“Crotchety, Over-Critical Culture” Part II

As reported earlier, Germans themselves will be the first to admit that, when it comes to entrepreneurship, they have a “crotchety, over-critical culture, with its fear and condemnation of failure,” but it is what it is and they are what they are.

Cars

There’s even a saying/joke here that goes “anything in Germany that is not expressly permitted is forbidden.” Take electric cars, for example. Their production may not be expressly forbidden but the German automobile industry is doing its damnedest to pretend like they don’t exist. One could say this has more to do with “never touch a running system” (this industry still makes piles of money) but it really gets down to being crotchety again. They’re missing the boat and they know it.

Concern is rising in Europe’s automobile heartland about the economic impact of the industry’s move to electric vehicles from gasoline-powered cars.

Officials and executives in Germany fear the country’s big car companies and rich ecosystem of suppliers and service providers are insufficiently prepared for the transition, and that their leadership may not be assured in an electric-car world, threatening jobs, tax revenue and even growth.

Assembling electric cars isn’t as complex or labor intensive as making traditional vehicles and relies partly on imported technology. At the same time, China has made rapid forays in electrification and is shaping up as a potentially formidable competitor in the field.

The trepidation is particularly acute in the city of Stuttgart, hub to one of the country’s biggest automotive clusters at the heart of the nation’s dynamic south. It comes as Europe’s largest economy is showing signs of weakness amid a chill in global trade.

“The greatest catastrophe would be if the industry fell asleep at the wheel. It is crucial for jobs that companies like Daimler make a massive push into this technology and build locally.”

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Other Folks Are Making Money With Greta?

Or on her? Off her? Greta HERSELF? How, how… How could anybody be surprised by this?

Greta

They used to call them hipsters. Now they call them hypsters. This stuff is hilarious.

In the meantime Greta Thunberg has the schedule of a supermodel: Press conferences, photo shootings, interviews, speeches in parliaments and appearances at demonstrations alternate at an ever faster rate… Greta Thunberg hat mittlerweile den Terminplan eines Supermodels und Spitzenpolitikers; Pressekonferenzen, Foto-Shootings, Interviews, Parlamentsreden und Demonstrationsauftritte wechseln sich immer hektischer ab.

The sailing yacht passage is also getting harsh criticism because it is one of the most expensive racing yachts in the world, its “Team Malizia” stems from the tax haven of Monaco, the ship belongs to an ominous real estate millionaire from Stuttgart and Greta is being unnecessarily exposed to storm hazards in the Atlantic… Auch die Segeljachtfahrt wird vielfach kritisch kommentiert, weil es sich um eine der teuersten Rennjachten der Welt handelt, weil ihr “Team Malizia” aus Monaco stammt und also aus einem Steuerparadies, weil das Schiff einem ominösen Stuttgarter Immobilienmillionär gehört, weil man Greta unnötig in atlantische Sturmgefahren begibt.

And this is why the public is beginning to doubt the motives of Greta’s backers. Is she possibly the coldly staged product of cleaver marketing strategists who only want to make a profit from the media hype? So wachsen im Publikum die Zweifel über die Motive von Gretas Hintermännern. Ist sie womöglich ein kalt inszeniertes Produkt cleverer Marketingstrategen, die Profit aus dem medialen Hype schlagen wollen?

The “We don’t have time” cooperation is now under suspicion. The company was founded by the successful Swedish public relations manager and stock market specialist Ingmar Rentzhog in 2017. His self-assured goal: To establish the “worldwide largest social network for climate activism” and make as much money in the process as possible. Greta Thunberg was systematically targeted as the figurehead… Die Aktiensgesellschaft “We don’t have time” steht im Zwielicht. Das Unternehmen wurde von einem der erfolgreichsten PR-Manager und Börsenspezialisten Schwedens, Ingmar Rentzhog, 2017 gegründet. Sein selbstbewusstes Ziel: Das “weltweit größte soziale Netzwerk für Klimaaktion” zu schaffen und damit möglichst viel Geld zu verdienen. Als Galionsfigur wird Greta Thunberg dafür gezielt aufgebaut.

There is not conflict of interest between climate protection and making money.
Kein Interessenkonflikt zwischen Klimaschutz und Geldmachen.

Stay tuned or something.

Berlin’s First Driverless Bus Hits The Street…

Killing five.

Bus

Just kidding.

Berlin is already teeming with last-mile mobility options like shared bikes and e-scooters.

Now the city’s public transport company Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) is set to add driverless buses to the mix, testing its first autonomous shuttles on a public road this month.

The BVG has been testing the self-driving bus, developed by French company EasyMile, in the confines of a campus for the past year. This month it will face real-world traffic conditions on a 600 metre stretch from an underground station in the north-western part of the capital.

