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It got scary. We had to move into a higher security building, and I didn't know what to do. That's when it got dark. Casey Neistat. The godfather of YouTube, the king of blogging. One of the.


Most prolific creators in history. Throughout your story, there's this objectively delusional persistence towards.


A goal. The word I've been using is patience, because patience is so unattractive. I think you need to remove this idea of success being this romantic, beautiful thing. It's not. When I started my daily blog, making a video a day, 800 days in a row, it took eight years ago from zero to a couple hundred thousand subscribers failing year in and year out. Now, $200,000 in debt. It's awful. You're a loser. But patience will smash into opportunity. And then it went to 10 million subscribers in 18 months. So in life, you can get whatever you want. But are you willing to do that for 20 years? If you're not, don't bother, man.


You've sold the company, you've built the channels. You've made a huge name for yourself. At that.


Point-that's when it got hard because the only goal that anyone should have in life is one of happiness and fulfillment. And this idea that you have to win to be happy could not be further from the truth. I had, by every definition, achieved success. But I wasn't running the marathon because I wanted to get across the finish line. I was running it because I love the running. And the fame was fucking insane. We had to move to LA and I didn't know what to do until now.


Is this a new Casey? What can we expect? Casey is a legend. He's a legend to so many people. He's one of the originals as it relates to creativity, content, video, and YouTube. And although most of us know Casey, what most of us don't know is the underdog story, the true, deep, uncovered motivations that drove him to become, arguably, one of the world's most famous, most acclaimed, most celebrated online creators ever. It's a story that you'll relate to. It's a story of a completely normal dude that was down and out that had a very big, indistinguishable passion. The more interesting, maybe for me as someone that's watched Casey's journey for a while, is what he's doing now. For the first time ever, he talks about what his life is right now. Now that he's not uploading videos every day, now that he's a little bit further out of the spotlight. And Casey gives us this blueprint for how we can take that thing that we enjoy doing, that thing we consider a passion or a hobby, and drag it up the mountain and make it an incredibly lucrative job. How do we turn our passion into a career?


And how do we become number one at the thing we do when everything, everything seems to be against us? That is the story of Casey Neistat, and that's the story you're going to enjoy today. Casey, what do I need to know about your earliest years to understand the man that sits before me today? I almost think of people's lives like a set of dominoes that have fallen. What are those first dominoes that fell to create the man that sits here today?


Oh, man. How much time you got. Plenty. My whole childhood was just completely unsupervised. There was no, Did you do your homework tonight? There was no dinner at 6:00. It was like, Be home before dark or you're going to be in trouble. Trouble never being defined and dark never being defined. It was just a very loose, fucked up wandering childhood of exploration. I was telling this story recently, but there were railroad tracks behind our house. One of the things we used to do for fun, we were little kids, is we'd collect pennies and change and we'd lay them on the railroad tracks and the train would go over them and flatten them. Very cool. But the train would vibrate the tracks as it approached and the coins would fall off of it. The only way to address that is you'd put the coins on the train tracks when the train was really close. I don't know, I was in grammar school, which is sixth grade. How old are you then? I was 10 years old. I was a little kid. A train truck, huge freight train coming and me putting nickels on the train tracks to try to get a flattened coin.


That's what my childhood was like.


As you look back, what is the power and the gift that unsupervision gives you? Because I resonate with that so much. I think the reason I became an entrepreneur was because I've always said this. When I was ten years old, my parents weren't there when I went to bed and they weren't there when I woke up. Being the youngest of four, it was like they had assumed I'd also been parented already, so they just gave up or something. They just got busy. In that void of independence, I conducted a lot of experiments, and I almost hear that in what you're saying as well, that unsupervision allowed for exploration, that allowed for something.


Yeah, I think it's necessity as the mother of invention. I think if you're 10 and your parents all of a sudden are absent, you're just forced to figure shit out. It's funny because all I want to do as a parent now is protect my children from the hardships I had when I was little. But it is those hardships I had that made me who I am. It is like this impossible dichotomy to address. It's impossible as a parent. I constantly think I'm fucking up my kids. We send them to a private school because we can. If you can afford it, which we can, we're fortunate. Why would I not send my kids to the best school? But in the back of my brain, I think what's best for them is to be in some New York City public school figuring it out. I think that's what's best, but I don't do that because I had a terrible time at public school. I hated it. I want to protect them from that. I send them to a really fancy school that's lovely and warm and cozy. Am I helping them? I don't know. But no, I think that exactly what you were saying, I had no choice but to figure it out when I was little.


I worked from when I was super young, I figured out how to make a dollar. I was a paper boy. When I was really young delivering newspapers and I'd make like 30 bucks a week. Then when I got to eighth grade and I started smoking pot and I realized the math behind weed sales. I was like, okay, there's a 400 %, a 4X return if you buy quarter ounces and break them down and you sell them as dime bags. But if you buy a quarter pound and you sell them as eighths, you're looking at a 1,600% return. I was like, okay, so how do I come up with 250 bucks to buy the QP? Then let me break that down. Then I haven't hit puberty yet. I'm a little kid. These guys are going to beat the shit out of me if I mess with the wrong people. I need to befriend the guys that can protect me and figure out that business. All of that was because I had... I didn't have a choice.


Why were you unsupervised? Where were your parents?


This is what I mean by that. I say my parents were accidentally great and I do think they tried their best. My dad worked a zillion hours a week, he had no choice. I think we lived a very middle class livelihood. My parents had nice cars, they had Volvos, but they always bought five-year-old Volvos, never new cars. We lived in a house that was comfortable, but there's never any food in our house. It was fine. We always made it by it. Wego on vacation, but it was always like in the back of the station wagon and we'd go to a town two hours away and stay in a shitty motel for two or three nights. But my dad worked all the time. I only understood later that he was very hand to mouth. He was paycheck to paycheck guy. My mother, I still don't understand my mom. I think she was one of eight kids. My mother is the tail end of an aristocracy. I would describe her side of the family as all the privilege and entitlement of an aristocrat with none of the money. My mother was just always an enigma and always absent.


I think that they tried the best they could and we were just left wandering as kids.


They divorced at some point.


Yeah, that's when things got really hard.


In what way?


I think that childhood always felt like you were hanging on by a thread. I was one of four. My older brother, Van, was the firstborn. Van is such an incredible guy and he's so magnetic. Then there's my sister who was the only girl. Then there's my little baby brother, Dean, who was the baby. Then there was just this accident that happened 13 months after my sister and two years before my brother. I was always the loudest and the squeakyest to get the most attention. I think that characterized what the challenges were for me as a kid growing up. Then it just got the tumult of living in that house just precipitated until my parents split up, which happened under very ausious, shitty, fucked up circumstances and kids being blamed when the kids shouldn't have been blamed. I say all that without faulting my parents, again, I think they were trying their best, but looking back at it, it's like, What the fuck, guys?


I heard you say previously that you had to tell your father that your mother had cheated on him.


Yeah, I remember that vividly. I can picture the table we were sitting at. I can remember his posture. I can remember his response to it. But yeah, my mother, she's a good woman. She has faults like all of us humans have faults. But I think she let those manifest in a way that were really dark at that time in her life. It was apparent to me as a 14-year-old, exactly what was going on. Exactly what was going on. It was so fucking crystal clear.


As a 14-year-old?


Yeah, abundantly clear. I never really understood my own father's perspective on that. But I understand his perspective now. It's like he's working a million hours a week to keep his head above water. Also you don't want to see that. The truth sucks. Just put your head in the sand and ignore it is a very natural response to it. But I was fighting with my mother at the time about all kinds of shit that a teenager fights other parents about getting in trouble at school and all of that. I was mad at her. I think part of me addressing that was just confronting my dad. What are you going to do about this woman?


At 14 years old, you knew your mother was cheating on your father, and you told him.




How does one know that?


I mean, it was super apparent. I mean, there's a handful of very specific situations that just made it abundantly clear. I think that's why at the time, obviously, it fault my mom through and through, but looking back at it, it was probably something closer to a cry for help or a cry for attention or just a way of her letting the struggles she was facing and the totality of her life manifest. This is the only way I can express it is by doing this fucked-up-awful thing.


As you step out of that chapter of your childhood, what are the fingerprints, the character fingerprints that are left on you that still are with you today? What did that chapter of your life, those first 15 years?


I don't think anything has changed. I don't think it's even fingerprints. It was so acute, the way that I had that I saw my future when I was that young. I knew exactly my plan. Really? And exactly my plan. Look, the specifics of how that plan was going to come together were ambiguous at best, but I knew exactly my plan. New York City was always the plan. I remember it was like page 41 in my social studies book was a two-page spread of the New York City skyline. I wouldn't let myself look at that page because I would have such an emotional response to it. Tom Hanks and the movie Big, I would play that movie on repeat because I was like, that's me. That's me. I'm going to move to New York City and get to be the kid that I wish I could be. That's me. To this day, I know every word of that movie. That movie is like a Bible for me. It is a roadmap for me. But I've made 500 YouTube videos about this single idea. But the mission of my life, and this was defined then when I was a little kid, the sole mission of my life is to realize all the promises I made to myself as a kid.


When you're a little kid and you're like, Someday I'm going to be an astronaut. Your mom yells at you and it's like, Well, someday I'm going to have kids and I'm not going to yell at them. Or you're fucking hungry and you're all out of Mac and Cheese and you're like, Someday I'm going to have a refrigerator that's always filled up with food. Whatever it is. You have a boss that's an asshole, and it's like, Someday I'm not going to have any boss. All of those promises, like my promises, they could fill up a phone book. My sole mission was always like, No, I have to check every single one of these off. The how was always gray, but the to do it was always vivid. There was never even a doubt that it was going to happen. There was never an if, ever. There's nothing even close to that.


