mrbeast on lex fridman

MrBeast: Future of YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram | Lex Fridman Podcast #351

Check out the Episode Page 

Key Takeaways

  • If MrBeast knew he was going to die soon, he would make a decade worth of content  and schedule-upload the videos so they would continue to come out after he is dead
  • “Whatever makes the best video” is the answer to any content creation or production strategy 
  • The criteria for a good title: “If someone reads it, do they have to watch it?” 
  • It is very unlikely that Twitter, or any other platform, will be able to pay out higher CPMs than YouTube
  • Going viral on YouTube is a learnable skill, it is not random 
  • If you have zero videos on your channel, your first ten videos are not going to get views
  • Do not over-strategize if you are a beginner; just get to work and start uploading 
  • When someone tells you something is not possible, go through all the variables and eliminate them yourself 
  • Subscribers are a vanity metric; most of your views come from the home feed, not the subscriber feed 
  • The optimal way to respond to a video that does poorly is to remove emotion from the equation and objectively evaluate what went wrong
  • Entrepreneurs must engage in activities that recharge their batteries during their downtime 
  • Throw the conventional stuff out the window and focus on what is actually practical for your business 
  • “Hopefully there is a day where I can give away a billion dollars in a video.”MrBeast 
  • The people you are around dictate your outcome; be extremely selective about who you spend your time around 
  • “You are crazy until you are successful. Then you are a genius.”MrBeast 

Intro 

  • MrBeast (@MrBeast) is a legendary YouTube creator with over 100 million subscribers on his main channel. He is also the founder of the restaurant chain MrBeast Burger and the snack brand Feastables. In addition to his main YouTube channel, MrBeast runs several other channels, including Beast Reacts, MrBeast Gaming, and Beast Philanthropy.  
  • In this conversion, MrBeast and Lex Fridman discuss mortality, Twitter, brand deals, audience retention, hiring, brainstorming, how to make the best video titles and thumbnails, TikTok, advice for beginner content creators, how to grow on YouTube, the MrBeast process of making a video, overcoming depression, MrBeast Burger, Feastables, video games, money vs happiness, mental health, love, and legacy   
  • Check out these Podcast Notes from MrBeast’s conversation on My First Million 
  • Host: Lex Fridman (@lexfridman)  

One Billion Views & One Billion Subscribers 

  • MrBeast thinks his Squid Game video has a chance of getting one billion views (currently 320M)
  • It is easier to get 10M views on one video than 100,000 views on 100 videos, according to MrBeast  
  • All of the subscribers and views metrics come down to making great videos 
  • He believes the channel will eventually get to one billion subscribers as well (currently at 127M)

Mortality 

  • The “I Survived 50 Hours in Antarctica” video was in the works for three years:
    • Consulted with safety expert
    • Used radar to survey the entire path
    • Consulted with survival experts 
  • When he was younger and first starting out, MrBeast filmed several “Hi Me In A Year” videos where he speculated on what his life would look like in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, etc. 
  • If MrBeast knew he was going to die, he would make a decade worth of content before he died and schedule-upload the videos so they would continue to come out after he’s dead
  • MrBeast is counting on a breakthrough in anti-aging that allows us to live to be 200- years old 

Improving YouTube 

  • “I am very happy with how it is at the moment.” – MrBeast on Youtube 
  • One thing that he hates with a passion is the comment section on YouTube 
  • The top 20 comments on a Reddit post are not spam; why can’t YouTube figure out a way to remove spam in the comments? 
  • Reddit and Twitter give MrBeast so much better-filtered feedback on his videos than the YouTube comments do 

Twitter

  • MrBeast wants to be the CEO of Twitter 
  • He believes that Elon’s willingness to move quickly and iterate will improve the platform, especially when other platforms take years to implement positive change 
  • YouTube videos should be able to be embedded in Twitter 
  • It is very unlikely that Twitter or any other platform will be able to pay out higher CPMs than YouTube
  • During the holidays when ad rates are higher, some YouTube creators make $30-$40 per 1,000 views, and that is after YouTube’s cut 
  • Finance and cars are the highest CPM niches

Brand Deals

  • Brand deals must be creatively integrated into the video 
  • Find a way to integrate the brand deals into your content that does not anger your viewers
  • Ideally, the money made from a brand deal is used to create better videos
  • Tell your audience how you are using the money made from the brand deal to make your content better  
  • MrBeast does not work with brands that do not give him creative freedom 
  • For smaller creators, many brands will tell them, “Forty-five seconds, here is what you say, take it or leave it.” 
  • Brands would see better conversion rates if they gave more freedom to the creator instead of forcing them to read a scripted copy 

