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

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  8,653 ratings  ·  983 reviews
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
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published November 4th 2009 by Twelve
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Andrew K.
Jun 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Start-up Nation is a fun overview of a side of Israel you don't hear much about: the incredible success of its start-up companies, traced back to:
1. the multidisciplinary army training everyone gets at age 18,
2. a culture of embracing and learning from failure,
3. all those Jewish immigrants from places like Russia that show up with science and engineering degrees looking for something to do, and of course
4. Jewish chutzpah!

The book also helped me understand better why high-tech, high-growth ent
Imnot Anipod
Apr 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
Being as generous as possible, this book should have been entitled "The Story of Israel's Start-Up Culture" rather than of its "Economic Miracle." Being honest, the title was misleading and this book was doomed to inadequacy from the start. The authors equivocate between an exploration of entrepreneurship and start-up culture, pro-Israel activism, Israeli military marketing and Israeli history and lore. All well and good, but as one unfamiliar with Israel's "economic miracle" I'm still not educa ...more
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Start Up Nation

Quick, answer 3 questions for me. What country has the highest ratio of university degrees in its population? What country has the highest concentration of startups in the world? What country has more companies listed on NASDAQ than the entire European continent combined? If you answered "Israel" to any of these three questions…Ding-ding-ding-ding-ding! You were right, on all three counts.

In the new book, Start Up Nation, Dan Senor and Paul Singer explain how Israel, a tiny count
E. H. Nathasia
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I absolutely love this book, it's just that, it's not as captivating as my first read; which is on Elon Musk, hence I give it a 4/5 rating. The book started out as merely a discussion between the two author that leads to twenty-eight Harvard Business School classmates going to Israel to explore its economy, politics and history. At the end of the week, everyone asked the same question, 'Where did all this innovation and entrepreneurship come from?' Despite being a target of suicide bombers and s ...more
Mar 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is a must read for everyone in the arab world especially politicians and leaders , it explains this huge gulf between "Israel" and the Arab world
Jan Rice
May 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
If a book discussion is upcoming I'll do my homework and read a book I'd otherwise never pick up, and that's a good thing. I had a negative impression from this title. I thought it would consist of boosterism and a defensive enumeration of accomplishments as justification for Israel's existence, but, thankfully it was not that. It was an exploration of why entrepreneurialism, particularly of the hi tech variety, is working so well there, and how to overcome obstacles to that elsewhere.

One aspec
Andrew Rosner
An inspiring, terrific book. Israel is a tiny nation of seven million people with few natural resources, surrounded by countries eager for its destruction. Yet Israel has more companies listed on NASDAQ than any other country except the United States. How has it developed into a high-tech tiger in the face of such adversity? In this brief but lively account, authors Dan Senor and Saul Singer explain how Israel has made a habit of turning disadvantages into advantages through continual innovation ...more
Ngân Anh
Oct 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've been completely ignorant until I got recommended to read this book by a trusted friend. Some facts in this book are just totally astonishing! Actually I've completed reading 3 or 4 days ago but this will have to be revised again and again. Just feel the urge to review xD
Chi Pham
Sep 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: economics
Even though I finshed this book like 3 days ago, I still have a lot of lingering feelings about it, to the point that I decide to write them all out.

This book is about Israel, but somehow it is not about Israel. This is actually a nostalgic book about what the author thinks early America stands for: a nation of immigrants, a nation of self-discipline, no strong central authority, the dream of getting rich, the dream of being equal, the place to change the world, etc. The author portrays Israel a
Fahad Naeem
Sep 14, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is a clear praising-to-the-heaven type. From the start to the end, you will find Dan Senor being deeply in love with the Israeli nation that it looks like a biased book.

The author presents that Israeli IDF in specific and military in general is the main reason behind the entrepreneur-culture in Israel. It's policy of absorbing immigrants and support for the start-ups making it a country based on economic-research.
The bad thing was that Dan consistently glorified IDF as he were its spok
Ariunbold D.
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Go far, stay long, see deep.
Jul 09, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: proud zionists; businesspeople
Recommended to K by: my mother-in-law
A shot in the arm for a proud zionist, "Start-up Nation" asks the following question: "How is it that Israel -- a country of 7.1 million people, only sixty 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, India, Korea, Canada, and the United Kingdom?" To answer this question, the authors offer a web of anecdotes illustrating the following themes:

1. Cu
Jan 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Dan Senor and Saul Singer's Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle is well researched and a fascinating read. The book is divided into four main parts:

* The Little Nation That Could
* Seeding a Culture of Innovation
* Beginnings
* Country with a Motive

In The Little Nation That Could we learn PayPal's Scott Thompson's first impressions of a young Shvat Shaked, whose young company, Fraud Sciences, developed the most up-to-date solution to the problem of online payment scams, cred
Alex Timberman

Israel with just a little over 7 million people is able to create more hi-tech startups than any country in the world besides the United States. This book explores the reasons for Israel’s success. The authors pointed at several reasons with good case studies.

One reason is that Israel has a conscription military service. All men enter the military and learn skills that spill over into their civilian lives. To enter into a highly trained unit in the Israel Defense Forces is like entering into Ha
Sleepless Dreamer
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
As an Israeli, I've never read a book that boosted my national self esteem like this.

