like $30, $40 per 1,000 views.
That’s after YouTube’s cut.
It’s almost hard to think about how high the RPMs get.
And even then, once you pull out of finance and cars,
the high CPM niches, and you move into just normal stuff,
it’s still just crazy.
The sheer volume of creators,
and the fact that all of them get these multi-dollar CPMs
at scale, it’s pretty beautiful.
So you do, I don’t know what you would call them,
but like integrated ads in your videos,
and you do it, I would say, masterfully.
It’s like part of the video.
Are you talking about brand deals?
Brand deals, is that what you would call that?
So it’s a brand deal, it’s part of the video.
It’s still really exciting to watch,
and yet there’s a plug for the brand.
In general, just brand deals, since you brought it up.
Integrating them well.
I think that’s something a lot of creators don’t do.
Like, they’ll just do a brand deal out of the blue.
They’ll just be filming a video,
and then around the three minute mark,
just start talking about a random company.
And I feel like if you don’t want viewers to click away,
and you want people to not get pissed off,
and call you to sell out,
you gotta find a way to integrate it into content.
And ideally, use the money in the video to make it better.
The easiest thing you do when you do a brand deal
is just tell people how you’re using money
from the brand deal to make your content better.
And if you do that, no one cares.
Now they’re supporting you for it.
And you go from being a sellout to like,
oh, I’m doing this to make better videos for you guys.
I don’t know if you can share,
but with those brands, when you have discussions with them,
are they strict about how long
you need to be talking about it?
Or is it more about they’re leaving control to you
about the artistic element of it?
The problem is the ones who don’t give us
the artistic element,
we just don’t really work with anymore.
Because it’s just, you know,
we get 100 million views a video now,
and I can confidently say I know how to entertain them
and convert them better than these random brands.
So yeah, if they don’t give us that freedom,
I just won’t work with them.
So you have that leverage,
but for smaller creators, it’s a lot harder.
Yeah, and they’re gonna just say 45 seconds,
here’s what you say, take it or leave it.
And it’s like pretty brutal.
Because I think just in general,
if brands were more accommodating
to let creators tell their story of the brand
and talk about the brand in a way
that felt a little more natural,
I think A, it’d be less cringe.
People would be less likely to go,
tap, tap, tap, skip.
And obviously it would convert better.
But they’re just so afraid
and they want this standardized thing.
Say these words in 45 seconds,
right here at this three minute mark.
Yeah, I often think about how to resist that.
You just don’t do them though, right?
Not on YouTube, right.
On the audio, I do ads in the very beginning
and I say, you can skip them if you want.
The brand loves that.
Like the point is they,
so the funny thing about podcasts
is different than YouTube videos.
Podcast people actually do listen to ads a lot
because it’s slower paced
and they like the creator voice,
like talking about the thing.
But in general, I just don’t believe
you should be talking about a thing for a minute exactly.
And that’s going to be effective.
I want to see the data for that.
I think what’s much more effective is the way you do ads,
which is like integrating to the content,
put a lot of effort into making a part of that,
like doing the brand deals.
It’s difficult to have that conversation.
It’s like a very strenuous conversation
you have to have with brands.
You have to each one at a time.
And I just wish there was more of a culture to say,
the quality of the ad read matters a lot more
than the silly parameters,
like the timing of it,
how long it is, the placement of it,
all that kind of stuff.
What percentage of your viewers
do you think have seen one of my videos before?
What percentage of the viewers on YouTube, right?
Yeah, of your viewers.
Of the viewers on YouTube, though,
because most of the people-
Or all of them.
It’s just interesting
because you’re speaking very specifically
like about my brand deal process.
And so in my head, I’m like,
hmm, I wonder what percentage of these people
even have any idea what he’s talking about.
I love the thinking about numbers.
The whole time we were having this conversation,
that’s all I could think about.
It’s like, God damn it.
There’s probably like 50% of these people
have no fucking clue what he’s saying,
and we’re about to torture him for five minutes.
Yeah, yeah, probably.
But that’s something I can’t turn off in my brain.
Less than 50%.
Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
Is that exciting to you?
That there’s like 50% of people
have not watched a MrBeast video.
Isn’t that an opportunity?
Yeah, I guess it’s an opportunity, bro.
I don’t know.
Honestly, I was just kind of excited to hang out with you.
Yeah, me too.
Today was a lot of fun.
Who cares if there’s mics?
Yeah, so it was kind of like having a buddy
to go along the journey
as I’m just kind of eating shit
and doing my normal grind.
It was like kind of fun.
And also you just say really wise stuff constantly.
So honestly, no, I never even put any thought
into like the demographics or what I could gain.
It’s just interesting,
because like my retention brain,
when you talk about something,
I’m instantly like, hmm,
what value are they going to get?
How many of them are going to be interested?
What percentage of people do I think will lose?
And I’m like running all those calculations
in the background,
and that whole conversation,
like it’s just something I can’t turn off.
My like bells are like,
error, error, this is bad.
What are the different strategies for high retention?
For your videos and in general?
It’s like, how do you cook good food?
You know what I mean?
That’s like the same kind of question.
I see, so there’s so many different ways that you,
so it boils down to,
I mean, do you think at the level of a story,
or do you think like literally watching
five seconds at a time,
am I going to tune out here?
Am I going to tune out here?
Am I going to tune out here?
It’s all of it.
You need the overarching narrative,
and then you also need the micro
where every second needs to be entertaining.
And basically what’s interesting
is the longer people watch something,
the more likely they are to keep watching.
So you don’t have to try as hard
in the hypothetically back half of a video
as you do in the front.
Like even right now,
we’re so deep into this where a lot of people listening
are probably just going to keep listening
relatively close to the end,
unless we just have a really boring part
of this conversation,
because they’re just in it,
And so a big, like to really boil it down
to a simple level,
you just want to get people
where they’re immersed in the content,
and then just kind of hold them there.
We had this discussion offline.
And by the way,
I should mention that this is like late at night.
What time is it?
It’s nine o’clock.
And I only slept one hour last night
because I’m an idiot,
and I flew to the wrong location.
Well, here, we’re like,
hey, let’s just book you a hotel to fly.
He’s like, no, I got it.
We’re like, you sure?
We can just do it.
We always do this.
He’s like, no, I got it.
I got it.
He’s going to have to rub it in.
And then today,
come to find out he flew to the wrong airport,
or a city with a similar name to ours.
Same name in a different state.
And I was like,
that’s why you should have let us book it.
And so he’s on one hour of sleep,
and he’s literally been dying all day.
Before this podcast,
he downed like two things of coffee.
We’ve been going all day hard.
Yeah, I’ve been,
I got to interact with you.
I should say that this gave me an opportunity to,
I got a ride from a stranger,
and it was an incredible person.
I got to interact with him.
So it’s like,
there’s so many kind people around here.
Just like this kind of Southern energy.
And then I got to go to a diner,
because I could,
there’s only one hour between me arriving
and having to fly out.
So I went to a diner.
There’s a really kind waitress that called me honey.
So that was a beautiful moment.
I was so confused.
You tweeted about that.
Lex, my assistant,
Lex isn’t here yet.
And I saw your tweet,
and I was like,
Steele’s like, no, he’s still flying.
I was like,
an hour ago,
he just tweeted about a nice diner.
I didn’t realize you flew to the wrong-
It was a diner.
It was a diner in a different state.
And then you had to fly over here.
And then I called you,
and you didn’t answer.
I was like, hmm.
I was like,
something’s not adding up.
Yeah, I feel like it’s such an idiot,
because apparently the world
has cities like Springfield, right?
Every single state has a Springfield.
I think so.
I think that’s a-
That’s like a Simpsons joke, right?
That it’s the city in the Simpsons is Springfield,
and I think every single state,
or most of them have a Springfield.
And the same is true for Georgetown.
I think the most popular,
I forget what the most popular one was.
But there’s a list of these.
when they run out of ideas,
they just keep using the same thing over and over.
They’re your Achilles’ heel.
Anyway, I got to meet a bunch of people from your team.
They’re just incredible human beings.
So let me just ask on that topic.
How do you hire a great team?
What have you learned about hiring for everything,
for the main channel that you do,
for the React, the gaming channel,
to MrBeastBurger, to Feastables, all that?
The big thing is,
especially in this content creation,
because it’s not like anything that’s done on Netflix
or different content medians.
I really need people who are coachable
and really see the value in what I care about,
because it’s a very specific way of going about things.
And it’s a thing you,
there’s no one plug and play.
If Netflix wanted to hire someone to do a documentary,
there’s probably tens of thousands of people you could hire
that have worked on documentaries before.
But if you want to hire someone
to make super viral YouTube videos, like we do,
there’s just no one you can really pull from.
Sometimes I’ll hire people from game shows.
They have all these preconceived notions about pacing
and how a video should be.
And you have to spend the first year
breaking all these habits,
and they think they’re better than you.
A lot of people in traditional think they’re better,
and they think their way is better than what we do.
And so for me, it’s almost easier to hire people
that are just hard workers,
that are obsessed and really coachable,
and just train them how to be good
at content creation and production,
than to hire someone from traditional,
which is the only way to really do it,
because there’s not that many YouTube channels
that have scaled up.
So it’s not like there’s a huge talent pool
of people who’ve worked on YouTube channels.
So it’s easier just to train someone
than just pull them from traditional,
because traditional people just, I don’t know,
they have all these opinions and things,
and they just think our way of going about things is dumb.
Yeah, so you want people who have the humility
to have a beginner’s mind, even if they have experience.
And see the value.
Like, actually, you’ll still get it.
It’s so crazy, especially some of my other friends
that are scaling up their YouTube channels.
There’s people that will come on,
and you’ll ask them, like,
what do you want to be doing in five years?
And instead of saying,
oh, I want to be working on this channel,
they’ll be like, oh, I hope to be working on movies,
or this or that.
And they see working on a YouTube channel
as a launchpad to go into traditional.
And it’s like, no, you just don’t get it.
This is the future.
This is the end goal.
This is your career.
And so I’m just so tired
of having those kinds of conversations.
Like, I feel like people really should be coming around.
Are there, like, recurring interview questions that you ask?
Is there ways to get?
Yeah, but the biggest thing is,
like, what do you want to be doing in 10 years?
And if their answer isn’t making content on YouTube,
or if their answer is anything like movies
or traditional stuff like that,
it’s like just a hell no.
Like, it just won’t even remotely work.
Oh, so you really want people
to believe in the vision of YouTube?
Yeah, I mean, ideally, it’s like,
oh, working here, you know what I mean?
So it’s less about the medium
and more about just being on a great team
that’s doing epic stuff.
Yeah, well, and yeah, the media as well.
Because those, it’s just, it’s hard to put into words,
but it’s just two completely different ways
of going about things.
You know, like, our videos aren’t scripted.
And, you know, it’s a lot more run and gun.
And if we hypothetically blow up a giant car or whatever,
like, you only have one take, you know what I mean?
And it’s not scripted.
And so you have to over-film, over-shoot things,
over-compensate for, like, the dumb way of going about it.
And a lot of traditional people would be like,
well, just plan what you’re gonna say
and just plan the angles.
You can cut the cameras in half.
You can save 50 grand here.
You can save, you know, $75,000 in editing.
This and that.
And it’s like, yeah, but that’s not authentic.
Like, that’s, you know, blah, blah.
You get it.
It’s almost so obvious that it hurts
that I have to, like, constantly have these conversations,
but it’s what we live in.
But there’s also a detail, like, there’s a taste.
Like, I’ve watched a bunch of videos with you
and it’s clear to you that you’ve gotten really good,
I don’t know what the right word is, style or taste,
to be able to know what’s good and not
in terms of retention, in terms of just stylistically,
I don’t have to think.
I can just watch a video and it just screams in my head,
like, this is what should change
based on the, you know, million videos I’ve watched
and all these viral videos I’ve consumed.
Like, this is blah, blah, blah, what’s optimal
and things like that.
It’s almost like your brain’s like a, you know,
like a neural net.
Like, if you consume enough viral videos
and enough good content that you just kind of start
to, like, train your brain to, like, see it
and see these patterns that happen
in all these viral videos.
And so that, anytime I watch a video or a movie or anything,
I just can’t stop thinking about what is optimal.
And so it’s like, it gives me a headache sometimes
when I watch something too slow or I don’t think it’s optimal
and obviously my taste isn’t the end all be all,
but that’s something that kind of torments me,
if that makes any sense.
Oh, you can’t enjoy a slow-moving, like, movie?
No, I can’t.
And that’s not to say there’s-
Godfather is horrible.
Yeah, no, exactly.
I’ve tried to watch that movie, like, three times,
but that’s not to say slow movies are bad.
Like, there’s an audience for it.
It’s just obviously not what I’ve trained my brain to like.
And social media and YouTube right now,
like, that’s just not the meta.
And in general, like you said, in neural network,
you’re training your brain in part on actual data, right?
So you’re actually, it’s data-driven.
So you’re looking at, like, in terms of thumbnails
and titles and different aspects of the first five,
10 seconds, and then throughout the video,
the retention, all of that.
You’re looking at all of that for your own videos
to understand how to do it better.
So that’s where the neural network is training.
Basically, there are ways you can kind of see, like,
the most viewed videos on YouTube every day
and stuff like that.
And I just kind of consume those every single day,
and I’ve been doing that for way too many years.
And you just start to notice patterns.
Like, the thumbnails on the most viewed videos
or videos that go super viral tend to be clear,
tend to not have much clutter, tend to be pretty simple.
Titles tend to be less than 50 characters.
Intros tend to be this.
Stories tend to be this.
And you just kind of, like,
after you see those thousands
and then tens of thousands at a time,
it just starts to click in your head.
Like, this is what it looks like, you know?
So how are you able to transfer that taste
that you’ve developed to the team?
So for, like, because you’ve said, like, broad things,
but I’m sure there’s a million detailed things.
Like, what zoom to use on the face
to use in the thumbnail, right?
The answer is whatever makes the best video.
Because the problem is the more,
I have so many friends who are like this.
They’ll make, like, checklists for their editors.
They’ll make, you know, this beat and this beat.