OK, folks. The key term here is BVG (Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe), the city’s public transport company. The joke around town is that BVG actually stands for Bin Vorsichtshalber Gelaufen or “decided to walk, just in case.” They’re not terribly reliable here, you see.

“Crotchety, Over-Critical Culture”

Comparing Germany’s entrepreneurial business world to Silicon Valley’s? This post will be even shorter than usual.

Silicon

One reason why California continues to draw talent out of Germany is the contrast between Germany’s crotchety, over-critical culture, with its fear and condemnation of failure.

This compares unfavorably with California’s inspiring can-do optimism and fail early, fail often, keep trying until you succeed” mantra. Additional reasons are the much higher salaries paid to engineers and programmer in California, the sunnier, warmer weather and California’s huge head start in building a startup-friendly business ecosystem.

“We need to build critical mass in one city, and that city is Berlin. It’s built a global reputation as a cool, hip, affordable city with a lively startup scene. We should double down on that.”

 

What Difference Does It Make?

Germany: Bundeswehr grounds ‘Tiger’ helicopters due to technical faults.

Tiger

The Bundeswehr and Bundesmarine (German army and navy) ain’t ever going to be deployed anywhere anyway so who cares if nothing works or not?

Bundeswehr’s enduring equipment woes – The incident is the latest in a series of embarrassments for the Bundeswehr and the German government concerning equipment, especially as regards government-issue aircraft. Chancellor Angela Merkel, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz have all been delayed by faulty airplanes while carrying out official duties in the past year. Bundeswehr officials have also long complained that much of their equipment is outdated and broken, as increasing defense spending becomes more and more unpopular politically.

“Security is the top priority for the Bundeswehr.”

Inexpensive Meat?

We’ll fix that for you real quick. For your own good, of course.

Meat

Germany: ‘Meat tax’ on the table to protect the climate – meat is relatively cheap for consumers in Germany. But that could all be about to change as lawmakers from across the political spectrum back proposals aimed at climate protection and animal welfare.

German politicians from the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens on Wednesday proposed raising the value added tax (VAT) on meat to the standard rate of 19%. Currently, meat is taxed at a reduced rate of 7% like most foodstuffs.

“A meat tax, such as increasing the VAT to 19%, could be a way forward.”

PS: German Oddity 10. Germans have more words for taxation than Eskimos have for snow.

German Of The Day: Igelsex

Go figure. It’s pronounced “eagle sex” but it means hedgehog sex.

Igelsex

Germans kept up at night by noisy igelsex (that’s hedgehog coupling) – Police called out to reports of nocturnal disturbances find hedgehogs ‘having fun.’

I don’t buy it, though. I think these Germans were kept up at night, tossing and turning, worrying about the German economy.

“Germany’s economy is highly dependent on exports, and that’s what’s hitting the German economy now. If the trade conflicts persist for many more years, this will hit Germany very hard.”

German Of The Day: Flaschenhals

That means bottleneck.

Flashenhals

Germany is looking for new ways to power its economy as the traditional growth engines of manufacturing and exports falter. But the country’s outdated internet is acting as a bottleneck.

The sorry state of the online network has become a national joke and an economic liability. Germany ranks 33rd in the world in average monthly fixed broadband connection speeds, and 47th for mobile, according to Speedtest Global Index.

“It’s too slow. If you’re really world class in production, having a ranking of, say, [33rd] in working internet does not fit together with that image.”

A Meating Of Minds

Meat

President Donald Trump just announced a new deal under which the EU will accept a high number of American beef exports, a move that will surely increase profits for US farmers and related industries. The EU will accept 45,000 tons of hormone-free beef from foreign countries every year, and America will be allowed to fulfill 35,000 tons of that quota after seven years — roughly 80 percent of the total.

“America has great beef. We’re selling more.”

Germany To Introduce Stricter Sword Control Legislation

I assume.

Sword

A 36-year-old man was stabbed to death in Stuttgart on Wednesday with a weapon described as a “sword.”

The man was attacked in a street in the late afternoon, police said. Witnesses called police after the attack, which occurred during a dispute.

The victim succumbed to his injuries despite rescue efforts. Tabloid newspaper Bild reported the victim was a German Kazakh.

Police initially reported the alleged perpetrator was a Syrian citizen who had lived in Germany since 2015. However, local media have reported there may be discrepancies in that, with Bild reporting there was suspicion that the suspect could be a Palestinian who has assumed a false identity.

Mohammed hat die Tat zwar gestanden und sitzt in Untersuchungshaft – aber dennoch gibt der Fall Rätsel auf.