But life throws at you at that age things that you could never have predicted. Those things don't seem to have deterred your pursuit of that mission. No. You have a child that's 16, 17 years old.


Yeah. I've moved out. Moved out is such a funny way of characterizing. I say moved out, I picture like a moving truck pull up. I had a fight with my mom at age 15 on a Monday night school night, and she gave me this ultimatum. This is when she and my father were like, they were splitting up and getting back together. It was like a really gnarly time in the family. But we got into this fight. I just remember thinking like, I was so mad at her at the time. I was like, You can't tell me what to do. She was like, You need to do this, this, and this or get out of this house. I was like, All right, I'm going to go. I just left.


Where did you go?


That night, I stayed at a friend's house down the street because his parents were weirdly religious, but also absent. They were always very warm to me. I was like, Hey, can I sleep here? He's like, Yeah, sure. I slept at another friend's house and then...


You ran away from home.


Yeah. I'd say I moved out. It wasn't like, put the couch over there. It was like I just took a backpack. It was as close to a stick with a red handkerchief on the back. But I eventually moved in with these two girls. They were great. They were super fun. Iand they were like, let's say I was 15, I think they were 17 or 18. Then I started one of them, she and I got close. Then immediately she was pregnant. A year later, we had a kid. That was challenging. But even so, I remember one moment where she started freaking out in the car because she was eight months pregnant and she's crying and just dealing with it. I pulled her and I was like, What are you upset about? She was like, What are we going to do? We don't have any money. You don't even have a job. What are we going to do? I was like, What do you mean what are we going to do? It's going to be fine. We're going to have a kid. It's going to be great. It's going to be fine.


Were you not scared?


Then, no. Just everything made sense. I was like, Oh, this is great.


There's a naivety to- It's beautiful.


Now I'm scared. I always say that I had nothing to lose then. I had nothing. Nothing. I had no reputation. My friends, parents, all thought I was a fucking degenerate. They wouldn't let me hang around my friends because I was such a bad influence. It wasn't like I had a reputation. Nobody knew me. I had nothing. I had no money. I had no resources. I knew no one. When you have nothing to lose, you're just like a rat that's cornered. It was like, I'm going to chew my way out of this one. Now I'm so scared and everything I do in life because I'm like, Dude, it's so good right now. I don't want to fuck anything up. Take it really easy. I'm really happy right now. I want to protect what I've got. But no, there was a naivety then that was just... It's hard for me to empathize with how bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, naive I was. I remember my son, Owen, when his mother, when she and I split up, she dumped me because I was just such a pain in the ass and God bless her for doing so. But I remember that I was like, then I was like, Okay, I've got a plan.


In five years, I'm going to move to New York City and I'm going to figure this out and I'm going to do this and I'm going to do that.


What were you going to do in New York? I don't know.


I had some cuck at me, plan. There's always a plan. I don't know what this is, but I knew that up until that point in my life, I'd only ever worked in the back of restaurants, washing dishes or being a prep cook or just being the low man and the totem pole takes out the trash and scrubs out the garbage cans and does all the shit work mop. This is the only job I'd ever done. My father sold used restaurant supplies like if you need to do oven or walk in fridge, so he could always get me jobs and restaurants. I remember moving to New York City, my only plan was like, I'm just not going to work in a restaurant. That's my plan. I'm going to do anything that's not work. But I had this five-year plan to move to New York City, and six months later, I quit my job and moved to New York.


When you look back at that 19-year-old kid that quits his job and moves to New York, so up until that point, what do you now know as a guy that's in their 40s about the brilliant accidental decisions you were making at the time. What are the accidental brilliance, that is probably objectively stupidity. That's a stupid decision. But in hindsight, you go, I was a genius.


I never would say in hindsight I was a genius. It was raw stupidity and fearlessness. But it's like all those stupid fucking quotes that everybody posts on Instagram that I hate about like, you only live once, follow your dreams, pursue this. Fuck you. Fuck every one of you. I hate that shit. I hate inspo porn, even though I'm very guilty of fanning the flames of inspo porn. But there's so much truth to all of that. The reason why I hate that shit is if you have to be told that, it's too late. If you're going to learn that from Instagram posts, it means nothing to you. It's just masturbation. It's doing nothing for anyone. People put it up there to feel good about themselves. But all of it is true. What I mean by that is like, I could never do at age 42 what I could do at age 19, which is just say, fuck it. I've got a 10th grade education, no high school diploma, no work experience, no life experience, and a two-year-old. What's the best thing I can do right now? I know. Let me move to the most expensive, challenging city in the world with no plan.


If I hadn't done it then, I don't know that you could ever do that. I think that when I say those cheesy quotes are true, it's like you have an obligation in life that if you feel something that is so powerful to you, follow through with that. I'm not naive to that now. I wasn't naive to it then, but I think now I can articulate it, which is this idea of privilege. I feel like born in the United States of America, if you get to sit at a table and do this, now I wasn't a rich kid. I was like, Well, welfare and got free diapers and milk from the state. Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to feed my child. I worked 60 hours a week in a kitchen making eight bucks an hour. I think 7:25 an hour was my starting salary. That was the luckiest person in the world to get to do that. Are you crazy? Do you know what some kid in South Sudan would do for that opportunity? I just walked into it. I'm like a healthy guy. I've got two legs that work and I have a brain. I'm the lucky I won the lotto on life.


If you start life with this winning lotto ticket and it's like, oh, Little HCUAP. I accidentally had a baby when I was a fucking teenager. It's like, no big deal. They'll just push through this. This is going to be great. It's like, I want to live in New York City. It's like, let's go for it. Let's do it.


The privilege there sounds like a privilege of mindset. This objective privilege, I guess.


From being- Yeah, I push back. When people say that, my response is like, Fuck you, privilege of mindset. No, that's an objective privilege. Name one time in the history of humanity, like the Sumerians invented the written word 5,000 years ago, name one time when people had the opportunity that people like us born in the West have. That has never existed before. Never, ever. Maybe it's a little bit easier for our parents. You know what I mean? Maybe post-war USA was a little bit easier than it is now. Maybe now is a little bit harder than it was for me 20 years ago, but still, give me a fucking break. This life is like... The hardships we face now are so menial compared to what they were a hundred years ago. Objectively, 200 years ago, here's the thing that went viral and it was like the reasons why people died in London in the year 1892. The fourth most popular cause of death was teeth. 60% of the population are dying because their teeth are fucked up. We have a pretty easy-.


Why don't people? There's going to be another guy right now that's like, washing pots in the back room at the seafood restaurant on the $7 an hour. He might be listening to this right now and he hears you say that, but why don't people take action beyond that point and take the big bet when they've objectively potentially nothing to lose?


Well, what's that line from, is it Caddy Shack or Fletch? When he's like, The world needs ditch diggers, too. That's a very cynical take on it. But I think a very practical take is like, Not everybody wants it. I think that's okay. I think it's a wonderful thing. I never understood that. I think in life you can get whatever you want, but you can't want whatever you want. If you don't want it, there's no creating that.


But do you think sometimes people want to want it, but they don't really want it?


Yeah, of course. And I think that's okay. Say, if you really fucking wanted it, you would need this inspirational podcast to make that decision. You'd already be fucking doing it. That's not to be defeatous. It just means that the only goal that anyone should have in life is one of happiness and fulfillment. This idea that you have to win to be happy could not be further from the truth. Why do we hear about rock stars and famous actors and these people that we see as the absolute apex of success in the industry? Why are they all fucking kill them themselves and dying of alcoholism and all that darkness happening at the highest level. It's like, because that doesn't equal happiness. What is happiness for you? An example I like to point to is my best friend in the whole world, we grew up together. I ran away from home. I stayed with them for a little while. We've been together since we were kids. When I moved to New York, he stayed in the hometown. When I quit my job, washing dishes, I gave him that job. He literally took over that job. Now here we are, 25 years later, he still lives in that town.


He still has a job very similar to what he had 25 years ago. He's got three amazing kids. He lives like a very, what I would say is like very classic archetypal middle class American life. I look at him and I'm like, that is the embodiment of happiness and fulfillment. He has this amazing relationship with his amazing wife. He has these three brilliant little kids that he gets to make sure they get to school every single day. He's got like a cute dog that he goes on runs with. He has this amazing life. No part of that life was being like, Fuck this. I want to live on the moon someday. I need to run away from all this. His focus in life was something completely different. I think that I didn't understand. I struggled to appreciate that when I was younger, but now I see so much to that. And that's why I think adjusting the pie in the sky is just one of happiness and fulfillment and defining those is up to you.


Brony, where I was talking about her the other day, she's that I think it's called palliative care nurse in Australia who interviewed people with one day left to live, and she asked them what their biggest regret in their life was. Number one regret of the dying was not living a life true to myself. Then for those people, those that do have this aspiration to start that business or become a ballet dancer in Europe or whatever, that are held back by potentially some form of fear, is there anything that one can offer them to get them just to take that first initial step, which seems to be the hardest, like getting off the couch or getting out of quitting the job. You might offer to your children if they came.


To you. Yeah, I just think that failure is... I think failure is the greatest gift. I think failure is like it hurts so bad. But failure is a part of life. And if you're not willing to accept that, failure is part of it. You've got to keep failing. Anville, the story of Anville. You know this? I made a whole video about this. I made a YouTube video about this. And then the leads... There's a movie called Anville. I think it's called The Story of Anville or something like that. Anville was this big hair rock band in the '80s, and they opened for like Death Leopard, 50,000 people thing. But they never headlined. They never broke through. They were always the opening act. They were always like the bridesmaid, never the bride. The movie opens showing these huge concerts in the '80s and Anville just rocking out. Then it cuts and it shows the lead singer. He lives in Canada and he drives a little van. He delivers food to old people, making minimum wage, barely able to keep his head above water. He performs still in his leather outfits as this middle-aged, 50-year-old guy to six people.