And you need to have, like, a three-part arc and then this.
But the problem is that’s how you,
the more constraints you put on the team,
the more repetitive and less innovation you get.
And the more, like, you know, after 10 videos,
people are gonna be like, all right, I’ve already seen this.
So to me, and I’m 24, and, you know,
I’m probably, my mindset will change over the next 10 years.
I just haven’t been in this industry too long.
But the only way to, like, really make innovative content
and keep things fresh is to not put constraints on,
or put as little as possible.
And so that’s why I’m very hesitant on all that stuff.
Because the more I say, the more they’re gonna be like,
oh, then that’s what we do.
And then, you know, I’ll say one time, like,
oh, you know, ideally there’s a cut every three seconds.
And the next thing you know, every video,
there’s a cut every three seconds or whatever.
So it’s hard because I try to give as little,
not training, but as little facts as possible
and more just make suggestions, if that makes any sense.
You mean publicly or to your team?
To my team, yeah.
So you talked about sort of teaching your voice
or your style, whatever we want to call it,
to other people on the team so they can be kind of
a Mr. Beast replacement.
So what’s the process of teaching that?
So you don’t want to-
No, I got you.
You’re more talking about like,
what I would call almost like cloning, right?
Like Tyler and other people like that.
So when we were hanging out today,
I was showing him how we have multiple people
in the company.
It’s almost like talking to the camera.
It’s a habit.
Yeah, you turn slowly to the camera.
I was like, it is a habit.
Is it weird to you to not be looking at the camera?
This whole interview,
I constantly have been turning towards the camera.
I’m like, wait, I’m talking to him.
It’s a habit.
Because my whole life, I’ve just been talking to a camera.
Who are you thinking about when you’re looking at the camera?
Do you like imagine somebody?
I’m fully thinking about the person
just sitting watching it.
And I almost, it’s weird, when I’m looking at the camera,
I don’t see a camera.
I’m like in a haze picturing what the viewer is seeing
when they watch it, if that makes sense.
And that’s where I’ll be saying things
or doing something.
And then like when I’m watching,
I’m like, that’s not what I want.
And then I’ll freeze up.
It’s very weird when I’m filming.
And then for people who haven’t worked with me too much,
they’ll think like, I don’t know, it’s very weird.
Like how I go about it.
Cause I’ll just be doing whatever,
like lighting a firework.
This is a thousand dollar firework.
And I’ll go to light it and I’ll like freeze.
Cause in my head, I’m like this, I don’t know.
I don’t like how that flowed or how that shot looked.
Cause it’s weird.
I can perfectly picture what I’m filming
by just looking at the camera
and then putting myself through the lens of the camera
while making content.
I can do it at the same time.
So you’re like real time editing the video.
Yeah, that’s something that didn’t at the start
come natural to me,
but in the last probably like five years it’s happened.
And so I would say it’s one of my greatest strengths,
but I don’t know how I developed it.
But anytime I’m filming anything,
like it’s almost like the right side of my brain.
I can just look at it and I see exactly what I’m filming
and I can just picture it.
Well, that’s probably recording the video,
being the talent for the video,
and then watching the editing
and like analyzing it carefully
and do that over and over and over and over.
Yeah, you do that 10,000 times, yeah.
You do the editing more than being in front of the camera.
So like you start to see yourself
from that third person perspective.
And then maybe that actually helps
with the nerves of it too.
Like you see it as creating a video versus performing, right?
Yeah, yeah, I think so.
It’s weird, I’ve never been nervous talking to a camera.
It’s harder for me to talk to a person
than it is to talk to a camera,
which I feel like a lot of people say that though,
that are whatever, make content, right?
I’ve heard that so many times.
Or maybe not, maybe I’m just awkward and dumb.
Maybe they’re practiced.
To me, I mean, both are terrifying,
but being in front of the camera by yourself is most-
So much easier.
Yeah, so much easier.
I prefer it a million times over.
But that’s my whole life, you know?
So it’s just, that’s why it’s interesting.
Like you’ve spent more of your time talking to people.
It becomes natural.
And I talk to a piece of plastic.
Oh yeah, I guess you’re talking to a person too.
There’s just on the other side of the camera.
Yeah, there’s just a pixel on a screen.
So cloning, how do you achieve the-
Oh yeah, that’s right.
This whole rabbit trail.
So I was showing him that I have a lot of people
in the company who are able to think like me
and basically make decisions like I would make
if I was like, if you were asked,
hey, in this video, should we climb a mountain
or should we dig a hole, right?
And like, you know, they would pick the same answer
I’d pick 90 plus percent of the times.
And so like one example is Tyler, who I was showing you
when he was pitching some content.
And you could see like this, he was on point.
And basically for just four or five years,
we just spent an absurd amount of time together
and worked on every single video together
and we worked side by side.
And same thing with my CEO, James.
He literally lived with me for a couple of years.
I’m a big fan of just like finding people
who are super obsessed and all in and A players that,
you know, they really just want to be great.
And they’re just dumping everything I have in them.
And like you were saying,
cause I’d love to find that and develop that.
You were saying you’re basically for a long time
just said everything you were thinking to them.
Like James, the guy who’s basically my right hand man
right now, for two years, he lived with me.
And we probably talked on average
over those two years, seven hours a day.
I mean, anytime I had a phone call,
I’d throw it on speaker and I’d let him listen.
Anything I was reading, any content I was consuming,
like really just training his brain to think like me.
So that way he could just do things without my input,
without me having to constantly watch over him
or give him advice.
And that’s where we’ve gotten.
Like, so for the first six months, he didn’t do anything.
He just studied me and studied everything I cared about
and how I spoke and blah, blah.
And then the next six months,
he started taking on some responsibilities
and now he can just run the company
and I don’t ever really have to check in on him.
Most of the decisions he makes are exactly what I would do.
And so I call that cloning.
I don’t know what other people would,
but it’s just like finding people that are really obsessed
and they just kind of really want it
and just being like giving them an avenue to get it,
if that makes any sense.
Another way to see it is you’re converging
towards a common vision
and that makes like brainstorming much more productive.
Yeah, it just makes it where I don’t have to be so involved
in everything because I just have these people
I know will think like I will,
at least relatively close to it.
So I can kind of almost be in multiple places at once per se.
And so these things that, you know,
I still approve every idea we film and, you know,
everything before we film it, all the creative, I approve it,
but I don’t have to like be in the weeds and nuances
and do all this minor stuff.
I can just let them handle it.
I can just do the more macro things.
I got a chance to sit in
to a lengthy brainstorming session with Tyler and others.
That was really cool.
Can you talk about the process of that,
of people pitching ideas and you pitching alternatives
or shutting down ideas and just going,
like plowing through ideas very quickly?
I mean, you kind of just described exactly what we did.
I mean, but the ideas are really, really good.
It’s just tossing out like different categories of ideas
and then also fine tuning them to see like,
how do I change,
like thinking about the titles and the thumbnails.
I work so well off of inspiration.
It’s like, that’s something like, give me any word.
I don’t know.
Like a relative. Space.
Like I went to space, you know,
what happens if you blow up a nuke in space
or I went to the moon, I went to Mars, right?
Because you said that one word,
it was able to inspire me to come up with four ideas.
And so that’s just, it’s for me,
if the way to get a hundred million views on videos,
you need something original, creative,
something people really need to see,
ideally never been done before, all these like things.
And so you need like,
if you want to consistently go super well,
you need just a constant stream of ideas.
And the only way I’ve really found
that I can consistently come up
with a hundred million view videos
is to intake inspiration and then see what my brain outputs.
And so that’s kind of at its core foundation,
what I’m doing there.
It’s just like intaking a lot of random inspiration
to see what spawns in my mind so I can output it.
But the neural network of your brain
is generating the video, the title,
the thumbnail, all like jointly, right?
And that only comes because I spent 10 years of my life
just obsessively studying all that stuff.
Because you, I mean,
it seems like you would literally
potentially shut down a video
just because you can’t come up with a good title.
Yeah. Or a good thumbnail.
Or a thumbnail, yeah.
I mean, that’s what happened to 70% of those
in that pitch session.
I was just like, oh, what was one of them?
Genius versus a hundred people, or?
Yeah, like maybe average intelligence
versus genius or something like that.
Yeah, I was like, what the heck is the thumbnail?
Even if the title is good.
I mean, there’s so many, but yeah,
if people don’t click, they don’t watch.
That’s so interesting, but you developed over time
the ability to kind of give it,
what makes for a good title, short?
Not just short, it’s also, I mean,
if someone reads it, do they have to watch it?
Is it just so intrinsically interesting
that it’s just gonna fuck with them
if they don’t click on it, you know what I mean?
So it doesn’t have to be short,
but it has to be, like, you almost want to have
a retention to word-by-word reading.
Ideally, it’s a title also that,
you know, because the titles don’t live in a vacuum, right?
So it has to lead into the content.
So ideally, the title represents content
that you would want to watch for 20 minutes.
So if it’s a 20-minute video,
and the title is, I stepped on a bug,
it’s not gonna, because it’s all of it combined.
The click-through rate is gonna be much lower
than if it was like a five-second video.
People might click it.
Like, even nuances of the length of the video
based against the title
will affect whether people want to click it,
because sometimes they just all add up.
I mean, it’s that, yes.
Ideally, you want it below 50 characters,
because above 50 characters on certain devices,
you run the chance of it going dot, dot, dot.
So like, I took a light pole,
and I saw how many dollar bills I could stack on top,
and they would just go dot, dot, dot,
because it’s too long, and it can’t finish it.
And that’s the worst thing,
because then people don’t even know
what they’re clicking on,
and so it’s gonna do even worse.
Short, simple, ideally,
and just so freaking interesting, they have to click.
And it is a good segue into the content,
and it represents the length of the content.
And there’s probably stuff,
it’s hard to convert into words for you,
like, I stepped on a bug,
versus stepping on a bug,
versus Mr. B stepped on a bug,
versus bug stepping video.
So it’s like, yes, the more extreme the opinion,
typically the higher the click-through rate.
If you can pay it off in the content,
then it just supercharges it.
Oh, so you have a kind of estimate
of the extremeness of the content.
Yeah, like this water, right?
If you’re like, Fiji water sucks, that’d do fine.
But if you said Fiji water is the worst water bottle,
or the worst water I’ve ever drank in my life,
way more extreme opinion would do way better.
But you have to deliver.
Yeah, but then you have to deliver,
because the more extreme you are,
the more extreme you have to be in the video.
Yeah, that’s almost inspiration for you to step up.
Yeah, but you can be more extreme in a positive way.
A lot of people, it’s easier though.
Positive, negative click-bait’s much easier
than positive click-bait.
It just is.
It’s so much easier to get negative clicks.
And so a lot of people are just, in my opinion,
you know, a little bit lazier,
and they just take the route like,
oh, well, this one gets the same amount of clicks,
and it’s easier, less effort.
The positive one is doing a large number
of numbers of something.
Like I spent this number of hours doing this,
or whatever, if you just wanted to help people.
Right, it’s just harder to get 10 million views
on a video helping people
than it is to get 10 million views
on a video tearing down a celebrity.
You know what I mean?
Or whatever negative video you want to insert there.
Well, that said, most of your videos are pretty positive.
But not a lot of people do those kinds of videos,
because they’re hard.
Yeah, they’re hard.
Some of that is giving away money, right?
What’s the secret to that?
What’s, how do you do that right?
Yeah, give away money, or?
In a video to make it compelling.
So there’s a number that is better than another number,
the higher number is always better than the lower number.
Yeah, for the most part.
And you know, it’s interesting,
like some videos will give away a million dollars,
some videos will give away half a million.
There’s not really, I guess,
so I’m retracting what I just said.
I was more joking with that,
but there’s no difference whether I put 500K or a million.
There’s probably not even really a difference
between 100K or a million, I haven’t really looked into it.
Like some of our, most of our videos
are not us giving away a million dollars,
and sometimes the million dollar videos
just don’t do as well as the other ones.
So there is a certain point where a dollar amount
is just a large dollar amount to an average human.
And so I think that point is 100K.
Like anything above 100K,
the average human is just like, that’s a lot of money.
It doesn’t, 100K and a million like,
doesn’t really move the needle, if that makes sense.
Which that’s a very nuanced piece of information
that applies to very few people, but yeah.
Well no, I think it applies, it’s fascinating.
It’s fascinating, human,
our relationship with money is fascinating.
Like why is it so exciting to get,
I mean, I, you know, the times I’ve found
like 20 bucks in the ground are like incredible.
I don’t know why, right, why?
Why are you so happy?
Like what exactly is so joyful about that?
I mean, it depends where you are in life,
what the situation is.
Yeah, I don’t know.
There’s also a gamified aspect to it.
It’s exciting, it’s fun.
Yeah, no, I get it,
like why people want to see people win money.
It’s just interesting that past 100K,
it doesn’t really seem to make a difference.
Like it’s the same, basically.
So you found that to be true
with all the money you’ve given away?
I just think click-through rate,
like obviously in terms of someone receiving it,
yeah, a million dollars changes their life drastically more.
Like that’s the difference, like,
oh, if you wanted to, you could really quit your job.
As opposed to 100K, it’s like, not really.
You probably do like a scientific study,
like a formula, giving away money to click-through rate.
There could be some kind of diminishing return.
It definitely, the returns level off
dramatically after 100K.
That’s basically the premise.
What about 10,000?
No, there’s 10, 100,000, it’s funny,
because this is such a small niche thing,
but yeah, 100,000 does, from what I see in our videos,
get more clicks than 10,000,
but the difference between 100,000 and a million
is just so little.
I just, I think big number, big number to a lot of people
past that point.
Yeah, so for 100,000, you can,
like given the average salary,
you can probably live for a year,
given what the average salary is in America.
So that’s like a big, that feels-
Yeah, I think it’s also just more
when they read the title.
It’s just like, it’s a lot of zeros.
Fuck loads of zeros.
Oh man, that’s fascinating.
So on the thumbnail side, again,
that’s gonna be much harder to say probably,
but you know, offline, you know,
I got a chance to look at a bunch of thumbnails
and it’s fascinating which ones do well
and which ones don’t.
