MembersUnexplained Success, or the Hand of God?

How do secular Israeli hi-tech workers explain their nation’s disproportionate accomplishments?

By Arthur Schwartzman | | Topics: Tech & Tradition
How do nonbelievers explain the disproportionate success of the startup nation?
Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Israel is known as the Startup Nation, and for a solid reason. The tiny Jewish state has birthed many startup companies that are easily recognizable worldwide. What is the source of this success? A majority of Israelis who work in this field are what we’d call “secular,” so how do they explain this disproportionate success?

Let’s first set the stage. Over the past decade, Israeli startup companies have made approximately 120 exits a year. That’s a remarkable number! During that time, the most significant purchaser was the microchip juggernaut Intel, which bought 10 companies for a total of $17.7 billion. Other prominent acquisitors include Google, which acquired 9 Israeli companies, Apple with 7, and Microsoft with 9. Other big names on the list include IBM, Qualcomm, Amazon, Broadcom, and Cisco. The most prominent exit so far belongs to Israeli tech entrepreneurs Aviram Shashua and Ziv Aviram, who sold Mobileye to Intel for $15.3 billion. It was the largest exit in the history of the Israeli economy, and it yielded each of them about a billion dollars.

Experts try to help us understand this chain...

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