Who Is MrBeast? [Content Made Simple]
Issue #266: Elon and Twitter, one-hit wonders, and more.
TOP OF THE WEEK:
A funny thing happens when you see a lot of money in one place. As the smell hits my nostrils, crisp and pungent, like a pile of autumn leaves or a Xerox machine on the fritz, I start to think about the ways it could change my life, or the lives of those around me — the medical bills that need to be paid, school tuition, child care; all of the GoFundMe’s and charities it could help. I feel almost lightheaded, as if I’ve taken a right hook from a Paul brother square in the jaw (a recent Beast stunt that came with a $20,000 prize).
The effect does not go unnoticed by Parisher and Donaldson.
“Most of the people around here, they’re immune to it,” says Parisher.
“Yeah, we’re numb,” Donaldson says.
“They’ll sit here and count it for me and won’t even blink an eye nowadays,” Parisher says.
“Do you ever just think about how many people’s lives this amount of money could change?” I ask.
Donaldson looks at me like I’ve just asked what color the sky is. “Yeah, exactly,” he says. “That’s why we have it.”
Just a great, great story on MrBeast, who will very soon be the biggest YouTuber of all time. In terms of cultural clout and influence, he’s already the biggest influencer of all time. But soon he’ll have the numbers to back it up.
Jimmy Donaldson is a fascinating guy, and I would have loved for this profile to be twice as long as it was. A great read.
HITTING THE LINKS
I haven’t written on Elon/Twitter, so let this be the extent of my thought on it.
I am grateful for Elon Musk. Mostly because I’m glad one of the richest, most powerful people in the world is actively working to try to make the world better and not just lounging on a yacht in the Mediterranean or something. It has been kinda crazy to see so many people have very passionate opinions about who owns Twitter. I honestly don’t really care whether or not Musk actually buys Twitter, though I’ve been skeptical that he will pull it off. I do think, though, that his skills and brainpower are better applied to his work at Tesla and SpaceX than a social media platform. He has a sort of scientific brilliance that I think would be wasted on managing a social media platform. So I would root against him buying it if for no other reason that I don’t want it to distract from other work that is more uniquely suited for him and could better serve humanity in the long run.
Elon Musk is racing to secure funding for his $43 billion bid to buy Twitter.
Morgan Stanley, the investment bank working with Mr. Musk on the potential deal, has been calling banks and other potential investors to shore up financing for the offer, four people with knowledge of the situation said. Mr. Musk is first focused on raising debt and has not yet begun to seek equity financing for his bid, one of the people said.
Link #2: The God Who Is Seeing (Not Scrolling)
Scrolling through social media is an easy way to pass the time. We scan images from a stranger’s vacation, celebrate a family member’s life accomplishment, find amusement in memes, flip through headlines, and more. Our eyes glaze over. Our thumbs go on autopilot. Our minds ignore almost everything else around us.
We scroll to escape. We scroll to pass time. We rarely scroll in a truly attentive way.
First, extremely new ideas are unlikely to initially find a large audience. But if they break through, artists and entrepreneurs may find that uniqueness is an asset, the same way that Twain’s country-pop hybrid style switched from a burden to a benefit after her first hit. Second, early-career exploration can pay dividends in the long run. This is as true of the broader labor force as it is in music. A 2014 study of young workers found that people who switch jobs more frequently early in their career tend to have higher incomes in their prime working years. Third, the difference between one-hit wonders and hitmakers isn’t just novelty; it’s also focus, or what Berg called “relatedness.” Hot streaks require creative people to mine deeply when they find something that works for them.
THE FUNNY PART
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