Start-Up Nation: Summary Review

This is a summary review of Start-Up Nation containing key details about the book.

What is Start-Up Nation About?

Start-Up Nation is a 2009 book about the economy of Israel. It examines how Israel, a 60-year-old nation with a population of 7.1 million, was able to reach such economic growth that "at the start of 2009, some 63 Israeli companies were listed on the NASDAQ, more than those of any other foreign country."

Who is the author of Start-Up Nation?

Daniel Samuel Senor is an American-Canadian columnist, writer, and political adviser. He was chief spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq and senior foreign policy adviser to U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney during the 2012 election campaign.

Saul Singer is formerly the editorial page editor at The Jerusalem Post, Singer co-wrote with Dan Senor Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle, a best-seller which investigates Israel's innovative prowess.

How long is Start-Up Nation?

  • Print length: 304 pages

What genre is Start-Up Nation?

Business, Nonfiction, Economics

What are good quotes from Start-Up Nation?

“Four guys are standing on a street corner… an American, a Russian, a Chinese man, and an Israeli…. A reporter comes up to the group and says to them: “Excuse me…. What’s your opinion on the meat shortage?” The American says: What’s a shortage? The Russian says: What’s meat? The Chinese man says: What’s an opinion? The Israeli says: What’s “Excuse me”? —MIKE LEIGH, Two Thousand Years”

“A reform happens when you change the policy of the government; a revolution happens when you change the mind-set of a country.”
“Dov Frohman, the founder of Intel Israel, later said that to create a true culture of innovation, “fear of loss often proves more powerful than the hope of gain.”

“You rarely see people talk behind anybody’s back in Israeli companies. You always know where you stand with everyone. It does cut back on the time wasted on bullshit.”

“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.”

“In the Israeli army, soldiers are divided into those who think with a rosh gadol—literally, a “big head”—and those who operate with a rosh katan, or “little head.” Rosh katan behavior, which is shunned, means interpreting orders as narrowly as possible to avoid taking on responsibility or extra work. Rosh gadol thinking means following orders but doing so in the best possible way, using judgment, and investing whatever effort is necessary. It emphasizes improvisation over discipline, and challenging the chief over respect for hierarchy.”

“in the Israeli military, the tactical innovation came from the bottom up—from individual tank commanders and their officers. It probably never occurred to these soldiers that they should ask their higher-ups to solve the problem, or that they might not have the authority to act on their own. Nor did they see anything strange in their taking responsibility for inventing, adopting, and disseminating new tactics in real time, on the fly.”

“A 2006 Harvard University study shows that entrepreneurs who have failed in their previous enterprise have an almost one-in-five chance of success in their next start-up”

“What the Soviet émigrés brought with them is symptomatic of what Israeli venture capitalist Erel Margalit believes can be found in a number of dynamic economies. “Ask yourself, why is it happening here?” he said of the Israeli tech boom. We were sitting in a trendy Jerusalem restaurant he owns, next to a complex he built that houses his venture fund and a stable of start-ups. “Why is it happening on the East Coast or the West Coast of the United States? A lot of it has to do with immigrant societies. In France, if you are from a very established family, and you work in an established pharmaceutical company, for example, and you have a big office and perks and a secretary and all that, would you get up and leave and risk everything to create something new? You wouldn’t. You’re too comfortable. But if you’re an immigrant in a new place, and you’re poor,” Margalit continued, “or you were once rich and your family was stripped of its wealth—then you have drive. You don’t see what you’ve got to lose; you see what you could win. That’s the attitude we have here—across the entire population.”

“According to the pioneering work of Nobel Prize winner Robert Solow, technological innovation is the ultimate source of productivity and growth.22 It’s the only proven way for economies to consistently get ahead—especially innovation born by start-up companies.”
“The cultural differences between Israel and the United States are actually so great that Intel started running “cross-cultural seminars” to bridge them. “After living in the U.S. for five years, I can say that the interesting thing about Israelis is the culture. Israelis do not have a very disciplined culture. From the age of zero we are educated to challenge the obvious, ask questions, debate everything, innovate,” says Mooly Eden, who ran these seminars. As a result, he adds, “it’s more complicated to manage five Israelis than fifty Americans”

― Dan Senor and Saul Singer, Start-Up Nation
 

What are the chapters in Start-Up Nation?

Chapter 1: Persistence
Chapter 2: Battlefield Entrepreneurs
Chapter 3: The People of the Book
Chapter 4: Harvard, Princeton, and Yale
Chapter 5: Where Order Meets Chaos
Chapter 6: An Industrial Policy That Worked
Chapter 7: Immigration: The Google Guys' Challenge
Chapter 8: The Diaspora: Stealing Airplanes
Chapter 9: The Buffett Test
Chapter 10: Yozma: The Match
Chapter 11: Betrayal and Opportunity
Chapter 12: From Nose Cones To Geysers
Chapter 13: The Sheikh's Dilemma
Chapter 14: Threats to the Economic Miracle

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Founder

Tal Gur is a location independent entrepreneur, author, and impact investor. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His most recent book and bestseller, The Art of Fully Living - 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World, has set the stage for his new mission: elevating society to its abundance potential.

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