So it's 4:54AM and I couldn't sleep, which made me read this book (no offense). It's a very readable book, despite the dry subject matter, it works. That's no easy feat.

This book made me feel guilty for my choices in the army. I'm not going to leave with this network, I picked artistic over elite and I sometimes wonder if I'll regret that in the future.

Nonetheless, I feel this book didn't show Israel the way
Howard Olsen
Jun 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A great book about one of the under-told stories out of the Middle East: that of the economic development of Israel from a desert filled with refugees to a dynamic high tech economy. Senor and Singer analyze Israeli culture, society and institutions in their quest to find out why, for example, so much of Intel's recent growth has come from its Israeli division, or why it is that a nation of just 7 million has had more NASDAQ IPO's than any other, but the US. The authors look at such factors as t ...more
"The greatest contribution of the Jewish people in history is dissatisfaction - that's poor for politics but good for science" - Peres

Start-Up Nation is almost a lesson on the history of Israel. It does a great job tracing the culture of the country and helping understand how Israel is set up for success - specifically in the start-up & VC world. It also contrasts Israel with countries such as the UAE/Singapore/South Korea which have failed to replicate its start-up success in spite of sometimes
Frank Stein
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
There are some basic facts about Israel's economy that should make any economist's ears perk up. Israel has more than twice as much venture capital investment per capita as the next most venture intensive country (the United States, which itself has twice as much as the following country, Ireland). Israel invests more in civilian research and development than any other country on earth, at 4.5% of GDP, more than a full percentage point higher than the following two countries (Japan and the US). ...more
Sep 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I thought I knew a lot about Israel, but the book is rich in anecdotes. The history of Israel is well described and innovation was probably a necessity to survive. If there is a point I appreciated less is the importance the authors give to the military. They may be right, that’s not the point, but I thought the topic came too often in the chapters. This remains a great book and a must read for anyone interested in high-tech innovation and entrepreneurship.

I’d like now to quote a few things I li
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, english-english
I just regret reading it during and after my visit in Israel. If I had read the book before, my questions at the Accelerators, VC Funds and Startups we met, would have been way better.
Jun 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“As a poor people coming home to a poor land, we had to discover the riches of scarcity.”

There is much to learn from Israelis, not just their technological advancement and the tenacity of its entrepreneurs despite the ongoing national security problems, but also the collective power and unity which seems absolutely necessary for a young nation. As the authors mentioned, of course, there are threats to this robust growth, and the stories have probably omitted the struggles of daily lives of Israe
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The book gives very good insights into the Israeli way of living, the traits of people there, what makes them the way they are, the military structure and of course the entrepreneur culture so ingrained into the blood and soul of the Israelis.

Their ‘hierarchy-does-not-matter’ kind of organizational structure across the nation where a junior person can fearlessly question the authority of the senior-most is quite admirable. The mandatory military training and the subsequent service in the reserv
Apoorv Purwar
Sep 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Start-up nation explains how 'Necessity is the mother of all inventions' and 'Adversity brings the best out of an Individual/Group' with Israel as the living example of it. It tells the story a country which is primarily made up of immigrants and is nothing more than a small desert land surrounded by hostile neighbors, rose above all the odds to emerge as one of the most technologically advanced nation of the world, with innovation at its core.
This books tells the story of what makes Israel and
Alvaro Berrios
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A very well written book regarding a topic I was completely ignorant of prior to reading it. I found the story fascinating and the authors do a great job of covering all the bases, from the 1940s all the way to present day. The culture, the geopolitics, the military and the lack of natural resources all lead a trail and explain why Israel has such an innovative and successful economy.

In addition to discussing Israel's success in the tech sector, I thought the authors did well to cover the risks
Thai Son
Oct 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Good narrative, fascinating material, very readable. No need for background in anything.

Some "retainers": Small is beautiful. Confirmation of some ideas in Antifragile. Chutzpah and risk-taking. Tech industries. Military background. Dynamic culture. Ben Gurion, Simon Peres, Al Schwimmer.-

Overall a nice book to start the year!
Said AlMaskery
I thought this would be a book full of real insight on the economic development of the Zionist state. instead what I found was a marketing propaganda trying to convince the reader that Israelis are smarter than others ... this itself was not even convincing.
Dec 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
I must say I am really impressed by the spirit of Israel. As a country they have overtaken the USA as the leader in innovation, entrepreneurship, start-up`s etc. Surely Israel is the next big thing. A well written book. ...more
Zœ Zœ
Nation. Technology should be neutral.
Roopesh Kohad
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good giving insights of how Israelis think and operate and how they make a virtue of scarcity. Always curious about this race, now better understand them. Hope to visit this promised land sometime.
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Daniel Samuel "Dan" Senor (born November 6, 1971) is an American columnist, writer and political adviser. He was chief spokesperson for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq and senior foreign policy adviser to U.S. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney during the 2012 election campaign. A frequent commentator on Fox News and contributor to The Wall Street Journal, he is co-author of the book S ...more

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