Oliver Samwer says Rocket Internet isn’t an incubator and offers more ‘freedom’ than Google

Oliver Samwer says Rocket Internet isn’t an incubator and offers more ‘freedom’ than ...

“Again, you try to make me talk…” At DLD in Munich today, Rocket Internet CEO, Oliver Samwer, made it clear again that he doesn’t enjoy interviews.

Still, despite dodging several questions by saying he simply couldn’t answer now Rocket is a public company following last year’s IPO, Samwer found time to dismiss incubators and throw shade at Google.

After being shown a list of Germany’s best employers which included Rocket and Google, Samwer said:

“We provide much more freedom than Google. The chairs might be more comfortable at Google. I heard they have sushi. We are for the real people who want to build companies.”

He was equally scathing of the idea that Rocket is an incubator:

“I don’t like the word ‘incubator’. We are a platform. An incubator sounds like you have some crazy chairs, some fancy drinks and cornflakes are free. I don’t want to do something for the first time. We’ve done most things before. That’s a platform.”

Samwer went on to compare Rocket’s approach to the one taken by car companies: “Look at Volkswagen, the cars look different but they’re all built on the same platform.”

He also dismissed the idea that Rocket’s startups need to worry about local cultures: “Cultures are over-exaggerated. E-commerce works everywhere. It’s fundamentally the same thing.”

On the prospect of Rocket making a big push into America, Samwer provoked laughter from the audience when he denied it would start ‘attacking’ American companies:

“First of all, we don’t attack. We’ll friendly enter America. When we friendly enter new countries, we think about how we can win. We take calculated risks. I’m a lawyer’s son. I’m not an entrepreneur’s son.”

Despite ducking the violent analogy and denying Rocket’s undeniably aggressive repuation, Samwer used a military comparison to explain how he sees Rocket: “We are the West Point of the internet.” What else would you expect from a CEO who told his staff last year that he wants to conquer all four corners of the globe?

Image credit: Daniel Grund for DLD

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