START-UP NATION addresses the trillion dollar question: How is it that Israel-- a country of Author interviews, book reviews, editors' picks, and more. START-UP NATION addresses the trillion dollar question: How is it that Israel – a country of million, only 60 years old, surrounded by enemies, in a constant. The Council on Foreign Relations states in its publisher's blurb for the book that Start-up Nation addresses the question: "How is.
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Start-up Nation book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. START-UP NATION addresses the trillion dollar question: How is it. This is a book about innovation and entrepreneurship, and how one small country, Israel, came to embody both. This is not a book about technology, even. For a small country, Israel punches far above its weight as a global hub of innovation and tech entrepreneurship. Start-Up Nation explores the country's history.
Persistence and Resilience: That chutzpah helps Israelis keep their strong resilience, and assures them that they are good people, they are smart people, they are honest people and they do the right thing even when everyone around them are not. Compulsory Service in a Unique Military Another contributing factor is that Israel has a compulsory military service for all citizens over the age of 18, three years for men and two years for women.
Innovation comes from having a unique perspective. Perspective comes from knowledge. Knowledge comes from a wide variety of experiences during a long life. By the time they get to college, their heads are in a different place than their American counterparts. Much of this experience Israelis get comes from its compulsory military service, which not only provides early training in some very sophisticated technologies, it often entails very serious life-and-death situations that teach Israelis to think quickly on their feet and make tough decisions under extremely stressful conditions.
The IDF also has a very unique, anti-hierarchical structure, which results in very few levels of middle and upper management. The result of this is, very young soldiers barely out of their teens serve on the front lines of battle with minimal guidance from superiors. The IDF places a very strong emphasis on soldiers taking personal responsibility.
This leads to soldiers having to solve problems on their own on the front lines of battle, under incredible pressure, in very intense real world, life-and-death situations. As a result, IDF soldiers get a more mature perspective on life at a younger age than Americans do at the same age.
One Israeli soldier explains it like this: If a terrorist infiltrates that area, there's a company commander whose name is on it. Tell me how many twenty-three-year-olds elsewhere in the world live with that kind of pressure How many of their peers in their junior colleges have been tested in such a way? How do you train and mature a twenty-year-old to shoulder such responsibility? Quote from page I witnessed this twice personally. I actually liked the guy, but I was outvoted. They voted out a colonel.
You're not good. You go to the person above him and say, 'That guy's got to go. It's much more performance-oriented than it is about rank. There is also a cultural tolerance in Israel for what some call "constructive failure" or "intelligent failures. In the IDF, there is a tendency to treat all performance, both successful and unsuccessful, both in training simulations and in live battle, as value-neutral. So long as the risk was taken intelligently, and not recklessly, even if the performance failed, there is something to be learned.
Yosma Israel's economic miracle is due as much to immigration as to anything. That is three times the ratio of immigrants to natives in the U. Israel is now home to more than 70 diverse nationalities and cultures.
The success of the Venture Capital industry in Israel grew even stronger with the creation of a program they named Yozma Hebrew for "initiative". Israeli venture capitalists in training, a foreign venture capital firm, and an Israeli investment company or bank. Venture capital was the match that ignited the fire.
MashUps and Alacrity Mashups: Israelis will think nothing of working in fields that combine mathematics, biology, computer science, chemistry and other specialties. Everyone becomes a jack-of-all trades, thinking nothing of combining radically different technologies and disciplines. When an Israeli man wants to date a woman, he cheerfully asks her out that same night.
He does not wait, mulling over his chances of rejection. When an Israeli entrepreneur has a business idea, he will start it that week. He does not wait mulling over his chances of failure. The notion that one should accumulate all of his credentials before launching a venture simply does not exist in Israeli culture.
Too much time procrastinating can only teach you what can go wrong, not what could be transformative. Clusters of People with Strong Bonds Clusters in businesses are based on "geographic concentrations" of interconnected institutions businesses, government agencies, and universities in a specific field. Clusters are just communities of people who live and work and even raise families closely together so everyone is connected to each other in some way or another.
