Ep. #1149 - From Software Engineer to YouTuber
In today’s episode of Startup Hustle, Matt Watson and Ryan McBeth, owner of Ryan McBeth Productions talk about Ryan’s journey from software engineer to YouTuber. Hear them discuss the secrets of content creation and the keys to monetizing short-form and long-form videos. Plus, learn about Orange Smash and why creating dilemmas for your competitors is better than problems.
Covered In This Episode
What’s the link between the military and YouTube? That’s not an easy leap, but Ryan McBeth Productions takes care of that.
Listen to Matt and Ryan as they walk down memory lane. Find out why Ryan went into the military, what led him to software engineering, and when he started a YouTube channel.
They also discuss how to balance the life of a software engineer and YouTuber talking about open-source intelligence. Get some insights on paid partnerships and YouTube earnings
Do you want to know what it takes to make short vs. long-form content? Join the conversation in this Startup Hustle episode now.
- Introduction to Ryan Macbeth (0:00)
- Trying to find a good orange smash (0:59)
- What led Ryan into the military (1:42)
- Attending college while serving in the military full-time (3:15)
- Deployment in Iraq and Egypt (4:31)
- Retirement from military to software engineering (6:54)
- Starting a YouTube channel (8:41)
- Open-source intelligence (11:05)
- How does Ryan keep up with the latest news? (13:12)
- Government-contracted software developer, earning from YouTube, and donating (17:17)
- Balancing life as a software developer and a YouTuber (20:28)
- Paid partnerships and sponsors (22:28)
- YouTube earnings vs. Sponsorship earnings (24:54)
- Making long-form videos vs. short-form videos (26:14)
- It’s a labor of love (30:09)
- The threat to evergreen content (34:09)
- Substack (35:56)
- Why is Ryan not on TikTok and Facebook? (38:02)
- Create dilemmas for your adversary, not problems (40:20)
The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you choose to do. Right? And you know, you can choose to get off, get off work and go play video games, or you can choose to go study? One of these things is going to have a positive outcome. Nothing wrong with video games. Absolutely nothing wrong with video games. But you can’t complain about where you are in life if you haven’t taken steps to kind of improve it.– Ryan McBeth
Well, and that’s one of the most fascinating things about this war, and which is definitely different than every war before is all of the social media that exists, right? And there’s like endless amounts of drone footage and like GoPros kit, you know, footage from the infantry and everybody else, like there’s so much video out there of all these different things going on. And there’s guys like you that help curate some of that and to help tell interesting stories.– Matt Watson
Dilemmas are not problems for your adversary, a problem has a solution. A dilemma has two or more solutions, each of which is equally bad. So whenever you’re, whenever you’re in combat, or even in business, you want to create dilemmas, not problems, for your adversary.– Ryan McBeth
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Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Matt Watson 00:00
And we’re back for another episode of the Startup Hustle. This is your host today, Matt Watson. I am super excited to be joined today by Ryan Macbeth. For those of you who don’t know, you can’t see his face on our podcast today. But he’s a budding YouTube celebrity. And if you’ve watched any YouTube content about the war on Ukraine and other military stuff you’ve probably seen him before. Really excited to talk today about his journey from software developer, military to now a YouTube star and learn some tidbits from him. Before we get started, I do remind everybody that today’s episode of Startup Hustle is powered by FullScale.io. Hiring software developers is difficult Full Scale can help you build a software team quickly and affordably and has the platform to help you manage that team believes visit FullScale.io to learn more. Ryan, welcome to the show, man.
Ryan McBeth 00:47
Thank you so much. Do you mind if I smoke? I hope that’s okay.
Matt Watson 00:51
It’s okay. You know, you’re I think you’re sitting by the beach having a having a cigar like living the dream, man. I love it.
Ryan McBeth 00:59
And I’ve been trying to find a good orange Smash. I I used to love coming to Virginia Beach, and I finally tried an orange Smash. And I thought, oh my god, this is amazing. There’s this place called Watermans. And it’s right by the beach on Virginia Beach. And they have the most amazing drink called a Crimped Creamsicle Orange Smash. And I think I tried one and I have four of them.
Matt Watson 01:24
Is that an alcoholic drink? Is that alcoholic?
Ryan McBeth 01:26
Yeah, it’s I believe it’s sprite and triple sec. Okay, think vodka. And I’m not a vodka kind of guy. I’m a bourbon guy. Really a rye guy. Yeah. Okay, but oh my god, this stuff’s absolutely amazing. I love it.
