German bread, again

The Germans are extremely proud of their bread culture – and pretty scathing about bread from most other countries (don’t get them started on Toastbrot.) Since moving to Germany, Rachel has discovered the delights of fresh German bread from the local bakery.

But there’s still one thing getting between her and a bag of crusty bread rolls. Rachel moved from the UK to Germany in 2016. Back then, as a relative newcomer she casts a fresh eye over German clichés and shares her experiences of settling into German life. Every two weeks she explores a new topic – from unusual bans to meaty cuisine or haunted castles. This week: bread.

Wüsthof knives

The state-of-the-art production facilities of Wusthof in Solingen: From the Design and Engineering Department, Forging, Tempering, Grinding and polishing, Etching, Sharpening and Quality control to Packing and Warehouse. Quality – made in Germany/Solingen.

YouTube comments:

“I’ve got a complete 20 years old set of the classic line from my father three years ago. The Knifes are still sharp and I love them all. I think, twenty years later they will be a nice present to my children.”

“I have an old chefs knife that is simply amazing. It holds and edge forever but can be resharpened with just a few strokes with a diamond hone. Thanks, Wusthof family!”

“I have a set of those knives over 30 years and no problems with them!!”

“I have purchased two sets of these knives. To say the least they are the last knives you’ll ever have in your kitchen. Like anything they will last a lifetime given the proper care. My set has white handles and I haven’t seen any other set of knives with white handles.”

“I have a 1st World War Mauser bayonet made by Solingen from 1917. Nice to see you guys in business after all that time and history.”

Tesla Giga Factory Berlin

Elon Musk wanted the factory in Germany. Why? Great automobile culture. Largest economy in Europe. Central geographic location. And, perhaps most importantly, great engineers. It makes you wonder what Henry Ford would have thought of this.

YouTube comments:

“This might just be the coolest car related video ever made. I can just imagine the person in the production meeting that suggested this and you just know when Elon heard about it he was like ‘Yep that’s sick’.”

“Tesla makes the best car commercials without making car commercials.”

“One of the best process walkthroughs I have ever seen. Amazing footage. Amazing piloting. Amazing process. Well done!”

“I’m a Tesla employee in Berlin and I was there on our ceremonial day. I can say that I saw with my bare eyes the guy who is controlling the drone. He has some amazing skills, so this video is made by him and its not fake. Cheers!”

Ten Principles of Good Design – Dieter Rams

Innovative. Useful. Aesthetic. Understandable. Honest. Unobtrusive. Long lasting. Consequent to the last detail. Environmentally friendly. As little as possible.

“Konsequent bis ins letzte Detail.” Translated as thorough down to the last detail. That’s a lousy translation. Rams says literally consequent/consistent to the last detail. Meaning, integrated in each and every aspect. Dieter Rams

German efficiency

Germany is known for producing high-quality goods, but did you know that the Germans rarely work overtime and usually leave the office at 5PM?

This video cites four reasons for why the Germans are very efficient in what they do. It’s a bit simplified, but it their core the messages are accurate.

One clearly false statement is that for Germans the path to the goal is of secondary importance. In Germany the process used to reach a goal is seen as one side of the coin, with the other side being the outcome

The voice is computer-generated, but clear. The statements about Japanese business culture are not relevant for us, at least not yet on UC.

Very proud of their automobiles

German cars vs. American cars. Germans are very proud of their automobiles.

Comments in YouTube: “Telling Germans how to make cars is like telling Italians how to make pizza.” … “To anyone saying that we Germans don‘t have any humour: We do actually! We laugh at French and American cars!”

“German: Uses the most advanced tech known to mankind to build the fastest, safest and over all best cars ever. American: slaps wheels and v8 on coffin.” … “Built in USA: Can do cool stunts in Hollywood movies. Built in Germany: Can do the same but on a real autobahn.”

German Brands 2018

These are the BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable Germany Brands in 2018. Many are known only to Germans. But the top 20 are known worldwide.

What do the top German brands have in common: efficiency, reliability, and quality. Made in Germany.

The German Mittelstand

A brief video describing well the strengths of the German Mittelstand, small- to medium-sized companies typically in manufacturing and family-owned and -run.

The Mittelstand is often described as the heart of Germany’s economy – and rightly so, given that mid-sized firms account for the largest share of the country’s economic output, employ about 60 percent of all workers, provide crucial training, and contribute significantly to corporate tax revenues in Germany. See BDI

Ludwig Erhard, the Economics Minister who crafted post-war West Germany’s economic miracle (Wirtschaftswunder) warned against reducing the Mittelstand to a mere quantitative definition, but instead emphasized more qualitative characteristics which embody the German Mittelstand, as it is “much more of an ethos and a fundamental disposition of how one acts and behaves in society.”

Embarrassing clichés

This video is full of rather embarrassing clichés. And those clichés say more about the people repeating them than they do about the people they purport to describe.

Germany has the fourth-largest economy on the planet with only ca. eighty million people. Many of their companies dominate their markets. As if the German people did not know how to solve problems.

As one German commenter wrote: “I really don’t get how we are one of the most productive and powerful economies in the world while having to agree with this 100% at the same time.”

Oh wait, maybe because the maker of the video, Daniel-Ryan Spaulding, is an American comedian based on Berlin, and not, for example, an engineer working in any of the many world-class German companies.