They'll be just drinking beer and he's there giving it his all. The movie is about how relentless this guy. He's just not willing. He borrows money from his sister to record an album. Nobody buys it, can't pay her back. She's got kids and shit. It is the most devastating story you've ever seen because he's unwilling to give up that dream. He just wouldn't let it go. This is his whole life. Then this documentary comes out and it's fucking fantastic. Then because of the documentary, Anville blows up. All of a sudden, he is that superstar, like on tour, selling out arenas in Japan and shit. He did it. Had he given up at any point in time, the documentary wouldn't have been interesting. It would have just been another person who threw in the towel. But they made this... A filmmaker saw this story and was like, That's crazy. I need to tell that story. It yielded that success. Had he not been willing to take on 40 years of failure, 30 years of failure, he would have never found success. I think that's the most extreme version of that. The reason why I was interrupting myself is because I made that YouTube video about, that's basically the story I just told you, and the director reached out and was like, whatever the guy's name, the lead singer of Vanville, he's like, Dude, he loved your YouTube video.


I was like, Yeah. I was like, Starstruck. You know what I mean? But I think failure is overrated. I think failure, people are so scared of failure. I think the fear of failure is that the fear of what other people are going to think about you.


Persistence. That's what I heard through that story as well. Just this almost objectively delusional persistence towards a goal. I don't know if those words are correct because in that situation, I question whether Anville's success was ever really making it or the journey itself was the success. But in your story, I see the same level of persistence that a bystander would go, That guy's crazy, because there was various stats I saw about how long it took you to get to various success milestones. Even when you started daily blogging, I think it took you five years to get to 400,000 subscribers.




Your story, there's this persistence where I go, This guy would have carried on doing this because he wasn't doing this for any particular milestone. What role does persistence play?


It's funny. Persistence is such a... It's a more accurate word, but the word I've been using lately is patience because I think it's so much less sexy. I think persistence is like... Under the picture of the little kit and hanging off the branch, it's like persistence. You know what I mean? We'll never say patience. Patience is so unattractive. When people say to me like, What's the one piece of advice you give to an aspiring creator? Patience. Patience above everything. Because if you're not willing to give up, if you're willing to stick with it for you will find success or you'll die try, in which case, fuck it, whatever. You're not going to be that person in the palliative care saying, I wish I hadn't given up because you didn't give up. You just kept going. You're going to be that person that's like, I've got one day left. I can still pull this shit off. But patience is a really unsexy way of saying, and I think you need to remove the sexiness. You need to remove the sensationalism that inspiration has been perverted with is this idea of like it's this romantic, beautiful thing.


It's not. It's fucking awful. Failing year in and year out and having everybody roll their eyes at you. Whether you're a musician who's performing at the mall and no one's paying attention to you, or you're that YouTuber who uploads and you get zero views, it's fucking awful. It's embarrassing. You're a loser. I talked to MrBeast, to Jimmy, and it's like his war stories from when he started YouTube and he was using his mom's busted compact computer with the built-in webcam, making these videos that no one watched. They're all deleted, scrubbed from the internet now. They're terrible. Just like him going to school the next day and it's like two of his friends from school saw him and both acknowledged how terrible they were. That being told you're... That's failure. Being told you suck over and over and over and over and then seeing how much you suck, be quantified by a lack of views or no one showing up to your concert or no one laughing at your jokes because you're a stand-up comedian or no one showing up your restaurant because you're a chef, that sucks. Starting an online store, no one buys your fucking T-shirts.


That sucks. Failure sucks. Combine that with patience. That suck? Are you willing to do that for 20 years? If you're not, don't fucking bother, man. Don't bother. That's why I like the plainness of the word patience is because that is what it is. There's nothing. Persistence. Persistence is like, you're at mile 22. Persist, man. You'll get across the finish line in four short miles. That's beautiful and fun and hardcore.


That patience that you and MrBeast have both shown and many others, where does it come from? Because objectively, any single person, if everyone's telling them they're a loser and they suck and their parents are saying, You better go get a real job, anyone who's acting in line with their apparent incentives in that moment would quit.


I think very simply it comes, for me, and I think probably for Jimmy too, we've talked about it. He and I have talked about it, but there's no plan B. There's no other option. I had no backup plan. There was nothing else I could do. It wasn't like I had a college education and there was a job in an ad agency waiting for me where I could just say, Fuck it and go make 80K a year and get a nicer apartment and relax and have a nice go of it. It was like, If this doesn't work, I'm back in the kitchen making 7:25 an hour. Getting money from the state so I can pay for like groceries on a fucking wik. I was on wik. Women, Infants, and Children. It was a card. You'd swipe it and you would pay for your diapers and milk and that's it. If you tried to buy a Nintendo with it, it wouldn't work like that. I remember that. That was the fallback. That was the alternative. Every single turn, that was the alternative. I moved to New York City and I was here for three months. I had a three-month sublet that my brother's ex-girlfriend paid for.


She was like, I'll loan you the money. I was like, Cool. It was her parents' credit card that paid for it. It was like 1,800 bucks, 600 bucks a month, 400 bucks a month for three months I shared it. In any event, that lease was up. I had nowhere to live in New York. I was like, Fuck, what do I do now? I moved in with some... This guy was like, Hey, man, I need extra money if you want to sleep on my couch. My dad pays my rent, so you could sleep on my couch and just give me 300 bucks a month. That way the money goes to me. I was like, Deal. I slept on his couch for exactly 11 nights from September first to September 11th, 2001. Then the morning of September 11th, the entire apartment blew up with me in it and him in it. I remember later that day, getting on the phone with my dad and the towers are still on fire and my dad being like, I think it's time for you to come home now. Come back. I was like, What are you talking about? What are you talking?


What do you mean? Why would I come back? He was like, Terris blew up your apartment. You have no job. You have no prospects. You have no money, and now you have nowhere to sleep. I'm like, I'll figure that out. I'll be fine. Later, dad. That's patience. That's delusional patience. But you ask why? What fuels that patience? The plan B was literally moving back to southeastern Connecticut and getting a job in a restaurant.


I read a study once about this whole idea of plan A thinking, and they take a group of people and they tell them to do a puzzle. In exchange for doing the puzzle correctly, they'll get a snack. They take two groups and they say, Okay, do this puzzle. If you do it correctly, you'll get a snack. Then they take another group and they say, Do the same puzzle. If you do it correctly, you'll get a snack. But then they say to the group, You can also get the same snack just down the hall in the vending machine. In the second group, where they're given a plan B to get the snack, motivation levels drop. They spend less time trying to do the puzzle and their performance towards doing the puzzle plummets as well. Just by being aware that they can get the same reward down the hall, performance drops. If there was ever a case for the psychology, and they've done this multiple times in multiple studies, but it is pretty solid evidence that even the presence of a plan B can reduce motivation towards your plan A.


Completely. Completely. I mean, I wish I knew that study because that's such a beautiful illustration of what it is and also what it means to have a knife at your back. I remember the thing I used to say back then, when I first started to find success, I would always be like, My life is like I'm running from a pack of starving wolves. If I slow down at all, I will be eaten alive. I have one choice, and it's to keep going as fast as I can or I'll be torn to pieces. That's what it felt like, and I love that. That sounds so negative and dark, but I love that. It was such a motivation. I pitied the friends. I remember I first moved to New York City in my first summer here. I don't know how, but I fell in with this clique of... Because I thought the girls were pretty, but these rich kids, and I'd go out with them. I just remember the way they would pick up the tab. They're my age. They're all 19, 20 years old and they're picking up hundreds of dollar bar tabs and always had taxis.


A taxi to me was like, it's like a private jet. I had all this money and I would always look at them with this jealousy. It was less of a jealousy and more just fantasized. Imagine if I was the same age as I am now, but I had a credit card with an unlimited amount of money. I went to her apartment. She lives on the 26th floor. She has a two-bedroom apartment and she lives alone. I'm sharing a 200-square-foot studio with strangers I met on Craigslist. We have to wait in line to use the bathroom in the morning. I fantasized about what that would be like. Then seeing as they got older and as I got older, them wandering and not sure where they want to go in life. All of that was for me, there was such a defined path because I didn't have any of those luxury or any of those benefits that I now look back at that as being virtuous.


How did you do that for your kids?


Well, that's the million dollar question because I never want my kids to feel that bullshit that I had to feel, the shame of always hiding in the bathroom when the bill came. I would always do something. I wasn't just like a total take, but I just always felt like a scumbag because I was never able to contribute the way that other people were. That's a really shameful thing. I can remember so many times when I would meet a young lady and she'd be like, Can we go back to your place? And the excuses that I would come up with because I lived in an SRO for a while. I lived in a halfway house that I bribed my way into.


A halfway house for anyone that doesn't know in Europe is a-.


It's where you get out of jail and you're not allowed to live normally yet in the public. They put you into a building where they can monitor you.


How did.


You get in there? I bribed the guy at the door. There was a guy behind glass with a little slot, and you would have to check in and check out. I went there and I was like, Hey, do you have any open rooms? He was like, No, get out of here. I came back with a cart and a cigarette with a $100 bill in it. I was like, I need a room. He was like, All right. 531 is yours. Write your name there. He was like, It's $450 a month cash, or whatever it was.


Interestingly, when you tell that story of being in a halfway house and having no money and all these things, objectively, someone looks at that situation and goes, Oh, man, I feel so.


Sorry for you. I was so psyched.


But this speaks to how a mindset and a perspective can turn hell into heaven or heaven into hell.


Yeah. The reason why I learned about that is it was I had a friend, her cousin lived there, and he was like, Here's how I got it. I bribed the door guy. He's like, It's cool. It's like, don't talk to anybody in the building. He's like, Some of the people in here are undocumented immigrants, and a lot of them are like, they just got out of jail. I was like, Okay, that's cool. He's like, Some of them are homeless people that were given these rooms. I'm like, Okay, I can handle all that. He told me the whole thing of how to get in there and there's no bathroom and no kitchen.