Is there something you could say
about what are the elements of a thumbnail that work well?
Or is this also deeply instinctual?
Well, that’s where, yeah, it’s the same thing.
Like how do you cook good food?
But it’s easier if you pull up a thumbnail
and I can be like, that’s why that’s good.
That’s why that’s bad.
Like an example would be like one of my friends,
he just uploaded a video recently and I called him.
I was like, what is this?
Because he’s a very, very smart guy.
And in the thumbnail, he’s getting chased by cops,
but the cops were wearing yellow vests.
So they didn’t look at cops.
So I was like, well, why are the cops
in your thumbnail wearing yellow vests?
It’s like, that makes it so much more boring.
And he was like carrying a flag,
but the pole and the color of the flag were the same color.
So I was like, it’s a lot harder to see the flag.
I was like, also you’re wearing like a shirt
with like five different colors.
So it’s like, it’s hard to tell what even,
what your outline is.
And then in the background, there are cars.
And I was like, well, if you have cops chasing you,
why not make the cars cop cars?
And it’s like, cause in my head, I’m like, dang,
if he just did those like four or five things,
the video probably would’ve got like seven X of views.
How much iteration?
Cause I also got a chance to see the number of iterations
you do on a, on just a brand of thumbnails.
It’s a problem now.
It’s an addiction.
So you kind of,
there’s a lot of the versions are really good.
How do you know what to like stop?
I love how you, when we pulled up that,
the burger one and we were flipping through them,
you’re like, that’s really good.
I was like, oh, that’s version like one of like a thousand.
But even the sketch, the idea was good.
Like already even the original idea is strong.
Yeah. So we, one of our coming up videos,
we made the world’s largest plant-based burger
and the thumbnail we were thinking is like
me standing beside the burger cause it’s six feet tall.
That’s, that’s what he’s talking about.
So like just picture a giant six foot tall burger,
super wide thousands of pounds.
And then I’m beside it.
And then it’s like eating the world’s largest burger.
Like you, that’s just something you have to click.
Like, so you were saying like,
how would you describe a good thumbnail?
Like that, you know what I mean?
But I think you said the one I noticed first that was good
where you were very small in it relative to the,
and you didn’t like that one.
I needed to come forward a little bit.
And also the photo we took was just my upper body.
So they photo manipulated and created my legs,
And that’s why I said I didn’t like it.
Cause my right leg was a little like off.
It was like bent the wrong way.
Cause they had to build those legs in Photoshop.
Well, I mean,
does the physics in a thumbnail have to even make sense?
I mean, you can just like exaggerate the head size
and all that kind of stuff, right?
Yeah. Things don’t have to be relative.
You can have a car in the background
and be three times the size.
Cause yeah, every one of my thumbnails,
my face is in the, you know, left side, very big.
So brand recognition.
So just people know, oh,
especially cause now that a lot of people copy our videos,
it’s just nice to like, you know,
everyone else might make thumbnails like this,
but this is mine.
And obviously we usually over deliver and do bigger stuff.
Would you recommend to other creators
that wanna make it big to,
and they see Mr. Beast and they look up to you,
to copy some elements of you or to really try to be unique?
Unique, 100% unique.
You’re not, the next Mr. Beast,
quote unquote, it’s weird saying that third person,
but whatever, is not gonna do what I’m doing better.
They’re gonna just invent their own way.
Like you’re just not gonna do what I do better than me.
You know, I have so many,
I literally have the best people in the world working here
and I reinvest everything I make, even to this day.
You know what I mean?
Like it’s absurd the amount of money I spend on content
and I don’t care, I’ll just stop sleeping
and I’ll just film every other day.
Like you’re just not gonna beat me at my own game
and that’s fine, you shouldn’t.
Like I didn’t get where I am
by just beating someone else at their own game.
I just found my own lane and innovated and adapted.
And so, yeah, there’s a lot of people that do copy me
and it’s fine, whatever, do it,
but just know you’re not gonna get to where I am doing that.
And so I’d advise you don’t.
You give away a lot of the secrets,
basically everything about how you operate.
Is there a-
I don’t hold anything back, go for it.
How do you think about that?
Because that’s pretty rare.
I think, and this is definitely not,
most people in my stance, I don’t think would take this,
or my position would take this stance,
but I see every other YouTuber or person on social media,
even, because we’re also focused super heavily on YouTube,
but last year we were also the most followed TikTok creator
in the world as well.
Actually, we’re the most subscribed
to YouTube channel in the world
and the most followed TikTok account in the world.
But in general, I just see everyone else as collaborators,
I don’t think giving advice
and helping other creators do well in any way harms me.
And I think it only brings more value to my life.
How was it jumping on TikTok
and trying to understand that platform from scratch?
So from being a successful YouTuber
to understand a totally different algorithm,
fundamentally different algorithm, what was that like?
Well, not even just the algorithm, just the content.
I’m going from basically 15 minute short films
to sub one minute vertical content.
It’s a whole different, just ballpark.
And so the first little while I was doing TikTok
is just kind of figuring out
what does MrBeast look like in this short form content?
But recently we’ve really started to catch our stride
and come up with some original concepts
and figure out how to innovate over there
just like we did on YouTube,
because I didn’t want it to just be shitty YouTube videos.
And so like an example is we played The Rock for 100K
and Rock Paper Scissors
and the loser had to donate 100K to charity.
We did, we went to random people on a campus
and we offered them.
So I said, I’ll give you a hundred dollars
if you fly to Paris and give me a baguette.
And then they said, no.
And I was like, I’ll give you $300
if you fly to Paris and give me a baguette.
And I was expecting this person to say no
and it’d go up to like 10 grand.
And he’s like, yes.
And so he flew to Paris, got a baguette
and brought it back and gave it to me.
And that across everything got like 450 million views.
Cause it’s just really cool just to see this random guy
get on a plane, spend a day in Paris
and we cut it up real nicely and bring it back.
And so we’re starting to find just tons
of original content over there.
But it seems like an epic video to make for one minute.
Exactly, no one on short form is doing it.
That’s the thing.
It’s like, it’s just so funny.
Cause like TikTok’s been big for a while now, years.
And then, you know, as we started to really figure out things
on the YouTube channel and get it cranking
where I have some free time, we set our sights on TikTok
and like, okay, what are people not doing?
How do we make it better?
Put in more effort, make it good.
And we did the same thing we did at YouTube,
just different over on TikTok and it worked.
And now we’re the fastest growing
or most followed TikTok account in 2022.
And it’s just funny that no one else did that.
And you’re not afraid to do epic stuff,
which also during the brainstorming.
Some of the ideas you were like, that’s better as a short.
Yeah, can you remember one?
Cause I remember I said that a bunch
and I can’t think of one.
All I remember is that there were like epic videos.
You’re going to do that for a one minute video?
So like, are you posting similar content
to a YouTube short as a TikTok?
Yeah, those we just double up.
It’s just hard.
You know, what’s actually pretty fascinating
and people who do social media listening to this
will probably find this pretty interesting
is picture like the content creation meta three years ago
versus now where you can make sub one minute
vertical content and it go viral on TikTok,
it go viral on YouTube shorts,
go viral on Instagram reels,
it goes viral on Facebook, it goes Reddit.
You know, you swipe through vertical content now
and Twitter when you click on a video
and you flip through it.
So this is actually very weird.
This is the first time in the history of,
I guess, Western social media that one form of content
could actually go super viral on every single platform.
It’s never been like that before.
So they’re going viral individual.
They’re not like interbreeding or whatever.
I can post something on TikTok
that will get a hundred million views
and then post it on shorts and it’ll get 200 million views
and then post it on Instagram and it get 50 million views.
And then, you know, I haven’t yet,
but you know, you can then turn around and tweet it
and it get tens of millions of views
and you can post it on Reddit
and it get tens of millions of views
and Facebook can get tens of millions of views.
And that just wasn’t a thing.
Three years ago, Twitter didn’t have,
because a lot of you probably don’t even know this,
but when you tap on a video now and you swipe down,
it just turns into TikTok.
That wasn’t a thing even a year ago.
Reddit, that wasn’t a thing a year ago.
Probably two years ago, that wasn’t a thing on Instagram.
Three years ago, that wasn’t a thing on YouTube, right?
With YouTube shorts.
So this is all new.
And I don’t, it’s weird.
I haven’t heard a single person talk about it,
but this is the first time where content
can actually go viral on every single platform.
And you don’t have to write or film a video for Facebook,
film a 12 minute video for YouTube,
film a sub 60 second video for TikTok,
write a tweet for Twitter and post this on Reddit.
You can just do the same thing on every platform.
And the fact that your content has gone viral
on multiple platforms regularly means
that virality is not accidental.
Sometimes it can be, of course, but it can be engineered.
It’s, yeah, so many people say it’s luck
and they’re like, you’re just lucky or this or that.
But what are we up to?
Probably like a thousand videos over 10 million views.
Like we don’t ever have a dud.
Like you can call it luck, but I think it can be trained.
I counsel YouTubers all the time
and show them how to go from getting
a couple million views a month
to 10 million views a month very easily.
And from even certain ones, like just one of my friends,
he was just really struggling.
And so I just started showing him basically everything
I know and just doing like once every week,
sometimes once every two weeks calls.
And he went from $10,000 a month on YouTube
to over 400,000, just doing these little counseling calls.
And so, I mean, people can make excuses all they want
and say it’s just luck or say, you know, well,
anyways, I don’t even want to quote all the other stuff,
but it’s just, it is, it is a teachable skill.
It’s a learnable skill.
You can study your way to consistently make viral videos,
no matter how small your channel is.
Even if you have zero subscribers,
you could if you actually studied hard enough.
And like, basically if you knew what I knew
and some of these, so I don’t sound so arrogant,
also like some of these other friends that have that,
I’d say are the smartest people in the world
when it comes to content creation online.
If you had the knowledge that was in our heads,
you could do it very easily.
I see people do it all the time.
And what’s even more interesting is I go on podcasts
and I say everything I know.
And these people are also very open.
Some of them I know, it’s all out there.
And a lot of people, instead of just studying that
and trying to absorb and apply it in their own way,
they’re just like, no, it’s just luck.
So you do lay it all out there,
but I gotta push back to one interesting thing.
I think a crucial component of your success
is the idea stage, the idea generation,
the brainstorming I heard today,
but getting really good at generating ideas.
So it’s not just the selection of the thumbnail
and the title, that creative process.
It’s also just the engine of generating really good ideas.
And getting that, I mean, I would say that
is probably the thing that needs to be trained the most
for most creators, right?
That they just don’t put enough ideas on paper.
Yes, but also a lot of creators also just don’t,
which I didn’t either for the longest time,
just don’t make good enough content.
Content that’s worthy of getting 10 million views.
In the idea or the execution of the idea?
I mean, think about how many people just make videos
they film in under 20 minutes
and they don’t really put any effort into it.
It’s like my first 500 videos didn’t deserve
to get a million views.
There’s a reason they did.
They’re terrible, you know what I mean?
But at the time I thought they did, right?
I’m in the mindset of a lot of small YouTubers
where I thought those videos deserved a million views
and I thought the algorithm hated me.
But I watch them back now and I can tell you exactly why.
The videos were just fucking horrible.
You know what I mean?
Well, so what was the breakthrough for you
to start realizing, to start having a self-awareness
about these videos aren’t good enough?
You’re probably still going through that.
You’re probably still growing to see.
Yeah, every six months you should look back
and hate your videos.
Or at least see things you could improve
and be like, oh, I could have done this better, that better.
If not, then you’re not learning quick enough.
In my opinion, at least.
Where’s the source of that learning even for you now?
Just look at the metrics?
No, I mean, I just got back from a mastermind
where I just got like 10 of the smartest people I knew
and we just locked ourselves in a cabin
and taught each other stuff.
Constantly, every day, not every day now,
probably every other day I go on a walk
and I just call random people.
I’ll just say, teach me something.
And I mean, it’s just, you just have to have
a never-ending thirst for learning.
That’s very imperative, especially if you want,
like if you want to get on top and then stay on top.
The only way to do it is just to constantly be learning.
Or someone who is learning is just gonna have a leg up
on you in the knowledge game.
And what kind of stuff are you,
because you’ve talked about offline
that you just love learning of all kinds, doesn’t matter.
But in terms of videos, are you studying videos?
Are you studying?
Recently, not as much.
Because to get to the videos I want,
I have to build this business and scale up and hire.
So more my recent time has been,
like my teenage years were spent studying virality
and studying content creation.
Now I’m studying how to build a content company
so I can actually produce the crazy ideas I want to produce,
if that makes any sense.
So yeah, and that’s the business side.
We talked about hiring.
Do you have trouble firing people?
No, I’m pretty sure almost every person,
yeah, actually every person I’ve ever fired,
we just give them severance.
And I like to see it more as, it’s no ill will.
Like if I fired you,
if there’s some other job you want me to help you get,
I’ll DM them on Twitter.
Like if you want to go work for, I don’t know,
insert whatever, MTV, give me someone to DM.
I’ll DM them.
Like I try to make it more like a transition
and do whatever we can to make it as easy as possible.
And if something was just not working for you,
because you want people, like you said, super passionate.
Because at the end of the day,
if you hold someone onto someone
that you don’t see being here in 10 years,
you’re just doing them a disservice.
You’re just giving them more ingrained,
more enrooted in where they are.
And the sooner you do it
and help them move on to their new life, the better.
Given all the wisdom you have now,
if you were to give advice to somebody,
or if you were to start over again,
you had no money,
what would be the first 10 videos you tried to make
on a new channel?
I guess that’s advice for a new person.
And nobody knows you.
Yeah, and nobody knows me.
Yeah, hypothetically, I have a mask on.
And you also, I guess, don’t have the wisdom.
But if I don’t have what I have in my head,
then I would say just fail.
A lot of people get analysis paralysis,
and they’ll just sit there
and they’ll plan their first video for three months.
Any of you listening,
especially if you have zero views on your channel,
your first video is not gonna get views, period.
Your first 10 are not gonna get views.
I can very confidently say that.
