The Third Degree: Marcel Düe of Tweek

By Claire Adamson |

This week in the Third Degree, our regular Friday feature where we grill Berlin’s brightest and most interesting CEOs, we talked to Marcel Düe of Tweek about calamari carpaccio and the wisdom of Bill Gates.

SILICON ALLEE: If you weren’t the CEO of a startup, what would you be doing?

MARCEL DÜE: I would have a bar, actually, because I always wanted a bar or restaurant with good food and a very nice, cosy atmosphere. I would love to do that. During study and before that when I was still going to high school I worked in a lot of bars. And I like it. I don’t drink too many cocktails, I drink mojitos and that’s basically it, and I’m also not into this ‘OK, I just turned 30 so now I’m into whisky’ kind of thing. I’m not into drinks so much, it’s the atmosphere. I think it’s potentially the worst business you can get into, but it’s just this idea of having your own place where your friends come by, you serve good food and you have a lot of fun.

SA: How would you describe Berlin, and what do you like about it?

MD: Since I’ve been here, which is 12 years, it’s constantly changing and when I hear people who have been here before, like in the 90s, they are saying it’s now totally different as well. I like this kind of feeling that there’s constant development going on and it’s not like falling asleep, which I have felt in cities that I lived in before.

SA: Where abouts in Berlin do you spend most of your time?

MD: East currently; the company as well as my flat, and my tennis club! It’s pretty funny, in Friedrichshain where I live I play on a team with very local people who grew up there. Berlin is all about suburbs, so when you’re originally from Berlin, you don’t constantly drive somewhere else. You have your school in the area where you live, then you maybe went away to study and then you come back and you stay there. I have people on my team in Friedrichshain who were born 200m from the club and when I talk to them and say ‘hey, I was in a restaurant in Kreuzberg last night’ and they are like ‘ah yeah, Kreuzberg, I haven’t been there for ten years.’ (laughs). Why is that? It’s right there; you can get there in like five minutes.

SA: Do you prefer East or West?

MD: I never thought about it in those categories. I moved to the West when I came here; I was living close to Stuttgarter Platz. It’s so cool: you can sit on a Saturday afternoon and look at Berlin hipsters from the 70s. Now, 40 years later, they’re still kind of hipsters in their own style, so it’s pretty funny. But in general, I don’t really like the West, it’s always a bit… I don’t know. I’ve lived in Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain and Mitte, because they are the areas where my friends are, where I go to bars, where I play sports…

SA: When you leave Berlin, where do you go?

MD: Potentially, I would go back to Sydney. I was living there when I went travelling for nine months and I liked it a lot. I go to the German north coast – I love the coast and I loved that about Sydney. Friends of mine have a flat on this island. It’s supposed to be a very posh island in Germany but it’s actually not. It’s beautiful, it’s so nice to be there. It’s very far in the north and it’s got beautiful beaches and it has real waves, you can do kite surfing and all that.

SA: What do you like to do when you’re not working?

MD: I play sport. I play tennis and I’ve just started boxing with one of my team members. Otherwise I go swimming and obviously at the moment I’m watching a lot of football. I play football but not at a club, just in the park with friends. Since we founded Tweek it’s pretty rare, I would say. When you have a club, you have games and you need to practice, and then it’s all scheduled.

SA: What is your favourite café, bar and restaurant in Berlin?

MD: My favourite café is actually at the market on Boxhagener Platz on Saturday mornings because there’s a friend of mine who has a very small café car, which is very flexible and he serves very good coffee. You can have it there and it’s a pretty nice atmosphere on a sunny Saturday morning. My favourite restaurant is Der Goldene Hahn in Kreuzberg. It’s how I would love my restaurant to look. It’s Italian food and they have a very short menu, which I like. I hate it when a restaurant has a menu where you have to say ‘I’ll take number 116′. The place itself is very basic, very cosy. They have constantly changing food, and you need to try the calamari carparccio. It’s awesome.

I often go out around my area, Boxhagener Platz, so if I want to go for a very delightful mojito, I’ll go to the Csa Bar at Weberweise train station. It’s far away from everything else; it’s not somewhere you go just to have a beer or something. Otherwise I’m often in Stereo 33 which is very nice, or we are around Suess War Gestern which is near Boxhagener Platz.

SA: What do you think the Internet will look like in ten years?

MD: There’s this famous quote that I love from Bill Gates who says that people always tend to overestimate the impact of technology in two to three years time, but underestimate it in ten years time. Going along with this idea I will underestimate it. I think we won’t call it the Internet anymore because it will be all around us, it will be just part of our normal life. It’s the same for us – people often say Tweek is in the social TV space and I’m always saying ‘No, we’re not in the social TV space, we’re in the TV space, in the motion picture space.’

We are currently in a phase where we rebuild the Web around people… it will be just a natural part of our life. TV will always be TV but it will also be something else. In the 80s and 90s it was a device in the living room, and in the future we will call TV every kind of motion picture we consume, every video we consume. And it won’t be social TV just because I get recommendations from my friends straight away onto the device I’m using. It’s not social TV, it’s just TV. And I think the same might happen to the Internet. It won’t the Internet any more but instead we will be surrounded by connected devices and take it as a normal part of our life.