How did this change, Casey? I know video had come into your life around-.


Video came to my life before I moved to New York City. That was the catalyst is my baby mama dumped me. I came into New York to hang around my brother, Van, who I worshiped. He had just bought, he was in temp work. He lived in Brooklyn. He had bought the first IMAX, the one that was shaped like a big blue TV. It came with footage of a dog in a plastic kiddie pool, a pool for children to play and the dog was getting a bath. You could play edit with the footage that came with it. He and I would just edit that footage over and over so we didn't have a camera. I bought a camera and he had a computer and I came in and we'd film stuff and then edit videos of it. I was like, I can figure this out. I maxed out a credit card and started making terrible videos. Then I was like, that's it. I'll become a filmmaker. Then I moved to New York. It was one of the three things I brought to New York when I moved here. It was this huge iMach and a backpack full of clothes and then my BMX bike, which was stolen the next day.


You're 19 at this time? Yeah. What was it? Do you ever think about the psychological reasons why you were so drawn to video and storytelling generally?


I don't know. I have an answer to that, but I don't know if this is why I was drawn to it, or maybe I've just said this so many times it's become my default response. But I definitely felt like I never had a voice. I think it's because I was like that third out of four kids or I never did well in school. I was always in trouble, so the teachers never listened to me. I was always in trouble in getting fights and stuff, so my friends, parents never liked me. I just felt like I was never heard. Then I started to make videos. I was able to articulate my thoughts or an idea in the form of a video and people would respond to that. I think that was part of it. But I don't know, I think I also just liked it. There's something about it that felt so fun and there was something in the end that you would have that was like this finished, done thing.


Did you like movies?


Yeah, but I was never a cinifile as a kid. I had my favorites. I love the movie Big. I do remember in seventh grade we got to do this program where you could choose a profession and you got to go do that job. There's a Pfizer pharmaceutical had its headquarters in nearby town. A lot of the kids went there to be chemists or scientists, and they got to go spend two hours at Pfizer. There's a submarine military base. A lot of kids got to go onto the base and see what it's like to be in the Navy. Mine was I want to work at a video rental store because I want to get paid just sit and watch movies all day. I'm like, All right, I guess we could organize that for you. I remember going there and it was like this kid and he was like, Yeah, I worked a day shift. Nobody ever comes by. I was like, What are we do? He's like, We have to put away those movies. It took like three minutes. I was like, Now what are we doing? He's like, Just wait for customers. We just sat there and watched TV for eight hours.


I was like, This is a job I could get into. But I don't think it was like the Quentin Tarantino where he worked in a video store and studied film. I never had that.


Do you think that's part of the reason you were successful at it, though? Because your style has always been so clearly original in so many ways. That's how it feels. It feels like you are, in fact, someone that didn't go to movie school, and that's why people resonate with it.


Yeah, I always say that my filmmaking style is because I was never taught the right way to do it, so I was forced to find my own way to do it. I think that thinking is at the same time as consumer-grade video creation became this ubiquitous thing with computers and editing software and cameras for the first time ever in the history of humanity. In the early 2,000, you could buy a DV, digital video camera, and you could buy a computer and plug it in. You could edit your own videos. My aspiration to make videos and this machine that let you do it, those happened at the exact same time. Because of that, I was forced to create my own style. My hard drive was 10 gigabytes, so I could edit 12 or 16 minutes of video before the hard drive was full. No, I made really short videos, and that's why. I didn't have a choice. I had to be a short video. I do think the lack of formal education in that capacity forced me to be a different filmmaker or approach it differently anyway.


Do you look back? I'm so compelled by originality as a subject and the power of originality because when a couple of people in society or the world or business or creativity or movies take the risk of being original, the issue is they draw in, and that originality is resonant, they draw in a big audience who then look up to them and almost confuse their admiration for that person with their aspirations for themselves and go, I will create like Casey. That is the way to be successful. It's a very logical deduction, but it's clearly flawed because there can be no.


Other Casey. It was tremendously flawed. It's what I fucking hate about YouTube. I call this the MrBeastification of YouTube. I have to be very careful here. Jimmy is a genius. What MrBeast has done on YouTube is brilliant, and it's because of his brilliance. This is not to take away from him at all. I think he is incredible what he's done. He has no control over the fact that millions of people are trying to copy him. But the fact that millions of people are trying to emulate what he's doing, that is the Mr. Beaststification of the platform that I hate because Jimmy has always been very honest. His goal has never been like, ask me my goal, and now in the most intellectual of terms, I'll look back at it and I'll be like, video for me has always been a way of a refined self-expression for me to take my thoughts and force them into this articulate, six, eight-minute compartmentalized little video and share it with the world. That's been my motivation. Jimmy's from day one has just been fine success. He was a kid who had no money, had no resource, he had no friends, he had nothing.


He's like, This is a tool I can use to take me to the highest planes of business and all of that. Jimmy is just as passionate about his chocolate company, Feastables, as he is about his video creation company, MrBeast enterprise. He's just as passionate about his philanthropy, being successful and helping as many people as possible as he is about making a video about what it means to live in a million dollar house. His passion is about that winning. For him, it's beautiful. But in the most reductive sense, when people look at that, they're like, Hey, that's what it means to be a YouTuber. All that matters is views. I put next to no value on that. None. Again, this isn't to take away from Jimmy because what he's done is incredible. But when people aspire just to get that view count up, to me, it's a race to the bottom. I fucking hate it. I hate it. I do think it's because of people not knowing what to do, so they look to see, Well, who's successful? That's how I'm successful. Let me be that. And it will never work. It will never work. It requires an introspection of like, No, why do I want to do this?


What is true to me? And then you go and do that and maybe you'll find success and maybe you won't, but at least it'll be true.


Why does truth end up mattering more in that case than views? If there's one path here and I can get a million subscribers by just doing a Jimmy or Casey knockoff channel, or there's this path, which I go, Oh, there's no blueprint here and it's never been done before and I don't think anyone's going to like this stuff and it's probably not going to pay my bills. What's the case for pursuing the latter, the true path?


I think that truth lasts. Truth matters. There's no correlation rather between the movies that have won Best Picture, the Academy Award for Best Picture over the last 80 years and the highest grossing movies. Those two things have been the same three times, four times. One of them, I think, was gone with the wind, meaning that the movies that the world determines are the most quality, most important, greatest films, the greatest contribution to culture and humanity are almost never the same movies that make the most money. Transformers Nine was a really cool movie. I don't fucking remember what happened. I think there's a dinosaur in it. But you see a movie that affects you. You see a movie that matters to you. You see Little Dieter Needs to Fly, this documentary by Werner Herzog. You see the Anville story and you're thinking about it. I haven't seen that Anville story in five years. I think about that movie every day. That lasts. That matters. Me as a 42-year-old grown adult, I know in life that's what matters. There's always going to be junk food. There'll always be an appetite for it. There'll always be an appetite for fucking reality TV and bullshit and whatever pop stars are popular this week and will disappear next week.


But the musicians that change you, the ones that write that song that makes you cry, you'll never forget that. For me, if you want to be an artist or you say you want to be an artist, how could there be any other goal but that? Just to bring this full circle, I think the magic of Mr. Beast, of Jimmy in particular, I don't think he's ever wanted to be an artist. That honesty is why I have so much respect for him. He's an empire builder, and that's what he's wanted to do. He's done that through video creation. But again, neither here nor there, not to digress. For me, it's like great work matters, and it does. It changes people. It changes me. Look at the work that Spike Jones did. Not his Oscar award-winning movies, but I look at his little weirdo music videos that I used to watch when I was a kid, and I watched those music videos over and over. What's Up Fat Lip? The music video that he made with Fat Lip, who was a popular hip hop artist who didn't have any money. He was like, I got this new song, Spike, but I don't have any money to make the video.


They went out and they're like, put Fat Lip in a clown costume and they filmed it on a VHS camera. It's one of my favorite music videos ever. But I saw that and I was like, I can be a filmmaker. Now, if you had made a video just trying to get the most views or whatever it was instead of just him and his friend Fat Lip, trying to make something great, it might not have done that for me. That changed my world. If you're going to share your fucking inspirational quotes on Instagram, then step up. Make the thing that could change the world. Make the thing that could affect someone. Don't just give me Mickey Mouse bullshit that's going to get views.


I look at both you and Jimmy as pioneers, but for very different reasons and seemingly with very different motivations. You strike me as someone that was really inspired by the art form and the storytelling side of the creative production process. Jimmy took this... It seems like he took this other approach where it was much more about what the data was telling him to make. Yeah. Both of them created originality, though.


Completely. I think Jimmy is... In the history of... I think is the most important YouTuber in the history of YouTube. And I think that arguably, I think he's one of the most important people in the history of entertainment, full stop. I don't know that anyone has built an empire that reaches as many people as what he's doing. I think there will be case studies taught about him at Harvard. I think he is a true pioneer in every sense of the word.


Do you care about the views?


No, but that's easy to say. I don't worry about paying rent anymore and I usually don't check the prices at restaurants before I order dinner. It's easy for me to say. Obviously, there was a time when that really mattered to me and was super, super important to me. But I've grown up and I have a level of financial security, which is super real. It's less about that and more about doing good work.


If one of your kids came to you and they said, Dad, I want to be a YouTuber, what would be your response to just that first surface level question?