Matt Watson 01:42
Well, thank you so much for being here today. And, you know, you were in the military for about 20 years, or how long were you in the military? And so and so I was gonna say, you know, I almost joined the military. You and I are probably about the same age, you might be just a little older. And I am. I almost joined the military, right out of high school, I think for the same reason as you which was to help pay for college, I was going to join the reserves. Is that kind of the path you started down? Or what what led you into the military?
Ryan McBeth 02:11
It was it was one of those things where, you know, I I was in high school and I was kind of on track to become a carpenter. And there’s nothing wrong with being a carpenter. No, you know, I kind of grew up you know, poor Irish in a in a little town called Linden walls. The, the pond that they use for cooling at the ZAP reason a nuclear power plant is actually bigger than the town I grew up in.
Ryan McBeth 02:38
And they were fun. The nuclear power plant is fine. They have plenty of water. But for me, you know, I took computer classes in school, I learned coding, I learned like Visual Basic, or actually BASIC, plain BASIC before those Visual Basic. I was, I want to do computers. Now. My guidance counselor was like, no, you should be a carpenter. Like shunting me into it. Yeah. And you know, if you can’t get money for college from your father, get it from your uncle,
Matt Watson 02:38
Matt Watson 03:12
or your Uncle Sam?
Ryan McBeth 03:15
And, you know, it took me eight years to graduate college and to kind of paraphrase the movie, Tommy, boy, there’s lots of people, it takes eight years to graduate Call, call doctors, right? Yes, years, you know, I was in Iraq, and I would, you know, we’d come back from mission or get off whatever we’re doing. And, you know, clean your weapons, you rack out, you know, clean my weapon, take out my laptop and start doing homework. That’s kind of what I had to do.
Matt Watson 03:48
So you were, so you were in college at the same time, you were full time in the in the military, which makes it a lot harder to do
Ryan McBeth 03:55
and deployed. And it does make it a lot harder to do. But a lot of it’s just, you know, it’s it’s how do you, I don’t know, like, the difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you choose to do. Right? Sure. And you know, you can choose to get off, get off work and go play video games. So you can choose to go study? Yep, one of these things is going to have a positive outcome. Nothing wrong with video games. Absolutely nothing wrong with video games. But you can’t complain about where you are in life if you haven’t taken steps to kind of improve it.
Matt Watson 04:31
Absolutely. So you were you said you were in Iraq? Did you were you in Afghanistan as well.
Ryan McBeth 04:37
I never made it to Afghanistan. My the two main deployment areas I went to were Iraq and Egypt.
Matt Watson 04:44
Okay. Are you in this? Were you in the thick of the war part of Iraq or were you in the later phases of it?
Ryan McBeth 04:50
So when I was in Iraq, it was 2008 2009. So that was during the surge. Okay, and I don’t want to say The Thick of the war, you know, what’s, what’s weird is that I often say I spent 20 years sitting in a Humvee smoking cigarettes. Like that, that was my job. And like, once in a while, they’d be like, Okay, we want you to drive down this road and see if anybody blows you up. We want to see what happens. So, you know, it’s, it’s one of those things where I look at, like, I’ve started, I’ve been murdered before, but I haven’t been murdered. Not even close to what people in Ukraine are experiencing all day long, like not even remotely close. And I don’t just cover Ukraine, I cover conflict areas around the world ran Sudan, talked about Taiwan. And, you know, when you you look at, when you look at the LSCO environment, Large-Scale Combat Operations environment, the kind of fighting that we did in Iraq and Afghanistan, that that it was combat because bullets are flying by your head or you’re getting mortared. But in the future LSCO environment, there’s not going to be a safe area, the adversary is going to be able to find you, they’re going to be able to target you. So there’s not going to be any FOBs, where we have a Pizza Hut and a Burger King, we can get off and go enjoy ourselves and green beans, coffee. Now there’s going to be there’s going to be some serious issues and LSCO environment when we’re fighting an adversary that is peer or near peer to peer technology.
Matt Watson 06:31
So after your 20 years in the service, are you able to actually technically retire? You actually retired retired that ID card? Yes, but you do you are still in the reserves or anything like that.
Ryan McBeth 06:45
I was in the National Guard the last year before I retired. So that worked out pretty well for me.
Matt Watson 06:54
So you were able to you got your degree while you were, you know, trying to go through all this. And then immediately were able to go work in software engineering in military related space? Or did it take you a while to get in the military related stuff as well.
Ryan McBeth 07:09
It took me a little while at first I was I was working at a company called price systems, which did cost estimation parametric cost estimation for various clients, including the military, who worked at a company that did it did payroll software, and that was probably one of the highest stress jobs that I ever had. You don’t want to
Matt Watson 07:35
you don’t want to mess up.
Ryan McBeth 07:36
You don’t want to mess that up. You don’t. You know, I was almost like on a strike team where we’re always looking at new taxes. And those new taxes we have, we always had to write code around those new tax. Yeah, and some local town, like come up with an ordinance or a law saying all right, if you hire a fifth person, and they you have to pay a certain amount of tax only if they were hired after the 15th. So they pass these laws, and they don’t think about the software developers implement this stuff. So you’re always looking at any new laws that come into play. And then you then you move forward with this software that actually gets those gets that stuff coded. And if you screw something up, the employer is still on the hook for using your software and who are they going to sue? They’re gonna sue you.
Matt Watson 08:32
So then how, so how long have you been doing the open source intelligence and YouTube and all of that, that part of it?
Ryan McBeth 08:41
I started the YouTube channel as actually a programming challenge. There was a guy I interviewed who I keep key, I knew that he knew his stuff, but he couldn’t articulate the answers to questions properly. And I was thinking like, man, you know, that that he got blackballed like essentially like in this panel interview the guys were like no that we can’t hire this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about. You know, it’s like a natural this guy. He does know what he’s talking about. He just can’t articulate it correctly. So I started a programming channel in 2020 where I would teach how to answer programming questions in job interviews. Okay and roundabout 2000 or 2020 2022 when the when the war kicked off and crane I made two videos one on how to kill a tank because I was I had been anti armor infantry for 20 years. And the other on why the tank turrets pop off their halls.
Matt Watson 09:46
Yes. And I think I saw those first videos.
Ryan McBeth 09:50
My channel just exploded. And I’m looking at it going like man, you know? People want this like Like you watch the news, and they can give you a good 40/42 update on the, on the strategic situations, they very rarely ever answer the tactical questions like, Why do Russian soldiers were bugged pillows? Yeah, I can spend time talking about why they do that. And people want to know, like, yeah, I want to know, pillows on their butt. And that video I built, I did this, this one. This one video about Bitcoin, like I built my own cryptocurrency and I open sourced everything, put it up on GitHub, you can download it yourself. It’s all in dotnet. And it was basically to show how Bitcoin works and actually to show like, maybe you shouldn’t invest in Bitcoin. Because like a guy like me can write this in two weeks. Well, I did that. And it got 5000 views. I do a video on why Russian soldiers were bought fellows. Point 2 million views
Matt Watson 10:58
in that crazy.
Ryan McBeth 11:00
I see what you want here. All right, I guess I guess we’re gonna we’re buffaloes.
Matt Watson 11:05
So yeah. So that. So before you were doing that, like, you know, a couple years ago now 18 months ago, whatever. Had you still been involved in the open source intelligence and military stuff? Or do you kind of taken a break for all of that, and this kind of revitalized all of it for you, or
Ryan McBeth 11:22
when I started my YouTube channel, I was working for Accenture, Accenture federal services, doing something called C for ISR, Command Control, communications, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, basically, we find bad guys. So I can’t really get into that deeply as to how, you know the nature of the job that we use.
Matt Watson 11:42
You found bad guys with software?
Ryan McBeth 11:44
We found bad guys with software, okay. And there were certain sensors that we could use to figure out where the bad guys were optical sensors, electronic sensor size sensors. So that kind of led me into knowing a little bit about this. And also that open source intelligence is really just taking a look at what is open. And there’s multiple ways of gathering intelligence, human intelligence, like talking to people, signals intelligence, intercepting signals. And open source intelligence is really just taking a look at what is available openly, either on the internet or in public records. Even things like books are paid, and figuring out what the adversary is doing based on that. So if you want to know how many soldiers are in the Russian army, there’s a couple of ways to do that. One is you could literally look at their website and see how many soldiers they say are in their army. The other thing you could do is take a look at their contracts and say, All right, well, there was a contract issued for 200,000 pairs of boots. So you know that all right, there’s a contract issued for 2000 pairs of boots. If you soldier gets two boots, that means they’re bringing on additional 100,000 soldiers. Roughly, yeah, so that’s, that’s a way to use open source intelligence, just tank taking a look at publicly available information and drawing conclusions from that.
