Germans and Americans have different attitudes on failure. Americans risk failure, while Germans are too afaid. That's the main reason for the lack of innovation in Germany according to David Vickrey's op-ed in the Atlantic Community's Policy Workshop:
The barriers to creating a start-up culture in Germany are both institutional and cultural. Germany lacks the critical mass of independent venture capital groups required to support a significant number of start-ups, and the German research universities lag behind US powerhouses Stanford and MIT. But perhaps the biggest impediment is fear: fear to risk failure. For every WebEx there are ten start-ups that never make it. In the US failure can be a badge of honor and entrepreneurs will try again, while in Germany failure is often stigmatized. By avoiding the risk of failure in innovation, Germany risks long-term economic failure, as innovation is increasingly the key driver of sustainable growth.
Related post in the Atlantic Review: Brain Drain: German YouTube Founder Enjoys the American Dream