We love Berlin. Each of the three founders of ascribe (Bruce, Masha, and myself) moved to Berlin not because we had to, but because we wanted to. We love the city’s culture, with its amazing vibrant art scene with artists from all around the world, and its growing tech scene drawing engineers and entrepreneurs also from around the world. You’ll find us at exhibitions at Martin Gropius Bau, but also hanging at Machine Learning or Bitcoin meetups. Berlin has a “dysraphic” history — a continual state of tearing down, changing and rebuilding, most evidenced by Berlin’s buildings. The common thread behind this all is the nature of Berlin’s people: in a word, subversive. Not content with the rules, finding ways to bend them, finding ways to change the environment. At Berlin you get to be who you choose and how you choose.
In many ways, ascribe is a reflection of Berlin itself. ascribe’s DNA is both art and tech — we have pros from both worlds, with passion for art and tech going back to our childhoods. Like Berlin itself, we’re highly international: the founders have lived all over the world (Canada, Belgium, China, Israel, France, Germany, USA, Thailand), and our employees are a veritable United Nations (Portugal, Italy, Canada, Belgium, USA, and even Germany). To get the very best people, we’ve sampled the world. Most importantly, we view ourselves as subversive: finding ways to change the environment to make the world a better place. We choose to be on a mission to help creators get fairly compensated for their works.
When we’re in the Bay Area, we often get asked “when are you moving to Silicon Valley?” Talk about a loaded question. Hah – we’re not. Berlin is a great place to live, and a great place to build a company — especially when we’re trying to serve the art world. We’ve already had several employees move from Canada and USA to join us. Our friend Lars describes how, in the early 2000s, people thought they were crazy trying to build a tech startup in Berlin. That company, Zanox, now has >$1B revenue. That was just the first of the wave; now we have SoundCloud, Zalando, Rocket, and many, many more. So, sorry my dear friends in SF, we’re staying in Berlin!
Berlin – we love you. Truly yours, ascribe.