The Real Story of Zalando, Groupon and Rocket: The Samwer Brothers in Portrait {Review}


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The Samwer brothers with their rocket empire in Germany are regarded as the most successful Internet entrepreneurs. Joël Kaczmarek, who has to know as the editor of the founding scene, has now written her first biography.


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Oliver Ibelshäuser 85Oliver Ibelshäuser is a journalist and owner of the editorial office Text und Vision.

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About the author of the book

Joel Kaczmarek knows what he writes about, for he has been watching the Samwers for years. He is also successful on the Internet:

Since May 2013 he has been editor of the founding scene, which he helped in four years as editor in chief, and from which Vertical Media Verlag hervorging, which he co-founded and which was taken over in June 2014 by Axel Springer Verlag.

The true story behind Zalando, Edarling and Groupon

Your Internet company like Zalando (shoes and clothes), Groupon (vouchers), jamba (ringtones) or Edarling (partner exchange) knows almost everyone. About the makers behind the e-commerce giants is little known. But how did they do it?

Joel Kaczmarek answers this question with his remarkable book “The Godfather of the Internet” from the FBV publishing house. Kaczmarek wrote an unusually exciting biography about the three brothers Oliver, Alexander and Marc Samwer, at the same time a brief outline of the rapid success and burst dreams on the New Markets and a lesson on brilliant theft of ideas in the Internet industry.

A “1” in copying good ideas, a “6” in social competence

The author starts from the beginning and does not say a word. He honors the three “Internet high-flyers” as “the most successful web entrepreneurs in Germany”, the more than “100 Company in over 50 countries in around 15 years ”. To date, some of them are model students in their class.

On the other hand, he gives the brothers a devastating human testimony, which the Samwers release as a money-loving puller, for whom their employees are only “calculations for entrepreneurial success”. Leader Oliver in particular will hardly be happy about the “6” for “social competence” on his testimony, which identifies him as a reckless choleric who “throws objects and makes seasoned managers leave the meeting crying” and “social conventions” practically completely missing ”.

Cry with happiness - when you look at your account balance

Kaczmarek chronologically traces the success story of the Samwers. From the beginnings at Alando, when the three brothers were “idealistic and understood by their cheering way to motivate everyone” to the current challenges facing the joint venture company Rocket Internet (“empire on pump”).

Of course, the hussar ride with “Zalando” is also discussed in detail. However, the Samwer brothers, which are now worth billions, did not shine with the spirit of invention, but copied ideas (“Copycats”) or simply bought them. Kaczmarek brings numerous quotes from companions and also the Samwers themselves, whom he has laboriously researched and worked into the appropriate context.

Looking to the future

The author leaves open whether the journey of the three busy entrepreneurs continues to climb steeply or comes to an abrupt end: “In a structure in which they dictate the rules but also contribute a large part of the added value, they could not lose. Despite all the superlatives, there is a big question mark behind the long-term success of the Samwer. ”

At the end... A gripping report on the founding spirit of Internet startups, about brilliant ideas and abysmal greed. Anyone who wants to know how e-commerce works will devour the exciting book by Zalando and Co. Only three people will enjoy reading - the three Samwer brothers.


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