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Whale Informed #003: Zuckerberg's Meta Quest 3 vs. Apple Vision Pro & MrBeast Dropping DTC

Whale Informed #003: Zuckerberg's Meta Quest 3 vs. Apple Vision Pro & MrBeast Dropping DTC

Last Updated:  
March 18, 2024

Whalecome to Whale Informed - where puns come to die and we make fun of billionaires. 

On this week’s episode, Ethan and John discussed Zuck’s “honest review” of the Apple Vision Pro, some strategy and news surrounding a creator-led brand that dropped their ecommerce presence last week. If you feel like hearing their wonderful voices and seeing their “hot” faces as John so eloquently states in the video, have a click below:   

If you’re more of a read-to-absorb kind of person - I gotchu fam. 

Apple Vision Pro vs. Meta Quest 3: Mark Zuckerberg’s Unbiased Opinion

If you wanted an opinion on the Apple Vision Pro, would you ask the direct competitor? Probably not, but here we are. 

Last week, Mark Zuckerberg took to Instagram to post his honest review of the Apple Vision Pro - shot entirely on the Quest 3 using the Mixed Reality Passthrough:

The minute you started watching this video, you knew he wasn’t going to sing Apple’s praises…Zuck is a smart dude. However, Mark did provide some context for why he believes Meta’s Quest 3 is not only a better value for the cost, but it’s just better overall. 

Is Apple Vision Pro Worth the $3.5K Price Tag?

As Zuck so proudly stated, Apple Vision Pro costs 7x as much as the Meta Quest 3. SEVEN. It’s possible the Apple Vision Pro could be twice as good as the Quest, or maybe even three times better. But seven? The Vision Pro’s hefty price tag reflects Apple’s desire to remain a luxury piece that “fanboys” (according to Zuckerberg) would defend until their dying breath. Apple has created a legacy for itself, and they know their fans will be lining the block to get their hands on the next big thing. 

But, Zuckerberg does a great job pointing out why the technology both headsets have are quite similar, and the Meta Quest 3 is definitely a better value. It definitely helps that the Meta Quest 3 uses a lot more plastic in its design versus all of the delicate glass on the Apple Vision Pro. 

Meta Quest 3 is More Comfortable to Wear than Apple Vision Pro 

According to Zuckerberg, a billionaire who has tried both, the Meta Quest 3 is just more comfortable to wear. For one thing, it doesn’t have a bunch of wires hanging everywhere like the Vision Pro. I mean, are we really free if we’re plugged into The Matrix?  

Some reviewers have stated that the Apple Vision Pro is front heavy (thanks to all that glass and aluminum), which might make it more difficult to play games with a bigger physicality aspect, or for working out. And when it comes to games, Zuckerberg made it clear in his Instagram video that Meta has worked with game studios to create hundreds of titles for over a decade to make it a “gaming-first” headset.  

Screen Quality of Apple Vision Pro vs. Meta Quest 3

Because I’m a journalist (sorta), I’ve collected some opinions that differ from that of Mark Zuckerberg on the quality of the Apple Vision Pro screen. A reviewer from ZDNET said that using the Apple Vision Pro for two weeks has made all other screens he uses feel outdated. He stated that “the OLED displays and dual-driver audio pods makes for one of the most immersive viewing experiences ever”. So, if you’re a display fanatic looking to get fully immersed in the experience, the Apple Vision Pro might be the way to go. As Zuckerberg provides as a counterpoint, however, the higher resolution screen comes at a tradeoff to better comfort and ergonomics. Zuck also said the Meta Quest 3 has a brighter and more crisp screen, paired with a wider field-of-view.  

Open vs. Closed Model of Computing: Who Will Win the Headset Game?

Arguably, one of the most interesting things Zuckerberg said in his short video was “the future is not yet written,” and “the best way to predict the future is to invent it.” If he were standing on a keynote stage with some flashy imagery behind him and said it with a little more gravitas — I may have been hit with goosies. It’s a powerful statement, and he makes it clear that he never once saw the Vision Pro as a “Quest 3 killer”.

He describes how every computing generation has an open and closed model, and how in the PC era, Microsoft’s open model was the winner. For this next generation of innovation, Meta is going to be open while Apple runs with the closed model, and Zuckerberg wants to “make sure the open model wins out.” 

Whatever will happen, we can almost guarantee more people will be seen out and about wearing these “nerd goggles”. Whether they spent $499 or $3499, they’re all nerds with cash to burn.  

Image: Reddit/ u/Cantomic66

Creator-Led Brands: MrBeast's Feastables Drops DTC to Focus on Retail

When it comes to singular YouTube creators, absolutely nobody tops MrBeast (Jimmy Donaldson), who has over 240 million subscribers on YouTube. His YouTube channel also has record viewership, with over 1 billion views to his videos in February 2023 alone. With a captive audience, all Jimmy needed was a quality product to hit the ground running with a DTC business, and Feastables was born. 

Feastables was launched in January of 2022, and sold over 80,000 bars in three weeks. Since its launch, many dedicated MrBeast fans have bought bars by the millions through Jimmy’s ecommerce store (powered by Shopify). In September of 2022, Feastables entered retail with a partnership in Walmart, including a special edition Walmart cookie. 

It hasn’t been entirely smooth sailing for Jimmy, since he lost a lawsuit for trademark infringement for his peanut butter flavored bar, “Deez Nuts” in December of 2023. In February of 2024 the company announced a major change: they’re no longer selling bars online, and Feastables is now retail only. MrBeast announced this change on his YouTube channel, showing off the entirely new formula, mold design for the bar, and brand new packaging for each variant. 

Image source: Feastables

Why Did MrBeast's Feastables Drop the Direct-to-Consumer Model?

It’s all speculation on our part, but there are a few potential reasons why a creator like MrBeast would give up on the direct-to-consumer path, even though it has been so successful as a sales channel. 

First of all, MrBeast can sell anything, anywhere. I personally wonder if his partnership with Shopify included launching a DTC product on the platform, just to prove it could be done successfully. 

Secondly, chocolate has to be one of the most difficult products to ship direct-to-consumer. Even with a sophisticated warehouse and shipping operation, chocolate is fragile, susceptible to melting in hot environments, and has a limited shelf life. 

Faced with a bunch of downsides to shipping chocolate DTC, Jimmy likely discovered he could sell just as many bars (or more) using Walmart as a distributor. As an established creator, it’s very likely his fans shop at any of the 4600+ Walmart stores across the USA. 

Many celebrity-led or creator-led brands attempt to go DTC primarily, but then are faced with unprecedented bottlenecks and difficulty fulfilling orders. Pairing the distribution with a top retailer like Walmart unlocks access to planning and ordering knowledge that only a huge conglomerate like Walmart can provide. While we love ecommerce brands, there’s some benefits to incorporating several sales channels, especially as a big celebrity with a ton of reach. 

Image: Walmart


When it comes to the latest advancements in wearable technology, your preference for Meta Quest 3 versus Apple Vision Pro might depend on your income level. Zuckerberg made some valid points in his comparison of the Quest 3 and Vision Pro, but the opinion of one billionaire isn’t what we’ll base our decision on (do some research!). A separate billionaire decided to pull his Feastables brand from DTC and only sell through one of the biggest retailers in the world - if only us mere mortals had such a choice? What a conundrum!

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