Marques Brownlee Answers the Web’s Most Searched Questions | WIRED
Tech review legend Marques Brownlee takes the WIRED Autocomplete Interview and answers the internet’s most searched questions about himself. What kind of tech is Marques Brownlee excited about? How good is Marques at ultimate frisbee? What does MKBHD stand for? Who is his YouTube rival? Why did he go to the Met Gala? Does he like Android or iOS better? Marques answers all these questions and more!
– Hi, I’m Marques Brownlee.
And this is the Wired Autocomplete Interview.
Is Marques Brownlee okay? I think so.
What do they know that I don’t know?
Why Marques Brownlee?
Why is Marques Brownlee called MKBHD?
Actually, when I got here to the lobby of the building,
the security guard was like, “Can I ask you something?”
I was like, “Yeah.”
He was like, “You’re MKQBH.”
And I was like, “Yeah, close enough.”
I made it to be shorter
and easier to remember than my name.
MKB is my initials, HD is high-definition.
It’ll always be HD.
I’m not changing it to 8K or anything crazy.
HD includes 8K.
So that’s why it’s MKBHD.
So why is Marques Brownlee so popular?
That’s a good question.
I think it’s a little bit of skill
and a little bit of luck combining with opportunity.
I started making videos a very long time ago.
And it sort of had the opportunity to build up since then.
So it didn’t just become popular,
It didn’t explode onto the scene,
but when you make 1,500 videos,
eventually people see some of it I guess.
Why does Marques Brownlee review retro tech?
I was born in 1993.
It’s sort of right in this Goldilocks zone
where my parents didn’t really get us video game consoles
or anything like that.
A lot of the retro tech right around
when I was growing up is lost on me.
I never owned a Gameboy, or Sega Genesis,
or any of these early things.
So it was cool to go back
for this YouTube original show
that I did called “Retro Tech”
and learn about that stuff for the first time.
So last but not least,
why is Marques Brownlee at the Met Gala?
[laughs] That’s a great question.
Are people really Googling that?
That’s a, pretty hilarious.
I was invited to the Met Gala in 2022.
I actually don’t know the answer to that question,
[laughs] but I was at the Met Gala.
I didn’t know what to expect going in.
I’d seen the Red Carpet.
And then I know that everyone got off the Red Carpet
and went into some place.
And I was like, “Oh, what’s the place?”
But really you just go into the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
It’s an event that raises money for the museum.
And you get to meet some cool people, eat some good food,
and hang out for a little while before you go home
and wonder if any of it was real.
How Marques Brownlee.
How does Marques Brownlee pick thumbnails?
Ooh, that’s a good question because it changed recently.
I used to be for the first 10 or 11 years
the person who just poured all the time
and effort into the YouTube video.
And then as it was uploading, I went,
“Ah, I need a thumbnail and the title.”
And I’d come up with it in the last minute.
That’s actually flipped in the past year or two.
I’ve realized the only way anyone
ever finds what you made is if you package it well.
So we start videos now with a title
and thumbnail in mind as we go to create them.
How does Marques Brownlee scale his brand?
Tech is cool.
I’ve been making a lot of videos
on a relatively narrow window of tech,
being we’ve seen smartphones rise up
and now they’re everywhere,
but I have interests all over the tech world;
electric cars, headphones, computers, TVs.
So scale of the brand really just comes
with being able to talk about,
and speak to more things, and maybe going to the Met Gala.
How did Marques Brownlee interview Elon Musk?
I tweeted at him, said,
“Hey, do you wanna jump on an interview?”
And he was like, “Yeah.”
It was cool to just see somebody in that position
actually know the nuts and bolts of what’s going on.
We did this in the factory.
He gave me a tour of the factory afterwards,
but he’s pointing at different machines,
telling me exactly what they do.
I’m sure there are other business leaders
who could walk through factories and tell me what they do.
But that part of it was fun.
Even before we recorded anything,
he’s looking at the camera rig we’re using,
just asking questions about the gimbal.