So stop sitting there and thinking
for months and months on end,
and just get to work and start uploading.
All you need to do,
this applies to people who have not uploaded videos,
but have dreams of being a YouTuber,
is make 100 videos and improve something every time.
And then on your 101st video, we’ll start talking.
Maybe you can get some views.
But your first 100 are gonna start.
There are very freak cases,
like Liza Koshy or Emma Chamberlain,
who have really good personalities,
and it doesn’t take them as many videos.
And it’s just people who are seven foot five
and making the NBA.
Yes, there are freak cases you can find.
But for the average person like us,
who don’t have these exceptional personalities
and backgrounds in filmmaking,
just make 100 videos, improve something each time,
and then talk to me on your 101st video.
Well, the improve something each time is the tricky one.
How do you improve something each time?
The second one, just, I don’t know,
put more effort into the script.
The third one, try to learn a new editing trick.
The fourth one, try to figure out a way
that you can have better inflections in your voice.
The fifth one, try to, you know,
study a new thumbnail tip and implement it.
The sixth one, try to figure out a new title.
There’s infinite ways.
That’s the beauty of content creation online.
There’s literally infinite ways,
from the coloring, to the frame rate,
to the editing, to the filming, to the production,
to the jokes, to the pacing,
to every little thing can be improved.
And they can never not be improved.
There’s literally no such thing as a perfect video.
So if you knew everything you know now, but no money?
Step one would, I’d just brainstorm, like,
okay, I don’t have money.
What are some viral things?
Like, I mean, the first thing that comes to my mind
is something as simple as when I count to 100,000,
which is what I did do when I was poor.
And I like that work.
But like, what’s something like that I could do
that would be even more attention-grabbing?
Yeah, you were, as part of the brainstorm,
you would throw out a lot of ideas,
and people would throw out a bunch of ideas,
and one of the questions is, is this even doable, right?
Yeah, first off, come up with ideas
you think would do well,
and then ask yourself later if they’re doable.
Because there’s different ways
you can accomplish something.
Don’t be cynical about the doability of stuff.
Yeah, because there really are so many different ways
you can accomplish a goal.
Like, when we give away an island,
like we gave our 100 million subscriber an island,
you can’t find private islands
that don’t look like shit for less than $10 million.
So this isn’t doable, right?
All right, the idea doesn’t exist, not doable, x it off.
But then you dig into it,
and you find different alternatives,
and you find, okay,
what if we just buy a $2 million island that sucks,
and then spend a million dollars importing some sand,
let’s build a beach, let’s import 300 trees,
let’s build a little bit of canal, let’s cut some paths,
boom, now it’s a really nice island,
but it’s actually affordable,
because we don’t have $10 million to spend on a video,
but we can afford to spend three and a half,
and lose whatever, a million dollars on that video.
So that’s an example of, yeah,
if you just went off the gut test,
you’d be like, this isn’t doable.
Every island’s $10 million, we’re screwed.
If we go cheaper, it’s just a terrible island, no.
And so there are so many different ways
you can achieve what you want,
you’ve really got to push through notes,
which not a lot of people do.
You have to have more of a dominant personality,
and just a willingness to,
when people tell you it’s not possible,
just actually go through all the variables,
and eliminate them all yourself.
Have a stubbornness, and a resilience to failure, maybe.
For what we do, and creators online,
it’s very imperative that you have,
that a no isn’t a no to you,
that you really have to think,
and just, we take personality tests,
and just having a dominant personality
is a better indicator that when someone tells you,
oh, there’s no way you’re gonna build a brick wall
for under 100 grand, you’ll be like, okay,
and then still go check the next 10 vendors,
and figure it out.
Yeah, what advice would you give
to an already established channel,
like with one, two, three, four million subscribers,
how to 10x it, increase it, without losing maybe?
Yeah, that’s where it’s very, channel by channel.
You can’t give general advice.
Yeah, because if I do,
millions of creators are gonna see this,
and then they’re gonna do it,
and I’m gonna fuck them over.
Oh, I see, I see.
So let’s say I had two million subscribers
on this podcast,
like how would you 10x that without sacrificing what it is?
10x your stuff.
Does it matter?
So you’ve talked about with success.
Yeah, it’s different for everyone.
Like, is 10xing your definition of success?
Well then, right off the bat, it’s hard,
because if you don’t give a shit about 10xing,
it’s even harder to 10x.
He does this because he likes helping people.
That’s one thing I’ve found throughout this day.
Every time I talk data, it’s so funny with him,
because it’s like, you know,
you could do this to get more views,
and he’ll just be like, blank.
That doesn’t register anything.
He just doesn’t care, which is really cool.
I’m really nervous about that.
I’m really nervous about the numbers affecting,
because it’s so fun.
It’s so fun to focus on the numbers,
and I’m really worried about that,
but at the same time, you should be cognizant of that,
because you’ve created not just some
of the most watched videos,
but some of the most amazing videos ever.
So there’s a strong correlation there.
It’s not like you’re selling your soul
to make a highly viewed video.
It’s actually, if you look at the metrics,
it helps you understand what is compelling and not.
And so I feel like I am,
I feel like there’s some value to investigate
what work, when people tune on and when not,
to be more data-driven, even on podcasts.
But I’m really afraid of that.
On the flip side, I think part of the appeal
is that you don’t care about that kind of stuff.
But there could be stuff
that doesn’t have to do anything with that,
and it has to do with stylistic choices
of lighting and cameras,
or maybe with, for example, topics.
Even what you’ve asked me here
is different than what most people ask me.
Yeah, so it could be,
and it’d be nice to understand that,
but again, I’m worried about polluting
the creative process.
At the end of the day, this is a true case
of it’s your own intuition.
You know your viewers better than anyone else.
See, I’d like to push back on that.
I really don’t.
Name one person who knows your viewers better than you.
Somebody that looks at numbers of podcasts?
No, you know your viewers.
You know, you’re the only,
how many episodes have you done?
But I’m not paying attention.
You’re the only one who’s watched
every second of all 350 of them, probably.
That’s just not, no, I haven’t, but the, okay.
Well, because you did it,
so you do know what’s in all of them.
It’s your content, it’s you.
I’m telling you, you do,
and this is just one of those moments
where you’re an intelligent guy
and you just have to trust your instincts.
Just think, what is the typical ex-viewer,
and what do they want?
I don’t think like that.
But that’s all you would have to do,
and whatever your gut tells you,
that would be the best guess.
You don’t know what the typical viewer is, though.
I don’t, because to investigate,
that would be very, very difficult,
and then you have to start looking at the numbers.
You have to start to consider the demographics.
The only way I know that anybody even watches it
is because I’ll sometimes run into people,
like when I run along the river,
and they’d be like, I love you, Lex.
It’s like, okay, well, that’s a data point,
and they’re like cool people,
but I don’t know, I don’t have any other,
it’s difficult, man.
It’s difficult to know who listens to boxes.
Do you have a sense of who’s,
I mean, you’re so huge that everybody watches.
Yeah, but no, I still do.
I’d say if you were to just put a gun to my head
and you’re like, all right,
we’re gonna pick a random person
that watched your last video,
and you have to roughly guess what they are,
and if you’re not close, we’ll kill you.
I would say probably a teenager that plays video games.
That would be probably the typical one,
and then there are people that are maybe
a little bit younger,
a lot of people that are older as well,
but in a random sample size, yeah,
it’s probably a male boy that plays video games.
That’s the best way I would describe it,
but I don’t try to pertain to them.
I just make whatever I think is interesting
and good content,
and this is what we were talking about before.
Even though, hypothetically, 35 to 40% of my audience
is women, which is less than the majority,
if we get 100 million views a video,
that’s still 30 to 40 million females
that watch every video,
which is probably the largest views per video
for women on the whole platform,
which you wouldn’t think that.
I can’t think of a single other creator
that gets more women to watch their videos than that,
and so it’s just anything,
even people above the age of 30,
even if it’s only three or 4%,
that’s still three to 4% of 100 million views
is a lot of people that age,
so we hit a large group of every demographic,
if that makes any sense.
So what if we look at other,
maybe more challenging kinds of channels, or not,
but if we look at educational, for example,
like lectures, or if we look, yeah, educational,
it could be short videos,
like how would you 10x that?
Like something on robotics, on biology,
on science, on engineering, on all of that,
that’s more educational focused.
We would honestly just have to pull the,
because it’s the same way,
if you went to Gordon Ramsay and you said,
how would a new cook cook better?
You know, it’s like, and you gotta-
Oh, so even then, that’s not even a specific,
you have to go channel by channel.
You really do, or I’m giving horrible advice,
because if there was these just golden rules,
everyone would do it, you know what I mean?
Like if there’s these magical little principles.
How quickly, when you look at a channel,
can you kind of give advice?
Yeah, it’s like surface level at the start,
and then the more, if we watch 10 videos,
I feel like I’d have a good profile,
and I could tell you, in my opinion,
especially once I look at the analytics,
and I get more ingrained in like,
okay, the typical viewer’s this,
they’re from here, here’s how they’re feeling, you know?
Because there are people who make videos for rednecks,
and like the redneck’s taste of content
is just so much different than,
obviously, women watching makeup videos,
which are so much different than, you know,
teenage boys watching a Minecraft video.
They’re just all different.
So the biggest thing you have to do
is put your head in the headspace of the viewer,
and see the content how they would.
Because if you just try to only give your taste,
which is what a lot of people do,
and things from your perspective,
it’s very biased, and it’s just not gonna work for everyone.
And that’s actually how you do more harm than good,
which is something I’m very careful of.
Yeah, but at the same time,
it’s just generating a lot of ideas.
I think the first time I’ve talked to you
was on Clubhouse, actually.
And I mentioned something about robots,
and like almost immediately,
you went to generating a bunch of ideas around robots.
Oh yeah, easily.
A hundred robots versus a hundred humans.
How far can a robot throw a potato?
I think your idea, like the first idea,
was because you just said so many ideas
I never even thought of,
but it shows the value of basically brainstorming
with people that think differently.
But at the end of the day,
my ideas are probably, you know,
might lean towards some people
a little bit younger than your audience,
like some of the stuff I’ve-
But there’s still ideas,
like I think the first one you said,
because we’re talking about a quadruped,
like robot dogs,
you said to replace a biological dog with a robot dog
and see if the owner notices something.
You were just quickly brainstorming different ideas
of like how-
This was years ago.
I remember it though.
It’s just, I mean, it’s like, oh yeah,
I never really thought about that kind of,
sort of, it’s the basic,
the tension between what does it take for a robot
and an AI system to replace the biological systems
that we, the biological creatures that we love
in our lives, yeah.
And, but like, that was like the pace of idea generation
was the thing that struck me today and in general.
It’s like, that’s how you get at good videos
is you keep-
It’s much easier to make a video around a good idea,
obviously, than a bad one.
You’re just setting yourself up for success.
Okay, so that’s for 10xing already popular channel.
What’s the hardest number?
You said the numbers that matters,
click-through rate, average view duration, and surveys.
What’s the hardest number to optimize for?
Probably surveys, you know.
Do you have any,
do you have an insight into the surveys at all?
No, not really.
But if you just click on a bunch of random videos online,
you’ll eventually get a survey.
Was this video transformative, heartwarming, inspiring?
What people rate does make a difference.
And it’s like, you can get people to click a video,
you can get them to watch it,
but you can’t really fake whether or not they’re satisfied.
Like, they don’t lie, the surveys, you know.
Maybe one person here and there might troll,
but once you aggregate enough,
it’s a pretty clear telltale of the video.
So either you’re making a great video or you’re not.
What is it?
Minimizing the non-regrettability.
Yeah, I think Elon tweeted that.
That’s what he’s trying to do on Twitter.
And that’s interesting.
That’s basically the survey metric,
how happy you are that you’ve been using the platform.
Elon tweeted, we want to limit the amount
of regrettable minutes people spend on Twitter.
And the first thing I thought, it’s like,
that’s something YouTube already has a lot,
their whole survey system and feedback loop.
How tough is it to take on YouTube, you think?
Yeah, for Twitter, for anybody else.
I mean, it’s gonna be basically impossible.
I mean, YouTube’s not going anywhere.
And I don’t know, I don’t think anyone’s gonna do
what YouTube does better than them,
at least not in the next 10 years.
You asked on Twitter, would you rather have $10 million
or 10 million subscribers on YouTube?
What would your own answer be
at various stages in your career?
If I had nothing, I would say $10 million.
Because with $10 million, you can hire some people
and pump out content with like a million or two,
get 10 million subscribers,
and then keep the other eight million.
So that’s if you believe in your ability
to grow a channel, if you…
Well, if you, yeah, if you don’t believe
in your ability to grow a channel,
then you shouldn’t take the 10 million subscribers,
because you’re just gonna kill the channel.
So the 10 million is definitely,
a better question would be,
would you rather have a million dollars
or 10 million subscribers?
That’s where it gets a little tricky.
Because now it’s like, hmm,
you know, a million dollars,
life-changing amount of money.
But you know, if you semi-knew what you’re doing,
you’d probably make a million dollars
off a 10 million subscriber channel,
but there is a little bit of risk.
A million dollars might not be enough
to build a strong team,
because you don’t know how to do it,
so you might waste all of that money.
Yeah, or they just keep it and retire, yeah.
Okay, that’s true.
Yeah, because 10 million is just so high,
it’s like, just never work again, who cares?
For the average human, that’s so much money.
It’s interesting to me also,
to the value of the subscriber
versus the value of the dollar.
I suppose, how valuable is a subscriber for,
like what percentage of the videos,
like how active are the subscribers
in watching the video for you?
That’s hard, I don’t know.
I was actually thinking more about the subscriber to dollar.
Like, if someone has 10 million subscribers,
have they made 10 million dollars?
I don’t know why that kind of popped in my head.
It’s an interesting thought.
Do you ever, when you analyze videos,
do you ever analyze videos,
like we’ve talked about offline,
of other videos across YouTube in general,
just to understand trends,
to understand social behavior and other things?
Not all, but a lot of the questions are analytics-based.
Yeah, because I love it.
It’s just a giant social experiment, right?
Like what people like to watch, what people share.
