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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2009 Dan Senor and Saul Singer; (P)2009 Gildan Media Corp

Critic Reviews

"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)
"No one else, in my judgment, has written regularly about Israel in recent years with more clarity than Singer." (William Kristol, Editor, The Weekly Standard)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Story

underwhelming, and confusing

The book has 16 chapters, it is not until chapter 7 that the authors stop focusing almost exclusively on extolling the virtues is the Israeli military.

Few books I have read had have so quickly been overtaken by events. As a non Israeli I struggle to see what is should take away from reading this book apart from 'you should be more Jewish in character'. A lot of the rest just seems like post hoc analysis of cherry picked Israeli successes.

One potential learning could be that immigration is good for growth, but it is hard to justify going through the whole book to synthesis this.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating

A must read for all business leaders, education management professionals, entrepreneurs and anyone interested in growing their environment. I learned a great deal.

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  • J.Alvarez
  • Lake Mary, FL, United States
  • 04-28-15

Shows how Israel stimulates entrepreneurship

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.

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very interesting facts good read

Great book glad I read it very interesting facts about il, it core, patents and a nation value

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  • Blake
  • Colorado Springs, CO
  • 04-20-15

Fascinating Information!

Where does Start-Up Nation rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

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.

Any additional comments?

The reading was well done and the book was compelling.

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  • A
  • 03-08-15

Producing innovation.

A view into how innovation happens when a society at all levels learns, teaches, learns again and continues to question in order to achieve.

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Very powerful

Very interesting insight into Israel's culture and mindset. Did know nothing about it before,got excited.

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Very good book!

With the very good explanations, that this book offers, of Israel economic miracle, one can learn a lot about entrepreneurship

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Great story about Israel & startup mentality

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

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  • Renee
  • Brooklyn, NY
  • 01-03-15

Fascinating read

I learned a lot about Israel and its culture and how its poised to be the next super power. Great read