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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - IT'S NOT EVERY day a social media sensation shows up on your doorstep and, we're guessing, even rarer they do so with no airs nor graces, no entourage and no cameras documenting each passing minute (our video team substituted in nicely). Though, on Thursday, the 26-million follower strong Nuseir Yassin, or video blogger Nas Daily as he is better known to his legions of fans, arrived at the Al Khaleej Today offices for an offbeat chat about how he went from Harvard graduate, to tech bro, to creating his own business empire in just a few short years. However, if you were under the impression the calculated moves were merely money grabs, you'd be mistaken. Yassin is looking to change the world with his channels. The cash is incidental. Here are a few more surprising facts we picked up during our meeting with the 28-year-old.
He's not always 'upbeat Nas'
"I think a lot of people think Nas behind the camera is super positive, super funny and super kind. When it comes to the company and meetings with my team, I'm not very positive. I'm very negative, I'm very angry. When I look at the world it makes me very angry. I think it's ridiculous 50 million people don't have insurance. Or it's ridiculous you have to spend 10 years to get a degree just to get a job. Nas Daily behind the camera is someone who is really frustrated with how the world works."
All about him when brand building
"It's very important that it's only me in the videos with the same T-shirt, the same voice, the same music and the same format every single day. Branding is very important. I chose a platform that has 2.6 billion people go on it every single day. That's all I did. I put all my eggs in one basket: the Facebook basket."
'I'm not entertaining!' Ushering in global change
"There are two reasons to go to social media: the first is to entertain. The second is to change. This is why I make videos on politics, economics and travel, that's the only route I have. I'm not entertaining, so I have to be serious. It has to be meaningful."
$50,000 for a speaking engagement? Yes please!
"How do I make my money? I'll tell you my entire money journey. I applied to Harvard; it costs $60,000 per year. I told them I didn't have the money and they gave me a full scholarship. I was very lucky I graduated without any debt. I got a job as a software engineer. I got paid $120,000 a year. I was overpaid and underworked. That's how tech works. I saved $60,000: 20K in investments, 40K in cash, that's how much I needed to start Nas Daily. I went around the world for two years, spending about the same amount of money I earned. At some point you get one or two million followers and you make $1000 from advertising. Then you start making $1000 from speaking engagements. The more the followers grow, the more advertising money you make. You can make up to $1milion a year. Then the speaking engagements: you say, 'hey I'll charge you $2000 to speak'. They say yes. To the next person you say $5000, then the next $10,000. Whenever they say 'yes', that's your new rate. So we got it all the way up to 50 and people paid!"
Covid created 30 days of panic, followed by a realisation
Now there are 25 people in my company that expect a salary every month. So now it's less about, 'hey I want to travel to the Maldives and make a video,' it's about how do I pay 25 people? I panicked for a good month. Then I realised Corona is the best thing to happen to us. All we need is this (a phone) to tell stories. We can talk about anything, anywhere and get it done. It's very simple."
His favourite Dubai sights...
"The highlight of my trip, the truth, it wasn't any Burj. It was the nuclear power plant and the desalination plant. Not may tourists go there. But the desalination plants in this country are some of the biggest in the world and the nuclear plant is the newest in the world. So to see how the UAE drinks water and creates electricity is ten times more impressive than any building."
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