It’s like a fascinating look.
So, like I said before,
what percentage of your audience
do you think care about this kind of stuff?
Like this deeply about YouTube analytics.
I think a large amount care about
curiosity and exploration of interesting ideas.
So in that sense, yeah, this was fitted.
I love it.
This is funny.
This isn’t me like trying to,
I love you.
And I actually, I loved your Magnus one.
And even your Hikaru one was really good,
and a bunch of other ones.
But I think we’re getting to the point now
where only analytics junkies
would want to keep hearing more analytics talk.
And the normie is probably like,
they’ve had their dose of YouTube talk
for the next three years.
Maybe I’m wrong.
Comment if I’m wrong.
I could be, I don’t know your audience.
See, this is where you would tell me,
shut up, I know my audience, you dumb ass.
And I don’t at all.
I actually, I just follow the thread of curiosity.
And I think there’s just a lot of curious humans
in the world.
And to me, it’s like,
so the question about analytics
is the question of basically stepping away,
stepping outside of yourself and thinking,
why the hell do I like TikTok so much?
Why do I like Twitter so much?
Why do I like YouTube so much?
And getting, even if you’re not a creator,
getting an insight into that is really interesting.
It’s like, what?
Because all these platforms
are fundamentally changing the nature of content.
People are reading books less.
They’re probably going to be watching movies less and less.
They’re probably going to be watching Netflix less and less.
Do you ever think about the sort of the darker side
of YouTube and with shadow banning and censorship
and all that kind of topics,
especially if you see it in other platforms like Twitter,
that Elon recently highlighted the shadow banning
that was happening and in general,
the censorship that was happening on those platforms.
Do you think about the role of centralized control
of which information is or isn’t made available
through search and discovery?
I’ll be honest.
I never really think about it, so.
You just try to make fun videos that-
Yeah, I’m kind of more in my own lane,
but it’s not that I don’t just specifically think about it.
I just like a lot of stuff in general.
I’m just kind of in my own lane,
thinking about my own stuff.
But now that you asked, I’m curious.
What are your thoughts on YouTube and that kind of stuff?
Well, I’m generally against centralized censorship
or shadow banning.
Shadow banning is the worst one
because not that the goal of creating a healthy platform
where you’re having great conversations
and videos that are not spreading misinformation,
that sounds like an admirable goal,
but that’s too difficult of a job for a centralized entity.
That’s too big of a responsibility.
Yeah, and there’s the misinformation stuff,
and then there’s also just like the videos
where they do something that causes,
what happened back in the day, the adpocalypse.
A lot of creators’ revenue plummets
because people are doing videos
that advertisers don’t deem acceptable,
and then now all these big advertisers are pulling,
and the little guys are getting hit
because ad rates dropped by 30%,
and the person who just quit his job
to go full-time content creation now can’t sustain it.
So it’s also, it’s like a lot of different variables as well
that makes it so complicated.
Well, I think the big thing is transparency,
especially around shadow banning for people.
On shadow banning, you should be transparent.
You should let people know.
Obviously, there has to be some type of controls.
People can’t just post whatever,
and so if you’re pulling those levers,
they should at least know.
Yeah, so they know how to improve their content,
they can understand it, they can-
If it’s a wrong shadow banning,
like as a society,
that we should not shadow ban this kind of content,
that means you should be publicly discussing it
and having that-
If it’s not known, then it’s just kind of like,
well, then who’s pulling the strings?
And how do we know they’re not just manipulating things
to get whatever message they want out there
and silence other ones?
Yeah, and there could be sort of in the background
which is where actual freedom of speech comes into play,
that the government should not have any control
or be able to put pressure on censorship of speech.
And it gets weird if none of that is being,
there’s no transparency around it yet.
But to be fair, that’s a huge responsibility.
The amount of content that YouTube,
is uploaded on YouTube,
that is shared by YouTube, viewed by YouTube-
But even more of a reason why
it would probably make sense to be transparent.
Because then people can help fact-check it.
But that requires building a platform
that makes that easy, right?
Like to make fact-checking easy,
to make the, like Twitter now has,
like being able to share context
and all that kind of stuff.
Crowdsource it the way Wikipedia crowdsource it.
I mean, there’s, it’s-
And then you open a random Wikipedia article.
But like, you know, people criticize Wikipedia
because there is a political lean
to the editors of Wikipedia.
And then they get, there’s some articles
that definitely have a bias to them
and all that kind of stuff.
It’s a difficult problem.
It’s a difficult problem to solve.
That ultimately, as much as possible,
it would be nice for the viewer to have control of that
versus the entity that’s hosting it.
So for the viewer to decide-
I’ll let you figure that stuff out.
I’m just going to make fun-
Yeah, you know, let’s go to Antarctica again.
How was that?
How was going to, you just came back from Antarctica.
That was, I watched the video.
That was, that was fun.
That was a really fun video.
There’s, I mean, there’s a lot of things
I can comment about that, but what was that,
what was the hardest part of making that video?
The hardest part was just getting out there.
It’s just so remote.
You know, you land the plane on just this ice runway
and it’s so sketchy.
And then once the plane takes off, you’re just there.
You’re the most remote place on the planet.
And it’s just, it’s very breathtaking.
I don’t, if you have the chance to ever go to Antarctica,
I would recommend it.
It was probably like the, in the video,
we climbed a mountain that wasn’t named,
so we can name it.
And like standing on top of that mountain
and just seeing kind of like nothing.
Because once you get outside the outskirts
and you get deep in Antarctica,
there’s no penguins, nothing lives there at all.
And so there’s just nothing in every direction.
It’s just snow and these crazy beautiful mountains
and some of them stick into the clouds.
And if you go during summertime, the sun never goes down.
So the sun’s up 24 seven and it’s just like spinning
in circles at the top of the planet or whatever.
It looks like the top.
Yeah, you guys commented several times how beautiful.
Yeah, and so it’s just, yeah, it’s just very beautiful.
What about shooting itself,
like the technical aspects of shooting it?
Oh, I mean, well, so somehow we lucked out.
One of the days was like the warmest day
in like forever that’s been in Antarctica.
It was like, it was positive degrees,
but at certain parts it was also like negative 20,
And that’s where the cameras,
you constantly have to be switching out the batteries
and heating them up and like putting them basically
in like your pants or they’ll just get way too cold.
And we were prepared for much worse,
but it ended up being much better than we thought.
So for that video, but in general,
maybe some other challenging videos,
how do you go from the idea stage
to the actual execution to the final video?
Can you take me through like a full process of,
like we’re talking about some crazy wild ideas today.
How do you go from that to a final video
where you click publish?
Well, I mean, obviously first things first,
you gotta figure out the idea and then it just depends.
I mean, pick any video you can think of on my channel.
I can take you through it.
Well, what about the, in a circle?
You have to stay in a circle for 100 days.
Yeah, so for that one, step one.
One of the most popular.
Yeah, that video did really well.
So we, problem is we have to,
this is where you get really into the nuances of the company
because we have a lot of videos going out.
You can’t just in a vacuum be like,
all right, we’re not doing anything for 100 days.
We’re only filming this.
So step one is we had to build an independent crew
that could actually do that for 100 days.
That way everyone else could keep working
on the normal videos and not just screw everything up.
So step one, you build that team.
Okay, we got the team.
Now what do we need?
Well, to do this, we need probably like 10 cameras,
at least rolling at all times.
So we’re probably gonna need to get a trailer
and hook up a bunch of storage and stuff
to just carry the sheer volume of footage we’re gonna have.
And so get a trailer, set up the cameras,
go out in the field, paint a circle.
Now we need a house, go buy a house, bring it out there.
And then it’s like, oh wait, I think it’d be funny
if I brought the house in on the intro.
Find a crane that can lift up a house
so I can drive it in and drop it in the intro.
And that’s like an iterative process
where you’re like, okay, this would be funnier.
So this is not all up front that you’ve written.
It’s like you’re-
Ideally it would be, but as you kind of see things,
you get inspired and then you think of more and more.
This would be better with a crane.
Yeah, it’d be better if I dropped out of the house.
Drop it, yeah.
That was crazy that you decided to do that.
So fearless in the kind of crazy stuff you’re willing to do.
I’m a broken record,
but whatever makes the best video possible.
That’s all you focus on.
Okay, so what about the delegation of like,
who gets to, what are the cameramen,
like the people operating the cameras?
What, who’s responsible for different things?
Is it like a distributed process?
Well, that’s where whoever the lead cam
would be on that video would just decide it.
That one, cause we shot over a hundred days.
We didn’t, a lot of it was just Sean
and the guy who was in the circle just vlogging.
We just gave him a camera and he figured it out.
And then we’d have like for him just set hours each day
that a cameraman would come.
So if he had any content, he needed extra hands.
Instead of just having someone on standby 24 seven,
it made more sense to do set hours.
And yeah, it was hard, but you know,
explaining it in hindsight, it sounds so simple, you know?
And I guess like the more,
cause that one is relatively simple, I guess,
because it’s a low number of people.
Yeah, the hard part about that is just the time.
Like, you know, I checked in on them so many different days
and it’s like an hour here, two hours there,
three hours there, over a hundred days
adds up to be a ton of time.
And even then, like, you know,
if you have a 10 person crew, you know,
paying them daily rates for a hundred days,
it just, all of it adds up.
What about like the a hundred versus a hundred,
a hundred adults versus a hundred kids?
What was bringing that to life?
That seems like exceptionally challenging.
Yeah, basically the thought process was
we did a hundred boys versus a hundred girls.
People loved it.
Honestly, I didn’t think they’d like it
as much as they did.
Video did really, really well.
So the second I saw that video was crushing,
I was like, all right, we’re doing it again.
But last time we did it, we did in our studio.
So we built a giant room, put a hundred girls in it.
It sounds bad when I explain it like this.
And then a giant room put a hundred boys
and we’re like, after a hundred hours,
whichever room has the most people,
we’ll give them half a million dollars.
So it did well.
So we’re like, all right, we’re going to do it again.
So we threw out all these different ideas.
It was like a hundred football players
versus a hundred cheerleaders, a hundred this, a hundred that,
a hundred prisoners versus a hundred cops.
Just craziest ideas.
And we settled on a hundred kids versus a hundred adults.
And then the next step was like, how do we make it better?
The kids versus adults, sorry, the boys versus girls,
the first one we did was inside.
The problem was every time it was night
when we did these long time lapses,
you couldn’t see the sun go up and down.
So we’re like, okay, this time I want to do it outside.
That’s why the cubes are outside.
And instead of doing circles, we wanted to make them cubes.
And then, you know, figure out, do we want the, yeah.
Those videos came up at least today
as ones that are like really complicated
in terms of the audio, in terms of how to film it.
Yeah, that’s the problem.
We had a lot of audio issues
because in the first one, we didn’t have a roof on it.
The second one, there was a roof.
So there’s a lot of reverb,
which then in editing made it brutal.
Like half the shots weren’t usable
and it really screwed us over.
So we had to do a lot of Frankensteining in the editing
to make up for basically my ignorance.
So you mentioned that you were surprised
how well that one did.
A lot of creators talk about getting depressed
when the videos don’t do as well as they kind of expected.
There’s a kind of feeling
you can get really worn out by that.
Do you yourself feel that?
And also, do you have advice for others that feel this?
Yeah, it’s weird because I am a numbers guy,
but also it used to.
It used to very much,
especially when I was like betting
everything I had on a video.
When it did bad, I was devastated, man.
I’d cry and I’d be depressed for days
and it really would have a severe impact on my mood.
But I don’t know, now it doesn’t really matter.
If a video does bad, I just look at it and I’m like,
oh, why did this video do bad?
Probably, oh, there’s a little retention dip there.
I don’t think people like the thumbnail.
Maybe we should switch it.
And I just look at it objectively, unemotional,
and then just move on.
And I feel like that’s a much healthier way
of going about it.
So if a creator is listening,
that is the ideal way to respond to a video
that’s doing bad.
Just remove emotion from the equation
and just look at it and figure out
how you can improve the next one.
Is there tricks to being able to detach yourself
from that because in your case,
I mean, that’s true for creators,
but in your case, there’s a lot of money on the line.
There’s videos costing a lot of money.
Yeah, well, a month of my life and so much time,
but no, I mean, you just, I don’t know.
The only real answer is it’s just a conscious effort.
You just have to unemotionally look at the video,
determine the problems, and then move on.
There is no secret, you know what I mean?
It’s just, it’s that.
And if you really can’t bring yourself to do it,
then you’re just screwed.
Honestly, maybe you’re not meant for this game.
Okay, so that’s part of the development as a creator
is like you’re being able to detach yourself from it.
For longevity, yes, yeah.
You have to unemotionally be able to look at videos
that flop and figure it out.
Because if not, just getting,
and not every video can be a one out of 10,
and so when a video does bad,
you know, that just stress and depression,
it’s just gonna eventually get to you in the long run.
So you said you’ve failed in a bunch of videos,
sort of taking them to completion.
So what are some of the biggest fails?
Yeah, weirdly enough, as we’ve matured
and we’ve done this more,
we don’t have that problem as much,
especially now that we’re getting
some multimillion dollar budgets per video.
It’s like, failure is not really an option anymore.
So I’m a little more particular about what I do.
But back in the day, yeah, like we would do a video
where we spent 24 hours on a deserted island,
and we filmed it, did it all,
and I just, I didn’t like it after the edit.
So I just grabbed the voice
and we went back to the deserted island
and spent another 24 hours there and refilmed it.
Could that have been caught
and prevented at the idea stage?
No, it’s a good idea.
It was just poor execution.
To be honest, when we were out there, it was hot.
We were just like, we all at one point
just kind of wanted to die.
It was just miserable.
So how do you avoid that these days?
Well, I just went when it was a little cooler,
to be honest.
And then we had, literally,
the amount of fun we had in the video
was like 10 times higher.
So you, like, there’s some practical details
that you just learned.
Yeah, I don’t…
Videos where it’s very hot or it’s on water,
because I get super seasick.
There’s like a, kind of like 10 things
that if they have these variables,
I’m down to do it.
But my fun meter is not as high as normal.
