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Good Morning John,

I take a medicine that increases my chances of getting skin cancer so every year, I have to go and see a dermatologist to check and make sure all of my skin cells are all nice and respectful and none of them are stepping out of line and trying to kill me.

So far, this has always gone fine, though one time they did take a biopsy of a thing on my foot only to discover that it was pieces of a pine cone I stepped on when I was in high school.

At my most recent dermatology visit, there was a med student in the room doing one of the 20,000 things you need to do in order to become a doctor.

We wrap it all up, they leave, I put my clothes back on, I walk outside, and she says 

“I just want to thank you so much for Crash Course”.
And that feels so good every single time,  even if they just saw my butt. And this happens frequently.

Yesterday I was at the coffee shop with Orin, cause it’s his first day of Summer vacation, and two people thanked me for Crash Course.

One of them is starting nursing school this week!

John, when we first started Crash Course, I certainly hoped that it would be successful in helping students learn.

But, I couldn't have told you that it would be successful and I much less could have told you why it would be successful.
But now I do understand that,  and I want to explain it to you.

We started Crash Course as YouTubers, which, I didn’t think about at the time, but it turns out that really mattered.

Because when you’re on YouTube you have to compete in a very specific environment. And there’s two ways you compete. 

One, you have to grab and hold onto people’s attention. And second, you have to do it inexpensively because on YouTube you make like 10-100 times less per minute of content you produce than on television.

Now, to make educational content hold onto people's attention, 
you just have to make it really good. You have to be conveying a lot of information to people, keep their attention, keep them from looking at the sidebar and getting distracted.

And to do it inexpensively, you have to basically take out everything that isn’t doing that. And that’s what created Crash Course’s laser focus on what we talk about all the time now, which is lowering barriers to education.

And there are, from where I sit, two major barriers to learning.
One is access. Can you afford it? Is it available where you are? Were you accepted into a program? Etc.

But second, which is often ignored, is the actual barrier of learning. The world is complex and you need well-trained experts to get complicated ideas into other people’s heads.

If it were easy people wouldn’t be taking out tens of thousands of dollars of student loans to get it done.

Crash Course lowers that barrier as much as it can by being as good as it can be. By finding the stories to tell, the ways to contextualize the information in ways that matter to students by emulating some of the style of the content that they are already familiar with and appreciate.

But that first barrier, the barrier to access, we solve that by not just being free, but by being available to everyone who has an internet connection and a strong understanding of the English language.

Though we have done a course in Arabic and we’re working on a biology course in Spanish right now.

Crash Course is on YouTube because it is where people are. It is where students are,  and teachers, and learners. Cause everybody’s on YouTube.

They spend time, they feel comfortable there, they understand the interface there. It’s in a place they are already choosing to spend time.

We can’t be out there trying to sell our stuff to school districts, then they buy all of it, and it kind of gets forced on teachers.

NO! We just want to be there, and let teachers and students pick 
what they want to choose. So that the only time that Crash Course 
gets used is when students or teachers find it useful.

And if my inability to get a mole check without someone thanking Crash Course for helping them get through their education is any indication, I think that Crash Course has a pretty big impact.

The entire goal has to be about optimizing learning for learning. About getting those barriers down as low as we can get them.

You can’t eliminate them. But you can get them lower. And why is that important? Because the entire human story is about how effective we are at helping each other learn.

But pushing those barriers down ain’t easy. We reach a lot of people at Crash Course. And we try to keep our budget low but it costs a lot of money.

37% of our budget comes from our Patreon and from the Crash Course Coin- a beautiful coin minted in Arkansas from hand-engraved dyes.

We’ve sold out of 10,000 learner coins, but the 2022 2,000 learner coins are still available and will be through this weekend, but then, never ever again.

If you want to help Crash Course do this work, and you have $100 to spare (and I totally understand if you do not) there’s a link in the description.

John, I’ll see you on Tuesday