What's your rating of Vsauce

The name thing is complicated. Philipp Dettmer's YouTube channel is somehow called "In a Nutshell", but somehow also called "Kurzgesagt", that is the German translation of the term. "I'm not sure what our names are either," he says himself. In 2013 he founded the YouTube channel. Dettmer, 30, knitted hoodie, dark hair and a lot of beard, starts again: "Most of them say Kurzgesagt. We like the name In a Nutshell by Kurzgesagt."

Very complicated, but actually the name isn't that important either. In short, to stick with one, it has grown into one of the largest educational channels in the world, winning a dozen awards, including gold at the prestigious "Information is Beautiful" data visualization award. He currently has more than 2.5 million subscribers. In May it was again one of the fastest growing channels and one of the 20 largest in Germany.

If you meet Dettmer in his office loft in downtown Munich, it quickly becomes clear: As with the name, there is a lot in Kurzgesas: something planned, but with a good story. While studying communication design, Dettmer spent six to eight hours a day on YouTube, primarily on educational and science channels such as Crash Course, Vsauce and CGP Gray. As a bachelor thesis, he produced an animated video that explains evolution in twelve minutes.

English videos are viewed much more often than German ones

Designing is his thing, he loves to research and write down stories. During his studies he met Stephan Rether, 27, who specializes in animation. "Then we were just a kind of company."

Their first video together - "The Solar System" - went online in the summer of 2013. The first YouTube films appeared in German and English. The second video, about fracking, went viral, but only the English one. After three days it had a million views, 500 times as many as the German one. Nevertheless, both channels continue to exist, but are filled with different levels of intensity: A video was last published on the German one a year ago, while the international one or two new ones appear per month.

The SZ editorial team has enriched this article with content from YouTube

To protect your data, it was not loaded without your consent.

I consent to content from YouTube being displayed to me. In this way, personal data is transmitted to the operator of the portal for usage analysis. You can find more information and the possibility of revocation at sz.de/datenschutz.

This external content was loaded automatically because you agreed to it.

The boss Philipp Dettmer doesn't like a personality cult

After the fracking video, Dettmer received his first orders from companies. "And there were just more and more," he says. Kurzgesagt has been one of the most important knowledge channels on Youtube since 2015, employs eight permanent and seven freelance workers, including designers and animators, and earns money with advertising and commissions from all over the world, from organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, from technology, Medical and financial companies.

Kurzgesagt's career is not an isolated incident, knowledge channels are booming. Minutephysics, CGP Gray and Crash Course have millions of subscribers and hundreds of millions of total views, Vsauce even more than a billion. Her videos answer questions like: "What are molecules" or "What is capitalism?" In a thorough and charmingly ironic way at the same time.