START-UP NATION addresses the trillion dollar question: How is it that Israel– a country of 7.1 million, only 60 years old, surrounded by enemies, in a constant state of war since its founding, with no natural resources– produces more start-up companies than large, peaceful, and stable nations like Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada and the UK?
With the savvy of foreign policy insiders, Senor and Singer examine the lessons of the country's adversity-driven culture, which flattens hierarchy and elevates informality– all backed up by government policies focused on innovation. In a world where economies as diverse as Ireland, Singapore and Dubai have tried to re-create the "Israel effect", there are entrepreneurial lessons well worth noting. As America reboots its own economy and can-do spirit, there's never been a better time to look at this remarkable and resilient nation for some impressive, surprising clues.
User Ratings and Reviews
4 Stars Message received despite
I thoroughly enjoyed the premise of this book and the way the use of personal or storied histories exemplified and bolstered that premise.
However the not subtle enough cheerleading was too apparent in some of the exaggerations: not understanding that 10 football fields (1000 yards) is longer than half a mile instead of less; of pushing way too far the distance one emigre could possibly walk in a given time even if Ethiopian; and too many grammatical errors from such as a presumed scholar or salesman.
These relatively minor offenses did taint the perception on the whole in terms of validity.
5 Stars Strategies for survival lead to global successes
An eye-opening and enlightening perspective of the cultural characteristics that have enabled the nation of Israel to not only survive, but to thrive; both in its physical environment and in the world economy. The book is a quick read, and imparts a lot of historical background as well as explanations and examples of Israeli successes as a nation, and through contributions from individual citizens.
The authors take you through the challenges that Israel has faced and continues to address for its survival. They describe the pivotal role of the military in the formation and evolution of its culture and molding of its leaders. The book suggests that the casual attitudes, heavy individual responsibilities, and open-minded approaches fostered in the military service has produced the individuals who spawned the proliferation of innovative technological and business endeavors making Israel now a major and pervasive player in the world economy.
In reading this book, you begin to better understand how many of the social and institutional mores and practices in the United States can actually be barriers to nurturing innovation and start-up initiatives and businesses. It also makes you aware of how the incessant threats to the security of Israel, and its dependence on its citizens' wits and determination for its survival, may provide an opportunity for the rest of the world to see a successful paradigm for future innovation and business.
4 Stars Start-Up Require Clusters and Israel has Them
Senor and Singer's Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle offers extensive interviews and insights into what makes Israel so amazing in starting new innovative companies. Israel is more successful than Europe in high tech! 10% of he population is involved with entrepreneurial businesses. The why and how are the questions.
The book states that American businesses and schools should be actively pursuing Iraq and Afghanistan veterans because many have shown the leadership skills that Israeli's routinely learn. Senor and Singer suggest that Michael Porter's cluster concept is amplified in Israel because mandatory military service forces "everyone to know everyone," which forms from Israeli's having only 1 or 2 degrees of separation and a military that identifies top students in high school for special programs involving teams. In other words, 23-year-old's accomplish things that Americans twice their age haven't with the involvement of a cross-section of society (reserves meet annually), where results truly matter.
Subsequently, hierarchies break down and people develop a wide spectrum of skills. People talk, argue and create mash-ups like pills with cameras built-in. Furthermore, the culture supports "davka:" performing spectacularly when people don't believe in you, and the related concept of "success with survival" which means delivering everything even when you have excuses, such as war, making matters very difficult!
While not a must read; Start-Up Nation is nonetheless food for thought. The features that make Israeli's rude to many people may also make them successful, and refreshingly, to some, honest. Similar countries, such as South Korea, haven't formed many start-ups. This may be due to the excessive politeness shown management by employees! Consider Gladwell's review of South Korean air flight management in Outliers: The Story of Success. Subtle differences force different outcomes.
5 Stars Blue Print for Success
This book really transcends just the history of a nation's success, as it really provides a blueprint for success for any organization. The overall non-bureaucratic environment in many of Israel's start-up technology companies should be studied and implemented by most United States companies. A very worthwhile, informative and easy read. Highly recommended.
5 Stars A terrific account
Finally a terrific account of the melting pot of jewish ingenuity. Thank you for this record.