Matt Watson 13:12
Well, and that’s one of the most fascinating things about this war, and which is definitely different than every war before is all of the social media that exists, right? And there’s like endless amounts of drone footage and like GoPros kit, you know, footage from the, the infantry and everybody else, like there’s so much video out there of all these different things going on. And there’s guys like you that help curate some of that and to help tell interesting stories. But how in the world do you keep up with all of that?
Ryan McBeth 13:42
Oh, boy, how you know a lot of it is that people send me stuff. You know, though I’m at the point now where people send me stuff and say, Hey, can you take a look at this video? Is this real? Is this fake? I do spend a lot of time on telegram on Russian telegram and on Twitter. And I kind of take a look at what is trending. I also I get emails from all over the world. Sudan is one particular case where I have people in Sudan emailing me information. Another example is the Iran when Shama knee was essentially murdered, this woman was beaten to death for wearing a hat the wrong way. She wasn’t wearing her hijab correctly. She was picked up by the religious right. She was brought to attention at some point in time, they beat the living daylights out of her. And she ended up in a hospital where she later died and there were riots. Well, I had people in Iran saying Help me help me teach me how to make a bomb, you know? Whoa. Number one ITAR. Alright, international itI international trafficking and ita Arms Regulations. So I can’t teach anyone how to make a bomb number one ITAR. Number two I don’t know how to make a bomb. And I don’t know how to make a bomb. You don’t know how to make a bomb. And if you don’t know how to make a bomb, you shouldn’t be making bombs. There is no such thing as a bomb maker who got to be, you know, your greatest pass fail when it comes to bombing? Yeah. So don’t make any bombs. But what I was able to do was when people were shot, I said, Send me the shell casings. Yes, I saw your videos on casings. Yes, I can. I can detach, I can figure out alright, where was the show manufactured? What kind of shell is it? You know, at one point, these guys were using, essentially anti material guns against protesters discuss discouragements. Sure, essentially 50 caliber rounds are about as big as your thumb. And that’s, and there’s, there is no reason for that. Like, that’s like zombie horror, kind of stuff. You don’t shoot that against protesters. But I was able to document that. And now we have documentation so that if there’s people in power in Iran, if Iran ever gets overthrown by the people, at least we’ll be able to go to the documentation. I can say this showcasing was fired in this city at this time.
Matt Watson 16:14
That’s maybe that’s incredible. Well, I’m going to remind everybody that finding expert software developers doesn’t have to be difficult, especially when you visit FullScale.io, where you can build a software team quickly and affordably. Use the Full Scale platform to define your technical needs and see what developers are available to join your team. Visit Full Scale to learn more. You know, I really want to try one of those orange smashes is that just a Virginia Beach thing?
Ryan McBeth 16:37
I think it is I’ve never seen anyplace else. And I absolutely love this. It’s I think it’s an Eastern Shore thing. It might be like eastern shore of Maryland, Virginia Beach, Mid Atlantic kind of thing. Where are you located?
Matt Watson 16:52
I’m in Kansas City.
Ryan McBeth 16:55
A lot of work smashing Kansas City.
Matt Watson 16:57
No. Never heard of orange Smash. before. We got a lot of barbecue though.
Ryan McBeth 17:02
I’ve heard that barbecue is fantastic. One day, I’m gonna make it there. And I’m gonna try some of this.
Matt Watson 17:07
There’s no beach. Sorry. But there’s barbecue. So tell me you were working as a software developer. But you’re no longer working as a software developer, right?
Ryan McBeth 17:17
Yeah, I I just so. So my project actually ended, we handed off our software to the client. And, you know, the client was happy with the software. And you know, typically on government contracts, when you work for a large contracting company, or the central federal, they take that information. Or they once you give the software over, they put you it’s called on the bench, and you basically go sit over here, we’ll find you a new job. We’ll pay you as you’re waiting for this new job. Because it’s hard to find a cleared software developer. So they want to hang on to them as best they can. I during that time, I didn’t have to go into work. I was living in Silver Spring, Maryland. And you know, I was thinking like, I went down to Virginia Beach. And I stayed with a friend for about a month. And I’m sitting here going, you know, every day I can go out on the beach, I can run on the beach. I can smoke a cigar outside, nobody yells at me, like this this place amazing. Why am I not living here? And between that and like looking at my YouTube channel and subscribers, like I probably have enough resources and revenue streams to be able to do this full time, do the journalism thing full time, and also to to be able to still donate money. I don’t talk a lot about what I do donation wise, I don’t know if it’s a Protestant thing, but you don’t you don’t do a good deed and then advertise it. But people have heard me talk about help us on the way UAE which is run by Johnny Rogers, who basically drives around Ukraine in a van, helping people. Wow. So I’ve been able to give him money for him to accomplish his mission and encourage other people to give him money to accomplish his mission as well, which is essentially bringing medical supplies and age to people that are close to the frontlines. Just recently, the guy found a guy in a village who was starving to death because he is that he needed new dentures. And, you know, you don’t think about that during wartime. You don’t think about all the people who need new dentures who still need to go to get their cancer treatment. You think about trauma. You think about amputees you think about TBI, traumatic brain injury, but you don’t think about the guy that needs to get new dentures. The Red Cross isn’t helping this guy get new dentures. But Johnny driving around this van is actually doing this So I’m kind of I’m kind of proud of that, that I’m able to get money to this person who’s doing that good thing, I should be able to still continue to do that.