This includes the same people who also serve together in the same military units fighting to defend their home turf against enemies who want to annihilate them for being Jewish, then go on to learn together at the same great universities, and go on to work at the same start-up companies, live in the same communities where they raise families where their children go to the same schools together, etc, etc That same "social glue" that binds a cluster together also provides critical access to information and talented people in their fields.
The cluster's sense of shared commitment and destiny on both a personal and professional level, like that of Israel and Silicon Valley, are not easy to create, but when it is created, it results in robust economic growth.
Strongly Recommended It has been said that Israel is a country with no natural resources. View all 15 comments. Jan 26, Mohamed Sabry rated it really liked it Shelves: Jan 22, E. Nathasia rated it really liked it.
The book started out as merely a discussion between the two author that leads to twenty-eight Harvard Business School classmates going to Israel to explore its economy, politics and history.
At the end of the week, everyone asked the same question, 'Where did all this innovation and entrepreneurship come from? Its economy was barely touched by the global financial crisis. Among interesting explanation for Israel's success might be called the chutzpah thesis, the belief that Israelis rejects conventional, hierarchical values, overcome setbacks and failures, and embrace adversity. We can learn a lot of things from Israel, I wish everyone would read this book and together we can change our country!
Mar 31, Chadi rated it really liked it. This book is a must read for everyone in the arab world especially politicians and leaders , it explains this huge gulf between "Israel" and the Arab world. I've been completely ignorant until I got recommended to read this book by a trusted friend.
Some facts in this book are just totally astonishing! Actually I've completed reading 3 or 4 days ago but this will have to be revised again and again. Just feel the urge to review xD. View 1 comment.
Aug 07, Andrew Rosner added it. An inspiring, terrific book. Israel is a tiny nation of seven million people with few natural resources, surrounded by countries eager for its destruction. How has it developed into a high-tech tiger in the face of such adversity? In this brief but lively account, authors Dan Senor and Saul Singer explain how Israel has made a habit of turning disadvantages into advantages through continual innovation An inspiring, terrific book.
In this brief but lively account, authors Dan Senor and Saul Singer explain how Israel has made a habit of turning disadvantages into advantages through continual innovation and adaptation.
There are several possible explanations, including the positive influence of the Israeli military, but it's a lot more than that: Considering the lack of cultural self-confidence and the economic malaise pervading the majority of liberal democracies these days, it might be time to take a page out of the Israeli playbook.
Oct 19, Ari rated it really liked it. Go far, stay long, see deep. Jul 09, K rated it liked it Recommends it for: A shot in the arm for a proud zionist, "Start-up Nation" asks the following question: Cu A shot in the arm for a proud zionist, "Start-up Nation" asks the following question: Culturally, Israelis are a persistent people. While socially this often manifests as perceived rudeness, in the business world this is an asset.
Israel's mandatory army experience is conducive to developing maturity, responsibility, initiative, networking, and a wide range of job skills. Israelis tend to innovate rather than remaining set in their ways, even after success. Israel welcomes immigration, and Israel's new immigrants are a boon to the economy.
Israeli workers respond to outside attacks and other adversity with efforts to work harder and prove themselves. For example, when France abruptly stopped supplying Israel with arms, Israel began developing the technology to create their own.
The Israeli government has created programs to offer venture capital to start-ups. Israel has a "multitask mentality" which results in flexible thinking and creative solutions. Overall, Israel has a unique combination of a strong educational system, encouragement and funding for research and development, culturally reinforced aggressiveness as well as a team orientation, and an integral sense of "being small and aiming big.
The anecdotes occasionally felt repetitive and started to blur into one another after a while. With that said, it's still a great feeling to finish a book thinking, "Go Israel!
Sep 17, Chi Pham rated it liked it Shelves: Even though I finshed this book like 3 days ago, I still have a lot of lingering feelings about it, to the point that I decide to write them all out. This book is about Israel, but somehow it is not about Israel.
This is actually a nostalgic book about what the author thinks early America stands for: The author portrays Israel a Even though I finshed this book like 3 days ago, I still have a lot of lingering feelings about it, to the point that I decide to write them all out. The author portrays Israel as somehow the central place to the narrative of a new American dream - a piece of fantasy that Americans themselves seem to have lost over years of experimenting with history.
