'Nas Daily' Creator Trades High-Paying Tech Job For Viral Travel Vlog

Download Audio

Nuseir Yassin (@nasdailyvideos) was working at a high-paying tech job in New York when he realized that one-third of his life was over. He decided to quit his job to travel the world and make one-minute videos. Those videos have gone viral, and he now has more than 4 million followers on Facebook.

Here & Now's Robin Young talks with the man behind "Nas Daily."

Interview Highlights

On why he decided to pursue "Nas Daily"

"When I was at Venmo, I was going to work every day, and I spent like a year and a half [there]. When you spend a lot of time in your job, you realize you're just selling your time in exchange for money. I wasn't really progressing much. And then I did some simple, simple math. 'I'm 23 right now. I'm supposed to live to 76, based on U.S. male average life expectancy, 23 out of 76." That was 32 percent. I was like, 'Oh, my God, I'm one-third dead.' That was like a wake-up call. And so I decided to quit and actually make use of every single day, and make something in that day, which is a one-minute video."

On why he uses Facebook rather than YouTube as the platform for his videos

"YouTube will die. And you heard it from me, and I focus only on Facebook. You know, if I go to, let's say, Zimbabwe and I say, 'Hello, guys, I'm in Zimbabwe,' and I put it on my Facebook page as an event, all of a sudden you have 200 people show up. And in the Philippines, you have 1,000 people show up, and it's crazy. On YouTube, that thing you cannot do. You can only post a video for everybody at the same time and it's a video. ... All this community aspect is why I want to make videos. I want to make videos with a community."

"When you spend a lot of time in your job, you realize you're just selling your time in exchange for money."

Nuseir Yassin

On worries about potential danger visiting certain countries

"With a 1 percent chance of something bad happening, I don't want to miss out on a 99 percent chance of something great happening. So that's been the guiding principle of my entire video-making. The only time I thought I would need security, there were some protests because of the security gates in Jerusalem. I wanted to make a meet-up to sort of counter the violence, but other than that I don't."

On the issues he addresses in the videos

"Sensitive issues. Yeah I do. I wish I didn't — I hate this. But I feel like I don't want to make videos about a Pikachu [the Pokemon character]. I don't want to make silly videos."

On how long he sees himself doing this

"I made a commitment to work a thousand days nonstop, and after then I'll stop the daily, one-minute segments. I got my camera on Day 1, and on Day 270 I blew up. So it took almost a year to [go viral].

"I have the best possible life because I believe in the mission I'm making, and I'm making money out of something I enjoy, and I travel. But there's no, 'I don't feel like it.' You have to think in terms of videos. And for me, it's just a cost-benefit analysis. This is the cost I have to pay. The benefit? I'm talking to you. That's the benefit."

This article was originally published on January 31, 2018.

This segment aired on January 31, 2018.



More from Here & Now

Listen Live