Matt Watson 20:10
So you’re able to this will also enable you to invest a lot more time right into your YouTube channel. Other things you were doing, I would imagine that was that was hard before, right? I mean, while you’re on the bench, it was probably a little easier. But when you were working full time, it was it was probably pretty hard to balance and put all the effort into this.
Ryan McBeth 20:28
You know, in all honesty, I have no life. I was working for Accenture. I was I was writing code, really, I was managing the people I was writing. I was writing code. I was doing my YouTube channel, I was working out believing out I actually do do run. And, and sleeping. That was I was doing four things. And the biggest issue with working for Accenture was that whenever I wanted to cover a story, I had to take time off. And you know, so you’re only getting I think, I think I was getting like 6.7 hours per pay period when I was at Accenture. So that works out to 20 days a year. So that’s great. A lot of people don’t even get 10 days here. But those those 20 days here I’d use very judiciously. And now when someone calls me and is like, Hey, can you go to he can you come and cover the military police or the National Guard, we’re going to Fort Indiantown Gap? Well, you can cover that story. Like, I’ll be there. I can do that now. Yeah, there was I was invited by another another reporter and I guess a colleague can call the French or Hallstrom from Newsmax, he’s going to Armenia in I think in late July, maybe September, he asked for me to go with him to go to the front lines in Armenia. And that’s that’s something I would love to cover as well. To be able to go to Ukraine, and go to the frontlines there and cover a story there. And in in God in August, I’m supposed to be doing an aerosol with a 101st airborne and dead with them for a couple of days and do a mission and do a video on how how aerosol works. So by doing this full time, now I have a chance to cover all the stories I’ve always wanted to do, but just didn’t have the time off today.
Matt Watson 22:28
So now that you’re all focused on your YouTube channel, how do you deal with, you know, potentially paid partnerships and monetizing it and all that part of it?
Ryan McBeth 22:38
Oh, when it comes to the paid partnerships, I actually I’m pretty. I’m pretty judgmental about who I take and who I choose to skip over. I don’t really see myself doing a commercial for like a fantasy video game. Like that’s not me. So I only tend to take products that I would personally use or that I do personally use reg wallet. That’s a good example. I love my reg wallet. And my doctor actually suggested my Ridge wallet to me when I had sky Attica. And this was a perfect synergy. Another example of something that I use a lot is ground news. People hope they always try to pigeonhole me left or right. I get I get crap for going on conservative channels, like Newsmax or I went on Sebastian Gorka once and I get crap for going on liberal news channels. And I’m really nothing. No. So ground news was actually a perfect sponsor, because it actually allows you to show your biases when it when it comes to the news that you consume. So do
Matt Watson 23:48
you get a overwhelming amount of people reaching out to you now for that kind of stuff?
Ryan McBeth 23:53
They go to my age, and I have an agent and the agent takes care of absolutely everything and he’ll send me stuff and say, Hey, what do you think about this? What do you think about this? This big and synergy? There was a one one company wanted to it was like they call it man box. It was like, it was basically like a box full of meat. I’m like that’s like Ryan Macbeth in a box. No vegetables. Bacon, like steak? Heck, yeah, I’ll send me a box and I’ll, how can it be bad, right? You know, like, you’re gonna have a bad. So like, companies like that, like, I’ll try it. And if I like it, I’ll actually I’ll endorse them or I’ll use their products. I only tend to take sponsors that I only tend to pick sponsors that I would actually use and it it seems like that has worked out pretty well for me because it it I give it that that sense of authenticity.
Matt Watson 24:54
Yeah, yeah. And so So let me ask you this. So I thought I’ve heard Before that, you can make more money off those kinds of partnerships and you can the actual money you would get from YouTube or Tik Tok or something right?
