The Third Degree: Jakob Fricke of Picpack

By Simone ODonovan |

This week in the Third Degree, our regular Friday feature where we chat with some of Berlin’s best CEOs, we spoke to Jakob Fricke of Picpack about running goat farms, employing a dog and hamburger heaven.

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

JAKOB FRICKE: If I wasn’t working in startups, my plan B would be to run a goat farm. Technically, I’m one of the three managing directors here at Picpack. We don’t have a proper CEO, we have three CEOs!

SA: What do you like about Berlin?

JF: I’ve previously lived in southern Germany, Frankfurt, Hannover and in Hamburg. So I’ve seen many different parts of Germany. But Berlin is definitely the most vivid, international and fascinating city right now in Germany.

SA: East or West Berlin?

JF: I live in Prenzlauer Berg, so East. But if I had to move, I’d definitely consider moving to the West. It’s calmer, more settled and less hyped. Sometimes it’s really refreshing to spend some time outside of Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Kreuzberg or Neukölln. It gives you a different perspective on things.

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

JF: I like to hang out with my friends and my girlfriend. I love cooking. Once a week we meet with a group of friends and we cook together. I also try to use my spare time to read more books.

SA: If you leave Berlin where do you like to go?

JF: I like to visit my parents place in the countryside. And I also really like the Baltic Sea and weekend trips to cities.

SA: What is your favourite cafe/bar/restaurant?

JF: There is a nice breakfast place on our street, La Tazza, which has really good croissants. For dinner, I like Lokal on Linienstraße, they have great food and it’s always a cosy atmosphere there. The more trashy but really tasty alternative is Korean Barbecue at Arirang in Wedding. Close by, also in Wedding, there is Da Baffi, a really great Italian place. And yes, burgers – the best burgers in town are the ones from Hambuger Heaven on Gräfestraße.

SA: If you could employ anybody who would you choose?

JF: An office dog.

SA: How do you think Berlin as a city will develop in the next decade?

JF: Berlin is definitely becoming more settled and is getting more and more polished. It will lose the rough edge it had some years ago and still has in some parts. It’ll be also getting more pricey  but compared to other European capitals still affordable. Thus, I hope it can further attract talented people from all over the world who’ll create and build awesome music, art, startups etc.

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

JF: As Marc Andreessen put it: “Software and thus the Internet will continue to eat the world. It’ll be more subtle, but it will be everywhere. From your Memoto camera to the lock at your door.” But the future does not only look bright. More and more big corporations and states are getting aware of the power of the Internet and they want to control it. So the biggest challenge for our society will be to balance the interests and to govern the Internet that most of the people get the best out of it, and not only states and bigger corporations.