I mean, it's happened. Little Francine is like, she's so good, too. But Candace always gets not mad, but she's always like, take it easy, Casey, because I have a tendency to over intellectualize it. But I'm like, Franny, you can make whatever you want, but you're not allowed to share it. She's like, Why? I want to get subscribers and views. I'm like, Well, if you make it, I just want to make sure you're making it for you because you want to make something, not because you're looking for that, I don't know words I use with her, but that validation. I don't know if she would know that word. But that's when Candace is like, Take it easy, Casey. She's eight. I'm like, Okay, all right, just do your thing, kiddo. But yeah, I think the.


Concern- What is the concern?


-is why. If she wants to do it because she wants to be an artist, fuck yes. I will drop everything to help you on this mission. If you want to do it because your little girlfriend at school did it and she got 35 likes and you want to get more likes than her, then pump the brakes, kid.


What if she says I want to be bigger than Mr. Beast?


The same thing. Then it's like, why? Why do you want to do that? Also, fame is a very weird, very strange thing. I think that the most strange thing about fame is it's not what you think. There are people who have achieved and felt some degree of fame, and there are people who haven't. And if you're in the haven't camp, there's no way to understand the have camp. There's no way. There's no way. And having been over here, to see someone aspire for that is like no way.


What's the warning?


The warning is just like if fame is a byproduct of what you're doing, then it is what it is. But if fame is the end game, then you're just like one of those fucking reality stars with the fucked up faces because you've had so much plastic surgery. I'm like, What are you doing? What are you offering the world? Why are you here? You're benefiting the world in no way whatsoever. You're elevating the world zero. This is pure like narcissism. This is just for some weird ego journey that you're on. Again, this is one of those moments where my wife would be like, Back off, Casey. She's eight. Let her finish her Mac and Cheese. I wouldn't say the kid, but yeah, if she says I want to be bigger than Mr. Beast, then yeah, I get nervous.


What if she says, Okay, I want to make YouTube videos because I love creating videos, but I would like some advice, dad, on how to be a successful YouTuber.


Yeah, you should see her. She has a whole channel that is stop frame animations of her stuffed animals. She's not allowed to have her voice in it or her hands in it. You're not allowed to identify that it's in her apartment. But she makes those and they're fucking great and they're funny and they're really good. We support her so much. We buy her the equipment, we help her make it. We're part of the audience. We have a family iMessage thread that we distribute the videos on. She even has her own Instagram handle that has zero followers. Candace and I don't follow her. We pass the phone around to watch her Instagrams because we don't want her to even associate one like with why she's doing it, even if that like is from us. My sister texted and was like, Hey, you sent me a screen capture of Francine's TikTok or whatever. Can you send me her account? We're like, No.


This is clearly coming from your experiences, right?


Yeah. Protect them as long as you can, man. Keep the kids so far away from that.


Keep them far away from views and likes?


Yeah, from seeking validation.


Did you ever fall prey to that?


Did I ever fall prey to that? Yeah, but I'm different because I was old. I was literally your age that you are right now sitting across from me before I had an Instagram account. Think about how much more you know than an eight-year-old. For an eight-year-old, that's the world that she's growing up in. It's a really scary place. Social media, we're seeing how much it fucks kids up. We're seeing the mental health crisis. We're seeing how it's manifesting. We're seeing eating disorders because of Instagram. We're seeing all these social issues because of social media. I think wanting to protect your kids from that is a universal thing, not just someone who has lived in that space. I think I've had a unique experience with it because I had achieved some level of success outside of social media in the world of regular old media. Then it was on social media that I found real success. But I was able to do that with that hindsight and with that clarity of being an adult, being pursuing this career for 15 years before.


On social media, you found real success.




Was that due to your daily blog, predominantly, was that the real catalyst moment in.


Terms of growth? Yeah, 100 %. Van and I, my brother Van and I had a television show on HBO that we sold to HBO in 2008, and that television show was exactly my daily blog, full stop.


Only eight.


Episodes or something. Eight episodes, 22-24 minute episodes. But if you watch that daily show, it looks like an early version of my blog. It's identical. It's the same exact shit. But that was before YouTube was really a thing. Youtube was invented in 2000 or launched in 2006, and it was really just a place for watching basketball highlight reels and Charlie Bit My finger. We put that show on HBO, very highly reviewed, but nobody watched it. It was on at midnight on Friday nights. It wasn't a breakout success. Then Van moved to California, so I was on my own and I was like, I just want to do that. I tried to sell it to MTV, and they didn't get it. They're like, We know this is great. I showed it to someone there and they brought me in and I met with the heads of MTV, I met with some really powerful people. They're like, This is not like anything we've ever seen. This is fantastic. But we're not sure this works on TV. I was like, Okay, cool. Then I put it on YouTube.


How did that go?


You talked about the numbers before. Before my daily blog, I was considered a successful YouTuber, a celebrated YouTuber. I think it was 280,000 subscribers and it had taken me almost a decade to get there. I started my YouTube channel in 2007 maybe, and by 2014, 2015, I had 280,000 subscribers. I had a couple of movies that went truly viral that had like 5, 10 million views. All of my movies did more than 50, 60,000 views, which was amazing. People liked my videos. The New York Times saw my YouTube videos and make videos for us. I was doing that back then. By all definition, very successful on YouTube. But then I started my daily blog and it took, whatever that was, eight years ago from zero to a couple of hundred thousand subscribers. My daily blog went from a couple of hundred thousand subscribers to 10 million subscribers in 18 months. It was a explosion that I had never felt in any other capacity in my career, my life.


What's the lesson that you take away from that about consistency or compounding or...


That's that thing, patience. I wasn't really doing anything different. Certainly, I was working much harder to create a video every day. It was hard work. But really it was just like I had this square peg and I tried to knock it through thousands of round holes for 15 years. Sometimes I was able to jam it through and sometimes it would fall through and I wasn't able to duplicate it. Then all of a sudden, the moon's aligned, the fucking planet's aligned. Pluto is lined up. The sun shined through, it's right as the Delox arc. The light came through, the city illuminated. 2015, YouTube was just becoming something more. It's the first generation that grew up on YouTube. It had been around for nine years and people had a relationship with this platform and no one was doing anything of any significant production quality. I had 15 years of experience in making short videos and I brought all of that to YouTube. Then just the episodic aspect of it. I was like, make one video of me running around New York City, hanging around my wife, having lunch, doing something else, and then the video is over and it's like, oh, who's this funny looking guy in New York?


Whatever. Do that seven days in a row and you're like, oh, this is fun. I get to hang out with this guy. Do it 300 days in a row and it's like I've become part of your life. That just snowballs. It snowballs in every way. It snowballs algorithmically. That's what that quantitative explosion was. It snowballs financially because you get paid whatever, call it a 10th of a cent per view. That doesn't mean much if you're getting 10 views, but if you're getting 100 million views, the money starts to become substantive. Brands, the kinds of companies you always wanted to work with, maybe one out of every 100 creative directors at an agency has seen your videos, but all of a sudden you go from getting 100,000 a month to 100 million a month. Now every creative director has seen your videos. They're like, We want to work with that guy. It happened so quick and was so explosive and so exciting and so fun.


Sounds like that was your anvil moment in some respects, like you'd put in 15 years of work and then your craft and patience had met opportunity in a way. People might look at those moments and go, Oh, that's luck, because you just... But what is the rebuttal to that?


What's the like? They're right, it was luck. But like, luck... What is it? Lucky is where preparation meets opportunity. I'd just been preparing myself for that moment for 15 years. Then the opportunity opened up and I was right there. The truth is, most of us see opportunity just flies by us all day, every day when I'm ready for it. I was seeking it for that long. There's some other circumstances, too. My friend Max pointed this out to me when he and I were having a meeting last week, which was like, when I launched that YouTube channel, the daily blog, rather, when I launched that in 2015, I had had a show on HBO that they bought for two million dollars. I had had movies that I produced two of them in the Cannes Film Festival. I won the Cassavetes Award at the Independent Spirit Awards, which was like the Academy Awards for indie films. I worked for New York Times. I made movies for Nike. I had worked for myself at that point in time for 12 years in my own studio. I had by every definition achieved success. But the exact time I launched that YouTube channel, I was $200,000 in debt.


Meaning I was more broke then than when I was on welfare, getting checks for my kid because I was so deep in debt. Because the year preceding that, I was invited to MIT as a fellow. As a high school drop out, it was like no greater honor than to get to go to one of the most prestigious academic institutions on the planet and be invited there. I remember going there being like, whatever I do on the other side of this is going to be different from what I'm doing now. What I was doing there was making TV commercials and doing fun stuff like that. I had a.


Good career. Around that time, you read this book. Yeah. What was so inspiring or perspective-shifting about that book, Hatching Twitter?


It wasn't around that time. I went to MIT as a fellow. I worked out of the MIT Media Lab, and my lab group was called the Social Computing Group, and it was eight or ten technologists, one artist was a painter and then me. To this day, I don't know what I was doing there. I'm incredibly close to the professor. I talk to him all the time. He's since left there, and he is a mentor of mine, somebody I speak to regularly. I still don't know what I was doing there. Mostly I just observed. I was given no assignment. I just observed. I didn't have friends. I was living in Boston. My pregnant wife was alone in New York City hating me because I abandoned her. And I read this book. And all I knew is that when I was there, I wanted to figure out what to do next. And the magic of hatching Twitter, by the way, nick Hilton has since become a good friend. But the magic of this amazing book is it reveals the madness that was a technology startup, like the chaos. These guys are all very smart, all the guys that started Twitter.


But I don't think they're smarter than me. I think that you have regular people and smart people and then these geniuses that you just can't relate to. I think that I live somewhere between regular and close to smart, but not fully smart. I think these guys were just smart, persistent people that wanted to do something. I was like, I can do what they did. I can do that. When I left MIT, I was like, I'm going to start a technology company. I didn't know what that meant, but it just sounded like a great idea. But the whole time I was at MIT, I wasn't making any money. I was living off my credit cards and off my debt. My business had a revolving line of credit at Chase Bank that was maxed out. Then I started this company, which was basically just meeting with people, telling them I wanted to start a company. Six months later, I was $200,000 and dead. I couldn't afford my half of rent that I owed to my wife, who was pregnant. That's when I started a daily blog and started a technology company. It made sense. But the reason why I give that long preface about I found all this success is it was like, I found all that success.