Audience Retention 

  • Asking, “How do you create higher audience retention?” is like asking, “How do you cook good food?”
  • The longer people watch something, the more likely they are to keep watching; hypothetically, you do not have to try as hard in regard to audience retention in the back half of a video 
  • Get your audience immersed in the content, and then hold them there 

Hiring 

  • The candidate pool of people who know how to make viral YouTube videos is very small 
  • There are tens of thousands of people who could make a documentary for Netflix, but there are very few with viral YouTube video experience 
  • A lot of the people that MrBeast hires have to unlearn the tactics and strategies that they learned in more traditional media  
  • It is easier to hire people that are hard workers, obsessed, and coachable, and then to train them in content creation and production 
  • “Making YouTube videos” must be the 10-year goal of any person that MrBeast brings on his team
  • Clear thumbnails without clutter and titles of less than 50 characters are two patterns that MrBeast has observed in viral videos 
  • “Whatever makes the best video” is the answer to any content creation or production strategy 
  • The more constraints you put on your team, the more repetitive and less innovation you get 
  • Do not put constraints on the creative process 
  • MrBeast makes suggestions instead of having established, cookie-cutter strategies

Clones of MrBeast

  • MrBeast has clones of himself that would make the same decision as him 90% of the time related to content creation and production 
  • He spent “an absurd amount of time together” with these individuals over the course of four to five years, so they really how he thinks about videos
  • MrBeast said everything he was thinking to them over the course of those five years
  • This allows them to do things without his input or constantly having to watch over them 

Brainstorming 

  • How to get 100M views on YouTube:
    • Have an original idea
    • Be creative  
    • Make something that people need to see 
    • Ideally, do something that has never been done before
  • MrBeast consistently comes up with 100M view video ideas by constantly taking in inspiration and then seeing what his brain outputs
  • He intakes seemingly random inspiration in the hopes of provoking an idea in his brain 
  • MrBeast will throw away a video idea if the thumbnail for it would not work 
  • If people do not click, they do not watch 

Video Titles 

  • The criteria for a good title: “If someone reads it, do they have to watch it?” 
  • The title does not exist in a vacuum; ideally, the title leads into the content and represents something that the viewer would want to watch for 20 minutes 
  • Nuances like the length of the video based on the title will affect whether people want to click on it or not 
  • Typically, the more extreme the opinion, the higher the click-through rate 
    • But the more extreme the title, the more extreme you have to be in the video
  • Negative clickbait is so much easier than positive clickbait 
  • It is harder to get 10M views on a video helping people than to get 10M views on a video tearing down a celebrity  

Thumbnails

  • MrBeast is addicted to making iterations on thumbnails
  • MrBeast’s face is in each thumbnail on the left side for brand recognition 
  • The “next MrBeast” is not going to do what he does better than him; they are going to create their own lane 
  • MrBeast sees other creators as collaborators, and not as competition 

TikTok 

  • No one is doing “epic” stuff in the short-term content verticals
    • MrBeast has a TikTok with 450M views where he paid someone $300 to fly to Paris and get him a baguette
  • You can make sub-one minute vertical content and it goes viral on TikTok, YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, Facebook, Twitter, and even Reddit; this is the first time in western social media history that a single piece of content can go viral on every platform 

Advice for Beginners 

  • MrBeast does not believe that virality is random
  • Going viral on YouTube is a learnable skill 
  • Small creators tend to chalk virality up to luck when MrBeast and other successful YouTubers give away all the secrets on podcasts      
  • Every six months, you should look back and hate your previous videos 
    • If you do not hate them, then you are probably not improving 
  • A never-ending thirst for learning is a superpower 
  • The only way to get on top and stay on top is to be constantly learning 
  • Beginners should learn by failing
  • If you have zero videos on your channel, your first ten videos are not going to get views
  • Do not over-strategize; just get to work and start uploading 
  • Make 100 videos, improve something in each video, and then talk to MrBeast about your 101st video  
  • There are so many different ways to achieve what you want; you have to push through “No’s” 
  • When someone tells you something is not possible, go through all the variables and eliminate them yourself 

How To Grow On YouTube 

  • “How to grow on YouTube” is on a channel-by-channel basis 
  • Understand your typical viewer and what they want out of your video 
  • Put yourself in the headspace of the viewer and see the content how they would 
  • About 30-40% of MrBeast’s viewers are women 

10 Million Dollars vs. 10 Million Subs

  • MrBeast asked his followers if they would rather have $10 million or 10 million subscribers
  • If he had nothing, he would rather have the $10 million because he could hire people with it and probably generate 10 million subscribers with $2 million and keep the rest
  • Content creators should know if or when they have been shadowbanned

