If you haven’t heard about the new book, Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle get ready for a treat. This book is already making waves in the Israeli hi-tech community and well beyond, and promises to be an instant and lasting classic. An Amazon bestseller its first week out, Start-up Nation is perhaps the best insight yet into the phenomena that is the entrepreneurship-driven Israeli economy.
Written by Dan Senor, senior fellow for Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Jerusalem Post columnist Saul Singer, the book asks and answers the question; How is it that a nation only 60 years old, 7 million people strong (smaller than New Jersey), literally surrounded by enemies, in a constant state of war since its founding and with no natural resources, has:
- Highest concentration of startups in the world
- Most VC investments per capita in the world
- More NASDAQ listed companies than any country besides the US, more than all of Europe, India, China and Japan combined
- Economy barely hit by global economic crisis
In short, how do we kick ass with such little feet? The book and its answers are particularly timely for a world struggling out of a global economic crisis. Most agree that there’s only one way out; Innovation, and Israel is its hotbed.
What Drives the Innovation?
Without stealing the thunder from this uniquely well written book, here are a few of the observations Dan and Saul present from detailed case studies and interviews with Israel’s top innovators:
- Israeli immigration and assimilation policies bring and support a highly motivated, diversified pool of talent into the country.
- Israel spends more as a percentage of our economy on R&D than any other country in the world and knows how to make that money relevant to startups.
- Israel actively cultivates a culture of entrepreneurship and leadership in the military. Teenagers are not only given the responsibility to make life-saving decisions, typically with little data, but to question authority regularly in doing so.
- The Israeli economy respects and knows how to integrate the unique talents and “chutzpah” developed by soldiers in the military.
The reason this book is so important is that it puts a spotlight on a side of Israel that most people never think about and surely don’t see on national news in the US. See Dan on NBC’s Squawk Box, Morning Joe and Meet the Press. If that doesn’t swell your chest up with pride, you’ve got a cold. Go get this book and spread the word.
“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.” – Tom Brokaw, NBC
Dan and Saul’s TechAviv World Tour
Want to meet the authors? So do we so we’ve invited them to speak at all of our TechAviv events worldwide (IL, CA, MA, NY) starting with New York on Nov 12th. Got a question or comment for Dan or Saul, leave them in the comments section or tweet them here and here.