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Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle [Paperback]

Dan Senor , Saul Singer
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
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Book Description

6 Oct 2011

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.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Twelve (6 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455502391
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455502394
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Vivid stories of entrepeneurial success Wall Street Journal Fascinating and illuminating...indispensable -- Jeffrey Goldberg Atlantic What's the business plan? Chutzpah. Lots of it...The book weaves together colorful stories of Israeli technological triumphs...and it is marvelous Washington Post Fascinating stories of innovative ideas and huge gambles that have paid off -- Fareed Zakaria CNN

Book Description

What the world can learn from Israel's meteoric economic success.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Israel - a Crucible of Innovation 30 Dec 2009
In recent years the Israeli economy has topped world metrics in the number of business start-ups and value of venture capital investment per head of population. It also has the highest civilian R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP. This is extraordinary for a country the size of Wales which is only 60 or so years old, has negligible natural resources and has survived wars, terror attacks and incessant political hostility.

`Start-Up Nation' tries to explain the combination of factors and circumstances that have created this unusually strong start-up culture. The title is a play on the words "Upstart Nation". Israelis are no great respecters of status and hierarchy and they prefer to deal with problems and ideas on their merits, even if egos get bruised as a result. They are happy to question conventions and assumptions. A potent mix of natural self-confidence, technological expertise and innovative thinking has served to underpin the calculated risk-taking of hi-tech entrepreneurship.

Thirteen chapters each cover a major contributory factor. Here are a few that I found particularly noteworthy ...

Compulsory military service is cited as having a major formative effect on the `Israeli mentality'. At a young age, many Israelis have to surmount physical and psychological hardship and learn the importance of teamwork and loyalty to unit and comrades. Officers are given serious responsibility at a younger age than in Western armies. Military service also creates valuable social networks, which are preserved and strengthened through annual reserve-duty. Two units in particular, 8200 and Talpiot, are given mention as they produce a high number of eventual start-up pioneers due to the intensive analytical and technological training that recruits undergo.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Master Piece 14 Dec 2009
Start-Up Nation is a master piece. I read it from cover to cover within 24hrs of receiving it from Amazon. There is so much developing countries in Africa can learn from that book. The book also inspires with its message of "dare the impossible". Israel is a glowing example of how any country that is willing can overcome nature's short comings. Countries with so much resource, like my country Nigeria, have no excuse for failing to develop. I congratulate Dan Senor and Saul Singer for telling such a wonderful story in a breezy and enjoyable style. I extend my gratitude to Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN Global Public Square for recommending the book to viewers around the world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars book review 20 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent book and quite an inspiration that most people and modern nations can take note of. A must read for all
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the spirit of innovation and creativity 17 Jan 2014
This book explains how Israel is embodied by the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship.
It is not as I feared it might be a dry text book but a very engrossing book on the Israeli spirit-the same spirit which turned swamps and desert wastelands many decades ago into thriving and fertile land- and how this has kept Israel as a leader in the technological, business and medical field.
A large part of the reason is the Israeli attitude of chutzpah , a Hebrew word borrowed from Yiddish which means gall, effrontery, bravery, nerve, incredible guts plus a dose of arrogance.
As the authors explain 'An outside would see chutzpah everywhere in Israel: In the way university students speak with their professors, employees challenge their bosses, sergeants question their generals, and clerks second guess government ministers. To Israelis however this isn't chutzpah, its the normal mode of being."

The Israeli learns survival, toughness and perseverance in the army, which all Israelis must serve in from ages 18 to 20, and where they make lifelong networks of friends and professional/business colleagues. what is unique about the Israeli army is the bottom up approach. the tactical innovation comes from the bottom up, from individual tank commanders and their officers.
This approach has morphed into Israeli professional, business, scientific and academic life.

Part of the reason for Israeli innovation and self-reliance has been the isolation and need to survive in a neighborhood of enemies that want every Israeli Jew dead down to the last child. As the authors explain "Long before there was a State of Israel there was already isolation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Too many people had told me I must read this book, so I did and it was well worth it. I run a business angel network and this book gave me a real understanding of some success factors I'd hardly considered.

My jaw dropped at some of the stuff in here. This book is frankly a must-read for anyone involved in the entrepreneurial community. And I'd love to see policy 'experts' in government reading it and learning.

If you want to understand how success was achieved in technical innovation leading to economic growth then read the book. More importantly, if you want to see what the rest of us are not doing to achieve this - read the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Window to the Israel Business World 11 Feb 2012
By HyFligh
A lot of the info presented is old info for those "in the know" but presented in a refreshing way with a lot of facts for the uninitiated. How many know that Intel became the PC chip leader thru its Israeli operations? How many know ISCAR is one of the worlds leading carbide tool manufactures? Easy reading---Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A story of how Israel has turned ingenuity into economic advantage
This is a well researched book that provides an excellent insight into how a small nation with an open door policy to Jewish immigrants from anywhere in the world could produce so... Read more
Published 16 days ago by David A Greene
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst country on Earth
Israel's economy is based on stealing the land of Palestinians, stealing from the US and German taxpayer, and slave labour of the native population.
Published 1 month ago by Zero
4.0 out of 5 stars an insightful masterpiece for entrepreneurs
A must read if you are looking to start-up any business. Merging the tech start up in Israel with how they view business and create companies has been educating and insightful
Published 3 months ago by Gmonie
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, great insight
I recently started to work for an Israelie company and I was trying to understand more of the culture. A colleague recommended this book. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Wise Mountain
5.0 out of 5 stars Why it's so much fun working with Israelis
I was given this book and have enjoyed the analysis of the Israeli character, and why innovation is so pervasive. Read more
Published 19 months ago by A. Hurden
3.0 out of 5 stars An army and a threat to your nation the answer?
I agree with the more sceptical reviewers. I find this very interesting reading (I actually listened to it). However... Read more
Published 24 months ago by mats
3.0 out of 5 stars Relentless.
Israel is super-competitive because Israeli's are intensely inquisitive, constantly challenge authority and accepted wisdom and remain under imminent threat of annihilation. Read more
Published on 2 May 2012 by Hugh Claffey
5.0 out of 5 stars Great.
Useful for increase the social level of every body and every country.
The book shows how many things are been invented by a little community, things useful for the mankind... Read more
Published on 1 May 2012 by white wolf
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring reading.
Great reading and interesting ideas. Important to keep in mind that Israel has unique sociological factors, difficult to apply in other countries, but still a book worth reading
Published on 30 April 2012 by dmcer
5.0 out of 5 stars Israel: Start-Up Nation
Anybody partnering with fast-paced, highly innovative Israeli companies, should read this book: the country's history and the cultural values, which have shaped the strong Israeli... Read more
Published on 9 April 2012 by pepita
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