Donovan, with co-founders Danny Zappin and Ben Donovan, expanded the Culver City-based online video company from eight employees in 2009 to nearly 300 today. With more than 100 million subscribers and 20,000 new video uploads a month, Maker Studios runs hugely successful channels for animation, comedy, music, comedy, parenting and game playing.
What we should know: “Mainstream celebrities and traditional entertainment companies have not come close to achieving the reach of non-traditional homegrown YouTube stars.”
Words of wisdom: “Don’t look at it through a traditional lens. YouTube is unique in that the core audience is connecting with content and content creators in a far more personal manner than with traditional media. It has opened the door for individuals to connect with a worldwide audience.”
Smartphone habits on vacation: “What vacation?”
Work week: “I’d say on average I work 12-hour days, less on weekends — 75-80 hours a week.”
Life-work balance: “Balance is tough. Haven’t found it yet, but I’ll get there!”
Charitable passion: “I went to Haiti last year and saw firsthand the good work that water.org is doing. They partner with local communities to create sustainable long-term solutions, often requiring a deeper commitment than most organizations are willing to take and I feel this sets them apart.”