For as long as Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal have been creating YouTube videos and for all the success they’ve had doing it, they still feel like they’re navigating uncharted territory.
Since joining YouTube in 2006, Rhett and Link, whose friendship dates back to first grade in North Carolina, have launched three channels with a combined 16.7 million subscribers, a podcast, a YouTube Red original series, and their debut book hits shelves in fall 2017, all of which rolls under their company Mythical Entertainment operated by around 25 employees. They’ve meticulously crafted a digital empire that, coincidentally, is shoring up their brand against the volatility of the platform that created them.
“It still feels very much like the Wild West when you don’t know who’s going to come into town and be the new sheriff,” says Link. “Turns out, it’s some kid who’s playing with toys or it’s some dude unboxing stuff. We learned years ago to not judge anything.”
“We used to ask the question, ‘Why is this popular?’” Rhett adds. “But then you start to understand that if it’s popular, it must make sense to enough people.”