And like, “So what is this for?
“What does this do?”
So a nerd from the opening minutes of our conversation.
[laughs] How does Marques Brownlee go viral?
Don’t Google that.
Google, how does anyone go viral?
That’s the golden question.
I’ve found that the videos
that I make that go the most “viral”
are actually pretty predictable
because they’re about devices that I know people care about.
When the new iPhone gets announced by Apple,
and then they bring us all into that room,
and they let us shoot hands-on with it,
when I upload that video,
I know it’s gonna do better than this other thing
I’m working on about this obscure drone
that nobody has heard about.
This one is, is Marques Brownlee.
So is Marques Brownlee good at Ultimate Frisbee?
Well, I play.
And I’ve been lucky enough to play in the New York area,
which has some of the best teams in the world.
So the fact that I’m on the team,
I feel like that’s a pretty good indicator
I’m a decent player.
I’m not the best player, though, that’s for sure.
Ultimately Frisbee lowkey
is one of the most highlight-friendly sports
you will ever see.
It’s a pretty young sport,
but literally average catches in the Ultimate world
make ESPN top 10 when the footage is good enough.
So if you ever get to go to an Ultimate game,
you’ll see it’s amazing.
But the disc flies.
You’ve seen people throw a disc before,
but it floats just a little bit.
And some of those improbable catches
are kind of routine for the best players in the world.
So just go watch some.
Is Marques Brownlee okay?
There’s no more.
[laughs] Is he okay? I think so.
What do they know that I don’t know?
Are Marques Brownlee’s videos getting longer?
That’s a really interesting observation.
A long video for me used to be six, seven minutes.
Now, I just made a video that was about eight minutes long.
And we were all like, “That was a really short video.
“Could’ve been 18, 20 minutes long.”
Is Marques Brownlee going to space?
No, I don’t think, I mean I would like to.
That’s one of those like bucket list things.
I have a bunch of weird bucket list things I wanna do.
I wanna see a bunch of natural phenomena.
I’ve never seen a tornado, but I also want to go to space.
That’d be cool.
What Marques Brownlee.
So what phone does Marques Brownlee use?
So this is gonna be different
when I’m testing a different phone.
At the moment, it’s a Galaxy S21 Ultra and an iPhone 13 Pro.
And I do have personal preferences.
So when I’m done testing a phone,
I’ll go back to a phone that I liked more.
So in between phones, I’m using the S21 Ultra more,
but I’m testing another phone next week
and then whatever phone comes out after that.
So this is a different answer every time.
What new tech Marques Brownlee is excited about?
I feel like the obvious future answer is AR VR,
but also electric cars for me.
I’m really excited about them and interested in them.
We’ve had some AR VR stuff
that’s trickled a little bit in the past couple years.
But whenever you get a new device
and a new piece of hardware to look at,
that’s when it gets interesting.
And I think we’re about to start seeing some more of that.
What is Marques Brownlee’s least favorite tech?
It’s funny, I’m an optimist about a lot of this stuff.
So I don’t know if I have a least favorite.
You know what’s funny about bad tech?
Sometimes tech is just ahead of its time.
There’s the Google glasses of the world where 10 years ago,
a camera on your face was a terrible idea.
And everybody ended up hating it.
But now, we’re around the corner from,
“Aren’t there Snapchat glasses
“and Ray-Bans with cameras on them?”
We’re all totally okay with that suddenly.
So just ahead of his time.
What does Marques Brownlee get wrong?
except for the one time I thought I had three gigs RAM
instead of eight or something probably.
What is Marques Brownlee’s plan?
Well, I’ve sort of said it before, but I make tech videos.
So my plan is to keep making them
and hopefully make more and better.
Who is Marques Brownlee’s rival?
That would be Linus Sebastian. [laughs]
We’re, I, lots of people make tech videos.
Lots of fellow tech YouTubers
that we’re actually all pretty good friends,
but for the sake of the memes, let’s just say Linus.
