Customer Reviews for

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

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  • Posted January 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    What to Learn from Israel's Economic Miracle

    Dan Senor and Saul Singer skillfully bring to light Israel's national ethos to explain how Israel has managed to achieve the highest density of start-ups in the world, in spite of its precarious beginnings, its small size, and its isolation from its neighbors for well-known reasons. Israel specializes in what Messrs. Senor and Singer call high-growth entrepreneurship, i.e., start-ups that reengineer entire global industries. As the authors demonstrate convincingly, the Israeli high-tech business success story lies not only in the presence of the institutional elements that underpin classic business clusters, but also, and more importantly, in the key components of its cultural core. Many Israelis display a mixture of seemingly contradictory attitudes which can be baffling to anyone unfamiliar with Israel's national ethos: simultaneously both driven and flat and both ambitious and collectivist. The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) plays a key role in inculcating specific societal norms into the young men and women who do their mandatory military service. Messrs. Senor and Singer summarize this ethos very well when they write: "it is a story not just of talent but of tenacity, of insatiable questioning of authority, of determined informality, combined with a unique attitude toward failure, teamwork, mission, risk, and cross-disciplinary creativity." To their credit, the authors do not gloss over the weaknesses of the Israeli economy such as the mixed performance of its other industries and the low Israeli workforce participation chiefly attributable to Haredim (ultra-Orthodox Jews) and Israeli Arabs. Messrs. Senor and Singer usually explain clearly what different countries such as the United States, Singapore, Finland, and the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council can learn from the Start-Up Nation. However, these countries should keep in mind that, like emulating a successful company with a distinctive corporate culture, copying "High-Tech Israel Inc." will be challenging. Just recycling bits and pieces of that model will often end in failure. To summarize, Messrs. Senor and Singer usually succeed in giving their audience an impartial view of the strengths and weaknesses of the Start-Up Nation.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 7, 2009

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    Bridget's Review

    Isreal is a young yet rich country. How is it possible that a country who is constantly battling enemies can be so powerful? I've often asked myself that question and reading this book helped me to understand. If you are interested in learning about what it takes to make a country, then you should read this book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2011

    excellent book- eye opener

    Found this book to be fascinating and very informative.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2010

    WHY AND HOW

    THIS BOOK IS A HISTORY OF WHY ISRAEL HAS BECOME WHAT IT HAS BECOME. IT LINKS THE GROWTH TO ASSOCIATIONS THAT BEGIN FOR EVERY ISREALI WHEN THE JOIN THE ARMY.IT ALSO SHOWS THE CONNECTION TO THEIR GREAT DEVELOPMENT AND SCIETIFIC PROGRESS FORMED BY THE ASSOCIATIONS THAT I MENTION BEFORE

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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