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Google canceled their Berlin Campus plans

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Okay then, can anyone name any German startup which absolutely everybody uses worldwide? Not just inside DE. Because to my knowledge all the real innovative stuff comes out of America.

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Then your knowledge is superficial, at best.

 

But i think you must be joking.   Because all you would have to do is look inside of a car, a computer or a kitchen to name a few 100 of them.

 

As someone who rubberstamps technical innovation projects from German SMEs that reach a TRL of 8 every day, I cant even. 

 

 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Joanie said:

Then your knowledge is superficial, at best.

Perish the thought!

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I´m still waiting to get to 100 to get a telegram from Queen Elizabeth, LeCheese! Don´t fancy her or my chances,though..but you never know!:D

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1 hour ago, Joanie said:

Then your knowledge is superficial, at best.

 

But i think you must be joking.   Because all you would have to do is look inside of a car, a computer or a kitchen to name a few 100 of them.

 

As someone who rubberstamps technical innovation projects from German SMEs that reach a TRL of 8 every day, I cant even.

 

Ah, if you mean stuff like the Internet of Things, then absolutely, of course German engineering is the best. Of course German tech is sophisticated. I meant the huge names which dominate the world like Amazon, Faecebook, Google, Micro$oft, Twitter. All of those are American.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Joanie said:

Then your knowledge is superficial, at best.

 

But i think you must be joking.   Because all you would have to do is look inside of a car, a computer or a kitchen to name a few 100 of them.

It would be helpful had you named a few of them then. No-one is doubting that German companies are very good at technical advancement, but it is not the kind of 'disruption' that start-ups are supposed to promise. 

 

For all the talk of being a hub of innovation, what really innovative ideas have come out of Berlin? The biggest German startup that I know is Wirecard, and that came out of Bavaria. 

 

I would say that start-ups are always going to struggle here: there is an inherent conservatism: where is Uber, Google Streetview, etc? Further, it seems most of the best young minds would rather work for Siemens than take the very small chance of becoming wealthy through stock options at a start-up that will likely fail. 

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6 minutes ago, Auswanderer said:

For all the talk of being a hub of innovation, what really innovative ideas have come out of Berlin? The biggest German startup that I know is Wirecard, and that came out of Bavaria. 

 

I would say that start-ups are always going to struggle here: there is an inherent conservatism: where is Uber, Google Streetview, etc? Further, it seems most of the best young minds would rather work for Siemens than take the very small chance of becoming wealthy through stock options at a start-up that will likely fail.

 

Yup. That's exactly my point. It's the conservatism of German business which suits a certain kind of innovation which is more incremental, and not high risk world changing endeavours.

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3 hours ago, jeremytwo said:

Okay then, can anyone name any German startup which absolutely everybody uses worldwide? Not just inside DE. Because to my knowledge all the real innovative stuff comes out of America.

Define "startup"...

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wrt american style startups in Germany, it's not just about risk for workers.  I think it's also a fundamental difference in personal outlook and motivation.  Germans by and large actually want some semblance of work-life balance, so you're not just talking about someone being willing to take a risk working for a company that might fail, you're also talking about having a sort of distorted mindset that drives you to work 60-80 hour weeks  without overtime compensation (or any compensation at all over 40 hours) on the off chance you can pull it off.

 

this is really not a German thing.   Much of the american style startup phenomenon is driven by a sort of psychosis, IMO, that is not at all appealing to the average German.  If you look at it objectively, it's quite nuts.

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1 hour ago, jeremytwo said:

 

Yup. That's exactly my point. It's the conservatism of German business which suits a certain kind of innovation which is more incremental, and not high risk world changing endeavours.

 

"Conservatism" might be subjective?   I routinely see business like developing inputs for satellites to Mercury (as per last week's launch) and inventing new chemical elements and stuff like that.   My family home is near a space operations centre, a giant new particle collider,  Europe's second biggest software company, the owner of LCD tech (Merck, fabulous high margin cash cow that) and so on.   And more, including AI.  I do not see that as conservative, rather a high bar set on innovation, and definitely world leading.  

 

We see geopositioning and AI and the rest being developed.   While later commercial application (in map apps or whatever) is of course also wonderful and essential, it is perhaps understandable that corporations, even very top ones like google, are going to have to work hard to impress.

 

No wonder that foreign corporations want to latch onto it perhaps, though?  Want a bit of the sheen to rub off, and a share of the knowledge capital.

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18 minutes ago, LeCheese said:

Fraunhofer - MP3 etc 

Yes, I think that the way the German's have managed to build a network of research institutes that straddle the divide between industry and academia is really great and produces outstanding research. As far as I can tell however, most of that research is more in line with the interests of the likes of Siemens than a startup. Some of Fraunhofer's 3D imaging work will end up in entertainment, VR, etc, but the immediate beneficiary is Siemens who have massive market share in medical imaging equipment. I just don't see it really transitioning into the 'start-up' idea that we have coming out of the US. 

