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Showing 1-10 of 18 reviews(3 star, Verified Purchases). See all 408 reviews
on March 29, 2016
Multiple good insights. However, found the book to be extremely repetitive and with a limited set of examples of companies to reiterate the same few points on competitive advantages Israel built / formed. With so many startups would have liked more stories and more data on exact numbers.
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on April 28, 2017
Although this book was was incredibly detailed, I found it to be repetitive which distracted me from the core theme
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on February 16, 2016
I like many things about this book, but its economic theorizing is not part of that. The authors seem to argue that Israeli high-tech is a product of a close relationship between Israeli Army graduates and the genesis of great ideas only within that big tent. I sent friends of mine in Washington State three copies of this book and the book about Arab startups to show that Israeli Army experience was NOT necessary in order to start a technology company in the Middle East. The Jerusalem Post recently had an article about tech startups created in Gaza so for sure it is not restricted to either Israel or the Israeli Army.
My theory is that it is related to 1) Israeli tech stars who trained in the US and returned to Israel; 2) The Lavi project which was cancelled and released a large number of high quality engineers on the Israeli job market; and 3) The Russian aliyah in the late 1980s and early 1990s when Israel received the bulk of the Russian scientific and engineering elite. The annual survey of Computer workers in Israel shows about half of the computer workers are Russians, about 1/7 are native Hebrew speakers and the rest are largely native English speakers. The Army graduates get the spotlight because they have the connections to be able to make things happen, but they are far from being the mother lode of scientific talent that has sparked so many Israeli startups. A major problem for the future of Israel will be the failure of the Israeli government to adequately fund K-12 and higher education seeming to think that what Russia gave to Israel is an inextinguishable font of plenty. Wishful thinking.
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on January 4, 2011
I found this book interesting and filled with interesting data about countries in general.
Its quite amazing what the state of Israel has achieved in its short life, barely half a century old and its today, one of the most innovative countries in the world.
Its also quite remarkable how many of the Israeli companies have taken advantage of the expertise that Israeli citizens acquired in during their military training
However I expected a slightly more balanced book, for one thing, the authors seem a little too much of a fan of the State of Israel.
The reason is that even do the book does present accurate and truthful accounts of events, I believe it fails to put them adequately into context, since some of the events portrayed as examples of Israeli achievement, could have taken place in many countries in the world.
For example the author tells about a factory that meet its delivery deadlines in spite that the area close to the plant was being bombed during the Gulf War, well those things are not unheard of in other states that have been at war and keep production going.
Chapter 11 tells about how the "Betrayal" from France forced them to be innovative,
that has been also true of other relatively isolated countries, after all there's the old saying necessity is the mother of invention.

And lastly the book seems to underestimate the enormous impact that U.S financial, technological & military assistance has contributed to Israel's success.

This is not to take away, the due credit that the State of Israel and its people have earned thru their achievements & hard work, since its quite impressive, but I found the lack on context unfortunate & potentially misleading.
But still, I guess its a good start for someone interested in the subject.
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on November 27, 2014
I had the privilege of being invited to a US/Israel investment conference where this book was often mentioned. It is unique in promoting the tech world emerging from Israeli start-ups...but perhaps the magic sauce is in the life experience obtained by serving in its armed forces.
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on November 13, 2013
The book draws interesting conclusions based on observation however there is no added analysis to confirm the causes of Israeli entrepreneurship. I would have liked to see more quantitative analysis. It's a great starter-read on the topic of Israeli business and some of Israel's cultural norms.
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on March 7, 2014
The Start-up Nation was recommended to me by a friend who said it was an insightful book. It wasn't a disappointing book, but neither did it leave me very impressed. The book attempts to answer one single question: "Why is the amount of start-ups in Israel relatively so high". It does a decent job in explaining that and summarizing Israels history, but it doesn't leave you with much concrete advise.

The book consists of four parts, but unlike most books, the parts aren't actual clear groupings as the authors just flows from story to story and the authors repeat the same points many times. The stories were nice and the book was well written. It would be hard to distill the answer to the start-up nation questions as many things related. However, from the beginning on, there is a very strong emphasis on the army. The emphasis on the effect of mandatory army service was actually something I disliked about the book. A good example of this was the story of the army having an elite group which receives an thorough scientific training (Talpoit). This elite group created an exceptional amount of entrepreneurs. Only the 1-2% top students will be allowed to join this group. One thing that I kept wondering is if it is the 1-2% of the stop students who are exceptional entrepreneurs or people from this army unit? It felt the conclusion was drawn too quickly.

Other strong influences that caused the start-up nation are the Jewish culture and especially its lack of hierarchy and it's emphasis on challenging and discussion. Also the people in Israel have a shared mission to build a country and that strong relationship with the country creates some passion for helping the country which also aligns people. The book considers the huge amount of immigration to be another advantage as it created a wide diversity and people who immigrated are natural entrepreneurs.

The book covers quite a lot of history (especially military) of Israel, which I did find interesting but I wasn't always sure how relevant it was. It also made interesting sidetracks my comparing Israel with Dubai and Singapore and shows how the country is different and how that causes different different levels of initiative.

All in all, I felt the book was interesting yet not very special. I would recommend it for people who are interested in Israel, but not for people who want to know about start-ups. It gives very little concrete advise about start-ups or how to create a start-up environment. 3 stars.
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on January 15, 2017
Very informative.
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on November 28, 2011
Pretende mostrar las principales razones por las que Israel, una nación pequeña y subdesarrollada hasta hace unos pocos años, se ha convertido en el líder indiscutible de la creación de empresas nuevas por medio del emprendimiento. Sin embargo le falta mas detalle e investigación de los ejemplos presentados como los principales éxitos. Es mas una narración, interesante y amena, que un estudio serio que ayude a emular lo logrado por ellos.

Hace demasiado énfasis en la importancia de los militares y su cultura especial como primordial para llegar al punto que este país ha conseguido. Me parece exagerado y adulador asumir que una sociedad sin un ejército similar no puede conseguir éxitos similaires ( ¿Qué opinaría Einstein? El no quería ni admiraba el ejército, y or el contrario lo encontraba como una barrera para el desarrollo de las sociedades).

Es una iniciativa valiosa hacer referencia a esta historia de éxito pero creo se centra mas en ciertos personajes líderes y en factores especiales que en tendencias y patrones que se deberían desarrollar de manera mas universal.
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on May 23, 2013
Good book. Slow at times but very intereresting. Not sure I would buy it a second time. Like I said, it is interesting reading, however.
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