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Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle [Kindle Edition]

Dan Senor , Saul Singer
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (245 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hampered by an Arab nation boycott that makes regional trade impossible and endowed with precious little by way of natural resources, Israel has beaten the odds to become a major player in the global business world, especially in the technology sector. With the highest number of startups per capita of any nation in the world and massive venture capital investment, Israel is one of the world's entrepreneurship hubs. Senor, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Singer (Confronting Jihad) track Israel's economic prowess using a number of factors, including the social networks and leadership training provided by Israel's mandatory military and reserve service, a culture of critique fostered by centuries of Jewish tradition and an open immigration policy for Jews that continually restocks Israel's population with motivated people from around the world—all of which foster a business climate in which risk is embraced and good ideas are given a chance to grow. The authors ground their analysis in case studies and interviews with some of Israel's most brilliant innovators to make this a rich and insightful read not just for business leaders and policy makers but for anyone curious about contemporary Israeli culture. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"There is a great deal for America to learn from the very impressive Israeli entrepreneurial model... START-UP NATION is a playbook for every CEO who wants to develop the next generation of corporate leaders."

(Special correspondent for NBC News, and bestselling author of The Greatest Generation Tom Brokaw )

"In the midst of the chaos of the Middle East, there's a remarkable story of innovation. START-UP NATION is... a timely book and a much-needed celebration of the entrepreneurial spirit."
(former CEO of eBay Meg Whitman )

"Senor and Singer's experience[s]...come to life in their illuminating, timely, and often surprising analysis."

(anchor of ABC's "This Week" George Stephanopoulos )

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

"An edifying, cogent report."

(Kirkus )

"A rich and insightful read."

(Publishers Weekly )

"Saul Singer's Confronting Jihad should be mandatory reading for anyone, layman or expert, interested in the real Middle East." (historian and bestselling author of Six Days of War Michael Oren )

Product Details

  • File Size: 661 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Twelve (November 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002T3GGVI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #375,798 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
107 of 119 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a serial entrepreneur, VC and angel investor, and teacher of entrepreneurship for many years, I am enthralled by "Startup Nation". It is a fascinating story of how Israel has succeeded disproportionately to its size and certainly to its geographic situation. It teaches valuable and unique lessons about region building and industry building. The principles of the country that stimulate individual entrepreneurial behavior in the military, in agriculture, and especially in high technology are lessons for all. I have shared the book with several leaders of industry and finance who have seen it as a remarkably interesting read.
Congratulations to the authors.

Edward Roberts
Professor of Management of Technology, MIT Sloan School of Management
Founder and Chair, MIT Entrepreneurship Center
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189 of 216 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
There is a growing literature which speaks of the distinctiveness of Israel and its unique contribution to global culture. I think most recently of George Gilder's outstanding 'The Israel Test'. No doubt one impulse for the creation of such books has been the worldwide campaign to delegitimize Israel, as prelude to physically destroying it. Thus the very pro- Israel books come in a way as contributions to the justification of the Jewish state, and as defense of it. What is of course distressing about this, and the need for paeans to Israeli exceptionality is the fact that Israel is the only country in the world which is required to 'justify' its existence in this way.
In any case this present book focuses on Israel's scientific and even more technological achievements. It speaks about the Israeli reaction to the Arab boycott, and the special situation of 'confinement' Israelis feel at not having normal access to neighboring countries. Israel is a very small country physically and thus many have a certain claustrophobic sense , especially those youngsters who have served in the Army. After the Army many young people adventurously use their new - found freedom.
Two forms of this are the trekking Israelis do throughout distant regions of the world, with special emphasis on South America, and the India- Nepal region, and the 'tech-ing' Israelis do in creating start-ups at a rate all out of proportion to their numbers in the world. Israelis have hooked into high- tech communications and rode on the wave of a world economy which is increasingly electronic.
The start- ups too come in part because of an encouraging government policy, which devotes a high proportion of funds to research.
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74 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read November 7, 2009
By Coach K
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an enjoyable read that highlights how Israel has come to become such a leader in high tech startups. It is quick, light reading that explores the historical and cultural aspects that lead so many Israelis to pursue entrepreneurship.