 

I can't remember the name of the chap, but Deutsche Welle recently did an interview with a German former academic who formed a market research company based on his research and went on to be very successful. He openly talked about the discouragement he received from colleagues and friends to leave a secure position to try something new. Given he was already a global leader in his field, had his business failed he would have found another academic job somewhere, but the general perception was he was better to stay with his secure job; "Besser ein Spatz in der Hand als eine Taube auf dem Dach" and all that. 

 

Even a cursory look at the German economy shows things are going great so obviously many things are going right. I personally prefer the balance Germany has struck compared to the US. One of the trade-offs however is people are more risk averse and there is less economic vitality. 

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I don't see less economic vitality, it's just less frenzied and more plodding - I personally appreciate that. 

 

In addition I do agree with the points about German risk aversion, and really this has been hard for me.  They really demand a "certain" outcome even in seat-of-the-pants situations.  In a risky effort, American style management will often be saying "we know this is a long shot and it may fail but we want you to go for it - the only failure is not trying!"   Meanwhile too often German style is more like "we want you to convince us this will work no matter what, and if it doesn't we will punish you forever" even when they know their plan is likely to fail.  Or maybe especially in that case?  :) 

 

no actually :(  Who wants to go for it if the consequences are so potentially dire?  I think this mindset just encourages people to keep their heads down and plod along, which really stifles creativity and striving.  Which is a shame as Germans can be damned enthusiastic when they feel safe to be so.

 

it's one of the only things here that makes me really uncomfortable and brings me down.  Not a constant, thank goodness, but a strong theme.

 

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14 hours ago, zwiebelfisch said:

 

But gentrification isnt just "rich people stealing our houses" its also things like providing a credible future for you youth of berlin that only a decade or so back were facing a life of unemployment and now live in a city that can fulfiil their dreams. Its taking native berliner friends of mine that only a year or two ago were practically unemployable thought they would never work again and now suddently have work. Its working towards fixing the massive financial problems berlin has. 

 

The ironic thing is those people complaining live already in a gentrified Kiez.   The ones living in Berlin for long time know that Kreuzberg and North-Neukoelln were sh*thole places 20-25 years ago, the kind places you go there wishing not to be mugged.  Now all places are mostly renovated, the coal heaters are only deco, they have nice cafes and restaurants everywhere, and OMG giant shopping centers.     I guess they like gentrification only until certain point where the place is very nice and the rent is still acceptable.  But that's not how free markets work.

 

13 hours ago, jeremytwo said:

Okay then, can anyone name any German startup which absolutely everybody uses worldwide? Not just inside DE. Because to my knowledge all the real innovative stuff comes out of America.

 

Soundcloud, while founded in Stockholm moved to Berlin long time ago.   N26 is now expanding in the EU.   But I think you are missing once important bit, I guess you are talking about IT related startups, but Berlin is doing much better in other type of startup ups that do not get lot of press, like medicine related technology, car technology, mechanical technology, e-Commerce, and so on.

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10 hours ago, john g. said:

I have given it a lot of thought, Spider!

The answer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGyOaCXr8Lw

 

Auswanderer and Lisa13 have expressed way better than I can my sentiments. I think we UK/US (I call it the Atlantic mindest) have a different mindset to the European "safe" way of thinking. it may well be half the reason Germans like us to be here, we are more flexible in our approach to solving problems. One of the things which brings me down is coming up with any new idea here and the reply always has "darf nicht" in it. Well fuckem.

 

John - great Stones song! I used to be able to play the opening riff on my electric!

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11 hours ago, Auswanderer said:

 

I would say that start-ups are always going to struggle here: there is an inherent conservatism: where is Uber, Google Streetview, etc? Further, it seems most of the best young minds would rather work for Siemens than take the very small chance of becoming wealthy through stock options at a start-up that will likely fail. 

 

That is (in berlin) utterly untrue.  "boring business" is unable to hire, whereas startups have the pick of the best. 

 

Where is google streetview?  Its at google.  There have been similar businesses doing similar things in Berlin (nokia maps for example) but they didnt work out.  Thats what startups are like.

 

A lot of the berlin startups are metoos, but again, that s what startups are like.  Everyone and their dog is building the next facebook, the next blockchain and so on.  Just as much in Berlin as silicon valley or anywhere else.

 

There are some fairly significant "startups" running out of berlin. Zalando? Soundcloud? Lots of tech stuff that is less customer facing. contentful for example.

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