Milo Yiannopoulos says vapid hand-wringing about remuneration arrangements for Rocket Internet employees is a red herring. We should concentrate on celebrating Europe’s most exciting start-up factory.
Forget Doug Richard’s ludicrous misnomer. Rocket Internet, the German start-up incubator owned and operated by the reclusive and brilliant Samwer brothers, is Europe’s foremost university when it comes to entrepreneurship.
Alumni of Rocket Internet are creating promising businesses of their own - including other accelerators – all over Europe, after paying their dues as employees of Rocket, learning from perhaps the most versatile and talented executors in the entire internet industry.
Meanwhile, the cradle of executive brilliance in Berlin continues to be maligned by an ignorant technology press shackled to naive ideals of social justice who wank over apostates as if they were end-time prophets.
All of this, predicated on the idea that it is somehow shameful to out-execute the Americans.
There’s not only a whiff of internecine European envy to the manufactured controversy around the Samwer brothers: there’s also one of hypocrisy.
“When something works in America,” Atlas Venture’s Fred Destin told the Economist last year, “Eight companies immediately go after the same opportunity and venture capitalists fund them. But nobody calls them clones.”
European bloggers and pundits look lovingly across the Atlantic at those poor, exploited American behemoths and pity them for falling prey to the unstoppable Samwer clone machine.
Pull the other one. Part of the problem with the European tech scene is that our journalists are such total wusses.
In hock to the cult of Silicon Valley but utterly oblivious to its real nature, limp Europeans fawn over glossy apps that make people “you know, like, so connected” while ignoring, or failing to see entirely, the fact that every truly successful Valley entrepreneur is terrifyingly sociopathic.
Valley start-ups are the new ad agencies: dysfunctional, swimming in cash, staffed by obnoxious idiots, contemptuous of the public and almost exclusively founded by deeply unpleasant people.
But so long as the sale of private information and the management and exploitation of their customers’ appetites and addictions is dressed up as a glossy iPhone app, the European media falls for the marketing schtick. For shame.
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The Samwers have been ramping up their efforts recently. Their latest clone is a version of Amazon. You can’t but fall to your knees in awe at the sheer audacity of it.
Meanwhile, they’ve been making efforts to dispel the image of “shyness” tech writers manufactured for them. Sorry to break it to you, chaps, but the “shyness” meme was too kind a rubric.
Your Olympian levels of self-regard may preclude you from processing this, but the Samwers aren’t “shy”; they simply don’t give a shit about you because you’re an embarrassing irrelevance.
Those negative aspects of the Samwers’ reputation have arisen not because they are unusually awful to deal with: they are simply highly motivated, driven businessmen. It has more to do with naïve ideas about just compensation from the invariably soft-Left cohort of European tech bloggers.
But there can surely be no greater gift for a European entrepreneur than the opportunity to work with and learn from the Samwer brothers. And let’s not forget that the only comparable European success story, Skype, actually did fuck its employees over – twice.
What Sarah Lacy calls shamelessness, in her precious and disingenuous anxiety to elevate idea above execution (a concept she would normally scoff at), I call audacity and genius. Because the Samwers are the most successful entrepreneurs in Europe.
They have broken the mould of risk-averse German entrepreneurship. They are the prime movers behind the start-up hub in Berlin that those same journalists love to masturbate over.
They should be worshipped, not derided, by these hypocritical and hopeless hacks who flit around them like a shoal of runt piranhas, nipping away at the troika in the hope of a glimpse of bared teeth.
The Samwers are gods; we but mites to be dismissed or, better yet, crushed.