College senior Marques Brownlee was recently dubbed "the best technology reviewer on the planet right now” by a former Google VP, but the 20-year-old’s newfound fame has been more than five years in the making.
Heralded by many techies for his ability to explain new technologies to the average consumer, Brownlee has been creating YouTube videos since March 2008.
“When I first started making the videos, I didn’t tell anyone about it,” he told Business Insider. “Not [my family], not anyone. But after a while it was something that was pretty obvious, since I was making a whole bunch of videos...I just didn’t necessarily feel like telling people about what I was researching.”
His passion for consumer electronics was triggered by old camcorders his parents had around the house and computers. Wanting to buy a laptop during his first year of high school, Brownlee came across online tutorials on “how to do cool tricks and customizations” and, eventually, started making his own tutorials using simple screen-casting software.
"The first few videos, there were no comments and no views,” he told BI. “But eventually, once someone would comment on the video, they asked about other things I could share.”
His YouTube channel MKBHD has since grown to 1.5 million-plus subscribers, more than 130 million views and hundreds of videos.
When Brownlee is not producing his acclaimed videos, he is juggling his school work at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey, where he majors in business and technology with concentrations in marketing and information systems.
“I went so far with school, so I might as well just finish," he said. "Getting my degree is something I’ll be really happy about. I’ll wing it from there.”
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(Photo: Marques Brownlee via YouTube.com)