“There’s no such thing as a perfect video. Someone should always call you and sh*t on your video because it could be better,” the bold YouTuber known as MrBeast asserted during an interview on the Colin and Samir Show on YouTube. The amount of time, money, and resources MrBeast pours into each and every video he posts is unmatched in the industry. Time and time again, he sets a higher bar for creators, but it’s his constant critique of his own work that sets him apart.
MrBeast (real name Jimmy Donaldson) started creating YouTube videos when he was just a teen, and now, at the age of 24, his main YouTube channel has more than 108 million subscribers. That gives him the fifth most subscribers on the platform, and the second most of any individual behind only PewDiePie (the top three are channels owned by companies).
The road from uploading videos of himself playing Call of Duty to spending millions of dollars on each video was not without its bumps, but Jimmy himself says that nothing makes him happier than creating YouTube videos. Known for outrageous stunts like spending $3.5 million on a single video recreating the challenges in the Netflix show “Squid Game” (without the deaths, of course) or burying himself alive, MrBeast leaves his audience in awe with every video, enticing them to come back for more.
Jimmy’s mom, Sue, was adamant that he attend college and get a degree, but after just two weeks he dropped out, prompting his mom to kick him out of the house. At the time, his channel had about 750,000 subscribers and he had just secured his first brand deal. Instead of spending the money on lavish purchases or a new car – as many young adults would – Jimmy reinvested the money back into a YouTube video that would catapult his career to another level.
Jimmy took the $10,000 and made a video in which he gave it all to a homeless man. To many people, it would have made sense to give away only a portion of the money while putting a bit aside for himself, but Jimmy knew that $10,000 would look better in the video title and grab the attention of viewers. With over 10 million views today, this video marks a turning point in his YouTube career.
Today, Jimmy has leveled up his videos even further, with titles such as “World’s Most Dangerous Escape Room!” and “Tipping Waitresses with Real Gold Bars.” Each thumbnail costs $10,000 to make (yes, you read that right, the small clickable picture that accompanies every video title costs $10,000). But to MrBeast, that’s the price of the pursuit of perfection and the price of his success. In 2021, the YouTuber’s main channel pulled in $54 million, and he’s just getting started.
More recently, Jimmy has branched out to pursue larger philanthropic efforts. In 2020, he launched Beast Philanthropy, a 501(c)(3) charity that “exists to leverage the power of social media platforms and raise funds to alleviate hunger, homelessness, and unemployment,” according to the foundation’s website. Thus far, the charity has donated more than 2,888,986 pounds of food, delivered more than 1,977,076 meals, and fed more than 221,455 individuals.
Jimmy has also widened the scope of his entrepreneurship by launching MrBeast Burger in 2020 as a delivery-only burger chain within the U.S. Then, in 2022, he built on its success by testing the waters of a brick-and-mortar approach. On opening day, MrBeast Burger broke the world record for most burgers sold in a single day by a single restaurant. This venture is reshaping the food industry and making waves, but with Jimmy Donaldson at the helm, that’s to be expected.
Jimmy attributes his success to his perfectionism; he no longer puts out content that he doesn’t feel is perfect, no matter how much money was spent to create it. His passion for what he does may have taken over his life, but the empire he’s built already will ensure his legacy and impact decades down the line.