Ryan McBeth 25:09
You get from YouTube isn’t that good? When, let’s say I do, I might do a short video. I mean, I can actually look at my stats right now and take a look at one short video that I did, which is our Russian blocking detachments. Actually, that’s probably isn’t a good video. A good video would be about Bradley’s and leopards that were destroyed in Ukraine. And taking a look at that content right now I have made $17, okay, on a video that got 551,000 views.
Matt Watson 25:53
So you’re not gonna get rich on making shorts every day. You
Ryan McBeth 25:59
You might be if you’re an attractive 26 year old woman who can dance. I’m not. Just not, that’s not who I
Matt Watson 26:09
- But you make a lot more money on the long form videos than the shorts. If
Ryan McBeth 26:14
I can, I can make more money depending on how long the video is, and how many people view it. So I try to mix my videos with videos that are what are called long tail. So those would be videos that are things like how an M triple seven Howard’s are works, how the Patriot missile system works, because those videos will make money essentially forever. Making money. Those can make, you can maybe get up to $1,000 with them. And then over time, they’ll make $22 a month, $50 a month, $60 a month, and so on. Then I come up with topical videos. For example, there was there was an incident where the heart of a dam was the the dam collapsed. And so I had to I took a look at that I actually spent about $1,500 on satellite. Oh, wow. You know, gathering all this information and analyzing the dam collapse? Because I wanted to see what did Russia blow up the dam? Or was it a structural failure. And you know, during wartime structural failures happen as well, you need to do maintenance on the dam if you’re if you’re a Russian marine maintenance company, and they’re asking you to do some maintenance on a dam that’s 200 meters away from Ukrainian lines, you’re gonna say yes to that contract. So but so on a video like that, I might make $500. And then it’s, it’s done, right, like hundreds 1000s of people might view it. But that’s not gonna go on forever. That’s gonna go for two, three days, and then you’re done. So it’s good to have a mix of those two different kinds of videos, and a video like my long form stuff. Look for my video about the sniper school. I flew to I flew to Fort Benning, Georgia, which is now I believe fort for more. I embedded with the snipers, I paid for my rental car, I paid for all my food. And for three days, I got video footage. So that trip cost me about $5,000 for the flight and the route. All rental cars are expensive, right? I had to rent a truck, because you’re going on ranges and stuff. So $5,000 I am never going to see that money again. That money is gone. I’m never going to make that money up from from doing that video. But my fans like it. They like you know, like, Oh, this is how a sniper works, you know? So in a way it’s kind of worth it because the fans get something out of it. Even though I really don’t make any money. I’m never going to make that money back ever. That’s gone. If I go to Armenia if I go to Ukraine, I mean, it kind of sounds silly to say, Oh, I’m not gonna make any money. I’m just people were freaking dying. But at the same time, we have to live right now to you know, there’s a reason why newspapers cost money, right? Because they have to pay the people that operate the newspaper. So I can make it depends. You can go between $500,000 with some of the shorter videos, but people don’t mind and people don’t realize it took me I made a video about landlines took me 200 hours. Oh, I’ll make this video. So you think yourself if you’re working at McDonald’s, so 200 times $14 An hour 20 $100. So in 200 hours, you can make $2,800 And I can tell you exactly how much money I made up and made on my landmines. Yo, and that landmine video I made $1,264.
Matt Watson 30:05
And you spend hours mostly like researching researching for the topic or
Ryan McBeth 30:09
researching, interviewing, constructing the graphics because I do everything myself. So I have to construct graphics on how landmines explode how any other personnel landmine explodes on off Route, mine explodes, how an eighth, I take my explodes, I have to construct all of those graphics, I don’t have a team, it’s just me. So I got to construct all that stuff. And then I got to write the script. And then I got to perform. Performing usually takes 3040 minutes on a squat with a script performing is actually pretty fast. But then you got to edit it. And I would say it probably takes me an hour to do one minute of footage. So and that’s because a lot of it’s my style. So that might not be the case for every YouTuber, especially YouTubers who just talk at the camera, right? If you’re a YouTuber just talks to the camera, then you can get things done a lot faster. But if you know my style is usually every five to 10 seconds, I’m showing a graphic or I’m showing a video or I’m showing something. So I have to go on I have to find all those videos, I have to find the right point in those videos. So let’s say I’m talking about the Bradley fighting vehicle. I’m saying the Bradley Fighting Vehicles 25 millimeter autocannon can fire on two modes Single, single and verse single in the water. And so now I gotta go, I got to go to David’s, which is the government’s website that has a lot of this open source, or Creative Commons video footage. I got to find a video of the Bradley then I got to find the video the Bradley shooting its gun in single shot mode, then I gotta find a video. So you got to watch all these but there’s no facts, a lot of work. Yeah, it’s a lot of work. And I often people have told me like, oh, I want to start a YouTube channel.
