The real story behind the German Netflix series

In four episodes, “The Billion Dollar Code” tells about the two hackers Juri Müller and Carsten Schlüter, who met at a student party in the early 90s – and who together have an idea that is far beyond the capabilities of the Chaos Computer Club. They want to build a machine that can navigate to any point on planet earth on a screen. Ambitious? Surely. Expensive? In any case. But with a little financial help from Deutsche Telekom and a team of young, motivated computer nerds, they succeeded in presenting their project under the name “Terra Vision” at the 1994 ITU conference in Kyoto.

But 20 years later, the two committed programmers are in one Litigation. After their triumphal march, which took them to Silicon Valley, they let themselves be ripped off by business people – at least that’s their reproach. You are suing Google. The mega-corporation is supposed to for Google Earth with the Terra Vision algorithm to have. So a mental plagiarism. “The Billion Dollar Code” tells both sides of the story, on two timeframes: the rapid rise of the programmers in the 90s, and the aftershock of their deep fall in the process against Google.

This “David against Goliath” fight, which – let me say so much – cost more than it brought in, really did exist. The series tells the story as authentically as possible. Except for one small but important change: Juri Müller and Carsten Schlüter are pure inventions. In truth, there were four minds behind Terra Vision, this one combined into two people will. Gerd Grüneis and Joachim Sauter became Carsten Schlüter, while Pavel Mayer and Axel Schmidt are bundled in Juri Müller.

Otherwise, “The Billion Dollar Code” is an interesting lesson in the beginnings of the great start-up successes through algorithms and a gripping judicial drama that tells more in five hours than some series can manage twice as long. she stands on Netflix since October 7th to disposal.

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