There’s irony in the name Rocket Internet. It conveys much about how German investors bypass their startups and how startups bypass their investors.
Ultimately, this is a story about misunderstandings and how Germans should recognize they lost the competition of how to use the Internet in the most clever manner.
There are large and successful companies such as SAP, which sells digital products successfully worldwide. But the essence of digitalization, which exists to build platforms open to all, remains unaccomplished. Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google are companies that have mastered that function in a way Rocket has not.
It seemed like a blessing last year when Rocket Internet was listed on the stock market, a Berlin firm promising a real digital platform including one for startups. It sounded like an audacious German answer to Silicon Valley.
Our Mark Zuckerberg was Oliver Samwer, another smart entrepreneur who defied conventions. These days he talks only when he wants and invokes silence when others direct urgent questions at him. He wants Germans to believe he understands communications strategies very well. It is if he had said: ‘I live in my world and am thoroughly convinced it will change the world, if not actually replace it.’