I knew there was snack down the hall if I didn't want to do the puzzle. I was like, Fuck that. Let me burn it to the ground. Let me go $200,000 in debt and do something that I have no idea. I've never written a lot of code in my life. Let me start a technology company. Let me start a software development company. I've still never written a line of code in my life, but let me do that. That's a good pursuit for me. That's what I did. I don't know, I'm not sure what I was thinking.


What were you thinking? I don't know.


It felt like a great idea. It also like-.


How old are you at this point? You're 35?


Yeah. Also those guys were such superstars to me. Mark Zuckerberg, like that in the social network, the movie The Social Network, that scene that juxtaposes him just sitting in his dorm room writing code with all the cool kids getting on that bus, going to the party with all the hot girls and he's just... I was like, I want to be that guy. Also I didn't think of anything more explosive. I had financial success, but the two million bucks from the HPO thing didn't make me a millionaire. It's like cut it in half from taxes. You're at a million, pay back our investor, you have 400,000 left over. There's two of us. Give half that to Van, it's $200,000. Then three years goes by and you're making middle class income for three years. We're not rich. I was like, I want to be rich. I want to be a billionaire. Let me start a tech company. That's how I get there.


Unqualified. When I look through your story, I see someone who was seemingly unqualified to pursue the things that he pursued over and over again. You weren't qualified to get into movies. There was no formal education by any objective standards. You weren't qualified to be starting a tech company.


What was I thinking?


What is unqualified? Because I think most people would say, well, I'm not a tech entrepreneur. They would self-label and then disqualify themselves from doing that. I think in most people's lives, they're actually spending more time disqualifying themselves psychologically. But you seem to be taking the opposite approach, which is you seem to be qualifying your sofa things that you're objectively unqualified to be pursuing.


I had this conversation with Candace, my wife, last night because it was like, What do we do with these little girls, our daughters, to show them they can do anything? If they were boys, I knew what to do. If they were boys, force them to work with their hands. It's one of my regrets to my son. My son is 25 now and he's a superstar. He's fantastic. But he loved academia and I indulged him in that. I wish I had been more forceful in encouraging him to learn to work with his hands. Why? Because I think you learn something about life by learning how to build and do things. There's this great South Park special that's on TV right now. The handymen who fix your broken toilet become the billionaires, and all the intellectuals are standing outside of Home Depot holding up signs that are like, I'm a biologist. Please hire me. We'll trade for... Because it's like, and they're sitting around, they're like, I wish I'd just learned to work with my hands. Why didn't anybody tell me? I think what they're saying with that or what I feel, what I was able to deduce from that is just like, there are universal aspects of life and humanity and the world that you learn from working with your hands.


This rule of mind, which is that if you don't know what you want to do in life, do something you hate. Through that process, you'll figure out what it is that you love. I learned that I wanted to be a filmmaker by scrubbing out chatter pots in that fucking seafood restaurant in Connecticut. 40, 50 hours a week just hating it. 90 degrees back there in the summer, stinks. Scrubbing that pot, hated it. It's a lot of time thinking about what do I wish I was doing. For kids, it's like, Yeah, you don't get to go to college. Instead, I'm sending you to this school where you're going to learn how to rebuild diesel engines. Enjoy it. I don't know that I can do that to my little blonde hair, blue eyes, daughters. You ask me about what it means to be unqualified. I don't know. But I think when my bicycle was broken at home and I was a little kid, I didn't have the tool to fix it. I first had to build the tool that I could then fix my with. I wasn't qualified, but I had to find that qualification. Everything that I did, it was the same thing.


So why wouldn't I think that I'm qualified to do anything?


Is part of that, as I hear you say that and thinking about this idea of doing stuff with your hands, is part of that because what it teaches you, and I think about your bike example there, is that when something is broken or when there is a challenge, you're learning, you learn at that very young age that Casey can solve that problem himself. That lesson of I can close the gap between what I want and where I am is like an overarching superpower for the rest of your life where it's the gap, the gap between where you are and where you want to be. The gap between Casey being a guy that's making videos to the tech entrepreneur. You learnt very early in your life that Casey can close the gap. A lot of people never learn that. They think, Oh, I'm unqualified to close the gap, or I don't have the skills to close the gap, or the money, or I'm scrubbing pots in the back room, I can't close the gap. But that's evidence, and evidence comes from closing the gap a couple of times with a bike.


I had a friend DM me this week, and it was something like, I don't know what it was, but it was this thing that was like, I had to figure out who high agency individuals are, something like that. There's like five bullet points. Number five was like the goal in question.


Who would you call? From George Mack, a friend of.


Mine, former... Is that what it was? It was like, who would you call if you're stuck in a Thai prison to break you out?


Yeah. That's George Mack, who's a former employee of one of my former companies. He's a superstar. He's an incredible guy. He does tweet threads and he did one last week, which is how to spot a high agency individual.


I think about that a lot because someone very close to me couldn't find his partner, couldn't find his wife. In a moment of panic, he thought she had been kidnapped. He's thousands of miles away from me and he didn't know what to do. He called me in that moment. He was like, What do I do? I was like, Give me all of the information. He gave me all the information and I was like, I need more. I'm asking him all these questions and I'm writing it all down. Then I'm like, What are you doing right now? He's like, I'm going to go to the police station. I was like, Do not go to the police station. Here's what they're going to do. I was like, This is why you don't do that. Here are the things you can do to be effective. Call the bank, find out when her last transaction was, figure out what her password is on her iCloud account, and going through all these facts. Do all that and call me back. Then I hung up with him and I'm like, How do I solve this problem? It wasn't... There was never a moment of, is there someone that can solve this problem that's not me?


It was that thing that says either in Lockheed, Martin, or at NASA where it says in 100-foot letters, It won't fail because of me. That's what that moment was. I was like, No, I'm the only person who can solve this right now. Sure enough, the next phone call that I called him, it was very Jason Bourne, but I called him 11 minutes later. I was like, She's at the tennis club. She's asleep on the couch. It was much credit to my younger brother, Dean, who is an actual jet pilot in the Air Force for helping me figure that out. But it was interesting. There was something about the fact that he called me. There was something about the fact that I could hear in his voice a total uncertainty. And his instinct was there has to be a higher authority that can solve this problem. And how antithetically that was to my own thinking, which was there's no higher authority. There's no one that can solve this better than I can solve this right now. I think I applied that to most of what I've done throughout my whole life. I remember I was really broke way back in the day.


I had a 1986, I think, Volvo 240, whatever the one that had the dual collagen headlight was, great year. Somebody crashed into the front of the car and the estimate to fix it was like 2,200 bucks. The insurance company just gave me that money. I was like, Fuck this. I was like, I can fix this car myself. I remember my baby mama being like, What do you know about fixing cars? I'm like, How hard could it possibly be? In that moment, I took the whole front of the car apart. I did not do a good job. I did a good enough job. I pocketed all of it, like 150 bucks to replace those halogen headlines, screw it all back together. Before we started this podcast, you're like, Casey, what are you doing with your time? I'm like, Just building out my studio. I wanted to build my girl's a tree fort in there. There was never of like, What carpenter do I hire to build a tree for? It was like, No, I'm going to do this.


How hard can it be?


Yeah, how hard can any of it be? Give me a big enough pile of balsaw wood and enough time. I will build you a spaceship.


As a mantra for life, how hard can it be? There's an air of naivety.


Which is- Once you realize how hard it can be, it's like, I will never do a software development company again. If I knew now, if I knew then, what I know now about building that company, no fucking way. No chance. There's no chance.


It sold for what, $36 million, though? Something like that. Which is a success.


Yeah, it's a success. A million failures, though, for that one success. The failures keep me up way more than the success puts me to sleep.


What are those failures?


Some of the really key failures were the naivety that an exit is the holy grail. For me, we were all out of money. My partner, Matt, and I cut our salaries for the last year, and I think the last couple of paychecks was paying out of my pocket. When we sold the company and everybody got to have a job and everybody got paid out, one of the aspects of the sale was that every employee that had equity would get a full cash payout immediately upon the sale. I thought everybody would be psyched. But when he told everybody, they weren't. Because for them, it was like, no, we signed up to build this company with you. This is fun. This is a startup. This is why we didn't take twice the salary from Facebook. We wanted to do something novel with you. Now we just get to go work for a big company. In that moment of feeling like I was letting down all of these people that helped me get there. It was like, Yeah, I got to get this fat check. I made me a millionaire. I was like, I got to be a millionaire.


But I feel like I disappointed the people who got me there. The people who held me up so I could reach the top, I let all of them down. Maybe that's unfair, but that's how it felt. That's how it still feels. Feels weird. I have zero employees right now. I don't have an assistant. Your producer had to call a friend of ours last night to be like, I haven't heard from Casey in three weeks. Is he going to show up tomorrow? Because I don't check my email. I don't have an assistant. I don't have a schedule. I have no one. I mop my own floors. I think a lot of that is like the post-traumatic stress of having 35 employees at my tech company and feeling like I let a lot of them down and never wanted to feel that way again. I was just like, Fuck it, I'll just mop my own floors. I might miss an appointment. But there's a million failures that fall underneath that umbrella of being a manager, being a terrible manager that I think about way more than the moments of elation that were selling that company.