Matt Watson 32:00
It’s a labor of love. It’s a labor of love, right?
Ryan McBeth 32:03
It’s like eating a bowl of glass every day. Like waking up and eating a bowl of glass. Well,
Matt Watson 32:11
I mean, thank you for doing it. Like I enjoy your your videos. And I think a lot of the reason that people enjoy it is the quality that you put into it right? You don’t just spit out a bunch of garbage. I mean, it’s it’s that quality.
Ryan McBeth 32:24
And I think that I think that for I think a labor of love is one one way of putting it I’m not going to get rich doing this. I’m probably going to make that was I said before I was making more money doing doing the YouTube thing and the software thing, but the software thing was nice because it was consistent. Every month, I knew I was giving a check right now. So getting a check, but God knows what this set checks
Matt Watson 32:48
can be. And if they changed the algorithms and everything else too.
Ryan McBeth 32:52
Well, one of the one of the major issues that I was hit with was when YouTube essentially banned combat. Yeah. So they banned combat footage. And like that. I had videos with called go yellow. Yeah. Which means you’re not earning any revenue office videos, or you can earn revenue, but they’re, they’re only restricted to the people who have YouTube premium. So that killed a lot of channels. And there were other a couple of months ago, YouTube came out with a rule that you couldn’t show 30 round magazines being inserted in guns? Well, I think I think they did that. Because there’s there’s certain elements at YouTube who are big fans of the civilian ownership of firearms. I don’t intend to get political on this, but there’s a reason. So I think they did that. But does that affect military videos? Can you show a soldier putting a 30 round magazine and a gun? I mean, that’s a newsworthy faith. So I was I don’t know if I was caught up in that or not. Right. And you know, one of the things so you don’t know, you don’t know if YouTube will suddenly see you can’t show smoking in videos anymore. And now like, half my videos are done.
Matt Watson 34:09
Well. Yeah, you’re talking about, oh, you’re talking about videos that you want to have views to long term. And so my, my last company, we I wrote hundreds of blog posts, and I refer to those as evergreen content. It was like, it would live on forever. Like I was not trying to make some content that would get a lot of views and one week and nobody cared about anymore, right? It was like creating that evergreen content. But what you just said is like a serious threat to that evergreen content, right? It’s like any time they can take down all this content you had created and yeah, that that would
Ryan McBeth 34:46
depend for a while I was saying like, you know, if YouTube wants a channel full of makeup tutorials, then this is the path I need to keep doing going down because that’s that’s all it’ll be. It’ll be dances and makeup tutorials that That’s what they want. But one of my, one of my proudest moments in the military was I was an instructor for three years, I was an infantry instructor. And I love that I love being able to teach people things, and teach them things that they would need to survive when they went to Iraq or Afghanistan. And when I look at what when I, when I look at YouTube now, like I, I believe I make educational and journalistic videos. And the idea that that can just be cut off arbitrarily is kind of terrifying. Right now, like, Thank God, I’m still a software engineer, right. And there’s other revenue streams, I have a line of T shirts at Bunker branding. I have my substack, which I actually started my substack not to make money, but because I wanted to be able to post content with combat footage.
Matt Watson 35:55
And how’s that going? How’s your substack going?
Ryan McBeth 35:58
My substack is actually doing pretty well. I am, it’s because of my sub sack subscribers, that I’m able to do some things like by $1,500 worth of satellite footage, it’s because of these guys. And I have about 60,000 subscribers on substack Oh, wow, I set the I set the end, truly, maybe less than a 10th of that 25% of those are paying subscribers, I try to make mix free and paid content. And I’ve set the payment the the the amount of money that I charge as low as substack will allow so five bucks, okay, yeah, I’m not trying to get rich off of this. I just need enough money to cover expenses and pay my rent and buy food. So by put a little bit away for when I do go on a trip to investigate something. So some swag is actually going pretty darn well. The the T shirts and stickers, those are doing well, too. And I think a lot of that is because I made the T shirts about you not about me. I think a lot of channels when they get a t shirt deal because they hit 300,000 subscribers like now people want to sell their merchandise. I think a lot of channels, they make the T shirts about themselves. So fans of the channel can wear their T shirt and be like, Hey, I’m a fan of whatever channel. Yeah, but I my T shirts are about the soldier. So I have a T shirt that says live laugh launch and as a Patriot missile on it. And I want all of this 14 Tangos and 14 echoes which are the army code for Patriot crewmen. I want all of those soldiers to buy one of those T shirts and have something of their own and that’s why and wear them under the Uniform which is why I make them in green and Intan nice and wear that under the Uniform is like a little little finger to that first sergeant who won’t let them do anything fun.
