Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle

by Dan Senor

Other authorsSaul Singer
Book, 2009



Call number

855 SEN



New York : Twelve, 2009.


"What the world can learn from Israel's meteoric economic success."--Provided by the publisher.

User reviews

LibraryThing member elliotc
A very thought provoking case study of how entrepreneurship came to flourish in one region and what lessons can be learned.
LibraryThing member ldmarquet
Dan Senor and Saul Singer – Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle.

How is it that Israel, population 7,500,000 has more companies listed on the NASDAQ than all of Europe, population 300,000,000? Can it be just explained away by their “Jewishness?” This is the question Senor
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and Singer set out to answer in their new book, Start-up Nation.
Dan Senor is a policy advisor and political analyst, currently adjunct senior fellow for Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Saul Singer is a journalist living in Jerusalem. They approach this anecdotally, stitching together a explanation that includes the impact of the military, the role of the reserve structure, the collection of quality universities, the continuing influx of motivated and risk-embracing immigrants, and perversely, the constraint that Israeli companies cannot trade with any of the countries on its border.

The role of the military on developing a specific culture of innovation and chutzpah is most interesting to me. There are two aspects that the authors emphasize. First, because of the threat to the nation, there is a zealous dedication to leadership mechanisms that work. This includes boisterous debate prior to decisions and robust and honest deconstructions of events after the fact. Members learn to respect competence, and have an irreverence for rank. The second important contribution is Israel’s reserve structure. In effect, military organizations coming together annually to drill form egalitarian networks that would-be entrepreneurs tap in to.

Another structural aspect of the Israeli military is it’s relative understaffing of senior officers relative to junior officers: 1 to 5 in the U.S. Army; 1 to 9 in the IDF. This deliberately lean staffing results in junior officers being thrust into position where they must make key decisions early in their careers. They are tested and their judgment honed.

I’m not Jewish but I can’t help but think there’s at least one more thing at play here, not reported by the authors. My experience is that trust significantly reduces transaction costs and speeds interaction. I wonder what the almost homogeneous Jewish population plays in allowing strangers to achieve high levels of trust rapidly, quickly achieving collaborative and common success.

My name is David Marquet, from Practicum, Inc and we help our customers get everyone be a leader and avoid casting employees into follower roles. To continue the dialogue respond to or follow our blog or follow us on twitter. @totheleadernyou.
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LibraryThing member GShuk
This audio does not live up to its title. There are some very interesting stories of Israel’s entrepreneurial landscape and success; however it is biased to the point of being a marketing pitch. He made Israel sound like without them there would not be a laptop and makes one wish they could be in
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the army and the US subsides had little impact on their success etc. While his theories may be true they were not backed up and mixed with their biased perspective it did not come close to explaining Israel’s Economic Miracle.
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LibraryThing member corinneblackmer
This is a must read for people interested in what policies might actually work to combat environmental disaster, economic decline, and the erosion of civil society. Israel, a nation of little over seven million people, has more companies on NASDAQ than all of Europe combined; its military veterans,
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far from succumbing to homelessness and PTSD, are groomed as successful heads of start up companies that specialize in innovation and risk-taking. The authors set out to explain and elucidate these and other noteworthy phenomenon in this remarkable country, more remarkable given that Israel is a small, new country surrounded by fanatical foes.
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LibraryThing member Lonsing
Interesting read about why many Israeli technology sector start-ups are successful.
LibraryThing member JBGUSA
Excellent book about Israel's role as a hi-tech country.
LibraryThing member danoomistmatiste
A very interesting book, probably one of the best reads for me for this year. It details the close ties between the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and the nation's entrepreneurial class as in a large number of startups are formed by former members of IDF.

A lot of use cases and examples are cited. How
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adversity and an hostile environment has led people to be that much more aggressive and inventive. A highly recommended read.
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