The authors (Senor and Singer) use stories on Israeli startups to develop hypotheses on why Israel has many more startups than countries much larger in size and population, even with their constant challenges of war, location and terrain. They argue that military service before college helps young Israelis develop skills, become more resilient and learn to focus on their missions, all of which are useful traits in entrepreneurs. The educational system has a strong emphasis on science and technology, led by Technion, producing many engineers, scientists and inventors. Many of the diaspora return to Israel after gaining experience in the US and other countries. The large number of immigrants also leads to more entrepreneurs. Immigrants are inherently risk takers and are not afraid to fail. Government policies act as facilitators, with specific examples from Shimon Peres and Netanyahu. The evolution of several Israeli startups is covered, including Shai Agassi of electric car company Better Place, Gavriel Iddan of endoscopy camera maker Given Imaging, ICQ instant messenger and others. Large global companies have also established key R&D operations in Israel, including Intel, Google, Cisco, Microsoft and eBay. This audiobook is highly recommended to listeners interested in entrepreneurship and Israeli business history. After listening, you'll better understand why the number of startups per capita in Israel is very high compared to other countries. Narrator performance was very good.
Definitely one of my favorite non-fiction books. It was interesting to explore the psychology of another culture that doesn't have all of the same conventions as many other countries.
The reading was well done and the book was compelling.
Making my way through all the US President a biography at a time.
This is an impressive story about Israel's development of a tech Eco system. While heavily focused on the military necessity that has fostered it, if you put that aside you can see the traits that make startup leaders succeed. If your employees were getting bombed would they rush back to their post so that output wasn't lost! It comes up short on successful examples of how this can be achieve outside joining the Israeli Defence Forces but the reflective reader will see the power of a tight network, team but perhaps reliant an I to challenge rather than subordinate, and a drive for a purpose that is aligned with profit but is more about achieving a larger vision. It's a great read worth your time. Only comment I've read but don't know is Hebrew pronunciation is poor so be ready to ignore that
A fantastic read and definitely thought provoking. A bit different than the recent entrepreneurial books I've read recently which focus on individuals. Start-up Nation is all about the nation of Israel and how they have managed to become the go-to country for start-ups and entrepreneurs. Probably the biggest take-a-way for me was that the culture of the Israelis is such that they don't ever sit comfortable in the status-quo, they are constantly asking questions like “how can this be improved?” or “why not do it differently?”. I also couldn't help but read the book and come away with a huge appreciation for what the Israelis have accomplished in the last 50 years...truly remarkable. For would-be entrepreneurs this book will give you a good idea of the fertile soil for successful start-ups and new business ideas. If you are timid, think it's all been done before, sit comfortably under hierarchical leadership structures, and lack a competitive spirit, this book suggests that you will struggle to compete in business with the leaders coming out of Israel.