What was that moment like then? If I zoom in on your psychology throughout that period, you go on this incredible journey to build this business, twist turns. That's the story of most tech startups. Most of them fail, most of them run out of cash. Then you get this exit. Objectively, people look at that, go, Congratulations, amazing. You smashed it. You're rich. You've got money now. What's going on in your psychology? The day you get the call, you call your investors. One of your investors, I think, is a good friend of mine and an investor in one of my companies, Gary Vaynerchuk. Then it's done. How are you feeling? If I was a fly inside your head.


I mean, good. It was super thrilling to get across that finish line.


A month after then.


A month after that, to get specific, the company, CNN, Turner bought our company. Matt, my business partner, and I signed a three-year deal with them to stay down and work with them for three years. Just to tell the finish line, they fired us 11 months later. For a month into that, it was about how do we build this business into a success underneath this bigger company. It was exciting, but I also think there was a huge amount of naivety on my part about what the realities of that look like. What I interpret as ambiguity from CNN about what to do wasn't at all ambiguity. It was them looking to me to lead. My lack of awareness of that is something I look back at now and just shake my head. This is what I mean by 1,000 failures. I can tell you, and I don't think this is an unfair characterization, that I think they bought my company because they're like, This kid is a star and we want hishis reach alone is worth this amount of money. As a bonus, we're getting all of this technical know-how and skill and we're getting the brilliance of his partner.


This is a great deal for us, but we want that influence. Then he'll use all these brilliant people that he has around him to help promote that influence. That's what they wanted. I can say that. They also wanted to exploit my reach doing stupid Mickey Mouse shit. They had some million dollar deal for me to do commercials for a watch company. I was like, Guys, this isn't why I want to work with you. I said no to that and there's a huge... I can point to all these things like them being a big corporation and us being a nimble startup and them wrecking that culture. But the reality is the reason why we didn't succeed under CNN was because of me and only because of me. It was my failure to recognize the opportunity and build within that. I attribute that to ego. I attribute that to naivety.


Someone like you doesn't belong at CNN, though.


Sure, easy to say now, but fuck you, man. I can build a spaceship. I can do whatever I want. I'll fix that Volvo. I can build a fucking company for CNN. You know how incentivized I was? If I built that company to be a success, the incentives that they gave for me were out of this world. The people I was working with at CNN were incredible. They're brilliant people. That the only reason it didn't succeed was because of me. I don't know, you asked how it felt a month later. When I look back at it, it's like a month later is when I was probably at peak hubris. I know it all. Look what I did. I know everything.


What about 11 months later?


Eleven months later, it was just exhausting and I wanted to get out. Just let me... When they said we're shutting down the company, I remember it was super weird. I was in South Africa with my family, and they're like, We're going to let you know before the end of the year. On December 31st, I called my boss at CNN. I'm like, What's going on with the company? Are you shutting us down or are we going to keep going? They're like, We're going to talk and get back. We got back and we're like, We're going to meet here. I'm like, Why don't we just meet at our offices or your offices? They wanted to meet in a neutral location and there was a head of HR or something in the meeting and they're like, We want to let you both know we've decided to shut down the company and release you from your car, whatever they said. I was just like, Okay, cool. It was not a big thing. It was what I expected, but it was like a sigh of relief, weirdly.


What did your plan become for your life? After that? Yeah. You're this guy that's checking off your bucket list, the bucket list you had as a child. You've sold the company, you've built the channels, you've made a huge name for yourself in movie making. At that point, 11 months later, after leaving the HR meeting at the neutral location, what's the future?


That's when it got hard. Dark. That was like a moment of real darkness in my life because... Not because of those external factors, but just internally. The fame then was something that I just did not understand. The only way to quantify it was I had done three billion views in two years, something like that. The content was all me. It was the real version of me. I wasn't playing a character. I wasn't acting. I didn't have on a Superman costume. I'd always say I love Tyler Durden, Brad Pitt's character in Fight Club, but if I met Brad Pitt, he's not that person. You meet me. I am the person you think you know. The fame was fucking insane. We had to move into a higher security building in New York City. It got scary, that fame. When I was winning, putting a video out every day and I had this company, I was cool shit to talk about. You're hosting on that. But I felt like I wasn't winning. I didn't want to do my daily show anymore. I was exhausted from it. Cnn had just fired me, so I wasn't building anything with them.


I wasn't sure what to do, but I still couldn't step outside of that being like Justin Bieberber, swarmed and I didn't know what to do. I started this other company called 368 with my partner at the time, Paul. That was a cool project. I started up a new daily show with my other friend Dan. That was exciting. But basically it just felt like a bunch of slow starts.


Why did you say dark? It's a very.


Interesting word. Is it because it was the first time? It was that thing that I referred to before, which is like you attribute happiness and fulfillment with winning. And I had won. This was the first time in my life where I achieved a level of financial security that if I played my card rights, could have meant financial security for the rest of my life. For a guy who couldn't afford diapers, that's a fucking journey. That is a big box on the list to check off. For a guy who would drive around in my car giving people VHS copies of my videos, I had three billion views in two years. That's a big box to check off. I had done those things. Instead of feeling like I was like, I had done it, I'd earned it. Instead of feeling like I was standing on top of the mountain, I just was like, Well, what? What now? This isn't it. I wasn't running the marathon because I wanted to get across the finish line. I've run 24 marathons. I don't know where any of my medals are. I was running it because I love the running. I loved it and it felt like that was over and I didn't know what to do.


It got weird. It got dark for a little bit. That's when we decided to leave New York and move to LA.


If I was a floor on the wall then in that moment in your life where it's dark and weird, what do I see in the walls of your home?


Well, first of all, the house was really nice because it just bought my company. It was a really nice house. Candace bought the fancy wallpaper. But no, it was mostly like I had a little baby at the time and then a three-year-old. I was at home chilling, hiding. I didn't want to go to my studio. I was going to be too many people outside. Just unsure, uncertain. I think so much of our decision to move, we moved to LA for like three years. It was a disaster. We moved back to New York. But so much of my enthusiasm to leave New York was just like, I need to get away from all of this. I pictured LA like I was moving to the moon. Nobody would know me there and I could just go to the beach every day and chill out. Couldn't have been further from the truth. We decided to move to LA and we didn't move for another seven months or whatever. In those seven months, it was just me hiding and waiting.


Candace, you've indirectly made her as well because of everything that happened in that chapter of your life, which means that both of you can't just live a normal life, can't just walk down the street together. How is she feeling in that moment? And does that add strain to the relationship?


Yeah. I mean, it was always... That's a whole other podcast. But my daily show was effectively I was just pulling stories from my life, my own real life experiences. Let me figure out how to turn that into a narrative. I'm coming on your podcast. Let me film my journey here and then talk about what this is about and then my journey home and let me make that today's video. I was just this vacuum and whatever was closest would get sucked in. She's my wife. She's my partner and my best friend. She would get sucked into the content all the time. Mostly she's willing and supportive, but not all the time. But I still had to make my videos. It had this burden on her, this stress on her. Some of it was positive. She's building her own company then, and it brought enough exposure to her that people were like, Oh, I love what she's doing. It shined a light on her brilliance as a designer and a jewelry designer and an entrepreneur herself. She embraced all that. But ultimately, yeah, it was a big stress on our relationship.


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It's moments like this in my life where I'm extremely busy and I'm flying all over the place and I'm recording TV shows and I'm recording shows in America and here in the UK that Hewel is a necessity in my life. I'm someone that, regardless of external circumstances or professional demands, wants to stay healthy and nutritionally complete. And that's exactly where Huel fits in my life. So if you're looking to try Huel for the first time and to get into it to join the Hooligan family, I highly recommend you try this out. If this next 10 years of your life is a movie, what is the narrative of this movie?


I don't know. You've seen Kiana Scottie?




It's this amazing movie. There's no story at all. It's just beautiful establishing shots of cities with weird music and nothing happens. That's what I feel like my life is right now. It's just like it's so beautiful and wonderful. I'm doing fuck all right now. I'm doing nothing. I feel guilty because I get paid jobs and I take those paid jobs. I do them as best I can. I think I do a good job with them. But I feel a little bit like I'm selling out or something because I still need to make a living and I still can. But I'm mostly just riding the momentum that I created years ago. Then just like, I race home from work every day at 4:30 in the afternoon so I can be home when my kids get home. I just sit around. You can ask me out to dinner. You can invite me to go to the Met Gala. I'm like, I can't, man. I just go home, play with my kids every day. It's my favorite thing. I'm like, Kids, you want to bed at 7:38, whatever, go to the gym for an hour, come home, bother Candace for an hour, watch TV, go to bed.


That's my life and it's a fan. Then during the day, I go hang out in my studio. It's just this clubhouse, fun shit in it, build stuff, make things out of wood, go home, tell Candace I worked a lot today, play with the kids. I just do that over and over and over. Then it's like Christmas and we go visit her family or it's like summertime. We go to the beach. I'm just coasting through life right now and it's fantastic.


Is this a new Casey? Because the other Casey seemed to really like as if they were striving towards some bucket list thing that they'd written when they were a kid. This Casey seems to be-.


Yeah, I mean, look, I'm at peace right now, but this is not as sustainable. I'm at peace right now, but I'm hyper-cognizant that this is not sustainable. Why? I mean, because I'll just be broke in three years. But moreover, the only thing that brings me a sense of true fulfillment in what is a big part of my life is when I make something that I think is good creatively. I think I'm a good dad, that's that part of my life. I think I'm a good husband, that's that part of the life. I'm super fitness-focused and I care a lot about my physical existence as a part of my life. But then the majority of the pie chart is like my professional life. If I'm not making something, even if I make something that's good and I don't share post it, that checks that. That does that. I made something great. What did I do? I made my mother-in-law's her 70th birthday. She was like, Well, you make me one of those Slideshows. I know if she was picturing you drop all the photos into Windows, Slideshowmaker and push a button. I made this great video.