But it is a fantasy nevertheless, and to have that fantasy prescribed over the economic miracle of Israel is somehow problematic. For that reason, I feel a little troubled reading this book. I hope that I am not the only one who feels that way. Aug 20, Undrakh Ganzorig rated it it was amazing Shelves: As the authors mentioned, of course, there are threats to this robust growth, and the stories have probably omitted the struggles of daily lives of Israelis. Even so, this was a very inspiring first look at the development of a country I had very little knowledge about and I certainly want to read more about the ingenuity of the People of the Book.
Whoever was closest to the coffee pot would go make it. Sep 14, Fahad Naeem rated it liked it Shelves: This book is a clear praising-to-the-heaven type.
From the start to the end, you will find Dan Senor being deeply in love with the Israeli nation that it looks like a biased book. The author presents that Israeli IDF in specific and military in general is the main reason behind the entrepreneur-culture in Israel. It's policy of absorbing immigrants and support for the start-ups making it a country based on economic-research.
The bad thing was that Dan consistently glorified IDF as he were its spok This book is a clear praising-to-the-heaven type. The bad thing was that Dan consistently glorified IDF as he were its spokesperson. This book is good from the learning point for those who're interested in entrepreneurship and business. Jun 30, Alex Timberman rated it really liked it Shelves: Israel with just a little over 7 million people is able to create more hi-tech startups than any country in the world besides the United States.
The authors pointed at several reasons with good case studies. One reason is that Israel has a conscription military service. All men enter the military and learn skills that spill over into their civilian lives. To enter into a highly trained unit in the Israel Defense Forces is like entering into Ha Israel with just a little over 7 million people is able to create more hi-tech startups than any country in the world besides the United States.
To enter into a highly trained unit in the Israel Defense Forces is like entering into Harvard or Yale. If you enter, it is a badge of honor. They will train you and spend a lot of resources to make sure you know the latest technology. This military system in effect helps train Israelis beyond what most college students get around the world. Another reason is that Israel is always under attack. Because of the tough situation, they have to innovate to survive.
Without resources and trade blockages, Israel had no choice but to develop their own technologies and industries to survive. This is similar to Korea and Japan where the biggest resource available is of the human variety. This constant chaotic environment in which the enemy surrounds it has led to the development of technologies in defense, IT, and biotechnology.
There are few other available paths for Israel to be able to compete with its neighbors. Everyone is brazen. Even in the military, hierarchy is not that important. Supposedly, even students behave in this way with teachers from the time they were children. Israelis are raised to always question authority or assumptions and assert themselves whenever possible.
This is in total contrast to Confucian culture and according to the authors, the distinguishing factor between say Israel and Singapore or Korea. Three dynamics that would be difficult for any other nation to emulate, thus giving Israel a strategic upper hand. Is the book persuasive? Israel and its diaspora are clear and great examples of business success. If you are unfamiliar with some of the reasons that go beyond stereotypes, I recommend this book to you.
May 14, Jan Rice rated it really liked it Shelves: If a book discussion is upcoming I'll do my homework and read a book I'd otherwise never pick up, and that's a good thing. I had a negative impression from this title.
I thought it would consist of boosterism and a defensive enumeration of accomplishments as justification for Israel's existence, but, thankfully it was not that.
It was an exploration of why entrepreneurialism, particularly of the hi tech variety, is working so well there, and how to overcome obstacles to that elsewhere. One aspec If a book discussion is upcoming I'll do my homework and read a book I'd otherwise never pick up, and that's a good thing. One aspect of the success is chutzpah and brashness in the context of informality and de-emphasis of hierarchy. Everybody speaks up and challenges management, and everybody takes responsibility. People take risks.
Failure is tolerated--if the party learns from it. Defensiveness is not tolerated. Since about everybody goes into the military at a young age, they also take responsibility at a young age and then transfer that approach to the civilian context.
Multitasking and multi-talents are encouraged. The emphasis, then, is on a true meritocracy, with necessity posed by the various problems the mother of invention.
In that vein, the hostility of neighbors and others apparently has itself led to hi tech products, travel, and new markets. Given the status of the country, Israelis have a deeper purpose beyond simple financial success, much like America during the period we were having to respond to the Sputnik challenge.