Like we tried to…
Anytime we do anything on a boat,
like when we spent 24 hours in Bermuda Triangle,
or when I tried to spend like,
which it didn’t get uploaded,
but I tried to spend like 100 hours at sea or whatever,
just like on a raft.
It just like, it makes me want to throw up
and I get so seasick.
I can’t even see straight.
But there are just some videos
that require me to be on a boat.
So I just suck it up.
So when you spend months in creating a video,
I know this is probably stressful to some creators,
like how much stress,
how do you feel when you have to click publish a video?
Now, not much.
So you’re able to detach yourself?
Again, in old me, tons.
I mean, I’d be like scratching and nervous
and like my hands would be sweating
like to the point where I’m almost about to puke.
I’m like, I really hope people like this.
You know, I don’t know.
I think that’s just part of maturing it.
There’s different, as a content creator,
there’s different phases.
You just like, once you get over the fear
that you’re just gonna wake up one day and be irrelevant,
you know, and you just, you know,
accept that like you believe in yourself
and you believe in your content
and that you can continue to be relevant,
then you don’t, I don’t know,
you kinda, it’s a little bit easier to detach yourself,
I guess, and that’s, it’s a much healthier place to be.
You can’t do this for 10 years
if every little thing just causes
these huge emotional reactions.
It’s like, that’s why a lot of creators
go a little, you know, mentally insane.
You know, you have to get out of that game
because it really messes with you.
We’ve talked about this a little bit,
but how do you define and how do you suggest
others define success on YouTube?
It’s so subjective.
Some people, success is retiring their mom.
You know, for you, success is inspiring people
and educating them and, you know,
whatever, piquing their curiosity.
You know, for other people, it’s just quitting their job.
So you have to self-reflect
on what your definition of success is
because I think a lot of creators
kinda don’t really think, don’t introspect.
Like, they kinda wanna keep getting
more and more subscribers kind of thing.
Yeah, but subscribers is just a vanity metric, you know?
It doesn’t, subscribers don’t correlate to views.
Sure, or views, what?
Yeah, I know, but that’s more,
that wasn’t directed to you,
that was more directed to people listening
because a lot of people do really care about subscribers
or even followers, like on TikTok.
But if you look, like, your view,
on YouTube, very, very few percent,
if even a percent of your views come from the sub feed,
right, they’re almost all home feed or suggested.
When’s the last time you clicked
on your sub feed to watch a video?
Oh, almost never, yeah.
Yeah, maybe five years ago.
It used to be a thing.
It’s not anymore, no one does.
And it’s getting harder and harder to find.
I subscribe to way too many channels, I think.
Yeah, that’s what everyone does.
And you subscribe to 10 channels, they’re great,
but two years later, your taste evolves
and it’s like, it’s a mess.
And so, subscribers don’t really matter.
Followers on TikTok don’t really matter.
So anyways, they really are the definition
of a vanity metric.
And, but what about views?
They do, obviously,
because if people are showing up time and time again,
that’s what matters.
Okay, so that’s a good thing to define a success.
I just feel like that too can be a problem
because I would say, you know,
if I wanted to be successful, like as a young creator,
I might start copying Mr. Beast
or something like that, right?
Like there’s, you start trying to take shortcuts
as opposed to find your own unique voice, right?
So like chasing views is a problem too, it feels like,
or no, as long as you detach yourself from them.
I mean, if you’re, it sounds bad, but if you’re lazy, yeah,
and you just want to copy someone else
and not experiment and find your own way,
but I mean, you can’t make that excuse for them.
If someone just isn’t coming up with the original stuff
and putting in the effort, you can’t just say,
oh, it’s because they’re chasing views.
We need some different metric for them to chase.
No, they just need to find their own way.
It just feels like unique type of content
will often lead to sacrifice in the number of views
in the short term.
By the long term, you win.
Or if you do win, you win more,
I guess would be a better way of putting it.
Do you think you will IPO MrBeastBurger or Feastables
in the next five, 10 years?
BeastBurger or Feastables, no.
I kind of think they’re,
so actually, you know what, I just realized,
this is our first time talking about those.
We’re like an hour and a half in, that’s so funny.
We started talking about what?
My retention brain kicked in.
I wonder if you have retention brain for like life itself.
Oh, I do.
Every time I’m talking to someone, I can, I’m like, okay.
What about like loved ones?
Like spending time with loved ones,
thinking like we could be doing something
much better right now.
Yes, no, that is a serious problem with,
well, so we’ll pause the BeastBurger question, yes.
But that’s why my current girlfriend,
which I was telling you before
when we were talking about this,
is she has a genuine love for learning.
And that’s something I have.
Like I always feel like I need to be learning something
to justify the time I’m spending.
And so that’s why it’s such a nice trait
because I feel like that time is being used optimally
because whether we’re watching a documentary
or we’re going and taking an IQ test
or reading about whatever, just why modern art is a thing,
I don’t know, whatever weird thing we decide to do,
I’m always learning and improving,
so it justifies the time.
So to maximize retention in your relationship.
You want to spend that time learning as much as possible.
Yeah, which conveniently I don’t have to force, right?
Or I want to be recharging.
So when I do work, I can hit the ground harder.
And luckily we’re into a lot of the same things,
which happen to be learning,
and sometimes it’s not learning,
like maybe watching an anime or something like that.
But I’m a big believer in you’re either,
if you, well, if your goal is to be
like a super successful entrepreneur,
you need to either be working
or you need to be doing something
that decompresses and recharges you
so you can work again,
if your goal is to be like a really kick-ass entrepreneur.
Obviously we’re boiling this down to a very basic thing.
And so the things you’re doing,
you’re down time when you’re not working,
if it doesn’t recharge you, you’re screwed.
You’re just a ticking time bomb waiting to implode.
And so you got to like heavily recharge.
And like, so like watching for me,
anime or whatever it is playing a board game,
like that is actually kind of crucial to my success,
which takes a lot of maturing to come to that conclusion
because I used to be the kind of guy
that wanted to work every hour of the day.
And I would try to train myself to not need that stuff.
And I, you know, and I almost resented like that.
I have to do these kinds of things
and it would piss me off because it’s not optimal.
And, you know, I just really want to make content
and entertain people.
But as someone who’s gone down that road
and, you know, you just work every day
for two, three months straight and, you know,
every hour of the day,
and then you’re just a bomb waiting to explode
and lose your mind.
And the only real sustainable thing is to just like,
give yourself time to recharge in between working.
So there’s a kind of balance you have to find.
You have to, even, and I hate it more than anyone else.
Cause I, you know.
You hate not working.
Yeah, it’s cause it’s just not optimal for time.
Like it’s, as a human,
I do need to occasionally watch a mindless show
and play a board game.
And it took me a very long time
to like come to peace with that and not,
I would have like borderline panic attacks when I do it.
Cause I’m like, I just, what am I doing right now?
Why am I doing this?
I should be, you know, like,
what if one day I have to lay off an employee
because we’re not doing so well?
Like, how could I justify watching this show
or whatever I’m doing right now?
You know, it’s like,
there’s a lot of things like that that go on in your head,
but it’s necessary.
Before we return to Mr. Beast Burger.
Well, what is like, since we’re on the topic,
what is a perfect day in the life,
perfectly productive day in the life
of Mr. Beast look like?
Or like a standard.
I mean, the perfectly productive day
is we film a main channel video.
Cause those get a hundred million a pop.
I mean, it doesn’t really get any better than that.
What about like the average day when you’re not on the set?
And you’re like,
cause you’re running a lot of things, right?
Yeah. So right now we have our snack brand Feastables.
We have a restaurant chain Beast Burger.
And then we basically,
which we haven’t even really launched any products yet,
but we have the data company that I was showing you
where we’re going to roll out some tools for creators.
And then we have the react channel,
the gaming channel, the main channel.
And then we have my charity, which also has a channel.
And so kind of how I’ve structured my life right now
is whatever I have free time,
we just kind of go,
Hey guys, Jimmy’s got an hour from 2 PM to 3 PM.
And everyone’s just like, I need this.
I need this.
And this channel’s like, I need this thing filmed.
Or, you know, whatever.
The guy who runs my TikTok’s like,
I need this TikTok filmed.
Or, you know, Beast Burger’s like,
I need this menu item approved.
And we need to talk about this marketing thing.
And then we kind of just look at what everyone needs.
And we’re like,
that one looks like the most important.
We’ll do that.
And then, so it’s just kind of like, you know,
if I just did that for every company in a day,
then that’s optimal.
If I just kind of,
like an optimal day for me would be going down
to eight companies and just whatever they’re like
two to three biggest pain points
or things they need from me.
And just doing those.
Based on priority and then trying to keep it
as short as possible to just the things that you need it on.
It doesn’t get more optimal than that.
If I clear the bottlenecks
or some bottlenecks for all my companies,
then it’s, yeah, that’s a perfect day.
Yeah, I mean, even just me,
cause you’re like, you’re showing me around
and you’re being a great and gracious host.
But on top of that,
you’re just doing all these meetings.
I felt bad at some points.
I was like, oh,
I just tricked him into going to meetings with me.
He’s like my little meeting buddy.
I mean, it was fun.
It was fun to see how effectively you’ve delegated.
You basically trust the team to do a really good job
on the various things.
And there’s just a strong team that’s able
to carry the five on all the different tasks.
From the brainstorming in the main channel
to the reacts and so on.
Yeah, it’s really interesting.
I mean, it’s really interesting what it takes
to build a team like that.
Cause you very quickly build a very large team
that’s able to scale.
Which is very scary.
Cause it’s my first, you know, I’m 24.
You know, and I think I was telling you this earlier.
It’s funny cause six years ago,
I had to raise my hand to go use the bathroom.
And now I’m in charge of hundreds of people
and entertain hundreds of millions of people.
And so it is crazy just how quick it comes up.
And I wish I was a little bit older
so I could have ran a couple of companies
and failed a few companies in the past
and like learn from those and apply those here.
Cause I know for a fact, when I’m 34, I’m 24 now,
when I’m 34, I’ll know so much more about running a business
and scaling and hiring and how to lead people
and better effectively communicate
and all these different skill sets
that will make me a better leader.
That’s the only thing that sucks
is I just don’t have those
cause I just haven’t been through the lessons
and I just have such a lucrative thing
on my plate right now.
And it just sucks that I have to learn the lessons
with the lucrative thing.
You know what I mean?
Yeah, cause you already have so much influence,
so much impact, but you have effectively scaled.
What lessons do you draw from that?
How to effectively scale as a 24 year old?
Yeah, that’s something I feel like
I actually could give a lot of value to
to young people who are doing it.
Like older people who’ve built five companies
or whatever they do.
I probably couldn’t, you know,
they’re gonna be like, oh, this is so obvious.
But for younger first-time business owners,
you gotta just experiment, to be honest.
And so for us, like it’s just a new space.
No one had really ever scaled up 100 person team
to build, make content on YouTube.
So there wasn’t no, I spent all this time,
like I hired one person from Disney at one point
to come in and help.
And obviously that was a dumb idea looking back on it.
But, you know, I thought,
oh, they make great stuff people wanna watch.
And they come over here and help me build a team.
And, you know, they build it more the traditional way
and not like how it should be online.
And so then it’s like, okay,
and now I’m not trying to trash people.
Like they all tried their best,
but then I hired this one person
who does this different type of media
and runs a 100 person team.
And then you come in here and they try to build it that way.
They don’t really listen to you or value
or see the difference.
And I tried basically for building this company
with like four or five different people
who worked in different veins of media.
And, you know, every single time,
it’s just like, they just don’t get it.
And they don’t understand my world.
And the eventual solution was just like
to roll up my sleeves and do it myself,
you know, with like James or him, man,
and just like, no one’s ever done this.
And like, no one’s gonna just give us a golden carrot
and tell us how to build this company.
We gotta figure it the fuck out ourselves.
And you have to kind of build up people from scratch then.
All the stuff I was talking about earlier
and all the lessons I learned along the way.
And so for me, that was a big part of like,
stop trying to have someone build this company for me
and just do it myself.
Because it’s scary.
Like I spent my whole life studying YouTube videos
and virality, not business building.
But fuck it.
I was like, I guess we just gotta do it ourselves then.
And that’s where things really start to click.
And we got the exponential growth.
We started getting the right people
and training them the right way.
And, you know, just throwing conventional stuff
out the door and focusing on what’s actually practical
for YouTube, which is just completely different
than traditional media.
So you train people and then those people train people
and then so on.
Yeah, I mean, it’s just even like, you know,
how you do the lighting on sets
or like how you do the audio or, you know,
not writing scripts.
So, you know, we’re just not as efficient with our filming.
Like sometimes I have to have 30 cameras running.
Because it’s not scripted.
I don’t know what Chris is gonna do when we start filming.
He might run over there.
But guess what?
I have a plan because there’s only one shot.
I can’t, you know, tell him not to do that.
Yeah, that’s the shooting.
But then there’s also the editing.
Yeah, and then the editing as well
and not having guardrails and kind of, you know,
at the end of the day, it’s whatever I want.
The video, their job is to make a video
that they think I’ll like because it’s my channel.
But, you know, you can achieve that kind of however.
And so it’s just, everything’s just different.
You know, it’s much more, I guess,
like a startup as opposed to…
Are you often surprised like with the result?
Like you think a certain,
like we watched a video today that was really nice.
That was different than you would have potentially edited.
Are you sometimes surprised by like a decision
that it makes?
It’s like, okay, that’s not the way I would have done it,
but it’s actually, this is a cool idea.
Yeah, of course.
Yeah, the thing, my biggest fear is I don’t ever want
to get trapped in like a bubble of, you know,
because we are getting 100 million views a video
on the main channel.
Like, but I don’t want to get in this feedback loop
of just my ideas are great or, not feedback loop,
but stop learning and improving.
Because it is easy sometimes to be like,
what we’re doing is working.
We need to just keep doing it.
I want to keep learning and trying new things.
And I guess one way I’d put it is like,
you don’t, when you’re on a come up or you’re growing,
you don’t want to test new things once you start to plateau
or have a downtrend.