Matt Watson 38:02
So, one thing I noticed is you’re not on tick tock. I couldn’t find you on tick tock
Ryan McBeth 38:08
No, if you if I’m not on tick tock and I’m actually I’m not on Facebook either. And I actually found myself on Facebook so there’s there’s going to be a nasty gram come in to someone pretty soon.
Matt Watson 38:20
Well, I saw some videos of you on Tik Tok that obviously are not your channels. Same thing.
Ryan McBeth 38:24
It’s not me. TikTok is probably one of the greatest dangers this country has ever faced. I would never ever go on TikTok, okay. And, you know, the scary, the scary part about TikTok, it’s not that they’re taking your biometrics, which they are and it’s up, they’re taking your habits in your location, which they are, it’s that TikTok is controlled by a foreign company, which can move the needle. And let’s say that China decides to invade Taiwan. Well, all they really need to do are take videos that people are making, and either suppress or enhance some of those videos. So you might have someone going like doing a meme about me during world war three now that China’s invading Taiwan, like the bombs are falling and America is getting destroyed, and he’s in his in his basement with a juice box. You know, that kind of video they can promote and make people think oh, wow, America might get nuked if we help Taiwan, but videos where people say hey, you know, we need to defend democracy. Those can get suppressed. I would never, ever ever go on TikTok.
Matt Watson 39:42
Okay, well, as we as we wrap up the show here, I do remind everybody if you need to hire software engineers, testers or leaders Full Scale can help help. We have the people in the platform to help you build and manage a team of experts visit full scale.io to learn more. So the He I’ve really, really enjoyed having you on today. This is so awesome. And there’s one specific thing you’ve mentioned, I think in multiple of your YouTube videos I definitely wanted to bring up and have you talked about because I think it’s a great thing for people to think about. Was that your definition of dilemmas?
Ryan McBeth 40:20
Ah, yeah. Dilemmas, not problem. So what a war is all about creating dilemmas, not problems, your adversary a problem has multiple one or more solutions. A dilemma has two or more solutions, all of which are equally bad. So if you are classic dilemma, you create a minefield that’s over watched by machine guns. When the enemy enters that minefield, you start shooting at them with machine guns, now they can’t move forward and assault you. Because the minefield, they can’t move back because of the minefield. And if they stand up to run away or fight back, you shoot him with the machine gun. That is the classic dilemma. So it’s one of the I don’t know if I coined that. I don’t know if someone else coined that. But it seems like that’s been attributed to me.
Matt Watson 41:13
Is that the official definition? Or is that the right?
Ryan McBeth 41:17
Definition? Okay, dilemma is not problems for your adversary, problems has a solution. A dilemma has two or more solutions, each of which are equally bad. So whenever you’re, whenever you’re in combat, or even in business, you want to create dilemmas not problems for your adversary.
Matt Watson 41:33
Absolutely. That’s why I brought it up. I thought that was a great, a great, a great saying, especially talking about your competitors, like how your competitors have to deal with you write string dilemmas for them. I love it.
Ryan McBeth 41:45
If you take a look at RIM, you know the story of the Blackberry. Now, you had you had a dilemma here, you had something that was known for its physical keyboard now, and that was now Blackberry has to choose do they become a second iPhone? Are they their physical keyboard and look look older? Right? Yes, that is a classic dilemma that Apple created for Blackberry.
Matt Watson 42:11
Well, I love it. And thank you so much for being on the show today. And I’m sure there’s a lot of people that that hopefully are listening to this that have seen you on YouTube. If not, they should definitely go check you out. Ryan Macbeth, you do a great job of covering topics around the Ukraine war, but other military stuff. And thanks for giving us some insight today about running a YouTube channel and becoming a full-time, you know, content creator and some behind the scenes of that. So I think it’s really fascinating.
Ryan McBeth 42:39
Thank you so much, man. I really appreciate this time.
Matt Watson 42:42
All right. Thank you.