It made me a little sad for our country, where I don't think I see so much inspiration at a young age to take responsibility for our direction or even belief that it's theirs to take--and I mean action, not protest--but rather, discouragement, risk-aversion, and anomie.
Something else that made me sad for America: Predictably some reviews lauded the book, while negative reviews looking down their respective noses at Israeli "propaganda," more or less reducing the book to a deflection from the occupation, injustice, etc. So this book is an occasion to stop the negative propaganda. This book also doesn't deal with income inequality or prejudicial treatment of those who don't serve in the military, but, on the other hand, those issues get plenty of treatment elsewhere.
This just isn't that book. There are a lot of positive reviews on Goodreads--including reviews from people in Arab countries wanting to emulate the success. The book aims to make the secret of success an open one, to the extent it can be emulated.
Make enterprise, not war! Jun 06, Howard Olsen rated it it was amazing. A great book about one of the under-told stories out of the Middle East: Senor and Singer analyze Israeli culture, society and institutions in their quest to find out why, for example, so much of Intel's recent growth has come from its Israeli division, or why it is that a nation of just 7 million has had more NASDAQ IPO's than any other, but the US.
The authors look at such factors as t A great book about one of the under-told stories out of the Middle East: The authors look at such factors as the informality of Israeli society, the command structure of the IDF, the waves of immigration that have brought a steady supply of brilliant people who were shut out of their ant-semitic societies. Mostly though, it is Israel itself - an island of safety for the Jewish people - that is the decisive factor.
Israelis learned to think outside the box as a matter of survival. The emblematic story: May 07, Frank Stein rated it really liked it. There are some basic facts about Israel's economy that should make any economist's ears perk up. Israel has more than twice as much venture capital investment per capita as the next most venture intensive country the United States, which itself has twice as much as the following country, Ireland. Israel invests more in civilian research and development than any other country on earth, at 4.
It produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation, has more top universities per capita than any other nation, and so on. All this in a tiny country of barely 7 million people, completely surrounded by hostile countries that refuse to trade or often even acknowledge Israel's existence. Clearly it is doing something right. This book tries to explain this economic success through anecdotes, which illustrate some Israeli cultural and institutional traits.
Although the authors' arguments for these traits' connection to economic dynamism is not always convincing, they do provide a wonderful glimpse into the social milieu of a very distinctive country. One fact that the book hammers home is the importance of the Israeli experience in the military. Since just about every able-bodied adult is drafted on their graduation from high school, Israelis learn to take command from a very early age.
Based on their findings, Senor and Singer assert that the United States, and the world, have "much to learn from Israel," especially during the recovery from the recent economic downturn.
A New York Times blog best seller.
A Washington Post best seller. Vividly illustrates how Israel has developed a culture where authority not only can be challenged, but must be There is a great deal for America to learn from the very impressive Israeli entrepreneurial model—beginning with a culture of leadership and risk management.
Start-Up Nation is a playbook for every CEO who wants to develop the next generation of corporate leaders. Senor and Singer's experience in government, in business, and in journalism—and especially on the ground in the Middle East—come to life in their illuminating, timely, and often surprising analysis. In the midst of the chaos of the Middle East, there's a remarkable story of innovation. Start-Up Nation is filled with inspiring insights into what's behind Israel's dynamic economy.
It is a timely book and a much-needed celebration of the entrepreneurial spirit. Senor and Singer highlight some important lessons and sound instruction for countries struggling to enter the 21st century. An edifying, cogent report, as apolitical as reasonably possible, about homemade nation building. The authors ground their analysis in case studies and interviews with some of Israel's most brilliant innovators to make this a rich and insightful read not just for business leaders and policymakers but for anyone curious about contemporary Israeli culture.
International Criminal Court. The Role of the International Criminal Court. Backgrounder by Claire Felter May 30, Labor and Employment. Michael Spence May 28, Renewing America. Skip to main content. Israel Capital Flows Senor and Singer profile several Israeli inventors, investors, and entrepreneurs to provide insight into the resilience of the country's business sector.
Special promotional mailings. Email Address. Barron's Bracing. New Republic This fine book Wall Street Journal An eye-opening look at a side of Israel that most people never think about.