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Casey Neistat’s Unrelenting Pursuit Of Interestingness

By November 7, 2022January 22nd, 2024No Comments
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Episode #715



When influence is valued above creativity, craft is supplanted by self-marketing. Creativity is replaced by serving algorithms. And art is dead.

So how do we thwart social media overlords from hijacking our creative direction and impulses? How do we make sense of our growing creator economy? And what are the dangers of online celebrity culture?

Here to help clarify the delirium of internet culture is the godfather of YouTube, Casey Neistat.

One of the biggest and most popular creators on YouTube with over 12.5 million subscribers, Casey rose to fame through a daily vlog he commenced in March of 2015 when he began uploading a new video every single day with a never-before-seen instinct for storytelling and flair for high production quality filmmaking that cracked the code on virality—and sent his profile stratospheric.

In addition to being a friend and occasional running partner, Casey is also an entrepreneur, an angel investor, a husband, a dad, and the director of a new documentary called Under The Influence, which chronicles the trajectory of a young YouTube creator named David Dobrik from massive popularity to disgrace and the ugly, broader truths of the creator economy that incentivized his demise.

“It’s much easier to follow trends and seek fame than pursue what is creatively meaningful.”


Today Casey and I dive deep into what it means to be an artist. We explore the foundational principles of creativity, filmmaking, and storytelling. And we discuss the difference between external versus internal validation—and the rewards each brings.

But more than anything, this is a powerful and important conversation about the dangers of sensationalism, the unhealthy incentives that currently underpin media culture, and the ways in which the creator economy is driving society in a perilous direction.

The visually inclined can watch it all go down on YouTube. As always, the podcast streams wild and free on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

I found this conversation equally fascinating and terrifying. I hope you learn as much as I did.

Note: You might be surprised to learn that this is actually Casey’s fourth appearance on the podcast—his last appearance was nearly eight years ago. If you enjoy our conversation today, check out our earlier exchanges on episodes 73, 144, and 174.


Peace + Plants,

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