Just want to point out that I saw the headlines from the Verve bashing the Humane AI pin as universally terrible before I saw MKBHD’s video. He’s far from the only person with a giant megaphone bashing this device. Dave2d has even suggested he thinks these devices are a scam before they even came out as they essentially avoided reviewers and didn’t allow anyone to purchase the devices.
People are upset at a product reviewer for reviewing a product.

Classic example of why "Person On Twitter Is Angry" being considered newsworthy, or even faintly noteworthy, is one the worst things that has happened to modern discourse.

Everything about that product and its price tag screamed whatever he put up in the title and I'm glad he went ahead so that the average joe doesn't get scammed into getting this garbage.

There's clickbait and there's the plain and simple truth.

The Humane couple were interviewed on “How I Built This” last month. The interview has the “I worked at Apple” vibe because both husband and wife did work at Apple.


This entire controversy is so stupidly overblown.

MKBHD posts a fair and thorough review of a shitty product, which is exactly in line with what every other reviewer has said about it as well.

One guy tweets about how he wasn't fair, and how he has a responsibility to not write bad things about companies because of the size of his viewer base (wut??)

Now the entire internet feels the need to come defend MKBHD, thus amplifying the other side even more.

Just a few hours ago he came out with a video, "Do Bad Reviews Kill Companies?" (Versus whether it's bad products.)


It's clearly addressing this controversy.

The drama tweets are just an ad. You kind of want to find out who "Daniel Vassallo" is, and of course he's selling a subscription.
The problem is nobody is saying the product is good. I remember when the iPhone was launched. Many people hated it but there were also millions who loved it.

If your product has only haters, then ya, your product sucks.

The CEO also has a strange, what comes off as egotistical "I worked at Apple" vibe which is very off-putting. Maybe he didn't listen to feedback etc to make the product better?

Also who funds these things. 240 million dollars in funding. This should have been a Kickstarter.

Was there ever any doubt the product was… frivolous. It was a last minute Hail Mary from a startup and the end of its rope. God bless them for trying, but there should be no surprise here.
The only argument against MKBHD could be the YouTube title he chose. But if a "company" with many hundreds of people can't handle a title and goes under, it never deserved to exist.
MKBHD said what many of us thought about the product.
MKBHD's review made me build a prototype mobile app with neck band / chest mount. Hope I have a usable prototype for friends and family in another 2 months .
> Hard to explain why, but with great reach comes great responsibility. Potentially killing someone else’s nascent project reeks of carelessness.

> First, do no harm.

Brownlee's not a doctor. …He's not Spiderman, either, for the record, or at least that we know of.

And "Humane, Inc." isn't his patient, or even a person.

Having actually watched the video which seems to be rare in this debate there was really nothing bad or misleading about the content. He genuinely reviews the product and shows it working without any editing or magic. It's an exploratory product that just doesn't work that well and as others have said if it had redeeming aspects surely the fanboys would be jumping to the product's defence. The people criticising MKBHD seem to be upset he would not blindly support the company rather than providing anything good about the product. New products get dragged all the time, it's part of launching in the modern world but it's up to the business to prove them wrong.
I look at the company Humane which has raised $230 million and I think, maybe some of the people who say we’re in a bubble have a point.

I have a ChatGPT pro subscription, I do machine learning professionally, and I am pretty bullish on the long term benefits of automating a lot of things we waste our time on now. But that is a lot of money for a company which doesn’t seem to deserve it. VCs should be putting money into AI research to build the next DeepMind.

MKBHD also has a response video:


I follow @dvassallo for a long time. Everything start making sense once you realize that he his using his twitter as a way to funnel customers to his other ventures.

I love a lot of his takes because they make me think but it is clear that he is trying to find some edgy takes that will make people react.

Curious article. But I wonder if the problem lies elsewhere. The tweet caught my attention.

The author seems to be using outrage and dramatic words to get engagement. Based on this article and the views the tweet got, it looks like it is working.

The curious thing is that there is a reply from MKBHD in the thread and the tweet author highlights how MKBHD used a more dramatic title on Youtube and that is the authors gripe.

It it possible that all the only way to get engagement(the author is doing the same thing on his primary social media channel i.e. Twitter and MKBHD on his i.e. Youtube) now a days on your primary social media platform is with dramatic words/titles? Which is what is causing all this friction?

The key conclusion of this article lies in the last section, "AI and the Sovereign Individual," which argues that AI will significantly expand the power of certain individuals in many other industries, similarly to how the internet enabled figures like MKBHD to extend their reach and influence in the media.

Interestingly, none of the top 10 top-level comments in this thread discuss this point.

You don’t even need to watch the review to deduce that the AI pin is an inherently flawed product for what it is trying to do; Which is to be the start of new a mobile computing paradigm. The problem with that plan is that we spent decades integrating cell phones into our lives, is there any real appetite to change that after putting in so much work?

