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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Changing 'My' Perceptions About Israel..You Should Too

Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle
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. It is amazing how a small country surrounded by enemies (the Arabs), no natural resources, constant state of war (14 military conflicts since 1948) and cut off from several major ports of commerce is able to do so much. Did you know these facts about Israel?

With a population of only 7.1 million:
[1] As of 2012, Israel ranks 16th among 187 nations on the UN's Human Development Index, which places it in the category of "Very Highly Developed".

[2] After the USA, Israel has more companies listed on the NASDAQ (US tech stock exchange) than any other country in the world, including India, China, Korea, Singapore, Ireland and all of Europe combined.

[3] Israel is also the world leader in the percentage of the economy devoted to research and development at 4.5% of GDP. Japan is at a distant 2nd with 3.2% of GDP and United States in third place at 2.7% of GDP.

[4] Israel is the world leader in venture capital dollars raised per capita - coming at 2.5 times the next most venture capital intensive country - United States. More than x30 greater than the entire Europe, x80 greater than China and x350 greater than India.

[5]  Israel has the highest number of scientists, technicians, and engineers per capita in the world with 140 scientists, technicians, and engineers per 10,000 employees. In comparison, the same is 85 per 10,000 in the United States and 83 per 10,000 in Japan.

[6] The Israeli economy is ranked as the world's most durable economy in the face of crises, and is also ranked first in the rate research and development center investments.

At 295 pages, it's very difficult for me to summarize the book into a few statements let alone paragraphs. You have to read it to believe it. Believe's pretty illuminating not only for other countries, but also for business people, organizations, investors and entrepreneurs. Meanwhile this is also a good read: Changing Perceptions About Israel and a short video about the country of Israel.

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