Who was Marques Brownlee’s first subscriber.
I feel like I would have to Google that to find out.
I might be able to find out.
You know what’s funny?
I used to have email notifications
on for every activity on my channel,
including every new subscriber.
I turned those off after it started getting crazy,
but I actually, I don’t know.
Who did Marques Brownlee first interview?
Technically my-first ever interview
was with Dennis Woodside when he was the CEO of Motorola,
but my first-ever in-person interview
as basically a child was Kobe Bryant.
So that was a “Welcome to the big leagues” moment for me,
[laughs] which was, I’m not a good interviewer clearly,
but that was a great way of getting me used to the idea.
He’s really good at getting interviewed.
Who are Marques Brownlee’s favorite YouTubers?
I watch a good variety of YouTube,
a lot of educational channels, the CGP Grey’s of the world;
a lot of entertainment channels,
the Mr. Beasts of the world;
a lot of tech channels, like Linus.
So yeah, that’s a healthy variety.
Does Marques Brownlee.
Does Marques Brownlee like Android or iOS better?
Personally I have two phones, right?
I carry this Android phone in my right pocket
and I carry the iPhone in my left pocket.
And my main SIM card with the phone number
that I use the most is in the Android phone.
But I have the iPhone because there’s so many,
I have to be familiar with both worlds,
but there’s so many things
that are just a little bit better on the iPhone.
I have family group chats, and facetimes, and all that,
but there’s also camera stuff.
There’s some apps that are iPhone only.
My phone key is on my iPhone.
So it’s, I’m I split my time for real, but I do prefer,
if I could only use one,
I would just have the Android phone.
Does Marques Brownlee review AI?
Oh, yeah, actually I did recently.
You might’ve heard about DALL-E.
DALLL-E is a AI art generator
that can take any text input that you give it.
You could just say, “Giraffe riding a skateboard.”
And it will take that and turn it into photorealistic,
high-resolution imagery in whatever style you want.
And it looks real.
It’s kinda incredible.
I am both optimistic and fearful of what AI is capable of.
Now I can compare the art that the AI makes to the art
that our graphic designer in the studio makes.
And the graphic designer in the studio is better,
but we literally did a video comparing them.
And he would take six hours to make an image
and DALL-E would take 10 seconds
to make an almost as good image.
And that is both amazing and horrifying.
– [Cameraman] So he might be fired in a year or two?
– [laughs] I don’t think he’s fired at any point,
but there is something to this AI quick generation thing.
Does Marques Brownlee, what do I do, use a RED camera.
Pretty often, yes.
So they make some incredible cameras.
I started using them actually
a really long time ago when I was in college.
I was super locked in on Canon C100, 1080P all day.
Love that thing.
And then I was like,
“You know what? I should try 4K.”
And I rented a red Scarlet-W and never looked back.
I feel like the production value has actually
been growing constantly since the beginning,
even though we’ve used RED cameras for years.
We do new camera moves, we shoot in new places,
we have a robot now.
If you’ve ever seen one of those robot arms
that puts the door on the side of the car.
but with the camera attached to the side of it,
and then a PS5 controller,
and then software to keyframe,
and just move the camera around.
So we have some fun with the camera stuff now.
Does Marque Brownlee have a masterclass?
I actually do, yes.
I did a masterclass on making videos for the internet.
You can take a camera, and a tripod, and a light,
and make something amazing, and put it on the internet,
and accomplish your goals.
Maybe you wanna share something.
Does Marques Brownlee go clubbing?
No, not really.
I found it kind of a waste of time.
I think outside of the normal Android iOS,
AI, RED cameras stuff,
I play golf and I play video games.
That’s maybe my biggest time waster at this point.
Those were some good questions.
Some of ’em were a little bit outta left field,
but I like that.
I feel like just keep mixing up what you guys Google
because maybe I come back
and there’s some crazy other questions that I get to answer.
But until then, I’m okay.
If you’re wondering, I’m okay.
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