Marques Brownlee: The Tech Guy from YouTube

icon ONE
icon FOR
Photo - Marques Brownlee: The Tech Guy from YouTube
Marques Brownlee is one of the most popular tech YouTubers. As of May 2024, his channel, also known as MKBHD, has over 18.8 M subscribers. If you’re curious about what MKBHD means, it’s the initials of the YouTubers name, where K is his middle name standing for Keith, and HD stands for high definition, pointing to the high quality of the videos.
In his videos, Marques Brownlee reviews tech products, including smartphones, VR headsets, AI gadgets, electric cars, and more. His first review was on the HP Pavilion dv7t laptop, uploaded on YouTube in 2009 when he was 15 years old. 

Brownlee was born on December 3, 1993, in Maplewood, New Jersey. He got his love for tech from his father, Marlon Brownlee, who is an IT consultant. The YouTuber’s mother, Jeaniene is a financial analyst, who has helped the creator manage business and finances. Brownlee has a sister, whom he mentioned in one of his tweets, congratulating her on graduation. In a 2023 article by Fast Company, Brownlee’s mother describes him as a reserved, hard-working, and attentive person: 
Marques has always been very detail-oriented,” she said. “Even when he was three years old, if he was trying to build something with Legos, it had to be perfect. He’s just very laser-focused in how he takes in information. The good news is he’s able to articulate it to audiences that’s easy to understand. I think he really has a gift in that respect.
The 30-year-old influencer now has over 1600 videos on YouTube. Marques has done reviews not only on current technologies but also on retro tech, where he shares information about products from previous generations. He had interviews with famous people, including Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Satya Nadella, Mark Zuckerberg, Kobe Bryant, and others. Brownlee’s number one rule in content creation is “Make What I Want to Watch.” This philosophy has surely been a great contributor to the success he built. 

In 2019, Marques was named Creator of the Decade at the Shorty Awards. In 2021, he was on the list of Forbes 30 under 30. Outside content creation, Marques is a professional frisbee player, scoring wins in the sport, too.  With the New York PoNY team, he was the 2022 WFDF World Champion in the Open Category for ultimate Frisbee.

Marques Brownlee’s Controversial Review on the Humane AI Pin 

Marques Brownlee is known for sharing product reviews based on his experience and impressions. Typically, he mentions the benefits and flaws of a product and recommends if it’s worth buying. Sometimes his videos, especially when he critiques something, get strong reactions. One such example became the review of the Humane AI pin, a wearable gadget powered by generative AI. 

The Humane AI Pin is a digital assistant that can perform tasks such as making calls, sending messages, and taking notes. The startup standing behind the product, Humane, has raised $230 M from Microsoft, OpenAI, Tiger Global, and others. At the end of March 2024, Humane started shipping the product.

Brownlee’s review didn’t make the audience wait. It appeared on YouTube on April 15 with the title: “The Worst Product I've Ever Reviewed... For Now.” In his review, Marques covered various aspects of the gadget, including its design, price, and functionality. The YouTuber’s experience with the Humane AI wasn’t great. Although Brownlee said he found the idea cool and the hardware quality solid, it was a pain to use. According to him, the AI pin is slow and inaccurate, the battery life is bad, and in general, the product is bad at everything it does. 

Not everyone found Brownlee’s video helpful, however. On the same day as the review, Daniel Vassallo, a former Amazon Web Services engineer, criticized the video on Twitter, calling it distasteful and unethical. According to him, Brownlee has a large audience and he takes responsibility for not harming new projects. To this, Brownlee replied that they disagree on what his job is. 
Another tweet, posted by content creator Alex Finn, says: “MKBHD bankrupted the company in 41 seconds.” Meanwhile, journalist Ian Miles Cheong noted that maybe companies shouldn’t release useless products. 

After the buzz created by the review, Marques Brownlee shared a new video on whether bad reviews kill companies. He says: 
The thing about reviews is if they're not honest, they’re basically useless.
He noted that honest reviews can help companies improve their products and help buyers learn more before making a decision. 

Marques Brownlee’s Thoughts About Crypto 

MKBHD is not a crypto fan. He finds that the concept of crypto is just a promise and investing in cryptocurrencies is basically gambling. In one of his talks, the YouTuber said that his interest in the NFT and crypto space is close to zero. Brownlee added that although he owns crypto, he can’t use it for anything. In February, Brownlee cryptically tweeted about Bitcoin, simply asking, 'Remember Bitcoin?
Many of the replies said that Bitcoin was never forgotten. Given the 15-year history of the coin, it will never be. And, maybe crypto is a good example that reviews and opinions can’t kill products if there’s interest. 

Is It Right to Rely on Marques Brownlee’s Reviews?

Marques Brownlee is a YouTuber who has earned the support and trust of millions. It’s great to have the opportunity to watch reviews when deciding on a product purchase. However, reviews are opinions based on personal experiences. Watching reviews from other digital creators too in addition to official product representations can provide a better understanding of which products to choose. 

Web3 writer and crypto HODLer with a keen interest in market trends and recent technologies.