CommonCraft videos make me want to hurt myself. I can’t help but think “why didn’t I think of doing this?”
Lee and Sachi have done a great job creating a successful company that uses simple tools to explain some rather complex topics, and they make the videos fun to watch as well (skip to the bottom for the funniest).
The trick, and where they excel, is taking those complex topics and boiling them down into something simple to understand without losing the value of the training. That’s not always easy to achieve.
Early on, their efforts focused on technology. Their video on RSS is still one of the better, and most accessible, explanations for those unfamiliar with the topic.
While their production quality has increased since then, that basic style has served them well and become their brand. They have videos explaining Wikis, Blogs, Podcasting, and many more, all released for free on YouTube. One way they make their money is by selling high quality versions of these videos to companies.
They’re now doing videos on all sorts of topics – not limiting themselves to technology topics. Want to understand how to save money? How we elect a President in the US? Why to use CFLs instead of incandescent bulbs? They’ve got those.
And of course, they also have the most important video you’ll ever watch. This things a life-saver: