The best engineers I knew at NASA were the ones who could break a complex problem down to first principles. They could strip away the noise, reduce a problem to its essence, and find the solution. Jimmy Donaldson—known online by the handle MrBeast—is able to do that too. The path to making his videos go viral and dominating social platforms—including YouTube, where he has 140 million subscribers—is clear and obvious to him. Jimmy’s crystal ball is less cloudy than most people’s. When we worked together to raise the funds to plant 20 million trees and remove 30 million lb. of plastic from the ocean through the Team Trees and Team Seas campaigns, his optimism was infectious. He’s constantly raising the bar for creators whether it’s through re-creating Squid Game in real life or paying for the eye surgeries of 1,000 blind people. He doesn’t really understand small thinking or complacency. I don’t know what he’ll do 10 years down the road, but I know it won’t be status quo.
Rober is a YouTuber and a former NASA engineer
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