Learn From Leaders With Rainer Becker
Senior Director Mobility at BYTON
Rainer has extensive experience in the automotive industry in Europe, Asia, and the US. More than 10 years ago, he was part of the founding team of the worldwide first free floating car sharing offer, car2go. Responsible for business development and operations in Europe he experienced the growth of the company from zero to 500 employees worldwide. He later brought car2go to Chongqing, China, which became the fastest growing car2go location ever. After one year in the US with GM’s ride hailing subsidiary Maven, he joined the electric vehicle startup BYTON to lead the company into the mobility future. Rainer is currently supporting several projects and startups to expand and realize their potential.
Rainer is interested in anything mobility. He has extensive experience and network in the mobility service industry and strongly believes in the future of autonomous electric transportation. Additionally, he has worked on concepts around vehicle connectivity and in-car digital services. His functional focus is in asset management, fleet operations, customer services, and business development. Beyond this, he has a background in managing international teams and cooperations with hands-on experience in three continents.
Favorite quote: “Making a big life change is pretty scary. But know what’s even scarier? Regret.” – Zig Ziglar
Five Questions With Rainer
Q1: How did you get where you are today?
Curiousness. Going out of my way and taking decisions at each fork of life. I often made decisions through unforeseeable and unswayable events that were out of my control. I stopped making long-term plans long time ago. Life is full of surprises. It is important that you use each surprise to start something new – and greater.
Q2: Something you’ve changed your mind about in your career
I started my career in corporates, because I thought that this is where innovations and great things come from, from brands like GE, Mercedes-Benz, or Boeing. At that time, It wasn’t as fashionable as today to start your own business. I realized that corporates innovate evolutionarily. Their organizations and people embrace the certainty that comes with it. They spend a lot of energy on internal structures and relationships, becoming inefficient. This slows you down if you want to move something. One of my past bosses beat this mindset out of us. It was an amazing lesson. Today, I value the lessons I learnt in the corporate environment. It is just very difficult to imagine that I return there.
Q3: One habit that has the most impact on your life
Always work with people who pull you rather than with those who you have to push. If your favorite option requires you to constantly push it to get there, don’t waste that energy. Take the second best or third best that is pulling you and provides you with the momentum you need to make big changes. This is applicable to business partners, investors, peers, bosses, anything.
Q4: One piece of advice for entrepreneurs in your industry
The mobility services industry is immature. Its business models need to be sharpened or even still figured out, its players need to be carved out, customers have to be convinced. There is still a lot of potential for changes and optimization. In this situation, don’t stick endlessly to your original business model and approach. Change. Adapt. With the customer in your mind.
Q5: One important truth that few people agree with you on?
I am from a region in Germany that was shaped by steel factories and coal mines. If someone lit a cigarette underground, you would risk lives if you wasted time with diplomacy. Instead of politely asking them if they would mind to please put it off, your words would be very clear, clear in a way that you probably don’t want to read it here. And you know what? The other person wouldn’t mind even if it hurts. Just the opposite, they should be thankful that this was exactly as clear as it needed to be to prevent an explosion. Be straightforward. Name it what it is. Rather, everybody is now clear instead of facing a disaster. And with a glass of beer together after the shift, you can still be buddies.
Bonus: What excites you about the future of technology?
That we can’t imagine it. It is full of surprises. People tend to hint about the future based on today’s knowledge and possibilities, on today’s regulations and social pressures. This is a substantial restriction. They don’t take into account that there will be leaps, that there will be side steps, that technology doesn’t evolve in a straight line. All these make the future of technology erratic – exciting! So, don’t try to imagine it, try to be a leap.