In Israel, it seems, there is a culture that embraces the questioning of authority, a flat hierarchical structure across society, and risk seeking behavior. For those who have traveled to Israel, these notions will not be unfamiliar to you. Furthermore, the book explores how the contacts made during mandatory army service serve as valuable social networking tools later on.

The book was exactly was I was hoping for. It is written for the layperson, and did not read like an academic journal. While most books about Israel focus on its conflict with the Palestinians, this book only brought up politics and conflict as it pertained to the subject at hand, and didn't editorialize in the process. Furthermore, the multitude of stories and vignettes made it a engaging read that held my interest for the time I sat reading it.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Clusters January 13, 2010
Format:Hardcover
Beyond Clusters: Review of Dan Senor & Saul Singer, Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle (Twelve, 2009).
Ari Applbaum
December 2009

I wrote my first business plan in high school. The two-page plan (perhaps an overstatement) was promptly filed and forgotten instead of pitched to investors. The concept of offering free internet access to attract an audience for highly targeted advertising was later "stolen" by California-based NetZero, a company once valued at three billion dollars. This type of Chutzpa, a teenager's audacity to think he could reinvent the way people connect to the Internet, is not uncommon in Israel.

But why? Why does Israel produce "more start-up companies than large, peaceful and stable nations like Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada and the United Kingdom?" Why is it that "after the United States, Israel has more companies listed on the NASDAQ than any other country in the world?" These are the questions Dan Senor and Saul Singer set out to answer in their short and intriguing book.

Senor and Singer begin by asserting that the answer "it's simple - Jews are smart, so it's no surprise that Israel is innovative" will not suffice as it "obscures more than it reveals". Instead they offer a thesis based on the Cluster Theory of Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter. Porter's clusters are "geographic concentrations of interconnected companies, specialized suppliers, service providers, and associated institutions in a particular field,(1)" in Israel's case, high-tech. The closeness and interconnectedness of such institutions help foster innovation and economic growth. The authors demonstrate throughout the book how Israel serves as a cluster, if not The Cluster, of high-tech.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I haven't finished it, but what I read is very interesting
Published 2 days ago by Leticia Lozano
5.0 out of 5 stars What are the essential ingredients for a prosperous economy, ...
What are the essential ingredients for a prosperous economy, successful company, and business career? It's all here in this one book. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Harry DeNoers
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping insight into innovation and tenacity.
I was spellbound by the narrative of early pioneers of inventiveness and dogged determination against all odds.
A must for all entrepreneurs.
Published 19 days ago by Carole
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, easy reading
Great book, easy reading, and how the authors write makes you interested. I read the book in less than a month.
Published 29 days ago by Agustin Zalcberg Weissmann
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW
If one of us can put a thousand to flight...then two of us....Shemot Somewhere

Israel, mired in bureaucracy, mired in a lentils and rice mentality, suddenly awoke and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sarah Child's
5.0 out of 5 stars A Clear Explanation
Well written. Compelling. This is a clear and concise explanation for Israel's economic success is a relatively short period of time. A good read.
Published 1 month ago by J. D. Kling
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Nation
The story of how a refugee people starting without even a country and no resources have developed a first world economy and become the most powerful nation in the Middle East in... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Chitambo
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Miss This Book!
Well written and filled with amazing information! Who knew you could learn so much about Israel and the rest of the world in such an easy read?
Published 3 months ago by Alan G. Ehrlich
5.0 out of 5 stars an excellemt book tomread
Motivating, accurate and very descreptive with hundreds of examples! Every enterpreneur should read and compare with whats happening in ones country
Published 3 months ago by Antonis Antoniou G.
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book
Israel's high tech success is attributed in part to national service in the army for most Israeli's. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Nancy Shinno
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