We played it at her 70th birthday to all of her old lady friends. Nobody saw that video. That did it for me. I don't feel like I'm cashing that check right now. I don't feel like if I'm looking at that as a staying healthy, it's like instead of going to the gym, I'm eating junk food. Instead of going for a jog, I'm sitting on the couch. When I get to the office, instead of putting my head down and just making something great, which I can do, I just puts around and reorganize my tools.


Every day. Do you know I said earlier before we started recording about this word boredom? I used the word boredom not because I'm implying that nothing is happening, but so many of the creatives I've spoken to tell me that you need to have chapters and seasons in your life of basically where you're just chilling because those they cultivate an energy towards the new thing. Maybe it gives you enough time and space to stand back from the picture to see the whole painting or to, I don't know, get some inspiration from something your kid says to you one day or- Yes.


Look, absolutely. There's a pendulum, and my pendulum's gone so far when I'm making a video a day, 800 days in a row while running a company with 38 employees while having a wife and a brand new baby at home. I didn't sleep for three years. I was running at full speed. Millions of people with their eyes on me every day. You could definitely justify it as a pendulum swing in the other direction now. I just need this time to decompress. But I don't accept that because to accept that is to justify my current laziness in general, laison fair attitude towards life. I recognize how indulgent it is right now. I'm not doing this because I need it. I'm doing this because I can. If I was broke right now, I'd be fucking busting my ass every day. If my kids were hungry right now, I'd be busting my ass. I'm doing this because I can. I'm not solving the puzzle because right down the hallway are all the snacks I could ever want. I'm very aware of that. I hear you, but I do not accept that justification. This is just pure indulgence. That's all it is.


It's great. Can we do have some snacks and build a shelf this afternoon?


It's very honest of you. I don't think anyone's ever said that to me because people do justify their indulgence. It's very interesting. What can we expect from you? Can we expect anything? Do you know the answer to that? Because so many people are like, ultra fans of you. I think there's an anticipation of what's the next big thing Casey's going to do.


The short answer like, but I've been saying this for a while and I haven't done it, is like this version of my life right now that I do love, and I really just... I have all these movies written. When I say movies, I mean YouTube videos. Written, they're really meaningful and awesome. Some are deep and some are shallow and some are one day shoots and some are three weeks of writing. I just want to make those. I just want to go to my office every day alone and make these videos and put them out on YouTube. I deleted the YouTube Studio app from my phone. I don't look at comments or views anymore. I don't check adsense. I don't do that. I just click Upload and then go back to work. That's what I want to do right now. When I'm beating myself up about my laziness is because there's nothing stopping me from doing that. I keep kicking the can. But that's what I want to do right now. That's it. I just want to put my head down and make the things that I think are great, give a shit if anybody watches them.


You talked about privilege earlier and acting on your privilege.


Yeah. To do that is the ultimate privilege. There's nothing more. There's nothing more. That's like the most privileged existence.


Why aren't you acting on your privilege? You've got the lottery ticket.


I think just to go back and be as honest as I is because I don't have to. I'm embarrassed to say that, but that's the truth.


Jack over there, Jack Silvestre, he's a producer podcast and directed it with me since the very beginning. You're the reason why he got into video. He told me many years ago, I think he told me two years ago when we first started this, he said, Casey is his dream guest.


Jack, I'm glad I didn't cancel today. I thought about it. It's like, instead of doing that podcast, it would be cool just to sit in my office and do nothing again. I'm glad I'm here. But my.


Question really is about 19-year-old Casey, when he first arrived into New York City. What is the advice that Casey needed to hear at that point that he just didn't get? I'm speaking to all the Jacks out.


There that are 90. Fuck, that's tough. A quick digression. Hearing that and then knowing that I'm like my notes app, I have 25 great movies that I wrote that I really care about. It makes me feel like Spike Jones has this great idea for a music video to make with Fat Lip. If he just decided to go make shelves and have lunch and not make that video, it might not have made me get off my... That's a fucking motivator. That makes me want to create stuff. But what's the one piece of advice? I think that nobody cares about you. It's something that was never made clear to me. I mean that in the most positive, optimistic, inspiring, motivating way. I think that especially if you see yourself as a creative or you want to exist on YouTube or as a filmmaker, as a musician or as an artist or a painter, any of those things, you think that everybody's paying attention. Because of that, it controls how you think. Even when I was young and fearless and nothing to lose, I was still so cognizant of how are people going to react to this and what's the best way to do...


I was so aware. The reality is nobody gives a shit. Everybody is so focused on themselves in this world. Nobody has time for you. The sooner you accept that as a creative person, the sooner you're free, like you're totally free. Do exactly what feels right to you. If you can get yourself on that trajectory, then it goes back to what we were talking about before about being novel, about being an original, about not being a photocopy of somebody who did something. If you're that photocopy, you will never be the original. But the moment you accept the fact that nobody cares, do your thing, nobody cares, and then you start to go down that path, you will just get better and better and better. Then you sprinkle on that patience I was talking about. You just keep going. You keep going. Eventually, that persistence will just smash into opportunity. Preparation will smash into opportunity. Persistence will smash into opportunity. Your moment of explosion, your detonation will happen. I was verbose. But you asked a big question.


Thank you so much, Casey. We have a closing tradition on this podcast where the last guest leaves a question for the next guest not knowing who they're going to be leaving it for. But I did have a question because you are, many people consider you to be the very king of blogging. We've started a weekly blog where, which is going really well, we've uploaded, I don't know, eight or so videos and we've got a- Congrats. -engaged audience. Great. Because you are the king of blogging in my eyes. The question I want to ask you selfishly is what do you make of that whole medium? It's been on a journey. There was a lot of daily bloggers back in the day. I used to watch The Shaytards and I used to watch You and then doing these daily blogs. As you said, I felt like I was your friend living your life with you. The algorithms change, things change. It doesn't seem to be the case that there's daily bloggers anymore. Even blogging on the platform seems to have fallen down a little bit. What do you think of?


At the time, when I was doing my daily blog, I really thought that it was the ultimate maturation, if that's the word, of reality television. Because you've got Kim Kardashian, and then you have her TV show. In between those two things are all these producers and directors and writers and all of this fabrication. Sometimes if you remove the middle part and it's just sharing your world, like that was the most optimistic, whimsical trajectory that I saw the genre taking. I think it just never happened. It never manifested that way. Instead, it was a pursuit of sensationalism and views. I think it was disrupted by the view count. I don't fault anyone. I was susceptible to that too. I was corrupt by the view count. What could have been something virtuous turned into something, I think, much less interesting and that crashed and burned. Now in the ashes of that, I think we're seeing really interesting things. I think we're seeing niche succeed, which is so fucking wonderful to see. You had to be a YouTuber to succeed back in the day, like one of those. You had to fit in. You had to be one of those.


Now it's like we have these micro creators that are finding their audiences. A friend of mine, all he's into is like Fish Tanks. It's all he does is Fish Tanks. His channel is huge. He's so good. These guys, Retro Doto, they're friends of mine. They came to New York to film with me. Their whole channel is just retro video gaming devices. They're wildly successful. They release books. That is so amazing. You have eight episodes of your blog out now. I haven't seen any, but I'm sure they're much more about this than they are the intimacy of your life and how you get... You're able to lean into that niche. I think this thing had all this potential and it crashed and burned and now out of those ashes, we're seeing these beautiful little things sprout up. I hope that that's the trajectory it continues.


You're not tempted to blog again on a daily basis?


If I could do it without having any notoriety or from it, I would.


Do it. That's the only reason you don't do it?


It's a big part of the reason.


So interesting.


The thing that I have fantasizes about is Quentin Tarantino just disappears off the face of the earth for six years. Then it's like, hey, guys, I had a new movie coming out in six months, and he is the only thing anyone talks about is that movie. Then he goes and disappears, crawls back into his cave. It's like that is the ultimate. I don't know anything about that guy. Is he married? I don't know. Does he have kids? Where does he live? I don't know. What is he doing right now? I have no idea. What car does he drive? I don't know. What are his hobbies? I have no idea. I know nothing about him. But his work, I know every word to every movie he has ever made. I appreciate that man for one reason, that is his artistic contribution to the world. That is the ultimate. For me, with daily blogging, it's like, I don't know how to separate the selling of me and my personality with the art and that conflation starts to fuck with my head. Then when people in the street come up to me and engage me, yeah, it's that turning into something in the real world that just freaks me out.


How long have we been talking? We've done.


A while. The question left for you is, what is one piece of feedback you want to give to me? Oh, gosh, shit. What is one piece of feedback you want to give to me? Yes, me, Stephen. But might be nervous to tell me.


When you set up a studio in New York City, don't do it 40 minutes out into fucking Brooklyn. You figure out how to build this studio in downtown Manhattan so all of your guests are five minutes away instead of 40 minutes away.


You were really busy today?


No, I've not been watching TV. I've seen nothing.


Our studio was in lower Manhattan until this is the first time we've ever done it here, but that is great feedback.


Yeah, don't do it again.


Did you get come here on your skateboard?


I thought about it, but it doesn't have the range. Oh, shit.


I appreciate that. Casey, thank you so much for the inspiration. Yeah, this is fantastic. I've talked about you for many, many years and it's really about the principles of towards life, but also creation and the artistic side of your work that have inspired me so profoundly. Even hearing you speak so clearly on the importance of truth and authenticity in what you produce has made me rethink a lot of things that I do, and I think in a really important way. You're someone that is further up the ladder that I think creators like myself are climbing. If you to shout down these messages mean that I don't have to go through the darkness or the confusion or all of those things that you've been through, so I thank you for that. I'm very excited to see what you do because you're a pioneer and people that are creating for their own authentic reasons always make the most interesting shit. That's going to be a source of inspiration for me if you do make those 25 videos in the notes of your phone. So please do.


I appreciate that. I will. I'm going to do it for you.


Thank you, Casey.


Thanks for having me.


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