Is MrBeast The Ideal Content Creator?

Frederick Daso
3 min readApr 6, 2023
Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson.

Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson hasn’t been on my radar until recently. I stumbled across the following video by Ro Ramadin: MrBeast: Dystopian Surrealism. I thoroughly enjoyed their video and wanted to learn more about Donaldson’s online content and persona.

I’ve known who he is for the longest time, but I’ll be honest with you, his content didn’t really appeal to me. I understood his hype and respected it but didn’t think too much else of him as a content creator.

Until I watched his Squid Game video.

I was stunned by the level of detail and effort he put into the production and organization of the whole video. I didn’t think it was possible for a YouTuber to do that on his or her own. Usually, something of that scale is done on YouTube is done through YouTube Originals, the platform’s original content production organization.

Not MrBeast. His production company, run out of Greenville, North Carolina, runs in opposition to the traditional production studios and entertainment institutions located in Los Angeles, California. It’s a testament to his vision and drive to organize his team to produce something of this magnitude and caliber as a YouTuber.

Some may take the ‘as a YouTuber’ as a dig or insult, but I mean that as the highest compliment.

I don’t think MrBeast gets enough credit for how far he’s been able to push YouTube as a medium for creativity. Most YouTubers his size would have already abandoned the platform for greener pastures such as Hollywood.

Which begs the question: do social media stars need Hollywood anymore?

I remember this question was first asked in Vanity Fair by Evgenia Peretz over seven years ago: Can King Bach, RocketJump, and Other Stars of YouTube and Vine Make It in Hollywood?

It’s a compelling article highlighting the difficulties and complexities of how content creators think about their path from the small to the big screen.

Again, the question was examined more recently by The Hollywood Reporter’s J. Clara Chan: Digital Creators Rethink Hollywood As Some Push to Work On Their Own Terms

Here our favorite creator is mentioned: “YouTube stars like Jimmy Donaldson, best known as MrBeast, have found success by eschewing traditional projects in Hollywood and has instead focused on building his own $54 million empire, while others continue to pursue their lifelong dreams of becoming actors, writers, producers or directors in the industry.”

Donaldson’s success answers the question. No, social media stars don’t have to make it to Hollywood. They can create success on their own terms.

Donaldson’s path is way more interesting than those influencers who tread the well-worn path to Tinseltown.

As much as social media is limiting, it is also limitless. There is much greater room for MrBeast to express and extend his creativity in ways that Hollywood would never allow.

Jimmy Donaldson is an individual. MrBeast is an institution.

Donaldson proved that individuals could become institutions all by themselves. Look at his catalog of ventures and initiatives: “Donaldson is also the founder of MrBeast Burger and Feastables, and a co-creator of Team Trees, a fundraiser for the Arbor Day Foundation that has raised over $23 million, and Team Seas, a fundraiser for Ocean Conservancy and The Ocean Cleanup that has raised over $30 million.”

In the two articles I cited, an implicit theme is individuals vs. institutions. Individual influencers must find a way to conform to the standards and norms of the entertainment institutions that have existed much longer than they have.

MrBeast transcends and synthesizes the dialectic between the two entities: he is an individual who became an institution.

I can’t think of anyone else who has done this at the same magnitude as MrBeast. And because of this, he’s my ideal content creator because he proved the following: individuals can evolve into institutions. (Results may vary!)

It’s not crazy to suggest that MrBeast is like the startups I always write about. His growth metrics are comparable! It’s not unrealistic for him to value himself at $1.5B.

Donaldson is such a unique character for more reasons than stated in this article. I’ll have to return to him in future writings.

MrBeast’s success paves a pathway for creators: not to be institutionalized within Hollywood but to become institutions of their own.

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