Because if you’re like, you know, you’re skyrocketing,
right, you’re up, up, up.
And then you level off and you start to go down
and you’re like, oh, this isn’t working anymore.
Let’s start experimenting.
Well, if you have a bad experiment,
now you’re in like a tailspin, you’re nosediving.
And you have one more bad experiment,
you’re like, screwed, kind of, I’m oversimplifying.
You want to test things while you’re still growing
to keep the growing from happening.
Because once you like have, you know, again,
very oversimplifying that like, you know,
kind of level off, you do a couple of tests that go wrong.
In my, you’re like, screwed, you know what I mean?
You’re already out the door.
Now you’re just confirming that you’re out the door
and online entertainment.
So that’s kind of how I see it.
So I think it’s very imperative
that you’re constantly always experimenting
and trying things, even if you’re getting crazy,
unheard of growth.
And so that, outside of the thing
that brought you to the dance,
you just dived right into Mr. Beast Burger and Feastables.
This is a whole nother industry.
Like, what was that like?
Well, so Beast Burger, we kind of,
it was supposed to be like just a pop-up.
Like, we just partnered with someone
who had 300 restaurants and we’re just like, you know,
let’s just sell Beast Burgers for a day or two.
Let’s see what happens.
We didn’t really think it would be as big as it was,
but those first, like that first day, you know,
we do six figures in sales and they all sell out
and they’re running to local Walmarts.
They can’t keep up with the demand.
And it’s like, okay, well,
maybe let’s just leave it open a week, whatever.
And we’re just doing crazy revenue.
And it’s like, okay, well, let’s add some more restaurants
and let’s just leave them open for a month.
And we’re just still doing six figures a day.
And it kind of just went from this thing
that was, I don’t know, it wasn’t really,
I didn’t really plan on running a restaurant chain,
but here I am.
But didn’t that, in some sense,
also open your mind to something like Feastables?
Feastables is something I’ve always wanted to do.
Because I think just in general,
American snacks are just full of so much
horrible ingredients, to be honest.
And they’re not, I don’t know.
I feel like there also just hasn’t been any innovation
in American snacks in quite a while.
And so that’s just something
I’ve always been pretty passionate about.
We built that from scratch.
So we hired the CEO and built a team around them.
And we spent probably over two and a half years
before we even launched,
just like building the right team,
figuring things out and making sure
it was actually ran the way I wanted,
which Feastables has just been crushing.
It’s very interesting.
This is something I’ve never talked about publicly,
but having products in retail,
it’s like before Feastables,
everything I had done was online.
So if you wanted to, you know,
anything from the quote, quote, peace brand,
you’d have to buy it online and ship it to you.
But Feastables, now that, you know,
because our first product, Chocolate Bars,
we started putting that in retail locations.
So like, for example, Walmart, it’s crazy.
Like it’s just, it doesn’t make sense how,
if you’re, which I guess it does for,
because we get 100 million views a video.
So a lot of people know us.
If I go stand on Walmart,
those people recognize me and ask for photos.
Like if I stood there long enough,
I could take 150 photos today in Walmart or 200,
whatever it is.
So obviously it makes sense those people go buy Feastables.
But then you just multiply that by every Walmart in America.
And it just gets so crazy.
And I didn’t think we’d be doing the kind of revenue we are.
And we’re about to launch in some other,
I don’t know if I’m allowed to say it, so whatever,
but other big retail, you know,
locations and convenience stores.
And like by the end of next year,
we could be in like 40, 50,000 locations.
And the numbers just don’t make sense.
What are some interesting challenges about scaling there
that surprised you?
The biggest problem, which I didn’t think would be,
was just keeping the shelves in Walmart stock,
to be honest.
So that supply chain.
It was brutal.
Well, even then sometimes like, you know,
you get them the stuff and they’re like,
it takes them like a day or two to put it out
in that specific location.
And I had to stop promoting it
because every time I’d mention it,
like 40% of people would just be like, it’s not there.
It’s not in Walmart or I can’t buy it.
And so there was like a three-ish month period
where I just didn’t promote Feastables
because I was scared that someone would go buy it
and it’s just not there.
And so like, it took us a very long time
to catch up to the demand.
And also, it’s not like we have unlimited money.
So, but now we’re relatively caught up and keeping up,
but it’s going to be interesting
because now this year in 2023,
we’re going to basically, you know,
10X the amount of locations we’re in.
So we’re, and we’re going to try to launch new products.
So we’re in for an interesting ride, but yeah,
I just hate, I hate when I tell people, you know,
like, hey, go try this product.
And then they go in their local Walmart
and eventually other places and it’s not there.
It’s just so brutal, you know,
that they made that whole journey out there
and they couldn’t get it.
And so that was really it.
Besides that, no, it’s been doing way better
than I ever thought.
You’ve talked to a couple of places
about maybe doing mobile games
or computer games in the future.
Is that something you’re still considering?
Yes, because, you know,
do you normally talk with people
as much as we talked beforehand?
No, no, that was the problem.
We spent all day today talking about stuff.
I just looked in my head,
everything you asked me is stuff we already talked about.
Well, no, no, no, not everything.
I take it back, but sorry.
The last two questions, yes.
And so it’s just funny because.
No, I tried, so good.
There’s a different style of asking those questions
because I on purpose didn’t dig further with you.
I could tell, yeah.
By the way, okay, all right.
Well, this is the first time I’ve ever talked to somebody
as much as I did with you beforehand.
On the same day.
Not even the same day.
We spent all day together.
And I only slept one hour.
Literally, it’s funny.
This is a hilarious and awesome social experiment.
I picked him up from his hotel
and I just like harassed him all day to hang out with me.
And then here we are now.
I love it.
I was secretly recording the whole time,
just so you know, I’m just kidding.
Anyway, so what was the question?
The mobile game.
Yeah, so the interesting thing is
with Beast Burger and Feastables
that there’s physical goods as opposed to like
making mobile games or PC game,
whichever one we end up doing, which is software.
And I actually have a giant international audience.
Like most of my audience is obviously outside of America.
And so the problem we’re running into
is it just takes time to build up the supply chain
and get Feastables in Southeast Asia,
get Feastables in India,
get Feastables in Brazil and Mexico
and all these other places
where we have giant pockets of our audience.
And same thing with Beast Burger.
It’s just, it’s gonna take probably years
unless we partner with someone
who already has the distribution,
which we’re figuring out.
But the beauty of software
is I can make a hypothetical game
or whatever we end up doing.
And all my fans can use it tomorrow,
the day I mention it.
And so if I promote something in a video
to 100 million people and it’s basically like a game,
they can all download it.
But if I promote a Feastables bar,
right now it’s only in America
because we’re struggling just to keep up
with the American demand.
We haven’t even gotten the chance to go outside of America.
So I alienate a majority of my audience
and it feels sort of shitty
to just mention something that most of them can’t buy.
But on the flip side,
you can’t just spawn this crazy infrastructure
and just have tens of millions of bars
and all your products in every single store
across the world before you promote it.
So you can’t put the egg before the chicken.
And so it’s like, that’s what I’m excited about.
I want to get into less physical stuff
and more stuff that everyone in my audience
can actually use.
This is the thought process.
Especially if there’s a social element to the gaming too,
because it’s not unlike Feastables,
like that’s a product you consume.
You missed it.
When you’re setting up for this,
we were doing some,
basically just laying out everything
that we’re planning for.
So we’re at the phase
where we want to start hiring the team to build it.
And we’re kind of just laying out the game.
And I was actually really curious to get your thoughts,
but I can’t say it.
Because whatever I say,
someone’s just going to take it and run with it.
But I have a pretty good idea.
About the kind of games you’re thinking about?
Yeah. I mean, I can imagine.
We also talked a little bit about it.
It’s super awesome.
So much good ones.
So much good talks.
I have the juicy talks to have on here.
She’s like, I got to go set up.
Well, you know, I already heard a lot of awesome stuff.
I mean, but that is a different kind of team
you would need to hire.
Is that a little nerve wracking?
Like going into a new field and trying to…
A little bit.
But then I remind myself like,
like Steve Jobs didn’t know how to code, right?
And you know, he just knew what a good product was.
And I feel like as someone who wasted so much
of his life playing video games,
I have a good sense of it.
And that might be ignorance.
Well, that’s really important, right?
It’s not about coding.
It’s about what makes for a good game.
And again, that might genuinely be ignorance.
And maybe I end up, you know,
getting bit in the butt because of what I’m saying now.
But I think just like with YouTube,
I just want to obsess over making a great product
and things that I think my audience will love.
And I think as long as I keep that as my north star,
it will do well.
What does the path to being worth 100 billion look like?
What does the path to being worth 100 billion look like?
I don’t know.
Okay, let me just like pause.
You’re 24 and there’s so much awesome scaling.
So many great ideas.
Do you think about different trajectories?
What those possible trajectories might look like?
Yeah, I mean, if the goal was
to just be worth $100 billion, yes.
I mean, my goal, I’m a broken record,
is to make the best video possible
because I know whatever else I want will come, obviously.
So the video is the foundation.
So the path to $100 billion
is to keep getting 100 million views a video.
You know what I mean?
Yeah, or more, exactly, if we can keep growing.
But, you know, if we can keep Feastables growing, right,
and we eventually expand international,
and one day we’re in 100,000 retail locations
and we’re selling the same amount of SKUs per,
or units per SKUs like we’re currently doing,
I mean, that would crush.
And then obviously, ideally,
one day we open up hundreds of Beast Burgers.
We get it where we turn out, you know,
like Supercell, a couple hit games.
I don’t want to make dozens or hundreds of games.
I just want to make games that are just great.
And, you know, we rarely drop them,
but when we do, they’re bangers.
And just, you know, whatever other stuff we end up doing,
all that combined.
It’s just interesting, because, like,
what’s a show that’s pulled 100 million views per episode,
basically, like we’re doing?
Like, you know what I mean?
Like, the Super Bowl gets praised
because they get 100 million viewers,
but I can’t think of a show, maybe in reruns or something.
But it’s also a show that has a singular kind of figure
that you can now use as a-
Like, I don’t have a network telling me what to do.
I don’t have anyone.
Like, I can do whatever I want.
So, it’s a very interesting position,
because I put out content, and 100 million people show up.
And then I also have a gaming channel.
I put out content, and 15 million people show up.
And I have a React channel.
I put out content, and 10 million people show up.
I have a TikTok, and I put out content,
and on average, 20 million people show up.
And like, so, as long as I can keep that going,
and then we build these businesses,
it’s like, it’s honestly pretty scary
to see what will happen, you know, over the years.
Because Feastables launched, you know, last year, 2022.
So, it’s a relatively new thing.
And BeastBurger, we just started scaling up
the physical side, and we haven’t, obviously,
even launched any mobile games yet.
So, I think I’m at the antithesis of it.
I don’t see a world where my YouTube channel’s irrelevant
in the next couple of years.
I just, this is what I live for.
And so, if I can keep that going,
and then really start to expand these businesses
that leverage off of it, then, yeah, I mean.
Hopefully, there’s a day when,
where I can give away a billion dollars in a video, honestly.
Yeah, that would be one hell of a video.
Let me ask you the ridiculous question.
Since you went from being broke to being rich,
although you keep spending all your money,
does money buy happiness?
How has money changed, sort of, your contentment,
your happiness in life?
Does money buy happiness?
No, not, I mean, to a point, yes.
Once you can take care of your health,
you can take care of, like, any immediate dangers,
and you can take care of your family, relatively.
No, it doesn’t.
Like, but those things do.
Like, when I first came into money,
one of the first things I did was retire my mom.
And, like, that brought me tons of happiness,
you know what I mean?
And, like, you know, if my brother had a medical emergency,
and we couldn’t afford it, and I made money to afford it,
that’d bring tons of happiness, you know?
So, once you take care of those basic necessities,
so we’ll say make over, hypothetically, a million dollars,
no, it really doesn’t.
Like, adding an extra zero,
going from 10 million to 100 million,
or whatever it is, makes no difference.
So, you’re, given that,
are just fearless in spending the money?
Yeah, well, let me reframe.
I guess it could, for some people,
if you really, I don’t know,
you spent your whole life obsessing over cars,
it probably would bring you a little bit of joy
to buy a nice Lamborghini.
I’m coming more from the frame of mind of an entrepreneur,
someone who’s really obsessed with business building.
For me, and a lot of my friends and people I hang around,
what brings us happiness is winning,
and building companies, and, you know, changing the world.
Like, that is fun.
It’s a complex problem you can wake up every day,
and it gives you something to obsess over
and devote your life to,
whereas just having money doesn’t, you know?
Well, one interesting question I have for you,
psychologically, so, because you have become wealthy,
and because you give, like, part of your work
is giving away a lot of money,
do you find it hard to find people you can trust?
It’s a good question.
Do people see you basically as a source of money,
as opposed to another human being?
It’s weird, because you would think yes,
but I feel like I also know the right places to look.
But yeah, if I just walked into Target
and tried to make friends with 10 random people, of course.
You gotta, uh.
So, you can kind of sense.
Oh, yeah, you can sense.
Who has the right thing in their heart.
So quickly, right?
Yeah, it’s so obvious.
I don’t even want to go into descriptions,
but honestly, a lot of my friends, like Chandler,
I played Little League with him,
and Tyler, the guy, I mean, I went to school with him.
Chris, he was my first subscriber.
Carl was here after we got big,
but whatever, he’s just friends with the boys,
and a lot of my closer friends,
even like my YouTube friends, I knew before I was big.
So, maybe there is some merit to that.
Maybe it is.
I don’t know.
I’ve never really put too much thought into it,
but maybe there’s a reason I hang around
a lot of these people I knew before I got big,
because it’s much easier.
And they help you keep your radar sharp
of who can and can’t be trusted,
because you know you can trust them.
And it’s difficult when you become richer
and richer and more powerful.
Well, one thing you’ll also find when you get rich,
not even richer, but more famous.
One thing I thought is, as I climbed this ladder
of YouTube and got bigger,
I thought there would be tons of people like me.
People that take the kamikaze approach
to building a business.
You just throw all your money in it.
You throw all your time.
You throw all your energy.
