Merchant Innovation

Rocket Internet CEO Talking Smack About Google

Germany-based Rocket internet is less than beloved in Silicon Valley Tech circles, as the company is known for taking (non-proprietary) business ideas born in the valley, copying them, and then spinning them off on to the world's stage.

As it turns out, there is plenty of room for mutual disdain, a fact made obvious by recent comments by Rocket's notoriously press-shy CEO and founder Oliver Samwer at the Digital Life Design conference in Munich.  While he didn't have much to say on Rocket's business itself, he had plenty to say about his rivals in Silicon Valley.

For example, Rocket is often referred to as a tech incubator because it works with entrepreneurs to build Internet companies, scales them up, and then spins them out into stand-alone companies.  While this is considered the "standard" definition of an incubator, Sawmer offer a far more awesome one, while rejecting the claim that Rocket is an incubator:

"I don’t like this word incubator. We are a platform,” he said. “An incubator sounds like you have some crazy chairs, and then there are fancy drinks and you eat free corn flakes.”

Fancy drinks and crazy chairs are clearly on the man's mind.  When asked about Google, particularly competing for hires with them and attracting key talent away from them - Samwer again noted that at Rocket, it's about the work, not the furniture.

“The chairs might be more comfortable at Google,” he said. “And the drinks. I hear they have sushi. We are for the real people who want to build companies.”

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