Going To Antarctica 

  • The hardest part of the Antarctic video was getting to it 
  • The plane landed on an iced runway 
  • Antarctica is the most remote place on the planet, and MrBeast describes it as “breathtaking”  
  • It was challenging to film in negative 30-degree temperatures; the camera batteries frequently froze

Process Of Making A Video

  • MrBeast videos are not created in a vacuum as many videos are simultaneously shot 
  • Some videos require the creation of a completely separate crew for it
  • Again, do whatever makes the best video possible 

Overcoming Depression 

  • In the early days, MrBeast would be depressed for days if a video did not do well 
  • Now, he can detach from the success of a video and objectively evaluate why it succeed or failed
  • The ideal way to respond to a video that does poorly is to remove emotion from the equation and objectively evaluate what went wrong
  • It is really hard to create content for ten years if every little thing elicits an emotional reaction from you 
  • Subscribers are a vanity metric; most of your views come from the home feed, not the subscriber feed 
  • Views matter way more than subscribers
  • Unique content may sacrifice views in the short term, but if it does eventually “win”, then it wins more 
  • It is important for entrepreneurs to engage in activities that recharge their batteries during their downtime 
    • That could be reading, watching TV, etc. 
  • MrBeast hates not working, but he knows that he must take time to recharge 

Building a Business

  • In addition to the main MrBeast YouTube channel, he has a snack brand called Feastables, a restaurant chain called MrBeast Burger, a data company for creators, the Reacts channel, the gaming channel, and a charity 
  • MrBeast spends his time on each business based on priority 
  • “I’m 24. 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.” – MrBeast 
  • Throw the conventional stuff out the window and focus on what is actually practical for your business 
  • You do not want to experiment after you have plateaued, because then it could turn into a tailspin if one of the experiments goes wrong 
  • Test things while you are on an uptrend in growth 

MrBeast Burger and Feastables 

  • MrBeast Burger was supposed to be a one or two-day pop-up, but it had so much success that he decided to explore the concept more 
  • “I didn’t really plan on running a restaurant chain, but here I am.”MrBeast 
  • In contrast, Feastables were something that he always wanted to do 
  • Feastables was built from scratch over the course of 2.5 years 
  • The ingredients used in traditional American snacks are awful and there has been very little innovation in the space for decades 
  • He did not expect Feastables to be doing the kind of revenue that it is doing
  • Feastables could be in 40,000-50,000 locations by 2024 
  • The biggest problem with scaling the business has been keeping the Walmart shelves stocked, which he did not expect 
  • There was a three-month period where he had to stop promoting Feastables because he didn’t want people to go to Walmart to buy it and see empty shelves

Creating Video Games

  • Most of MrBeast’s fans are outside the United States, so it is easier for them to use software that he creates compared to physical goods that he creates, such as Beast Burger or Feastables 
  • Everyone that watches his video can download a video game he makes, but not everyone can get the Feastables chocolate bar because the infrastructure is still being built 

Making Billions Of Dollars 

  • Every business opportunity is downstream of continuing to make great videos 
  • “Hopefully there is a day where I can give away a billion dollars in a video.”MrBeast 

Money vs Happiness

  • Money buys happiness up to a point when your basic needs are meant 
  • What brings MrBeast happiness: winning, building companies, changing the world 
  • Obsessing over, and devoting his life to solving complex problems brings MrBeast happiness 
  • MrBeast knew a lot of his friends before he became famous 
  • There are not many people that take the Kamikaze approach to business where they go all in and obsess over making it a success 
  • MrBeast expected there to be more people in the creative space that shared his obsessions 
  • Some of these obsessions are hardwired into us, and what requires a lot of discipline for one person to do is just natural interest to another 

Mental Health 

  • The best thing for MrBeast’s health was giving into his innate proclivity to work 
  • He used to get depressed when he restricted his desire to work 
  • Now, he works when he feels like working, and does not work when he does not feel like working 
  • He does not place arbitrary constraints on his work and rest schedule, such as not working weekends or stopping work after 8 PM
  • You will feel crazy if you hang around people that want different things out of life than you
  • Spend more of your time around people that want similar things out of life as you 
  • The people you around dictate your outcome; be extremely selective about who you spend your time around 
  • You are not a “freak”, you just have not found others with your interests yet
    • Assuming your interests are not some terrible thing 
  • “You are crazy until you are successful. Then you are a genius.”MrBeast 

Love

  • You should love someone that makes you better 
  • Love makes MrBeast a better person 
  • Do not settle, and find someone that makes you happy 

Legacy 

  • Whatever it is, MrBeast hopes that his legacy is a net positive on the world and that it impacts billions of people in a positive way
Lex Fridman Podcast : , , ,
Notes By Stan Rizzo

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