CEO of Mueller Medien
Since 2000, Michael Oschmann is the CEO of Mueller Medien. Anticipating the potential of the Internet, he has been responsible for New Media since the mid-1990s and founded, among others, an internet company that is listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Additionally, he established several online and mobile businesses and managed the convergence of Mueller Medien’s products and companies into the digitally-connected media landscape. Michael Oschmann is an active member of numerous advisory boards and committees concerning different aspects of the media industry. Michael is a member of the Siinda Board.
Q. Do you remember one of your first non-desk jobs?
I totally remember the first job I had also in Müller Medien, actually, I had two jobs that were very important to me.
The first one was mowing the lawn because we had gotten this new tractor. I totally liked that, and I think it was five Deutschmarks I got for mowing the whole afternoon.
The other first serious job I had was stapling paper in our printing factory. This was a little bit hard because you would get a lot of scratches on your fingers. But I really learned about how people feel and how we can really improve processes.
It was not even an assembly line. It was a huge amount of paper and you had to get it right so the machine could get it right.
Q. Do you have a picture of yourself in that tractor?
If there would be one, I would not publish it.
Q. You’re a pretty public man; everyone knows Michael Oschmann. What’s something people might not know about you?
I really would doubt that I’m a public figure. I totally love doing business with different people, but on the other hand, I think, you must focus on the partners you have in a venture, or in a partnership. You need to have good relations, so not so sure about the public and private sides.
On the other hand, I think I’m not that interesting on my private side.
Q. Do you have any hobbies or what do you do in your free time?
I started a little bit more reading right now in my free time when the pandemic started, and networking was not as possible as before. I do read some books which are not related to business when I read.
Also maybe it’s soccer. That is a hobby. I like watching soccer.
Q. Do you have a favourite author or genre?
So in non-fiction, I think it’s the usual suspects. Starting with Michael Porter and similar authors. I like reading things like the Blue Ocean stuff and platform economic things.
I am also turned into a little bit of a history buff and like history books. I read a very long book of 1300 pages called Jerusalem: The Biography by Sebag Montefiore. It was excellent and the other was called Herkunft by Saša Stanišić that was also really interesting.
These are some things I wouldn’t have done maybe 2 or 3 years ago but I initiated in the pandemic.
Q. What about music or movies, are you a fan?
I think we just discovered Netflix in the pandemic. They have some great stories. I like alternative movies, not horror ones, but stories. It also reflects in my music style.
I think its result of being erased in the nineties. I like German techno, European techno, and also alternative rock. It would be really bad if I would be the program director of one of our radio stations because there would not be that much variety.
Q. And what about football, I’m sure you’re a big Schalke fan?
No no, that’s even harder than being a Nuremberg fan. I think you could be proud now if you could remain as a Schalke fan, but the truth is being either a Schalke or Nuremberg fan is much closer to life than being a Bayern fan. So if you survive being a Shalke or Nuremberg fan you can survive the pandemic or any other challenge.
I am absolutely a die hard Nuremberg fan.
The bad thing about soccer is you don’t choose the club, the football club chooses you. You are then caught, and you can’t escape, and you have to make the best out of it.
Q. What is your favourite comfort food?
Is beer considered food?
You can always convince me with a good and interesting beer. But really, I’m very traditionally a guy when it comes to food, So I like Nuremberg Bratwurst, which are a little smaller and spicier, I would miss them if I could not get them. You know Nuremberg is known for spices, going back to medieval times. But I like traditional foods like Schäufele (Roasted Pork Shoulder), Wiener Schnitzel, or a good Currywurst.
So, I’m very traditional and very easy to handle with food and with a good beer.
Q. Do you ever cook with beer?
Um, I think I always take care not to put too much beer in, but I will drink one while cooking, especially during a barbecue.
Q. What message would you like to give Siinda members, partners, and colleagues?
I think we miss seeing each other. We miss our peers in the EU, our Israel peers, those from the US and also from Asia. I think it’s really sad that we don’t have those network events right now. It always was a lot of fun, really exchanging some ideas, and trying to build out new projects, looking at what others do, and we absolutely miss this.
I really hope that we can get together very, very soon. And if you’ve time, please come to Siinda in Berlin, we will take care of you.
Also when you are in Berlin we have our brewery there, and we are really happy to share this experience with you. It has a great beer garden and a nice atmosphere.