Who is Hank Green, and what is his is profession? Many, many different things. He's the creator of SciShow, CrashCourse, the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, VidCon, 2-D glasses, DFTBA Records, among other things. He's a producer of more than a dozen Youtube shows. His projects range from adapting classic novels into weekly vlogs (Pemberly Digital) to organizing the biggest conference on online video in the world (VidCon). How did it all start?
In 2007, John and Hank Green decided to start a Youtube channel where they would alternate uploading videos every day for a whole year to improve to their relationship. This project morphed into Vlogbrothers. John Green, his brother, collaborated with him on many projects over the course of the next decade after the success of the original "Brotherhood 2.0" project. John Green wrote books such as The Fault In Our Stars and Paper Towns while Hank worked on dozens of projects, often introducing them on the Youtube channel. John and Hank's collaborations as brothers As Brian Uzzi notes, "creativity is not only, as myth tells, the brash work of loners, but also the consequence of a social system of actors that amplify or stiﬂe one another’s creativity." John Green mentions in the New Yorker about his brother that ". After the first year of Vlogbrothers, they resumed other forms of communication; John told me that they now talk on the phone every day. “If anything, we talk to each other too often. Now our collaboration is so deep, and our work together feels so intertwined, that I can’t imagine we were ever so distant. But we still need projects.”
Collaboration deepens their relationship as siblings, and fuels their creativity. They even film their weekly videos together sometimes just for the fun of it as brothers, answering questions from their subscribers even though they live across the country from one another (Hank Green lives in Montana; John Green lives in Indiana). Every year, they host the Project for Awesome in order to raise money for various charities. Hank Green founded "The Foundation to Decrease Worldsuck" as an official nonprofit for the yearly project. They also launched the education channel CrashCourse together, which now has over five and a half million subscribers with about a dozen shows focusing on topics such as mythology, biology, astrology, government, and so on.
(John and Hank Green cohosting VidCon 2012)
Ultimately, their recognition of needs within the world fuel their projects. Hank Green created VidCon after realizing the gap in the conference market for online video creators. John agreed with him, and decided to help make the very first VidCon. Hank usually initiates many of the projects, but he often relies on help from his brother.
In Bennis' chapter "A Computer with a Rebel Heart," Bennis discusses Steve Job's abusive leadership style by saying "decency in the workplace, especially one that depends for its success on the talent and devotion of its employees, isn't just the right thing to do. It's the smart thing to do." Hank Green would agree.
In this recent video, Hank Green discussed the nature of working with his employees, and rejected the hypothesis of doing harm in order to get more done creatively, as Steve Jobs had done in Apple. Hank also left the following comment in the "Show more" section in this video.
"But I have seen many people do things they don't believe in to accomplish some career goal, to grow their business, or to make a bunch of money. They convince themselves of the good things that will allow them to do, but in the end they often seem quite sad. I know this will not be the case for all people, and it is likely more the case for me because I'm a rich white guy, but I have found that being kind and thoughtful and empathetic is a fantastic way to create successful art as well as successful business. And I'm tired of seeing small business owners trying to learn their lessons from Fortune 500 CEOs like Steve Jobs. Don't be Steve Jobs, he was amazing, but he was a dick. Be a human and treat humans like humans, because that's where the real work gets done."
When Hank first pitched the idea of "Brotherhood 2.0" to his brother, he had no idea he was beginning a creative collaborative effort that would span more than a decade. Hank and John even founded a new podcast Dear Hank and John on top of their other projects simply out of a desire to create more together. Bennis tells of great creators who "all abided by the same pattern of being embedded in a network of artists or scientists who shared ideas and acted as both critics and fans for each other." Hank and John Green have found that in each other.
Collaboration and Creativity: The Small World Problem by Brian Uzzi and Jarrett Spiro
The Teen Whisperer by Margaret Talbot (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/06/09/the-teen-whisperer)
"A Computer with a Rebel Heart" in Organizing Genius by Bennis.