You throw everything.
You’re just like, fuck it.
It’s this or I’m dead.
I thought there would be hundreds of me.
And there isn’t.
I mean, there’s maybe one or two,
and I talk to those motherfuckers every single day.
I’m sick and tired of talking to them, but I love them.
But it’s just so interesting,
because every level I got up,
I’d get a million subscribers.
I’d be like, all right, where’s all these guys
with a million subscribers that are fucking psychopaths?
And then you don’t, you know.
People become conservative as they get more.
Especially as they get bigger, yeah.
And you know, 20 million subscribers, 30.
It’s like every step of the way,
it’s like I just got more and more lonely to be honest.
So it’s you, you know, it sounds cliche,
and you hear that kind of shit in movies,
and you’re like, oh, that’s not how it works.
But it is.
Like there’s just not many people
that just want to give up everything,
go all in, then obsess over making
the greatest goddamn videos every single day of their life.
Like they’re really hard to find.
And be able to sacrifice everything for that video.
Like basically put all the money right back in.
Yeah, or the people doing it,
they’re on just a small scale.
And if I talk to them,
it’s just 99.9% of the time I’m teaching them things.
And it’s like.
So it’s lonely because there’s not too many people,
especially in the creative space,
that are as crazy as you.
Yeah, it is, 100%.
It’s so, it’s not what I was expecting.
I was expecting there’d be a lot of people like me.
Well, I guess the guy would talk to Elon Musk
is a bit like you in that sense.
Yeah, just that.
In a different domain.
Just willingness to put it all back in.
And that’s why I’ve found right now,
a lot of the people I relate to
don’t even make YouTube videos.
Like I’m veering more and more away
from fellow content creators and more to just,
I’m just looking for those other people
who just share a little bit of it
so I don’t feel so fucking crazy all the time.
Like, you know what I mean?
And it’s like people I feel normal around.
And they tend to just be doing the randomest things,
but loving it.
Well, I think that’s really inspiring.
It’s like the Bukowski line,
find what you love and let it kill you.
It’s really put everything,
put everything into the thing you love.
That’s like the way to really create special stuff,
but it’s also the way to live out your life most fully.
I have to be careful giving this advice
because they’re like bodybuilders.
So it’d be like, just go to the gym, be disciplined.
I’m disciplined, go to the gym.
But I would argue for those people,
it’s like, it’s not even discipline.
They just enjoy weightlifting, right?
Because there are people who are jacked,
but they don’t make much money or run a business, right?
If they were that disciplined,
they would be hitting every area of their life.
They just really like business.
And then there’s people like me
who just to an extreme level, love building companies, right?
It’s not even discipline for me.
It’s just in my blood.
It’s what I wake up.
I don’t think about it.
I don’t push myself.
I don’t need to watch a fucking motivational video
to go work.
I just do it.
It’s programmed in me at this point.
And I couldn’t imagine a world
where I don’t wake up and do it every day.
But I think that a little bit of it is genetics
and just how you’re hardwired.
Not that it can’t be trained or taught.
And obviously the friend group you’re in
influences these things.
And over time, I think can change it.
But someone’s just not gonna be able to flip a switch
and then just start doing a kamikaze approach
to building a business.
Just like a lot of people try to flip a switch
and start bodybuilding and then quit majority of the time.
That’s just not innate to them.
But I think a lot of us have the capacity
to do that in some domain.
Yeah, I think if you went about it strategically,
if you surrounded yourself with fellow like-minded people
and slowly over time switched it.
But if you just try to like hardcore do it,
you’re just gonna lose your mind.
Do you ever worry about your mental health?
Did you take a step to protect it?
To, yeah, to like for the long run,
to make sure you have the mental strength to go on?
Yes, weirdly enough, the best thing for my mental health
was giving into my innate nature to work.
The most depressed I get is when I try to restrict it.
And like, I don’t work weekends or I don’t work this day.
What’s best for me is just to work when I feel like working
and then just not work when I don’t.
And just have no constraints.
Because there are just some nights
where I don’t want to sleep.
And for whatever reason, I feel compelled to go all night.
Whatever, like just do it.
Do whatever you want is what I tell my like working brain.
And I just give into it and I feel,
that’s where I feel the happiest.
And then it’s typically like,
but when I’m really in the grind mode,
it’ll be like seven or eight days,
just nonstop going, going.
And then it’s like, I’ll realize like,
oh, I need some recharge time.
And then go fucking binge a season of anime.
And listen to your body.
But that’s the thing,
like people will tell you, don’t work weekends
or don’t do this or don’t work past this
or blah, blah, give you all these constraints.
But for me, and it’s unconventional, I just give into it.
I think there’s something really to be said for that.
I try to surround myself with people that,
like when I don’t, when I pull an all-nighter,
they don’t go like, you should get more sleep.
There’s a reason I pulled that all-nighter.
Like if I’m really passionate about something,
they say, they basically encourage it.
I have no problem getting sleep and getting rest.
What I need in my life is people that encourage you
to kind of keep going,
keep going with the stuff you’re passionate about.
Normal people, they don’t want that life
and they probably shouldn’t.
It’s not good for you.
But yeah, if you hang around people,
like just whatever, different people,
you’re gonna feel crazy and it’s gonna wear on you.
Whereas if you’re around similar people,
it just, it’s so much easier.
Like if you, you know,
I’ve started weightlifting more
and like one thing that’s helped
is just having jacked people around.
They naturally just eat healthier.
They naturally just have freaking grilled chicken
and all this shit and high-protein meals.
And it’s just like easier for me to just piggyback
and be like, oh, can you just order me
whatever you’re getting?
And they’re like, oh, I gotta go to the gym.
And I’ll be like, oh shit, I’ll just join you.
And it’s like, it’s just, it’s cheat codes.
You know what I mean?
Just surround yourself with people that you wanna be.
And it makes it like 70% easier, in my opinion.
It’s like, that is the cheat code to life.
And I wish, obviously your audience
is definitely a lot older,
but to the older people listening,
like if you are in a place of mentorship
for someone younger or have influence over younger people,
you should really try to drill that in their heads.
Like the people they are around 100% dictates the outcome.
I would not be on 120 million subscribers
if I didn’t find, when I was around a million,
I had a couple of friends that were just also psychopaths.
You know, I outgrew them, but at the time it was great.
And I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for them.
And just all along the way,
the friends that I hung out with
had such a dramatic impact on where I am.
Like I’d probably have 80 million less subscribers,
you know, if it was, if I wasn’t so strategic
about hanging out with people that I add value to
and they also add value to me.
So the advice for young people would be to
be very selective about the people you surround yourself with.
So selective, it’s crazy.
Like Chris, you know, he’s really funny.
And that’s why he’s great for the videos.
And part of why he’s so funny
is he consumes copious amounts of cartoons
and just funny content.
And so I’ll find, like when I spend more time with Chris,
I’ll start just quoting these weird cartoons and shows.
Like my speech will literally change
just after like a week of spending more time with him.
It has like, it’s like that quick of an effect, you know.
Now picture that over the course of years.
I mean, yeah, it has such a huge influence.
Like pluck one of their friends out
and hypothetically put me in there.
And you know, there’s no doubt
if they’re trying to become a content creator,
their odds of success is 10X, right?
Obviously you can’t do that,
but you got to find your closest version of it.
And just be selective, yeah.
But this also applies not just to younger,
to older people too.
Agree, but it’s even more,
I like when I was a teenager,
I just, you know, I couldn’t relate to many people.
I just thought I was like a fucking freaking nature
because no one was obsessed with building businesses
or any of this kind of stuff.
And so like back then, you know,
that advice would have been helpful.
Maybe not that particularly,
but just knowing that there are,
it’s not that you’re a freaking nature,
you just haven’t found people that have the same interest.
So the task is not to feel sorry for yourself
or somehow change yourself.
It’s more to find people you fit in with.
Yeah, I mean, assuming which, you know,
you’re not getting compliments,
like assume it’s not something bad, right?
If your hobby is shooting things,
or shooting things you shouldn’t be shooting,
you know, don’t find people that encourage that.
But outside of that, for sure.
Actually as an answer to what is the best advice
someone ever gave you, you said,
you’re crazy until you’re successful,
then you’re a genius.
100%, all along the way.
People gave me so much, you know,
advice on why I shouldn’t be doing it, why I’m crazy.
Every step of the way people wanted to tell me
why I shouldn’t be doing this and should get a life,
should stop being too obsessed.
Everything, everything under the book.
And then once I’m successful,
those same people are like, dang, you’re a genius.
Wow, you really, you pulled that off.
Those are probably the same people
that will give you advice now.
You’re the most successful video creator of all time,
stick to that.
Anytime you want to do something new, right?
They’ll like pressure you not to do, you know,
Feastables or mobile gaming or whatever lays beyond.
It’s funny how people don’t.
Well, honestly, they’re the type of people
I just don’t talk to anymore.
I wouldn’t even know what they have to say now.
So most people on the team are like, yes and,
they’re like, whatever the idea you got, they’re with it.
No, I mean, it’s weird.
We actually have a, my team pushes back on me
pretty hardcore, which I want.
I don’t want yes men.
And they’re like, they’re, James, you know,
the CEO who helped me build all this, he’s very adamant.
Like we’re not yes men.
And he trains people to really think for themselves.
And even when I give them orders,
like really think like, is this optimal?
Is there context or information Jimmy could be missing
that I can provide that can help him
make a more updated decision?
Like I’m not God, you know what I mean?
Like I’m human and I make errors.
And so don’t take what I say as the Bible.
So even like in the brainstorming and so on,
they can push back.
Yeah, you can see it.
Like Tyler, anytime I said something,
he would give me feedback and push back,
which is what I want.
I don’t want him just to be like,
yes, you’re a fucking genius.
Good job, Jimmy.
You know, I don’t need that.
You know, I need negatives.
You talked about being in a relationship.
What role, Jimmy, does love play in the human condition?
I think, well, the big thing is love can be scary
because this is, you know,
the human you’re gonna spend the most amount of time with
in your life, you know?
And so for project that over 50 years,
they can be a liability or an asset.
I love the metrics.
You know, I love-
No, but seriously, it’s gotta be
someone that makes you better.
For me, I can’t truly love someone
that doesn’t make me better because-
Yeah, in the long run, across the years.
Because if not, then it’s like, it’s a negative, you know,
to everything I’ve spent my life building.
But luckily, I’m very happy with the partner I have.
And like we were talking about before,
I do think she makes me better.
There’s a lot of actually positives I’ve noticed.
Even things as simple as like, you know,
I struggle to turn off my brain at night
because I’m just thinking about all the businesses
and how we could do better
or whatever weird thing I have on my mind.
But, you know, just chatting with her
and hanging out with her helps me, like,
basically just shut my brain off and like mellow out.
And even like, there’s just a ton of little things like that
that I’ve noticed are positives,
especially when you really look for them,
that are easy to gloss over if you’re not.
And so for me, yeah, I have someone
who I think is very beautiful, very intelligent,
makes me better, is constantly pushing me,
okay with me working hard, makes me smarter,
and just all these different things that I think, for me,
love just makes me a better person, you know what I mean?
Which makes me love her even more.
Does that make sense?
What advice would you give on finding somebody like that?
Um, just really don’t give up until you find someone that,
you know, there’s so many people on the planet.
I mean, there really is.
There’s billions of-
The odds are in your favor.
Of, yeah, like, just don’t settle
and find someone that, you know, makes you happy.
Yeah, just like you said, surround yourself with people
that make you a better person.
In the same case, surround yourself
with that one special person
that really makes you a better person.
And maybe that’s just an entrepreneurial brain looking at it.
Not everyone wants to hyper-optimize their life like me,
but for me, to like truly love someone,
they have to make me a better person.
In every way, yeah.
Well, what do you hope, you’re 24,
we started talking about death,
let’s finish talking about death.
What do you hope your legacy is?
When you look 100 years from now,
and the AI has completely taken over,
and the aliens visit and discuss with the AI
what this last of special humans
that existed on Earth was like,
what do you hope they say about you?
It’s a deep one.
Probably just that, because it’s hard, right?
Like I said before, Elon is over double my age.
I could live every second I’ve lived up
to this point in my life and still not even be Elon’s age.
So I have so much time.
I just hope whatever it is,
that it’s a net positive on the world,
and it impacts billions of people in a positive way
that makes lasting change.
So you admire people like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk
for having sort of reached for that goal as well.
Yeah, of course.
To help millions.
I mean, the iPhone’s the most successful product
It’s hard not to admire what he created,
you know what I mean?
The same with sort of, as Johnny Ive talks about,
like the passion, the effort they put into the designing
the iPhone, that like little bit of love
is transferred to the whole world.
Like they get to experience the joy of that
from the designer.
It’s what a beautiful thing to do.
You know, I mean, I couldn’t think of anything better,
you know, to create something that,
even after you’re dead for decades,
just has such a profound impact
on basically half the human population.
Brings joy to people.
I hope you do just that, man.
You’ve already done it for millions and millions
and millions and millions of people,
and I hope you keep doing it.
I can’t, like, it’s so exciting to see what happens
this year and next year.
Like, the sky’s the limit.
I can’t, I mean, the videos,
but all the other businesses you’re in,
and you as a human being, as you grow,
I can tell, I know, as everyone knows,
you have a kind heart,
and the fact that you’re really damn good
at actually using that kind heart to help a lot of people.
It’s awesome to see, man.
I appreciate it.
More importantly, before we go,
are we gonna play Dune tonight?
Some board games?
We’re not gonna play Dune.
I have to, I have like, one hour of sleep.
You don’t wanna play board games with me?
I wanna, I’ll play, I’ll play.
You don’t wanna play board games?
You don’t wanna play board games?
If only I wasn’t an idiot
and actually flew to the right airport.
If you don’t play board games with me,
they’re gonna dislike the video.
Thanks for listening to this conversation with Mr. Beast.
To support this podcast,
please check out our sponsors in the description.
And now let me leave you with some words
from the poet and philosopher,
Reverend Droneth Tagore.
Reach high, for stars lie hidden in you.
Thank you for listening, and hope to see you next time.