Smartphones have become this immovable rock which our lives revolve around. I love that hu.ma.ne, the rabbit R1, or any other brand like them are trying to challenge the status quo, and I wish they can achieve some kind of success quickly; I say quickly because Apple will one day knock on the AI door, and when they do they will most likely slay the competition like they’ve done time and time again with Tablets, Watches, Wireless headphones, professional computing, smartphones, and the slew digital services that power them.

Vassallo fundamentally sees MKBHD as "punching down", whereas I think the general consensus, and why this is controversial at all, is that MKBHD was not "punching up".

I've watched his videos for many years. I can't imagine him doing a video like this for Pinephone, or another smaller company. But a company founded by 2 ex-Apple execs, with hundreds of millions of dollars in funding, and the sort of marketing Humane have come out with... that's a fair target.

I found the article long winded and a bit unfocused.

But what appears to be one of the main points is that stratechery and MKBHD are both successful because they speak the truth, and they can speak the truth because they are online.

I quite disagree. MKBHD is more dependent on corporate sponsorship than reviewers were back when consumers had to buy a magazine in order to get access to a review.

I agree. There is zero upside in Marques and his crew lying about a product for backchannel sponsorship dollars; only downside. Make bad products, get bad reviews. I especially love how he obliterated Fisker for putting out an incomplete product (Fisker Ocean) at Model Y prices.
love all of this drama, which is overblown partially because of the ai craze imho.

the OGs would know when Brownlee would openly criticize Beats headphones before they got acquired by Apple (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsxQxS0AdBY).

although things changed afterwards because of the product quality improved for the money. yet nobody batted an eye back then and Beats only grew bigger.

while i personally think that he has always been soft towards the apple ecosystem, he has been consistent and reviewed things as he would like them.

this entire debate could be summed to him giving his opinion and should be removed from his success.

He's made a video that addresses this entire situation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QztFpzKsdeA&ab_channel=Marqu...
Aside from the tweet controversy, I think the article has a point.

It is true that AI is providing even more leverage than the other tech layers before it. Probably the same for VR, if it gets adoption. However, the question is :

Will this leverage be concentrated to the point that a few will have control and everyone else will happily comply and execute ?

Or is it the other way around, allowing everyone more freedom and power to create and grow independent wealth, companies or ideas ?

I would love to think the latter but the experience since the dawn of the technology is more the former.

How could we ensure that we are on the path toward 7 billion companies more than the one toward even a fewer number of big companies that control the last layer of tech ?

This is a bizarre article, and feels like an example of that weird phenomenon where tech people believe they've discovered something new and noteworthy, but in reality they are just so deep into their bubble they are out of touch.

MKBHD is a tech critic / reviewer / nerd, like Ebert was a movie critic / reviewer / nerd, or Kermode is now. A thing got released, and he's talking about it, and his opinion is his value.

> Vassallo is touching on something profound about Brownlee, that I myself understand intimately: what the Internet has made uniquely possible is total loyalty to your customers, and that is threatening.

What? Threatening to what? Your ability to hoodwink people? Is the implication that because we're all in tech we should make sure to say everything's awesome all the time as some form of truth collusion, so that when we end up releasing our shitty product hopefully everyone will say nice things too?

> MKBHD is not the market. He significantly influences the market. If a single person can affect the stock price of a company, we usually restrict what they can say or when.

I’d agree with that sentiment if mkbhd was spreading misinformation; to my knowledge, he isn’t, his influencing is based on good reporting. I see nothing wrong with that.

In Germany we have Stiftung Warentest for that.
MKBHD = Marques Keith Brownlee
Why the FXXX is everyone acting like MKBHD is a well known abbreviation?
You don’t own your own reputation.

It’s never irresponsible to tell the public the truth. One might even argue that it’s irresponsible to suggest that people get in the habit of self-censorship simply because they have an audience.

I had never heard of MKBHD before now so I had to look it up.

They have a youtube channel: www.youtube.com/@mkbhd

Described as:

MKBHD: Quality Tech Videos | YouTuber | Geek | Consumer Electronics | Tech Head | Internet Personality!

Maybe Vassalo is selling the worst "I will teach you how to be a successful entrepreneur" online course ever?

Talk about glass roofs…

I really like MKBHD's videos, but he should've picked a different title for the video.

Frankly, I feel it did way more damage to him than what he did to Aipin or Fisker, which were already universally panned.

I honestly watch almost all his videos but I was kind of surprised on how he handled the Humane AI pin. He basically shit on it for not being perfect. Remember, this is a product in a NEW CATEGORY. Of course it is not going to be perfect. But saying it is the WORST PRODUCT EVAH, is really shitty and way in the clouds (not down to earth).

Anyway, I will continue to watch his videos because they are informative and entertaining. Of course I will decide for myself on what I buy and why, because I have a brain and my own agency AND can assess things using my own logic and values.

And please don't tell me you don't notice how a sweetheart he is to Apple and Tesla...


I find it hard to trust any of these reviewers. You can't become a popular reviewer without having massive conflicts of interests. I could never understand why MKBHD was a thing, for example.