Mr. Beast, YouTube Star, wants to conquer the business world

Mr. Beast, YouTube Star, wants to conquer the business world

Mr. Donaldson declined to be interviewed. A representative for him declined to talk about working conditions at his companies, but said of the offensive content videos: “When Jimmy was a teenager and was starting out, he carelessly used a gay insult on several occasions. Jimmy knows there is no excuse for homophobic rhetoric. The representative added that Mr. Donaldson “grew up to be someone who doesn’t talk like that”.

Many young designers have said they want to emulate Mr. Donaldson’s entrepreneurial journey.

“I think Mr. Beast inspires all of Gen Z,” said Josh richards, 19, a TikTok creator in Los Angeles with nearly 25 million subscribers. “He gives a lot of kids a new path to take, to teach these kids how to be an entrepreneur, not just to get a lot of views or to become famous.”

Like many Gen Zers, Donaldson, who grew up in Greenville, North Carolina, founded a YouTube channel while in college in 2012.

To decipher YouTube’s recommendation algorithm, he first went through different genres of video creation. He posted videos of himself playing games like Call of Duty, commented on the YouTube drama, uploaded funny video compilations, and broadcast himself live reacting to videos on the internet.

Then in 2018, he mastered the format that would make him a star: stunt philanthropy. Mr Donaldson filmed himself giving thousands of dollars in cash to random people including his Uber driver or homeless people, capturing their shock and joy in the process. The money initially came mainly from brand sponsorships.

It turned out to be a perfect viral recipe that mixed money, a larger-than-life personality, and healthy reactions. Millions of people have started watching his YouTube videos. Mr. Donaldson quickly rebranded himself as “YouTube’s Greatest Philanthropist”.

The combination was also lucrative. Although Mr. Donaldson gave increasingly large sums – from $100,000 at $ 1 million – he made it all come back and more with the publicity that accompanied the videos. He also sold merchandise like socks ($ 18), water bottles ($ 27), and T-shirts ($ 28).

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