Jimmy Donaldson, 22, a YouTube megastar better known as Mr. Beast, operates six YouTube channels with names like MrBeast, MrBeast Shorts and Beast Reacts that together have 91 million subscribers. People have viewed his videos more than 13 billion times. And last year as the pandemic raged, he became the most-subscribed YouTube creator in the country.
But unlike other YouTubers who have been satisfied with social media success, Mr. Donaldson wants more.
I really want to be Elon one day, he wrote last year on Twitter, referring to Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX and one of the worlds richest people. Mr. Donaldson later listed Mr. Musk as his dream collaborator.
To be more like Elon, Mr. Donaldson has been busy using his brand to make inroads in the business and tech worlds. He has launched a mobile gaming app and a ghost kitchen chain, MrBeast Burger, which has sold more than one million burgers. In March, he became an adviser to a financial network that provides business tools to online content creators. Last month, he signed a deal with a company to distribute his content across a range of social media platforms.
What Mr. Donaldson is doing may serve as a blueprint for the next generation of creators and influencers, who now number more than 50 million around the world and have become a formidable business force. The creator economy is the fastest-growing type of small business, according to a report last year by SignalFire, a venture capital firm.